Tag Archives: scb

The $120K credit card showdown

The credit card landscape in Singapore can be roughly segmented into three tiers.

At the lower end you have the entry-level segment, where the required incomes range between $30-50K per annum. This is where you find your DBS Altitudes, your Citibank Premiermiles and assorted other rewards cards. These may have some basic privileges like a limited number of lounge visits, but otherwise the best frill you can hope for is a solid miles earning proposition.

In the middle, you have the cards for those earning between $120-150K, which usually combine favorable miles earning rates with enhanced benefits like unlimited lounge access and complimentary airport transfer, as well as concierge access. Think OCBC Voyage, Citibank Prestige and HSBC Visa Infinite.

Then, you have the elite segment where required incomes are $350K and up or by invitation only. This would include cards like the Citibank Ultima, the DBS Insignia and the UOB Privilege Reserve. These cards are for the creamy de lah creamy of society- think special invites to luxury car launches, watch shows, and black tie regattas where monocled men sip champagne and say things like “I have nothing against ethnic people, I just wouldn’t want my daughter marrying one, is all”.

(There are of course some cards that straddle these segments (the UOB PRVI would be a good example of this, at least until it cut its income requirement from $80K to $50K), but they’re the exception rather than the rule)

The Entry Level Prestige Segment

Today I want to talk about the cards in the middle, which for want of a better term I’ll call “entry level prestige”. These cards require incomes of $120-150K., and I’d put the following six cards in this bracket

  • OCBC Voyage ($120k p.a)
  • HSBC Visa Infinite ($120K p.a)
  • Citibank Prestige ($120K p.a)
  • SCB Visa Infinite ($150K p.a)
  • AMEX Platinum Reserve ($150K p.a)
  • Maybank Visa Infinite ($150K p.a)

*Why have I left out the CIMB Visa Infinite? It has an income requirement of $120K but other than that I don’t think it’s meant to compete for the same audience as the cards above. It has no annual fee, but also limited benefits and it doesn’t earn miles.

On the one hand,  these cards don’t have the uberluxe features of the top end tier (don’t expect fancy launch parties like this one). But on the other, they aren’t for just anyone- if you as an individual earn $120K per annum you’d already be earning more than ~51% of all households in Singapore. If you’re in this bracket you no doubt live pretty comfortably, and banks throw in some enhanced benefits because well, you’re worth it.

That said, these cards also come with substantial annual fees which generally cannot be waived. These annual fees aren’t in the crazy $3.2K neighbourhood of the DBS Insignia, but at $500-600 a year they’re high enough that you shouldn’t be rushing off to sign up for every single one.

Here’s a summary of how the six cards stack up (you’ll need to use the scroller to see all 6 because of page width)

 OCBC VoyageCitibank PrestigeHSBC VISCB VIMaybank VIAMEX Platinum Res
Income Req120,000120,000120000150,000150,000150,000
Annual Fee488535650 (1)588.5600 (first year free)535
Welcome Miles15,00025,00035,00035,000NoneNone (2)
Miles with Renewal15,00025,000None (20,000 unofficially)NoneNoneNone (3)
Local MPD11.3 (4)1.25 (5)1.4 (6)1.20.69
Overseas MPD2.32 (4)2.25 (5)3 (6)20.69
Special MPD2.3 (dining)10 (Kaligo)N/AN/AN/A3.47 (selected partners)
Lounge AccessYesYesYesYesYesYes
ConciergeYesYesYesYesYesYes
Airport LimoYesYesYesNo (7)YesNo
Private Club AccessNoNoNoNoNoYes
Complimentary Travel InsuranceYesYesYesYesYesYes
Other perks4th night free, Jetquay accessJetquay accessFAR Card, Platinum Golf, Boingo Wifi, LoveDining

(1) $488 for HSBC Premier members
(2) Complimentary set lunch for 2 at Labyrinth upon approval till 9 Aug 2017 + 1 free night at choice of 5 Frasers Hospitality properties. Spend $5,000 within 6 months of approval to get 27.8K miles (50K MR points)
(3) 1 free night at choice of 5 Frasers Hospitality properties with renewal
(4) Additional relationship bonus of 5-30% applied to annual retail card purchases at end of membership year
(5) With min $50K spend in previous year, otherwise 1/2 mpd for local and overseas

(6) With minimum spend of $2,000 a month, otherwise 1 mpd for local and overseas
(7) Offers $100 of Uber credits + 25K miles with payment of annual fee, with 10% Uber rebate capped at $100 per quarter

That’s a lot to take in at once, so let’s go category by category

Miles Earning Rate

 Local MPDOverseas MPDSpecial
AMEX Platinum Res0.70.73.47 (selected partners)
OCBC Voyage12.32.3 (dining)
Maybank VI1.22N/A
HSBC VI1.252.25N/A
Citibank Prestige1.3210 (Kaligo)
SCB VI1.43N/A

Same caveats as above apply re: miles earning rates for HSBC VI and SCB VI

Who immediately loses out?

Despite what its publicity materials would have you believe, the AMEX Platinum Reserve (PR) is clearly inferior from a miles earning perspective. 0.7 mpd for local and overseas spend means that there’s no way you could use this as a general spending card. There is the possibility of earning 3.47 mpd at selected Platinum EXTRA partners, but these are mainly high end fashion boutiques and a handful of restaurants. I understand that some people may keep this card on hand for the dining benefits (see last section) and that’s fair enough, but I’d be very hard pressed to justify putting any other sort of general spending on it.

The OCBC Voyage is, for reasons I’ve covered extensively elsewhere, not strictly in the same category as the rest of these cards insofar as it’s basically a cashback card with a call option for miles. The VMs it earns have a value that fluctuates between 1.5-3 cents depending on cabin and route (the value of a VM is calculated by some black box algorithm). Although it’s the only card here that has a dining category bonus, the poor local earning rate means it’s a loser for me.

I’d say the HSBC VI loses out because earning the 1.25/2.25 mpd rates requires you to spend $50K in the preceding year. This means that if you’re just starting out, you earn a pitiful 1 mpd on local spend which simply isn’t good enough. Ditto the Maybank VI, which has a mpd profile similar to that of the DBS Altitude- good, but not something to pay a premium for.

It’s a close fight between the Prestige and the SCB VI. The  Prestige has an interesting tiered bonus system that awards you bonus points at the end of your membership year. My understanding is that if you spend $100,000 in a year and have a 5% relationship bonus, you get 5,000 Citi Dollars ($100K spending * 5% bonus). That’s only 2,000 miles, though.

Even if you totally maxed this out with the 30% bonus, you’d be looking at 12,000 bonus miles with $100K of annual spend (which, by the way, is a heck of a lot of money). The incremental mpd, at its highest, is 0.12. Therefore this relationship bonus isn’t a big draw for me.

The SCB VI requires you to spend at least $2K a month before you get 1.4/3 mpd on local/overseas. Let’s be honest, such sums are definitely achievable if you’re earning $150K a year. What’s more, 3 mpd is an excellent overseas spending rate. If you’re the sort who can use your personal card for business expenses, you could really rake in the points when you travel overseas.

Winner: SCB VI. If you’re making $150K a year, putting $2K a month on a single card shouldn’t be too much of an ask

Welcome Gifts/Renewal Gifts

 Annual FeeJoining GiftRenewal Gift
OCBC Voyage48815000 VMs / 150,000 miles ($3,210 AF) / 500,000 miles ($10,000 AF)Same as joining
Citibank Prestige53525,000 miles or tablet25,000 miles
HSBC VI650 (1)35,000 milesNone
SCB VI588.535,000 miles OR 25,000 miles + $100 Uber credit OR 15,000 miles + LuggageNone (2)
Maybank VI600 (first year free)NoneNone
AMEX Platinum Res535Frasers Hotel VoucherFrasers Hotel Voucher

(1) $488 for HSBC Premier members
(2) Reports say that cardholders are offered 20,00 miles for paying the renewal fee, however this is not an official benefit

As I mentioned, the majority of these cards do not offer waivers of their hefty annual fees. Therefore, they need to provide some sort of incentive for people to hop on.

This usually takes the form of welcome miles, which the Voyage, Prestige, HSBC VI and SCB VI all offer. In terms of cents per mile, here’s how they order (cheapest to most expensive)

CardAnnual FeeMilesCents Per Mile
HSBC VI- Premier Customer48835,0001.39
SCB VI58835,0001.68
HSBC VI- Regular Customer65035,0001.86
OCBC Voyage- Option 310,000500,0002
OCBC Voyage- Option 23,210150,0002.14
Citibank Prestige53525,0002.14
OCBC Voyage- Option 1 48815,000 (VM)3.25

Of course, it’s not fair to look at it purely from a CPM view because of the additional benefits each card has. But it’s a good place to start. All things equal, the Citibank Prestige needs to make up for its higher CPM through other benefits. And even if I believed the SCB VI had no real benefits, I could still justify paying the annual fee (at least for the first year) by viewing it as a pure miles purchasing exercise.

I don’t really value the AMEX PR’s welcome/renewal gift of a free night’s stay at a Frasers property. There are only five participating properties worldwide, and none of them are in what I’d call particularly expensive hotel cities.

I know there’s a limited time complimentary set lunch for 2 at Labyrinth for approved cardmembers, and perhaps some people like that, but it’s not a convincing welcome gift for me either. I’m also vaguely aware that the AMEX PR gives you some discounted staycation vouchers upon approval, but again this isn’t something I’d value enough for the annual fee. If there are other AMEX PR welcome/renewal gifts that aren’t publicly listed, please let me know.

Despite its hefty annual fee, the Maybank VI does not have any welcome miles nor renewal gift. However, it is the only card in this set that waives the first year annual fee. I’m thinking of applying for it just before a trip and plonking down the minimum spend just so I can review the (by all accounts very underwhelming) Jetquay private terminal in Singapore, enjoy the unlimited Priority Pass and then cancel it for the next year. An unlimited Priority Pass would normally cost US$399, so that might actually be the best welcome gift…

In terms of renewal gifts, it was surprisingly slim pickings. The Prestige and Voyage have the same renewal offer as the joining one, but these still represent buying miles at a slight premium to what they’re worth. The others do not have an (at least official) retention gift. This makes me wonder if acquisition is a more important metric than retention when product managers are evaluated.

Winner: SCB VI would win in the first year, but after that it could be difficult to justify renewing any of these 6 cards unless you really valued the benefits. Honorable mention to the Maybank VI for no first year fee.

Travel Perks

All the cards have travel insurance, although working out the difference in coverage limits is an exercise I’ll leave for those of you with more time. They do differ on airport transfer, lounge access and other travel perks, as I’ll elaborate below.

Airport transfer

If you’re uber rich, you could get unlimited airport transfers with DBS Asia Treasures or Citigold Private Client (min AUM: $1.5M)

For the rest of us, there’s this-

CardMin Spend RequirementMax UsesAirport Drop/Pickup
Citibank PrestigeS$1.5K overseas spend in a quarter4 per quarter, 8 per yearDrop or pickup
HSBC Visa InfiniteS$2K spend in a month (first two per year are free)24 per year (includes the two free trips)Drop only
Maybank Visa InfiniteS$3K spend in a month (no min spend if >$60K spending in prev. year)2 per S$3K spend, 6 per yearDrop or pickup
OCBC VoyageS$3K spend in a month2 per monthDrop or pickup

The easiest limo service to qualify for is without a doubt the Prestige’s. You get one entire quarter to spend $1.5K (vs having to spend $2-3K in a month with the rest) in foreign currency. Once that’s been met, you can use the benefit up to four times in a quarter (i.e. no need to spend $3K to get 2, $4.5K to get 3 etc). Note that the spending need not be physically overseas- so long as it’s foreign currency it’s good.

I also value the ability to use the limo service for both drop offs and pickups. As I explained in my article on credit card limo service, pickups are more expensive for service providers because there is an unknown amount of waiting time.

Winner: Citibank Prestige. Lowest spend requirement, plus the ability to unlock up to 4 trips with just $1,500 of spend

Lounge Access

CardLounge NetworkNo of Free VisitsGuest Visits
Citibank PrestigePriority PassUnlimited1 free guest, unlimited
SCB VIPriority Pass6- subsequent visits
@ S$38 ea.
S$38
HSBC VIPriority PassUnlimitedS$38, but supp cardholder gets an unlimited PP too
OCBC VoyagePlaza PremiumUnlimited1 free guest, unlimited
Maybank VIPriority PassUnlimitedUS$27
AMEX Platinum ReserveCenturion LoungesUS$50 per accessOne pass per visitor required

Citibank is the clear king of this category, with unlimited visits for both yourself and a guest. HSBC doesn’t give you a priority pass with unlimited guesting, but your supplementary cardholder can get an unlimited use Priority Pass of their own.

SCB’s offering is a letdown, because six visits is just stingy compared to what the Prestige , HSBC VI and Maybank VI are offering (have I mentioned that the Maybank VI has the first year free?)

I am, however, unsure whether I’d rather have 6 visits to over 1,000 lounges or unlimited visits to 70 (OCBC Voyage). OCBC, you see, doesn’t give a Priority Pass. Instead it has a tie up with Plaza Premium lounges. The Plaza Premium network is reasonably large, with many major cities covered (no US presence though), but it’s definitely not in the same league as a Priority Pass.

Image result for plaza premium lounge

I was very surprised at the paucity of the AMEX PR options, given the otherwise excellent lounge coverage that the AMEX Platinum Charge Card has. I know that AMEX Platinum cardholders can access the pretty swanky Centurion Lounges, but these are currently limited to selected locations in the USA only.

EDIT: It has since been clarified to me that complimentary access to Centurion Lounges is only for Platinum Cardholders, i.e the invite only tier in Singapore. If you hold an AMEX PR card you can access but must pay a US$50 fee

Image result for centurion lounge
Centurion Lounge DFW
Image result for centurion lounge
Centurion Lounge IAH

There’s an upcoming Centurion Lounge in HKG, but even so the coverage isn’t anywhere near that of Priority Pass (although the quality would be much better)

Winner: Citibank Prestige. All the lounge visits you could possibly want. Plus, you can do this.

Other Travel Perks

Image result for jetquay

There are two other perks I want to touch on briefly. The first is JetQuay. Remember JetQuay? For a long while it seemed to be the must-have amenity on credit cards. I remember even the OCBC Titanium was offering it as a perk. And then the hype slowly died down, probably in no small part due to the fact that Changi Airport is so good and JetQuay so underwhelming (at least they have updated the F&B offerings, but once upon a time the only F&B they had was instant noodles. In a private terminal)

Image result for jetquay

Both the Prestige and the Maybank VI provide JetQuay access. The Maybank VI requires a minimum spend of $3K. The Prestige has no minimum spend, but it’s worth noting that this access is a benefit provided by Mastercard World and World Elite rather than Citibank itself.

Image result for luxury hotel

The Citibank Prestige has another great benefit called fourth night free. Basically, if you book three nights through the Citibank concierge, you get your fourth night free via a refund. The concierge will be able to book for you any publicly available rate (so don’t worry about getting ripped off), and your bookings will be eligible for elite credit and points. What’s better is that this refund is credited on the back end. If, for example, you stay for 4 nights at $100 each, you’re first billed $400 then get a $100 refund later on your statement. However, you earn hotel points and elite credit based on 5 nights and $500 of spend.

If you’re travelling on business, it also means that you could pocket the difference based on what you’re reimbursed versus what you’re charged (is that theft? another discussion for another day…). This system is apparently going to change soon with online bookings being introduced, but you can still opt for the old method…for now.

Winner: Citibank Prestige

Club Access, Dining and Other Perks

Image result for Amex dining

This is where the AMEX PR really shines. It’s got a solid suite of dining privileges with the FAR Card and its LoveDining privileges. This gives you anywhere between 15-50% off dining at hotels like the Fairmont, Swissotel and Conrad, as well as a wide selection of restaurants. If you dine out a lot at hotels, you could conceivably earn back your annual fee just on these discounts. Of course, if you’re the sort who can afford to eat that much at hotels, you might not really care about the annual fee.

The AMEX PR is also the only card in this set that has private club access via its partnership with the Tower Club. However, the T&C states that this is limited to the first 5 AMEX PR members daily. Can’t let just anyone in, y’know.

Image result for tower club singapore

Although the club has fitness facilities, they’re off limits to you as an AMEX PR cardholder. You’ll have access to the F&B options, but do note that you’ll be charged a surcharge of 10% on all F&B incurred at the Tower Club because you’re one of the unwashed masses.

Image result for boingo amex

There’s a whole Platinum Golf program if you’re into that sort of thing, but the other feature I find more useful as a business traveler is the partnership with Boingo. This gets you

  • One complimentary membership
  • Access to 1 million hotspots worldwide
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access at global hotspots
  • Access on up to four devices
  • No Wi-Fi roaming fees

A glance at the coverage map shows you that this benefit is more useful in some countries than others, but it’s a nice perk to have nonetheless.

(EDIT: Thanks to Milefan on the comments I’ve learned that the Citibank Prestige has Boingo access too)

It was surprising that despite their premium positioning, none of the other cards had any other perks worth writing about. I’m sure there may be some unpublished ones, maybe the occasional invite to a snazzy society event or two, but otherwise there was nothing.

Winner: AMEX PR, hands down

Conclusion

When I think consider all the categories, it’s a very close fight between the SCB VI and Citibank Prestige, but for me the Prestige wins.

It’s true that the SCB has a better miles earning rate (assuming you hit the $2K minimum) and if you’re able to put a lot of overseas spending on the card you can really rake in the miles. However, the Prestige has a more generous lounge access and limo policy, plus Jetquay access and the 4th night free benefit. The SCB VI has a superior first year gift but loses out on the lack of a compelling renewal gift. Citibank’s renewal gift, while not the cheapest way of buying miles, is at least equal to what they give you in the first year.

It is a shame that the Prestige does not come with any club access or unique dining program ala what AMEX has, but there’s no way I’d take a 0.7 mpd earning rate in exchange for that.

Hopefully this article has been useful for those of you blessed enough to be in such a conundrum. I’m personally do not own any of these cards (have been leaning towards getting a Prestige though) because I’m quite happy with my current card strategy. You definitely don’t need any of these to “win” the miles game, but if it works for you, why not?

What you need to know before you buy miles

On this site we’ve covered a lot of ways that you can earn miles through your everyday spend. But what if you’re still short and need to buy additional miles? Well, there are illegitimate and legitimate ways of going about that, but since we are all law abiding straight shooting citizens, we shall only discuss the legitimate options here (back alley, 10 minutes, trenchcoat and dark glasses)

When analyzing the new UOB PRVI Pay feature, I went a bit overboard and put together every opportunity I could think of to buy miles in order to see how the PRVI Pay measures up. Here’s what I made-

MethodTypeImplied Income ReqCents Per MileAnnual Limit
SCB VI Tax Payment- >$2K p.mPayment Facility1500001.14Tax bill
HSBC VI IRAS Payment- >$50K p.a (1)Payment Facility1200001.2Tax bill
HSBC Premier MC IRAS Payment (2)Payment Facility300001.25Tax bill
HSBC VI- Premier CustomerWelcome Gift1200001.3935000
HSBC VI IRAS Payment- <$50K p.aPayment Facility1200001.5Tax bill
SCB VI Tax Payment- <$2K p.mPayment Facility1500001.6Tax bill
SCB VIWelcome Gift1500001.6835000
HSBC Visa Plat/Revo Tax PaymentPayment Facility300001.75Tax bill
Citibank PM AmexAnnual Fee800001.7815000
HSBC VI- Regular CustomerWelcome Gift1200001.8635000
iPayMy/Cardup with UOB PRVIPayment Facility500001.86Unlimited
UOB Reserve VI "Pay Anything"Payment FacilityInvitation1.9Unlimited
Citibank PM VisaAnnual Fee500001.9310000
DBS AltitudeAnnual Fee300001.9310000
OCBC Voyage- Option 3Annual Fee1200002500000
UOB PRVI PayPayment Facility50000 2Unlimited
OCBC Voyage- Option 2Annual Fee1200002.14150000
Citibank PrestigeAnnual Fee1200002.1425000
iPayMy/Cardup with DBS Altitude/Citibank PM VisaPayment Facility300002.17Unlimited
DBS Altitude- Tax PaymentPayment Facility300002.5Tax bill
OCBC Voyage- Option 1 (3)Annual Fee1200003.2515000
Buy from Singapore Airlines (4)Stupid05.51Unlimited

(1) The HSBC website says that $1=0.4 miles for tax payment facility, but I have received reports that VI holders have received 1/1.25 mpd as per their relationship bonus
(2)  The income requirement to get a HSBC Premier MC is $30,000, but you need $200K in deposits to open a HSBC Premier account
(3) OCBC Voyage Option 1 involves paying $488 to get 15,000 Voyage miles. These can be converted to Krisflyer miles at a 1:1 ratio but are technically more valuable than Krisflyer miles as they can also be used to pay for revenue fares at a fixed value per mile.
(4) SQ charges US$40 per 1,000 miles purchased. Price shown here is reflective of current exchange rates. The only way I could justify paying this is if I needed the miles right this minute, as SQ will credit them instantly

In the PRVI Pay article I decided to focus more on just PRVI Pay, but I think it’s good to have a separate article where we walk through the different options for buying miles and the pros and cons of each.

Things to consider when choosing among miles buying options

Not all the options in the table will be available to everyone. Therefore, just because a cheaper way of buying miles exists doesn’t imply you should rule out everything that costs more.

Which methods do I qualify for?

Basic, almost stupid question, but still important.

Unfortunately, you will need to command a pretty high income if you want to take advantage of some of the better miles buying deals. The cheapest deal now (if we ignore the bigass Citibank promo that, unfortunately, isn’t open to everyone) is 1.14 cpm via the SCB VI tax payment facility. If you spend more than $2K in a month on your SCB VI and put your tax bill on the card, you’ll earn 1.4 mpd for an admin fee of 1.6%. That requires you to earn a minimum of $150K a year though.

In fact, if I look at all the options available, the cheapest price you can access with an entry-level income is 1.75 cpm via the tax payment facility on the HSBC Visa Platinum/Revolution cards (HSBC Premier Mastercard has a $30K income requirement and lets you buy miles @ 1.25 cpm, but you need $200K in deposits with the bank to qualify for a Premier account). And even then the miles you can buy is limited by the amount of your tax bill.

A Cardup/iPayMy combination with UOB PRVI is probably your best bet if you need to buy a large quantum of miles and don’t earn in the 6 digits. Fortunately, UOB PRVI just reduced its income requirement from $80K to $50K so this method has become more accessible. Unfortunately, as I pointed out before, using Cardup/iPayMy requires a bona fide business expense like a tuition fee bill, condo management fee, tax bill etc. You can’t just send money to yourself.

You can send money to yourself via the UOB PRVI Pay feature, though. UOB doesn’t give two craps what you’re getting the money for- drugs, booze, humanitarian reasons. You just tell them how much and where to deposit the money, they bill your card for that amount + the 2% admin fee, you earn 1 mpd and everyone is happy. Assuming you’re ok with paying 2 cpm (see below)

What’s the limit I can buy/ how often can I exercise this option?

Another key question, because annual fees can only be paid once a year. Once I’ve paid the $192.60 on my DBS Altitude and got my 10K miles, I can’t do it again for another year (I could get the Visa and AMEX versions and pay the annual fee twice, of course, if I were so inclined).

You’ll also note that I’ve distinguished between “welcome gift” and “annual fee” in the table above. A welcome gift is a one time opportunity to purchase miles, which is subsequently not available. An annual fee can be paid each year. To my knowledge, HSBC VI does not give you renewal miles when you pay Year 2’s annual fee. SCB VI apparently offers 20,000 miles for paying Year 2’s annual fee, but that works out to 2.94 cpm which is too high for my liking. This should give people doubts about holding the card beyond the first year, unless you really dig the benefits.

Where tax payment facilities eg HSBC/SCB are concerned, I can’t simply go to them and say “hey, my tax bill is $500K, gimme.” I have to submit copies of my tax bill and they’ll give me miles based on that actual amount. No Citibank Rewards/AXS prepaying the gahmen’s working capital balance here (shhhh)

The only truly “unlimited” options (well, they’re limited by your credit limit) are

  • Buying at 1.9 cpm via UOB RVI’s Pay anything feature (but you need a huge chunk of income to access the UOB RVI…)
  • Buying at 2 cpm via UOB PRVI Pay (but is 2 cpm a good price?)
  • Buying at 1.86/2.17 cpm via Cardup/iPaymy and UOB PRVI/DBS Altitude (but requires a bona fide bill)
  • Buying at 5.51 cpm via SQ (lube up)

Should I be buying miles?

Image result for singapore airlines new first class

Maybe we should have started with this question.

Buying miles can certainly be a much cheaper option of getting business and first class flights. Take Singapore to Sydney, for example. Revenue tickets would cost you

  • Economy- $852 to $1,592
  • Premium Economy- $1,732
  • Business-$4,212
  • First-$8,412

If you use miles, on the other hand, you’d pay

  • Economy-56,000 miles + $162
  • Premium Economy- 90,000 miles + $162
  • Business- 116,000 miles + $162
  • First- 160,000 miles + $162

So depending on what price you pay for miles, there are potentially some sweet deals to be had. Here’s how buying a ticket compares to buying miles and redeeming, in the example of Sydney.

Note: for economy I took the straight average of fares available. Ratio refers to the ratio of the price you’d pay for miles compared to the revenue price

First and most important observation: this chart shows why it is totally not worth it to redeem miles for economy or premium economy. If you pay 2 cpm and redeem those miles for economy, you’re potentially paying even more than you would have if you bought that ticket outright. You can see that buying miles to redeem on business and first class is so much sweeter, even at the 2 cpm mark.

Second, this chart doesn’t reflect the value of certainty. Award flights may not always be available for immediate confirmation on the dates you need and for the number of seats you need. So, depending on how much you value certainty, you’d need to adjust the miles figures to reflect the cost you incur when you can’t get immediate confirmation. Waitlisting is, shall we say, not fun.

Third, you need to account for the value of miles you’d earn had you bought revenue tickets. This effectively acts as a rebate on the revenue ticket price, and will reduce it ever so slightly.

But, assuming you find yourself in a situation where instantly-confirmable award space is available, it absolutely makes sense to go the buying miles route. You’ll need to factor in the time lag between the time you buy the miles and booking the ticket though, during which the space may vanish (SQ doesn’t do award holds).

Should I be buying miles speculatively?

Image result for singapore airlines new business class

The previous question assumed that you had a planned use for miles in mind already. If that’s the case, and if the award space exists, you’d be a fool to pay full price rather than buying miles.

But what if you don’t have an upcoming trip planned? What if you’re pretty well-stocked already? This is a more complicated question.

Most of the miles laojiaos will tell you that you absolutely should not buy miles speculatively. And I’d tend to agree with them. Miles are the worst investment to hold. There is no deposit insurance. They do not earn interest. They can only be devalued, sometimes with short or little notice. Miles are only as valuable as airlines’ willingness to accept them. They’re pretty much a fiat currency. Earn and burn etc etc.

I would nuance that by saying you normally shouldn’t buy miles speculatively, but if an excellent opportunity comes around and you’re quite certain you’ll travel in the next 6 months then I wouldn’t feel too bad for loading up.

Case in point: the current insane Citibank Premiermiles visa offer to buy miles at 0.76 cents each is something I don’t think we’ll see again for a long time, so I’d definitely go for that if it were open to me.

I would also say that you should ideally have a healthy miles balance in your frequent flyer account to give yourself flexibility to make plans on the fly- there’s nothing more annoying (or nail biting) than to see award space on your perfect dates, transfer your points over and have a few nerve wracking days of F5-ing the screen waiting for them to appear. What’s healthy? For me that’s around the 100-150K mark, but I know it will be different for everyone (and that there will be those who believe in keeping even smaller amounts on hand).

Conclusion

For better or worse, SQ hasn’t attempted to monetize Krisflyer by selling miles on the cheap, like the US airlines have done. Therefore the best options for buying miles, at least for now, are offered through the banks. I hope this article gives you a better understanding of what’s out there, and what is (and isn’t) worth springing for.

What do you make of the new Standard Chartered Visa Infinite sign up offer?

I received a nice glossy mailer from Standard Chartered (getting snail mail makes me feel alive) advertising a new sign up offer for their Visa Infinite card.

Image result for standard chartered visa infinite

For successful applications approved before 17 June 2017, SCB is offering a choice of two promotions (T&C here)-

  • 86,000 miles with S$12,000 spending within 60 days of approval OR
  • 66,000 miles + 28 inch Samsonite bag with S$12,000 spending within 60 days of approval

The 35,000 mile welcome gift was always available with the payment of the $588.50 annual fee (SCB used to disclose the annual fee before GST but now includes it, as per their obligations under the income tax act. Sorry, but this always bugged the accountant in me), and the 36,000 base miles would have been yours anyway had you spent $12,000 overseas under the regular T&C of the card. Therefore, the real carrot they’re offering is the 15,000 miles you get when you spend S$12,000 within 60 days of approval.

I’ll have a fair amount of overseas spending on my upcoming RTW trip, and gave some serious thought as to whether I could make this work.

If I were to bring along my UOB Visa Signature card for my overseas spending, I’d be able to get 4 mpd on $2,000 a statement cycle for the 2 cycles I’ll be overseas for. That’s a total of 16,000 miles.

Assuming I spent the other $8,000 on my UOB PRVI Miles at 2.4 mpd, I’d end up with a total of 16,000 + 2.4 * 8,000=35,200 miles for $12,000 of overseas spending.

If I went with the SCB Visa Infinite, I’d end up with 86,000 miles but would be out of pocket $588.50 for the annual fee. So conceptually speaking, I’d be paying $588.50 for the ability to acquire 50,800 more miles than my best alternative. This is about 1.16 cpm, a fairly decent amount.

My actual outlay would be less than $588.50, however, given that SCB is running a rebate promotion with Uber until 30 Sept 2017 that gives you 20% cashback on your Uber (Eats + regular Uber) spending each month, up to $50. You need to spend at least $600 a month on your SCB card to qualify.

After this promotion ends, the SCB VI card still offers 10% cashback on Uber spending capped at $100 a calendar quarter and $400 a year.

I use Uber a lot for work, so assuming I could max out this promotion, I’d get $50*5 (May-Sept, 20% rebate promotion)+ $100 (Oct-Dec, 10% rebate regular) + $100 (Jan-Mar, 10% regular rebate) and a bit more for April to May before my annual fee is due again. That’s about $450 in value, which sounds so generous I’m starting to think I’ve not done this calculation properly*.  And I’d need to spend upwards of $3,250 on Uber in under a year. Which means I’d need to order dinner for quite a few people in the office…

*The T&C of the 20% Uber rebate promotion doesn’t specify how it interacts with the usual 10% rebate granted to the SCB VI card, but I think it’s safe to assume they don’t stack. Likewise, I’m not sure if the bonus cashback earned on the 20% promotion will count towards the $400 annual cap on the SCB VI. 

But assuming it does, and I max out at $400, that’s an actual outlay of just below $200 which makes the card more palatable.

Benefits of the SCB Visa Infinite Card

I’ve written about the perks of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite before here, but I believe some additional benefits have been added since then. To recap, you get

  • 1.4 mpd for local spending and 3 mpd for overseas spending, provided you spend a minimum of S$2,000 in a statement cycle. If you don’t, you get 1 mpd for both
  • 6 free lounge visits a year via Priority Pass
  • A free 4 hour yacht charter for 14 people if you spend $75,000 in a year (worryingly, blackout periods and 20% peak period surcharges apply)
  • The Uber credits I mentioned above

But then I asked Jeriel what he thought and he reminded me of what I’ve told many a person- don’t acquire miles speculatively. Thanks to our good friend the HSBC Advance card, I have a sizable amount of unconverted points with no travel plans in the near future. So the more I think about it, the more I can’t really justify paying the annual fee.

What does this mean for your sign up bonus strategy?

However, if you’ve got upcoming big ticket purchases (and meet the minimum income requirement of $150K per annum) you may want to consider this card. Note that if you spent that $12,000 locally instead of overseas, you’d end up with 35,000 (joining gift) + 15,000 (bonus) + 16,800 (base miles @ 1.4 mpd)= 66,800 miles from $12,588.50 of spend.

What other options do you have?

  • If you’re not already a Citibank credit card holder, you can get the Premiermiles card and spend $10,192.60 (including $192.60 annual fee) within 3 months of obtaining the card to get 42,000 miles
  • You could get the AMEX Rewards card, spend $1,535.50 (including $53.50 annual fee) within 3 months to get 13,333 miles
  • You could get the DBS Altitude Visa card, spend $2,000 ($1,000 a month for 2 months) to get 10,000 miles (for new DBS/POSB cardholders. Existing get 7,000)
  • You could get the Krisflyer Ascend card, spend $6,337.50 (including $337.50 annual fee) in the first 3 months after approval and get 20,000 miles (but please, don’t use the card after that)

This means that in theory, someone with an upcoming spend of ~$31,500 (renovation, wedding, paternity suit) could get just over 170,000 miles if they time their sign up bonuses just right (and were willing to pay a total of $1,172.10 in annual fees).

So I’ll probably not go for this sign up offer, but anyone who has upcoming big spending might want to see if they can build a strategy around this.

Support The Milelion when you sign up for credit cards

The Milelion is free and will always be.

Different websites have different ways of staying free. Some websites have annoying autoplay video ads. Others have adblock blockers that obnoxiously take up your whole screen and demand you unblock them. Still others have a big popunder asking them to subscribe to a spammy newsletter.

The Milelion doesn’t go for any of that. All ads are non-obtrusive and on the sidebar. Block them if they annoy you (but if they don’t, consider whitelisting). The newsletter is yours to subscribe to via the small box on the left. You won’t get a begging signup box blocking your screen. And autoplay video ads? Come the revolution, any website with those will be first against the wall.

But ultimately, The Milelion needs to be sustainable. And I’d prefer to do this in the least intrusive way possible. That’s why we’re going to start putting affiliate links in some articles for ANZ, Citibank and Standard Chartered credit cards. HSBC will follow soon. UOB and DBS, unfortunately, do not partner with the affiliate network I’m using but we might be able to get them through a 3rd party finance site.

How these links work is simple- if you read about a credit card that sounds like something you might like, sign up for it through our link. We’ll earn a referral fee. Signing up this way still makes you eligible for whatever sign up bonus/gifts the banks offer.

For example, if you click on the ANZ credit card link  to sign up for an ANZ Travel Card, you’ll see this

And if you sign up for the Travel Visa Signature Card, you’ll get the 25,000 bonus miles and 28″ luggage, subject to meeting the regular T&C.

Remember- I don’t see any of this money. All costs incurred in running The Milelion (social and otherwise) are borne by me. All revenues earned by the site until 31 July go to support World Vision.

We’re a bit lower than I was expecting at this time in the campaign, but hopefully with the additional revenue from affiliate sign ups we’ll meet the $5K goal.

Final point: I understand people might be concerned about how this affects content objectivity. That’s fair enough. The last thing I want is this becoming the kind of website that can say with a straight face that the Krisflyer Ascend card is a good option(I swear, they updated the headline to add “Or the worst?” since I last read it).

Let me put it this way- over the past 2 years The Milelion has been in existence I’ve made it clear I’d rather die than recommend a crappy card to someone. And although there are some great affiliate offers for crappy cards, including a particular mall-related AMEX that I have described, rather charitably, as possibly the worst card in Singapore, I’m not going to put those links here. I trust you have the right resources here to know which cards you should and shouldn’t be applying for, if you want to play the miles game.

I’m going to put some links below, but I will progressively populate older articles (like my good friend the Milelion Credit Card Omnibus) with these as well.

Thanks to everyone for your support

Aaron


ANZ

Travel Visa Signature

UPDATE: I’d advise against applying for this card given the recent cuts to benefits. No more 10k miles when paying the annual fee. 

Despite the recent devaluation of the lounge access benefit, the ANZ Travel Visa Signature remains a solid card to have assuming you travel frequently to Australia/NZ. You can get up to 25,000 miles if you’re willing to pay the first year annual fee and spend $3,000 in the first month.

Get more air miles with every dollar

Citibank

If you’re a new Citibank cardholder, you can get $120 cashback when you sign up here. I wrote a short article on how this can be a potential avenue to MS, if you’re into that sort of thing…

Citibank Rewards Card

Apply here

The old stalwart of the rewards card portfolio, the Citibank Rewards may have lost some utility ever since bill payment via AXS was taken away, but regular promotions like the one with Amazon make it a solid card to have in my book.

Citibank Premiermiles Visa

Apply here

I don’t love Citibank’s policy of having separate redemption fees for ThankYou points and Premiermiles, but I do love that they have the most useful transfer partners of any SG based bank.

For the full runthrough you can refer to the Citibank entry in the credit card omnibus.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite

Image result for standard chartered visa infinite

Apply here

The SC Visa Infinite (S$30,000 income requirement (!) if you’re a priority/private banking customer, S$150,000 if not) has an a choice of 2 welcome gifts in exchange for a S$588.50 annual fee

  1. 35,000 miles
  2. 25,000 miles plus S$100 Uber Credit

If you opt for (1), you are essentially buying miles at 1.68 cents each. This is one of the lowest rates I’ve ever seen for sign up/renewal bonuses. There are some decent card related bonuses too, and if you’re the sort who puts at least S$2K spend on your card each month you can earn 3 mpd on overseas spending.


We’ll add more links once HSBC comes through, hopefully there’ll be another extension to the 10X points on the Advance Card?

Free Crystal Jadeite Membership for SCB Cardholders

Standard Chartered has partnered with Crystal Jade  to offer a complimentary Crystal Jadeite membership for all SCB credit and debit card holders. DBS has done something similar to this in the past but that promotion is since over.

You can sign up here for this promotion. At the time of writing, their sign up link was not working- it redirects you to the DBS promotion sign up page which has since expired. I suppose that will get fixed shortly.

Members get

  • Up to 12% rebate for every S$1 spent year round
  • Up to 20% rebate for every S$1 spent during the month of your birthday and during Members’ Day
  • A complimentary appetizer voucher at Crystal Jade Kitchen
  • A complimentary appetizer voucher at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao/Jiangnan
  • 20% off dining voucher at Crystal Jade Kitchen or La Mian Xiao Long Bao/ Jiangnan
  • 15% off e-voucher for dining bill at any participating restaurant

To max out the discount (i.e. to get the advertised “up to” rebate %) you’ll need to pay with a DBS or SCB credit card. If you use any other bank’s credit card you will get a 10% rebate instead of a 12% rebate.

Note that this complimentary sign up promotion is different from what you get when you sign up for the standard Crystal Jadeite membership. If you pay the $38 fee to sign up you will get the aforementioned gifts + $40 of Crystal Jade points that can be used towards your next meal. So you do come out on top, assuming you intend to dine there more than once.

Membership is valid for 1 year and will be automatically renewed if you’ve spent more than $1,000 in your membership year. Failing which, an $18 fee is payable (but gives you $20 of Crystal Jade points)

You should read the FAQ here and note the exclusions- you won’t earn points during the highly lucrative CNY period sadly, nor for set menus or festive products.  The full T&C are here.

This offer is available for sign us till 30 Nov 2016.

Standard Chartered 20% off Uber and $150 signup credit- what’s the catch?

The headline is certainly catchy.  For the next one year (1 October 2016- 30 Sept 2017), Uber and Standard Chartered are partnering up to offer 20% cashback on all your Uber rides, at home or overseas. All you need to do is charge your Uber ride to a Standard Chartered credit card. What’s more, new Standard Chartered Manhattan cardholders can get S$150 of Uber credits.

Of course, we know promotions are never as simple as the headline would like us to believe. So let’s look closely at the fine print of these 2 promotions

20% Uber rebate for all Standard Chartered cardholders

Image result for uber singapore

A 20% rebate is amazing, unprecedented and ultimately too high to be sustainable in and of itself. There needs to be a catch, and there is-

  1. You need to spend a min of $600 on your SCB card each month to qualify
  2. The total cashback per month is capped at $50 (meaning a maximum Uber spend of $250 per month)

Now remember, every POV I take on this blog is with the view towards earning the greatest number of miles. There may be people who are not interested in miles at all, and to them the below doesn’t really apply.

SCB lacks a true, accessible, general miles earning workhorse. DBS has the Altitude ($30K income requirement), Citibank has the Premiermiles ($50K) and UOB the PRVI ($80K).

Image result for standard chartered visa infinite

Standard Chartered’s best miles offering comes in the form of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card, which at an income requirement of $150K per annum is not exactly main street material.

So assuming you don’t have an SCB Visa Infinite card, you’re looking at forgoing the miles you’d have earned from $600 of spending. This could be anywhere between 840-2,400 miles, depending on what type of spending that was.

It’s also important to note the following types of transactions are expressly excluded under the T&C

  • Insurance premiums, including premiums for investment-linked policies, charged to the Card;
  • Bill payments (Examples of bill payment merchants include but are not limited to Telecommunications and utilities providers such as Starhub, Singtel and M1, Singapore Power);
  • Any payment via AXS network;
  • Any payment via SAM network;
  • Payments to government agencies which include but not limited to Land Transport Authority, Housing Development Board, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Public Utilities Board, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and the Ministry of Manpower;
  • Income tax payments;
  • EZ Link cards transactions;
  • Transit Link transactions;
  • Any transactions pertaining to Merchant Category Codes 6211 (Security Brokers/Dealers) and 7995 (Gambling/Lotto)
  • Balance transfers, cash advances from the Card, purchases via NETS and ongoing installment payments;
  • Any fees and charges (including annual fees, interest charges, cheque processing fees, administrative fees, cash advance fees, finance charges and/or late payment charges and other miscellaneous fees and charges) charged to the Card;
  •  Any amount charged to the Card during the Promotion Period that is subsequently cancelled, voided or reversed;
  • Balance owing on the Card account from other months

The long and the short of it is that SCB wants to reward your discretionary spend, not the spend you’d have been making anyway on your bills and routine payments. The express exclusion of AXS and income tax payments is going to be a dealbreaker to some. That said, the $600 minimum spending requirement includes spending on Uber and Ubereats.

Regarding the cap, unless you’re riding Uber daily it’s quite unlikely you’ll max out the $250 limit (although given Uber’s nasty new practice of hiding surge pricing, you still might…). So this wouldn’t be my main objection, it would be the having to forgo miles on $600 of spending.

Other relevant pointers to note- this 20% cashback promotion is only valid for SCB Credit Card holders, so linking a debit card won’t work. AIA co-branded SCB credit cards and corporate cards are also not eligible.

Also, the caps and terms apply on a card basis. So if you had 2 Standard Chartered cards and spent $600 on each, you could get your a total of a $100 of Uber rebates in a month.

Uber credits for new SCB credit card applicants

It seems there are two types of promotion ongoing- one for new SCB credit card holders and another for new holders of the Manhattan World Mastercard specifically.

Promotion A: $30 Uber Credits for New SCB Credit Card holders (and new Uber users)

New SCB credit card holders are eligible for a $30 Uber credit provided they are new Uber users. At this point in time I’d struggle to think of any of my friends who haven’t already tried Uber so this already eliminates a large swath of people.

The $30 Uber credit comes in the form of 3 X $10 credits that can be used on any form of Uber except Uber Taxi. Only a maximum of one $10 credit can be used per ride, and if the value of the ride is <$10 no excess is rolled over. You can read the full T&C for this promotion here. The promotion runs the same duration as the 20% Uber rebate one, that is, 1 October 2016- 30 Sept 2017.

Promotion B: $150 Uber Credits for New Manhattan World Mastercard holders

This promotion is applicable to those who sign up for the Manhattan World Mastercard only.

To qualify for the $150 in Uber credits, you must be a first time SCB principal cardholder (I knew that $500 limit Manhattan card I applied for in uni was going to come back to haunt me. If you’ve held an SCB credit card before as a principal cardholder, you get a $20 cashback on the Manhattan card) and apply for the Manhattan World Mastercard via www.sc.com/sg/uber

These $150 in Uber credits come in the form of 15X $10 Uber credits which must be used for consecutive Uber rides in Singapore. These must be consumed within 6 months. Unlike promotion A, these credits can be used for any type of Uber including Uber Taxi. Unlike Promotion A, you do not need to be a new Uber user.

The annoying part is that if you’ve got this promo on your Uber App, you’re going to want to be very careful that all your 15 rides exceed $10. If you’re going below that you’d be better off taking Grab/regular taxi. You cannot pick and choose which Uber rides to apply your credit to.

The full T&C can be found here.  This promotion runs for a shorter period, from 1 Oct 2016 to 31 Dec 2016.

My take

I do love my miles, so the absence of a good miles earning card from Standard Chartered stops me from taking advantage of this. But if you’re more of a cashback person, I see no reason why you shouldn’t jump on. 20% is a generous rebate, and assuming you don’t spend enough to hit the $50 cap then this could be a good deal for you.

Everyone should still be aware that Uber’s new upfront pricing model effectively hides surge pricing from you. Uber tries to spin upfront pricing as providing greater transparency, but really how hard is it for them to tell you both the price beforehand and the surge in place? They’re not mutually exclusive pieces of information, you know.

Standard Chartered’s new time deposit promotion lets your money earn you miles

The following post is sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank. All opinions expressed (and editorial snark) are those of The Milelion.


Most people know how to earn miles through spending. But can you earn miles through saving? Well, that’s what Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) is offering right now with its SGD Miles Time Deposit campaign.

From now till the 30th September 2016, you can earn 10,000 miles for every S$27,000 of fresh funds deposited in an SCB 6-months time deposit, up to a maximum of 60,000 miles with a S$162,000 deposit of fresh funds.

Placement Tenor SGD Miles Time Deposit
S$27,000 – S$162,000 6 months 10,000 KrisFlyer miles for every S$27,000 fresh funds deposited

Some of you will remember that I wrote about a similar promotion by SCB back in June. Back then, the promotion was 10,000 for every S$25,000 deposited for 6 months, with a maximum of 60,000 miles.

So what’s changed since then? Interest rates for one.

On 21 June, a quick check on MoneySmart showed that the best rate you could get for a 6-month SGD time deposit was 1.6% p.a. As of 9 Sept, the best interest rate in the market is 1.5% p.a. Here’s how the current SCB offer compares to its previous.

Deposit amount KrisFlyer miles from SGD Miles Time Deposit Best available alternative Cost/Mile
June promotion $25,000 10,000miles S$200 at 1.6% p.a. interest 2 cents
Current promotion $27,000 10,000miles S$203 at 1.5% p.a. interest 2.03 cents

The upshot is that this is, for all intents and purposes, the same deal as last time round- a chance to acquire miles at an opportunity cost of 2 cents each (as opposed to an actual cash outlay).

Who would this best work for? The profile I have in mind is someone who is cash rich but miles poor, who wants to acquire miles without spending money outright. If you put down the maximum deposit of S$162,000 in fresh funds, you will have 60,000 miles by 31 October 2016, i.e within 2 months of depositing your money.

Presumably, there are those who would rather have  S$1,215 of cold hard cash (based on an alternative of 1.5% p.a interest), and I can totally understand that. But as we’ve said time and time again, the value of miles comes in their variable value.

Let’s look at some of the things you could do with those 60,000 miles and decide whether they’re better (or worse) than S$1,215 of cash.

Good Ideas

Fly in First or Business Class with SQ (S$3,600-4,800)

There are quite a few permutations of potential trips you could do here. I’m highlighting China in particular because it’s a chance for you to experience SQ’s latest cabin products (on the 77W) or even Suites (if you get the A380 flights). However, you could also do the same trip to India if you’re so inclined for the same number of miles described below

Round trip Business

Flights to China and India are around the 5 hour mark, which is a good amount of time to enjoy the Business Class product. You can get a round trip ticket for 59,500 miles and S$376.80 of taxes.

This ticket retails at S$4,151.80, so you get about 6.3 cents per mile. Remember that depending on your aircraft type, you may either get the old J seat (A380s, some 777s), which unfortunately is showing its age on some of the older aircraft

Or the 2013 new J seat, which is awesome.

maxresdefault

If you’re confused as to which aircraft has what seats, check out this post on SQTalk. Those weird sequences of numbers (eg 9V-SRM) are aircraft tail numbers (think of them as license plate numbers), you can check out FlightAware of FlightRadar24 to see which aircraft are flying which routes.  

One way Suites

SQ’s Suites are available on flights from SIN to BOM, DEL, PVG and PEK.

In the above example of SIN-PVG, you can redeem a Suites ticket for 42,500 miles and S$216.40.  This flight retails at S$3,756.40 one-way, so you’re looking at 8.3 cents per mile. Not to mention you’ll have 17,500 miles leftover.

IMG_4657

En route you can look forward to The Private Room, Krug Champagne and all the other niceties of SQ’s First Class.

You could redeem the 60,000 miles for a round trip ticket to SFO/LAX in the USA, but you know how I feel about redeeming miles for economy class tickets. Plus, there are so many promotional fares out there on other airlines, so this represents very poor value.

Underwhelming ideas

If you want to do any of the following, you should reconsider.

Redeem Scoot/Tigerair Vouchers (S$560)

redemption rates for Tigerair vouchers. Rates for Scoot are the same

With 60,000 Krisflyer miles, you can get 5X $100 vouchers (52,500 miles) and 2X $30 vouchers (6,400 miles) to have S$560 of vouchers and 1,100 miles leftover.

I’ve written what I think about this, but TL;DR, the value is so low it’s not worth bothering with.

Purchase items on Krisshopair.com (S$480)

You can use your Krisflyer miles on Kirsshop at a value of 0.8 cents per mile. So your 60,000 miles will get you roughly S$480 of value.

Get 66,000 TapForMore points (S$440)

I’ve written about the possibility of converting Krisflyer miles to TFM points but to recap: 150 TFM points= S$1 off a purchase, so 66,000 TFM points= S$440 off your purchases.

Conclusion

I can see how some people who are interested in portfolio diversification or who intend to open a time deposit anyway would be interested in this. If you’ve got an upcoming redemption in mind but are just short of miles, this would be a good way of getting some quick miles into your account (as per the T&Cs, the miles will be credited to your account by 31 Oct 2016, instead of when the time deposit matures 6 months later but fees and charges may be imposed for early withdrawals)

As with all promotions, please familarize yourself with the T&Cs, which you can find here. Note that if you need to withdraw your funds early, the miles won’t be clawed back but fees and charges may be imposed including a replacement fee of S$270 for every S$27,000 placed in the time deposit.

All in all, I think this can be an option for you if you want to earn miles without shelling out for annual fees. And it’s always good to save some money in the process.

Convinced? Sign up here before 30 Sept.


This article was produced in conjunction with Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All information provided is on an “as is” basis and for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice.  It is not an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to anyone to enter into any investment transaction. It has not been prepared for any particular person or class of persons and does not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice nor an investment recommendation. It has been prepared without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. You should seek advice from a financial adviser on the suitability of an investment or financial product for you, taking into account these factors before making a commitment to invest in an investment or financial product. Standard Chartered and The Milelion are not liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. For the most updated information on SGD Miles Time Deposit promotion, please click here.

Deposit Insurance Scheme

Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.