One of the little-known perks of credit cards is that if you charge your air tickets to them, you get complimentary travel insurance for the duration of your trip. It’s my belief (and the belief of the wise men on HWZ) that you should not rely on this as a primary form of travel insurance. I usually buy an annual plan from DirectAsia which seems to be the cheapest, although my advice in general is to look for direct insurance (ie. not those sold through Banks on behalf of 3rd party companies like MSIG etc) because it’s cheaper, ~$235-$295 for an annual worldwide policy and no middle man.
Nonetheless, what I’ve realised is that not all Banks offer the same level of coverage. Some offer Personal Travel Accident Insurance. Others offer Flight Inconvenience Insurance. Apparently that’s not the same thing- the first covers things like losing a limb or dying overseas, the latter covers things like delayed baggage and missed connections.
I’ve tried to build this into something that makes sense- although I think you should just use this as a ballpark range (ie to say that Bank A in general offers better coverage than Bank B) and if you need the specifics click on the policy documents and read them carefully.
- DBS has straight up the worst coverage of any bank. Their travel insurance (if you can call it that) only covers death or permanent disability. Lose your bag? Passport stolen? Missed a connecting flight? SOL.
- OCBC’s coverage seems rather anemic compared to others- especially on the overseas medical reimbursement limit. To be fair, I could simply have misread the T&C so if anyone feels this is wrong let me know
- I’d say that Citibank and ANZ (both underwritten by AIG, coincidentally or not) have the best coverage in terms of quantum
- It’s important to note that even within individual banks, coverage differs- i.e DBS Altitude cards have higher coverage limits than the DBS Black card
- None of these policies appear to cover rental car excess so you might want to consider one of these options
cover photo by Ralf Κλενγελ
The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa gives 4 miles per $1 for Paywave transactions. (You also get 4 miles per $1 on online shopping and entertainment but for that you can always turn to the DBS Woman’s World card. If you do not meet the income requirement for that card, this may be a good alternative) I’ve always not been too big on this because I found it too much of a chore to remember which merchants gave SMART$ and which didn’t- if the merchant awards SMART$, you do not earn UNI$/miles on the same transaction.
I think my initial stance was wrong. The list of Paywave merchants is quite substantial and definitely longer than the SMART$ merchants list. And yes, most of my preferred paywave merchants like Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian and Coffee Bean participate in the SMART$ program, but there’s no reason not to use the PP Visa for transactions at other Paywave merchants since UOB pools all your points anyway. If you want to fly SQ suites, you’ve got to work for it!
Wysie has come up with a useful link you can save on your phone’s browser as a favourite in case you’re at a Paywave merchant and want to check if you’ll get 4 miles per $1. Simple rule- if you find your merchant’s name here, you don’t get 4 miles per $1 and you should use your general spending card.
So I’m definitely going to apply for this card and add it to my UOB stash, train myself when to use it and try and build my way to the next goal: buying 2 RTW award First class tickets from Krisflyer (720,000 miles in total!)
The UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX is the best card available for dining right now at 4 miles per $1. Yes, it’s AMEX, but like I’ve said before, the whole reason they need to give better rewards on AMEX cards is to compensate for their lower acceptance.
This card currently cannot be applied for online, and a call to UOB customer service confirmed that they are in the process of “demarketing the card”, whatever that means. However, if you’ve missed the boat there is still one more opportunity to get on. Apparently, UOB has not updated their back-end applications for SMS applications. Meaning that you can apply via SMS following the method below-
SMS spacespace to 77862
For example: SMS Yespp 7890 S1234567H to 77862.
To give a bit more clarity, “7890” here is the last 4 digits of your existing UOB card (This option will only be available to people who have an existing UOB card and not new applicants). “Yespp” means you want to apply for the Preferred Platinum Account. And yes, 77862 is the official UOB SMS number, you can verify that online.
One poster has reported successfully getting his UOB Preferred Platinum card via this method (thanks Lionel!), so if nothing else it is definitely worth a try.
Let me know if this works for you guys
cover photo by seaturtle