Deals

The Milelion’s Guide to Black Friday Travel and Credit Card Deals

What cards to use, what promotions to register for and what points to buy.

Black Friday is just around the corner, the day where Americans put aside partisan strife and political deadlock to unite in a shared love of consumerism. It’s a truly magical thing.

I’m not looking to cover the best shopping deals because there’s a myriad of websites out there that do. Instead, I’ll be discussing card strategy and what deals you should be on the lookout for in the world of miles and points.

Do bookmark this page (control-D on Chrome) as I’ll be updating it with new deals and promotions as they become available.

What cards should I be using?

I last did a Black Friday post back in 2016, and at the time this was the all-star line up for miles:

For Black Friday 2018, here’s your A-team:

It’s interesting to note how the line up has remained remarkably constant over two years. The only change has been to swap out the HSBC Advance (which turned heel in 2017 by going over to the dark armies of cashback) for the BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard.

If you’re trying to hit a sign up bonus, then you’re going to want to use that card first. Otherwise, your gameplan would be:

For sites that charge in SGD

  • DBS Woman’s World Mastercard for any online transaction- 4 mpd, capped at S$2,000 per month
  • Citibank Rewards Visa or Citibank Rewards Mastercard for online shopping- 4 mpd, capped at S$1,000 per month
  • OCBC Titanium Rewards for online shopping- 4 mpd, capped at S$12,000 per card anniversary year
  • UOB PPV for online shopping- 4 mpd, capped at S$1,000 per month

For sites that charge in FCY

  • BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard for any foreign currency transaction- 5 mpd without cap
  • UOB Visa Signature for any foreign currency transaction- 4 mpd with a minimum of S$1,000 and maximum of S$2,000 spend in a statement period
  • UOB PRVI Miles for any foreign currency transaction- 4.8 mpd, assuming you’re within the first 1,000 customers, capped at S$1,250 or S$1,667 depending on card type
  • DBS Woman’s World Mastercard for any online transaction- 4 mpd, capped at S$2,000 per month
  • Citibank Rewards Visa or Citibank Rewards Mastercard for online shopping- 4 mpd, capped at S$1,000 per month
  • OCBC Titanium Rewards for online shopping- 4 mpd, capped at S$12,000 per card anniversary year
  • UOB PPV for online shopping- 4 mpd, capped at S$1,000 per month
  • SCB Visa Infinite for any foreign currency transaction- 3 mpd with a minimum total spend of S$2K per statement period

I’m sure there will be many questions along the lines of does Merchant X earn 10X with Card Y? Most of your answers can be found in the HWZ Credit Card spreadsheet, and I’d say that it’s safe to go on Qoo10/Lazada/Amazon with any of the cards above.

What bank promotions are currently running?

Most of these are Christmas-themed promotions, but who cares. Your Black Friday spending can count towards the threshold.

DBS

DBS has already started their Spend Christmas Wisely promotion. Download the DBS Lifestyle app and win prizes when you hit your personalized spend goal. Remember that there are also some card-specific deals for holders of the Altitude Visa Signature and DBS AMEX cards.

HSBC

HSBC’s Christmas promotion has already started, and cardholders can redeem gifts ranging from $50 of CapitaVouchers to a 1 night stay at the Swissotel The Stamford depending on their spending. It takes $1K of overseas spending to get $50 of CapitaVouchers, so your Black Friday shopping may help contribute to that threshold.

Standard Chartered

SCB is running their spend and win promotion for Christmas, but the spending period has already started. Spending a minimum of S$150 in a single transaction gets you a chance of winning S$100 cashback.

Maybank

Christmas came early for Maybank, as their spend and redeem promotion started on 8 October. Unfortunately, that means most of their gifts have been fully redeemed already. Those who spend $15K or above can still get a 1 night stay at the Equarius Hotel, for what it’s worth.

Will there be miles and points sales?

Here’s a running list of the various miles and points that are on sale now.

LifeMiles: 145% bonus miles sale

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For Black Friday, LifeMiles is offering a 145% bonus on miles purchases for readers of The Milelion. This means you can pick up miles at 1.347 US cents each, the lowest price we’ve seen all year. The minimum purchase amount is only 1,000 miles now, which means this is a great time to top up your account. Read my full article here.

Register for your special Milelion reader bonus with LifeMiles here

Alaska Mileage Plan: 50% bonus miles

Alaska is already running a mileage sale where customers can get a bonus of up to 50%. This sale lasts until 22 December, so I think it’s unlikely we’ll see anything more. Perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, for Black Friday/Cyber Monday they may choose to remove the minimum purchase restrictions, because at least in my offer I need to buy a minimum of 40,000 miles to unlock the 50% bonus.

Buy Mileage Plan miles at up to a 50% bonus here

Hilton: 100% bonus points sale

Get to your next vacation fast. Buy 10,000 Hilton Honors Points and get 80% more, now through December 18, 2018.
I was targeted for 80%, but some people will have 100%

Hilton’s current points sale offers up to a 100% bonus for purchases made by December 18. If you’re targeted for anything less than 100%, there’s no rush to buy if you don’t need them just yet.

Buy Hilton points at up to a 100% bonus here

Hyatt: 40% bonus points sale

Get more rewards sooner. Purchase 10,000 points or more and earn 40% more Bonus Points through November 27. Terms apply.

Hyatt is already running a points sale until noon on 28 November (SGT), where you can pick up points with a 40% bonus. This is the highest public bonus we see on Hyatt points, and it’s unlikely we’ll see anything additional for Black Friday.

But Hyatt points at up to a 40% bonus here

IHG: 100% bonus points sale

From now till 30 November, IHG is selling points at a 100% bonus. This is already the best public sale we see, so it’s unlikely there will be a Black Friday offer.

But IHG points at up to a 100% bonus here

Avios: 45% bonus Avios sale

British Airways is selling Avios with a 45% bonus until 26 November 8am SGT, just shy of the best-ever 50% offer.  However you can also pick up Avios cheaper via Groupon, albeit in smaller quantities. Buying at a 45% bonus is the equivalent of paying 1.9 US cents each.

During Black Friday last year, it was possible to buy Avios for as low as 1.25 US cents each through a combination of Groupon and the Iberia E Store, so I’d hold off buying for now and see what happens.

Avios can be extremely useful for short haul awards, as we cover during Alternative Frequent Flyer programs.

Aegean Miles + Bonus: 100% bonus on mileage purchases

Miles + Bonus is offering a never-seen-before 100% bonus on miles purchases, which brings the cost down to 1.96 SG cents per mile. You can redeem one-way business class awards between Singapore and Japan/South Korea for 21,000 miles, so this may be an amazing deal for some people. Read my full coverage of the sale here.

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Click here to purchase Aegean Miles + Bonus miles at a 100% bonus

Will there be travel sales?

Oh you bet. Most firms are still tight lipped about their deals, but I’ll be updating this guide as more deals come in. The issue is that most of these sales will be targeted at people staying in the US, but I’ll anyways compile the ones I think are promising.

AccorHotels: Up to 50% off hotel rooms

AccorHotels is now offering its Travel Friday hotel sales, which is 40% (or 50%, if you’re an Accor Plus member) off selected hotels around the world. Bookings must be made by 26 November 2018, and stays must be between 1 Jan-24 Feb 2019. Read my full coverage of the sale here.

Get up to 50% off AccorHotels properties here

IHG: 25% off stays plus bonus points

IHG’s Cyber Week promotion is offering 25% off stays at participating global hotels when you book between 23 and 30 November 2018 and stay by 31 March 2019.

In addition to this, be on the look out for bonus point packages, which give you an additional 50% elite qualifying points per dollar, save up to 15% on select merchandise in the IHG Rewards Club catalog, save 15% off the cash portion in points & cash rates and get 10,000 bonus points for enrolling in the Intercontinental Ambassador Program.

Get IHG’s Cyber Week Deals Here

Hotels.com: 50% off on hotels + $50 off coupon

Hotels.com is offering 50% off plus an extra $50 off by using the code THANKSG when you book selected properties. You need to book by 27 November 2018 and stay by 31 March 2019.

See Hotels.com 50% off deals here

Qatar Airways: Round trip Europe fares from S$809

Qatar Airways is offering special fares for Black Friday. Round trip economy fares to Oslo from S$809, Barcelona from S$1019 and Jo’burg from S$1019. Round trip business class fares to Oslo from S$3,509, Barcelona from S$6449.

These fares must be booked by 27 November 2018, and are for travel until 31 May 2019.

Book Qatar Airways Cyber Offers here

Qantas: S$799 one-way Business Class to Sydney and other deals

On 23 and 24 November, Qantas will be offering the following round trip promotional fares from Singapore in economy, premium economy.

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Business Class goes on sale between 25 Nov-3 December, with both one-way and round trip options available.

The one-way business class fares from Singapore to Australia are very, very cheap and well worth a look.

Book Qantas Black Friday deals here

Fairmont: 20% bonus on gift cards

From 3 am to 6 am SGT on Saturday 24 November, you’ll be able to buy a Fairmont gift card with a 20% bonus. You should be able to purchase up to US$5,000 of gift cards, which yields a bonus of US$1,000.

Gift cards can be purchased in USD or CAD, and can be used to pay in currencies other than the ones they’re issued in (i.e you can stay in hotels outside US and Canada). Gift cards do not expire, and can be used for stays, restaurants or spa treatments.

Expedia: 50-75% off select hotels

Expedia Singapore has already teased its 2018 Black Friday deal, offering a 50% off hotels coupon from 23 November 9 am SGT. (Expedia USA is offering 75% from 1am SGT on 24 November).

Based on past patterns, I’m quite sure this will exclude all chain operated hotels, so forget about picking up the Conrad Maldives at a huge discount. Nonetheless, there may be some gems to be found among the independent hotels.You’ll need the Expedia mobile app to use the coupon, so you might want to download that beforehand.

Check out Expedia Singapore’s Black Friday deal here
Check out Expedia USA’s Black Friday deal here

Kimpton: 25-40% off stays

Kimpton, a brand under the IHG umbrella, is offering 25% to 40% off selected properties in the USA for stays booked by 30 November 2018 and stayed by 31 March 2019. These rates are prepaid and non-refundable.

Check out the Kimpton Black Friday sale here

Mileslife: 4X miles

From now till 2359 on 25 November 2018, get 4X miles on all your Mileslife transactions, capped at 1,000 miles per transaction. Gift cards excluded.

Use the promo code Milelion to earn 1,000 bonus miles on Mileslife

Kaligo: 2X miles/points on all hotel bookings

Kaligo is offering double miles or points on all hotel bookings for stays booked by 26 November and stayed between 23 November 2018 to 30 June 2019. Always be sure to compare Kaligo rates against OTAs to make sure you’re not paying too much of a premium for miles.

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See Kaligo’s Black Friday deals here


Signing up for cards or making purchases through the links in this article may generate a referral commission that supports the running of The Milelion. Found this post useful? Subscribe to our Telegram Channel to get these posts pushed directly to your phone, or our newsletter (on the right of your screen) for the latest deals and hacks delivered to your inbox.

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King
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King

Are you a wwe fan?

Jem
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Jem

How about the UOB Visa Signature for FCY spend?

totalf1
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totalf1

Aaron, love your work and the site. I’ve been following silently for months now and I wanted to throw something out there. Usually when you list cards you put the SCB VI at the bottom. While there are others that unlock more mpd, almost all have a cap (except BCO WMC, do we know if that will continue in 2019?). SCB VI is 3mpd with no cap. My strategy has always been to centralize all my spends on 1 card and then maximize miles. What do you think? Is the effort of tracking and managing multiple cards better than centralizing… Read more »

Laksa
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Laksa

It’s a trick.. coming back from Mel/Syd/Per on 31 Dec or 1/2 week of Jan is bloody expensive… one way economy ticket is approx 1000 Sing dollars..unless you have one way mileage redeemed ticket (which you cannot probably secure at this point in time..).. no point.

Ee Ling
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Ee Ling

No Marriot / SPG sale! Why 🙁