In addition to complimentary airport lounge access, certain credit cards let you enjoy a free ride to or from the airport in Singapore.
Once upon a time, this was a common perk of many travel cards. Unfortunately, complimentary airport transfers were progressively “enhanced” away, and today only a limited number of cards offer this benefit.
As of today, here’s the five credit cards which offer airport limo transfers.
|Card||Qualifying Spend (QS)||Rides per QS||Max Uses|
|UOB PRVI Miles AMEX||S$1K FCY spend per quarter (excludes online)||2||2 per quarter, 8 per year|
|Citi Prestige||S$20K spend per quarter||2||2 per quarter, 8 per year|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||S$2K spend per month||1 (2 free per year, 4 free for HSBC Premier customers)||24 per year (includes the free trips)|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||S$3K spend per month (no min spend if ≥$60K spending in prev. membership year)||2||8 per year|
|OCBC VOYAGE||S$3K spend per month||1||2 per month|
*all years refer to calendar year unless otherwise specified
The main change we saw from 2019’s edition was the nerfing of the Citi Prestige’s limo entitlement. Cardholders used to be able to unlock four rides when they spent S$1.5K in a quarter; after April 2019 that became two rides with S$20K spend in a quarter. Citi called it an “enhancement”, cardholders called their RMs and screamed.
In the sections below, we’ll look at some of the things you should consider when comparing free limo transfers.
(1) How much spending is needed to unlock the benefit?
Only two cards offer truly free limo rides:
- the HSBC Visa Infinite gives two free rides per calendar year (four if you’re a HSBC Premier customer)
- the Maybank Visa Infinite gives two free rides per month if you spend at least S$60,000 in the previous membership year.
Otherwise, you’re going to have to hit a particular spending threshold to unlock the free rides.
|Spending Required||Time Period||Remarks|
|UOB PRVI Miles AMEX||S$1,000||Per quarter||Must be foreign currency spend, excludes card-not-present transactions|
|Citi Prestige||S$20,000||Per quarter||Includes Citi Payall|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||S$2,000||Per month|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||S$3,000||Per month||No min spend if ≥S$60K spend in previous membership year|
|OCBC VOYAGE||S$3,000||Per month|
With the exception of the UOB PRVI Miles AMEX, you can meet the spending requirement with either local or foreign currency spend, online or offline.
The UOB PRVI Miles AMEX has the lowest spending requirement, but works a little differently. Your S$1,000 must be spent physically in foreign currency at merchants overseas. Transactions made online in foreign currency, such as hotel or attraction bookings, will not count.
Eligible spending is calculated based on posting date, not transaction date. If you’re making significant transactions towards the end of the month, be extra careful about this as it may take 2-3 days for some merchants to post transactions.
(2) Do I get airport pickups or dropoffs?
This is a subtle but important difference.
Airport pickups are generally more costly to provide because the driver needs to budget time for flight delays, immigration and baggage collection. Airport dropoffs are more straightforward- if you don’t show up beyond a certain time, your ride leaves without you.
Therefore, some providers only do airport dropoffs, but ideally you’ll want your free limo rides to be redeemable for trips both to and from the airport.
|UOB PRVI Miles AMEX||To Changi Airport only|
|Citi Prestige||To or from Changi Airport|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||To Changi Airport only|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||To or from Changi Airport|
|OCBC VOYAGE||To or from Changi Airport||Also covers trips to/from Seletar Airport, Harborfront/Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Railway Station|
Special mention for the OCBC VOYAGE, which covers not just Changi Airport, but Seletar Airport, both the Harborfront and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminals, and the “railway station” (I assume they mean the Woodlands train checkpoint).
(3) How long are the rides I earn valid for?
Once you’ve unlocked your limo rides, they’re valid for a certain time period. Be sure to use them before they expire!
(4) What about the finer details?
Some points to consider here are the advance notice required, charges for late night service (usually defined as 12 a.m- 6 a.m, but check the T&C to be sure), the maximum passengers permissible and the grace period before additional waiting charges apply.
It’s always a good idea to read the full T&C for each card’s limo benefit, as it’ll cover additional charges like waiting beyond the grace period, additional pickup/drop-off points, and bulky luggage.
The full T&C can be found in the links below:
|UOB PRVI Miles AMEX||Link|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||Link|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||Link|
If you don’t qualify for any card from the $120K segment, then your only option is the UOB PRVI Miles AMEX. It’s actually one of the better ones, only requiring S$1,000 spending to qualify. Just remember to use your card when you’re overseas, because online transactions won’t count.
Let’s hope 2020 sees more banks adding rather than culling limo benefits.
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