Credit Cards

2020 Edition: Which credit card has the best airport limo benefit?

Although airport limo benefits aren't as common as they were in the past, the right credit cards can still get you to the airport at no charge.

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.

CardQualifying Spend (QS)Rides per QSMax Uses
UOB PRVI Miles AMEXS$1K FCY spend per quarter (excludes online)22 per quarter, 8 per year
Citi PrestigeS$20K spend per quarter22 per quarter, 8 per year
HSBC Visa InfiniteS$2K spend per month1 (2 free per year, 4 free for HSBC Premier customers)24 per year (includes the free trips)
Maybank Visa InfiniteS$3K spend per month (no min spend if ≥$60K spending in prev. membership year)28 per year
OCBC VOYAGES$3K spend per month12 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.

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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 RequiredTime PeriodRemarks
UOB PRVI Miles AMEXS$1,000Per quarterMust be foreign currency spend, excludes card-not-present transactions
Citi PrestigeS$20,000Per quarterIncludes Citi Payall 
HSBC Visa InfiniteS$2,000Per month
Maybank Visa InfiniteS$3,000Per monthNo min spend if ≥S$60K spend in previous membership year
OCBC VOYAGES$3,000Per 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?

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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.

To/From AirportRemarks
UOB PRVI Miles AMEXTo Changi Airport only
Citi PrestigeTo or from Changi Airport
HSBC Visa InfiniteTo Changi Airport only
Maybank Visa InfiniteTo or from Changi Airport
OCBC VOYAGETo or from Changi AirportAlso 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!

Validity
UOB PRVI Miles AMEXRides must be used in same calendar quarter they’re earned
Citi PrestigeRides must be used in same calendar quarter they’re earned
HSBC Visa InfiniteRides must be used by end of calendar year they’re earned (rides earned for December can be used in next year)
Maybank Visa InfiniteRides must be used by the end of the month after they are earned
OCBC VOYAGERides valid for 3 months after the day they were earned

(4) What about the finer details?

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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.

 Advance BookingLate night chargeMax PassengersGrace Period
UOB PRVI Miles AMEX48 hours (+S$10  otherwise)S$104
+S$10 for 7 seater
+S$20 for 9 seater
15 mins
Citi Prestige48 hoursNoneNot mentioned15 mins
HSBC Visa Infinite24 hoursS$12315 mins
Maybank Visa Infinite72 hoursNone4Not mentioned
OCBC VOYAGE24 hoursS$12415 mins

Conclusion

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 AMEXLink
Citi PrestigeLink
HSBC Visa InfiniteLink
Maybank Visa InfiniteLink
OCBC VOYAGELink

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.

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Let’s hope 2020 sees more banks adding rather than culling limo benefits.


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Adam

Idk if you consider this an airport limo benefit, but KF UOB has $15 off Grab rides to and from the airport, once every half year. Limited to the first 1,000 redemptions per month (ah, UOB).

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bluepanda

Should you take into account the opportunity costs (lower mpd)? At 2mpd less, since most FCY can earn 4 mpd, maybe the UOB KF $15 discount is more worth it? (I guess it depends on whether home is in Jurong or Pasir Ris.)

In the past, Prestige had a different consideration due to the 4th night benefit, and spending threshold was lower. So it was a no brainer.