May 27, 2015
The worst thing you can do with your credit card rewards is to spend them on things. Like a $20 voucher at Swensen’s, for example. Save those points and convert them all to miles. Because plane tickets are worth so much more, you’ll be putting your rewards to actual good use. And yes it takes time to accumulate enough miles to go anywhere, but that’s where some clever planning pays off. Here’s a list of “did you knows” that you probably didn’t when it comes to gaining miles* and spending them.
*KrisFlyer miles used as an example throughout this article.
By Adele Chan
THE CARD TO USE:
I like these three cards (choose according to your income):
|1. The American Express® Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold Credit Card. Minimum income at $30,000 p.a. The key bonuses are:
Most importantly, miles are transferred to your KrisFlyer account on the last day of every month. No need to chalk up and “redeem” your credit card rewards and pay a conversion fee. It’s automatic.
|2. The DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card. Minimum income at $50,000 p.a. The key bonuses are:
Note: There’s a $42.80 annual fee to link your credit card to your KrisFlyer account, and you must accumulate 5,000 DBS rewards points to convert them to 10,000 KrisFlyer miles. No ad-hoc miles given here. You have to transfer them in blocks of 10,000 miles.
|3. The UOB PRVI Miles Platinum Card. Minimum income at $80,000 p.a. The key bonuses are:
WHEN TO USE YOUR CARD:
Always. Always use your credit card to pay for whatever you have to pay for. For example, groceries. And we always need to buy groceries. Your dining out. Your petrol. Your miscellaneous shopping. You were going to pay for these items in cash or nets anyway; charge them instead to earn the miles. If you are worried about being disciplined enough to pay off your credit card when the bill comes, why don’t you pay as you spend? Pay off whatever’s on the receipt the day of your purchase, so you really end up spending within your means.
EARNING EXTRA MILES WHEN YOU SHOP ONLINE:
There’s this little known thing called “KrisFlyer Spree”. It’s basically earning EXTRA miles when you’re shopping online by going through the link on the KrisFlyer Spree shopping page. For example, if you’re buying something at net-a-porter.com, go through the KrisFlyer Spree net-a-porter.com page; click on the link to net-a-porter.com and make sure you complete your purchase transaction in that one same browser session. The store will inform KrisFlyer of your successful buy (which came linked from the KrisFlyer Spree page), and KrisFlyer will record those extra miles into your KrisFlyer account.
Here are some of the stores I bet you didn’t know were on KrisFlyer Spree that can earn you extra miles:
Apple Store — 7 miles / 10 USD
Asos — 14 miles / 10 USD
Redmart — 32 miles / 10 USD
Muji — 32 miles / 10 USD
Farfetch — 32 miles / 10 USD
Luisaviaroma — 46 miles / 10 USD
Thinkgeek — 50 miles / 10 USD!!!
Here’s an example: You bought groceries on Redmart for SG$185. By clicking on that link on the KrisFlyer Spree page to enter Redmart before your purchase, you can get 448 miles. And this is over and above your regular credit card miles accumulation.
OTHER DAY-TO-DAY LOYALTY CARDS:
|Does your mom have a “Passion Card“? Of course she does. And I bet everytime she shops at Cold Storage, Giant or Guardian, she taps that card to accumulate “Tap For More” points. These points can be IMMEDIATELY converted to KrisFlyer miles on the Tap For More website. The website has instructions on how to link your KrisFlyer account.|
|Does your dad have an Esso Card? Of course he does. Those “Smiles Driver” rewards can also be converted to KrisFlyer miles. It takes about 2 weeks for the miles to be reflected in the KrisFlyer account.|
|If you’re an M1 user, those “SunPerks” points can be converted to KrisFlyer miles (1,700 SunPerks points for 750 miles). This is the one thing M1 has over SingTel. Good for them.|
WHEN TO BOOK:
There are three categories of tickets to redeem: Saver, Standard and Full. Always redeem your miles waaaaay in advance (at least four months) to qualify for the “Saver” category. The required number of miles are the least — “Standard” is twice the miles needed, and “Full” is just ridiculous, at almost three times the amount as “Saver”. Who does that?!
NUMBER OF MILES FOR A ROUND-TRIP TICKET (ON ECONOMY, SAVER CLASS):
Here are the miles needed for Singaporean’s favourite destinations.
Bali — 15,000 miles
Bangkok —25,000 miles
Hong Kong — 30,000 miles
Tokyo — 45,000 miles
Melbourne — 50,000 miles
London — 70,000 miles
New York — 75,000 miles
See, if you sign up for say, the KrisFlyer AMEX, buy one month’s worth of groceries online, pump some petrol and convert points you never knew existed, you’re already halfway on your way to Bali!