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Review Of Popular Air Miles Credit Cards In Singapore. Which Is The Best?

Comparison Of Air Miles Credit Card In Singapore

Ever heard your friends and colleagues talk about “miles”? You know, credit card miles have the power to grant free flights, rewards, and amazing holiday deals? If you’re new to the world of credit cards and their many rewards, the different schemes and rewards could be puzzling! Most frustrating of all, when you ask your friends which credit card is the best for earning miles, they give you a vague answer like “it depends”.

We get it – with so many cards out there, it’s difficult to know which card you should choose and how to begin enjoy earning miles to the fullest. To save you the time doing research on your own, we’ve come up with a list of entry-level cards you might want to consider. These cards have a minimum per annual income requirement of just S$30 000, making them great cards to start with.

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Local spending: $1 = 1.1 miles
Overseas spending: $1 = 2 miles (in June and December)
Hasslefree KrisFlyer Miles Conversion (no conversion fee)
Annual Fee:$176.55 (waived for first year)

Many would argue that this wouldn’t be their top choice for an Air Miles Credit Card. Firstly you’re tied to Singapore Airlines because you only earn in KrisFlyer miles. In addition this card has one of the lowest earn rates in the market and the KrisFlyer miles expire after 3 years (unlike other credit cards where the miles don’t expire).

So then what are the benefits?

First up, Amex is pretty generous in terms of the Welcome Offers. You’ll first get 5,000 KrisFlyer miles upon card approval and when you spend 3,000 in the first 3 months of card approval you’ll get a bonus 7,500 KrisFlyer miles. In total should you hit the spend threshold you’ll be receiving a total of 15,800 KrisFlyer miles (that’s about an earn rate of $1 to 5.2 KrisFlyer miles)

If you’re someone who values convenience then this may be of interest to you. Amex doesn’t charge any transfer / conversion fees for crediting miles to your KrisFlyer account. Everything is done automatically every month. So you save the hassle of calling in and paying the $20 or so every time you want to credit the miles to your preferred airline.

Lastly if you travel via Grab frequently, you’ll be pleased to know that the earn rate with Grab is $1 to 3.1 KrisFlyer miles for the first $200 spend on Grab each month. Not too shabby I’d say.

Why you should get this card:

  • Attractive welcome bonus
  • Easily chock up miles through daily commute with Grab
  • 1st year waiver fee
  • Hassle-free as it automatically credits KrisFlyer miles to your KrisFlyer account

Why you might consider against it:

  • You don’t ride with Grab often enough
  • You fly with multiple airlines.

DBS Altitude

Local spending $1 = 1.2 miles
Overseas / Foreign Currency spending $1 = 2 miles
Miles don’t expire
Annual Fee: $193 (waived for first year)

We like to term DBS Altitude like the all rounder when being compared to the different air miles credit cards in Singapore. It has a decent earn rate of $1 to 1.2 miles and the miles don’t expire either. It’s kind of like the miles card with the prerequisites that most miles junkie would want but without the flashy stuff. If you get what we mean.

For travellers, the DBS Altitude credit card comes with 2 free lounge visits within each 12-month period of your membership. Though the Amex KrisFlyer Ascend gives you 4 free lounge visits each year, the annual fee is of the Amex KrisFlyer Ascend almost double of the DBS Altitude plus you get first year fee waiver with your DBS Altitude.

For the miles junkies, DBS Altitude gives you $1 to 3 miles with transactions at popular travel portals such as AirBnB, Expedia, Agoda, SingaporeAir, Cathay Pacific, and many more. In addition you get 10,000 bonus miles when you pay your annual fee of $192.60 each year.

Why you should get this card:

  • Great rewards when you book your travels online
  • Easily chalk up miles when you renew your card
  • Miles never expire
  • 1st year waiver fee

Why you might consider against it:

  • More attractive rewards available among other cards
  • Bonus miles are capped at $5000/ month

Citi PremierMiles

Local spending: $1 = 1.2 miles
Overseas spending: $1 = 2 miles
Miles don’t expire
Annual Fee:$192.60 (waived for first year)

Now the very first thing you need to know is that you could receive up to 30,000 miles if you’re new to bank (i.e. you don’t already own a Citibank Credit Card) and planning to spend $7,500 in the first 3 months from card approval. That by far is the most generous Welcome Offer for a miles card in Singapore today. Though realistically that means you have to spend at least $2,500 each month.

This card is pretty similar to the DBS Altitude card and also gives you opportunities to earn lots of bonus miles. You’ll get to enjoy earning miles when you book your holiday on Kaligo ($1 = 10 miles) and Agoda ($1 = 7 miles), and when you spend on foreign currency ($1 = 2 miles).

Like DBS Altitude, you’ll get 2 free airport lounge visits each year, and also rewarded with 10,000 miles after renewing your card and paying the annual fee $192.60.

Why you should get this card:

  • Citi miles never expire
  • Lots of opportunities to earn bonus miles
  • No cap for bonus miles
  • 1st year waiver fee

Why you might consider against it:

  • You don’t make travel bookings frequent enough to enjoy bonus miles

UOB PRVI Miles

Local spending $1=1.4 miles
Overseas spending $1 = 2.4 miles.
Miles don’t expire
Annual Fee: $256.80(first year fee waiver)

If you’re looking for the best in class miles card and annual fee isn’t a consideration, then the UOB Privi Miles should be included in your shortlist. At $1 to 1.4 miles for local spend this is one of the highest earn rate in Singapore. In addition you also receive a welcome bonus of 10,000 miles if you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months from card approval if this is the first UOB credit card you’re applying. (a slightly worse off welcome bonus compared to the Amex Krisflyer Credit Card)

Like most other miles credit card, UOB Privi Miles also has an accelerator when you spend at popular travel portals. Basically you’ll earn $1 to 6 miles when you spend at Expedia and Agoda.

Now if you have a high monthly expenses (e.g. $4,000 – $5,000) then you may want to take up the UOB Privi Miles Amex Card instead of the usual Visa / Mastercard. The UOB Privi Miles Amex Card gives you a whopping 20,000 miles each year provided you hit the $50,000 yearly spend threshold. In addition you also get8 complimentary airport transfers to Changi Airport in a year.

Why you should get this card:

  • Higher than average miles rewards among entry-level cards
  • Lets you earn miles right off the bat if you’re new to UOB
  • If you have high monthly expenditures
  • 1st year waiver fee

Why you might consider against it:

  • High expenditure to ensure you maximise your benefits

And there you have it – some of the best entry-level cards for earning miles. To know which card is best for you, it’s useful to think about where you generally tend to spend the most so you don’t need to stress over making full use of your card. The dream holiday you’ve been waiting for could be within reach in the next few months!

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