Unless you hemorrhage money every month, earning Krisflyer Miles or Asia Miles with your regular credit card spending is a tedious and long-drawn affair. So what’s the fastest way to earn miles instead?
The answer is to get an air miles card with welcome miles, i.e. a nice fat bunch of miles you get just for signing up, spending a minimum amount, or paying the annual fee. Let’s take a look at the best credit cards for clocking up miles fast.
Best Krisflyer welcome bonus miles promotions in Singapore (2022)
|Air miles card||Welcome bonus||Requirements|
|Citi PremierMiles Card||45,000 miles||New to Citi + spend $9,000 within 3 months + pay annual fee (S$192.60)|
|DBS Altitude Card||38,000 miles||New to DBS + spend $6,000 within 3 months + pay annual fee (S$192.60)|
|Amex KrisFlyer Ascend Card||21,000 miles||New to Amex + make first transaction + spend $5,000 within 3 months + pay annual fee (S$337.05)|
|Standard Chartered X Card||30,000 miles||Pay annual fee ($695.50)|
|Amex KrisFlyer Card||20,000 miles||New to AMEX SIA credit cards + new to AMEX + spend $10,000 in 6 months|
|Amex Rewards Card||17,500 miles||Spend $5,000 per calendar year + pay annual fee (S$53.50)|
|UOB KrisFlyer Card||3,000 miles||—|
Want to know where 45,000 miles can take you? No need to mess with mind-boggling charts — find out quickly and easily with KrisFlyer miles redemption calculator.
Citi PremierMiles — 45,000 miles with $9,000 spent
There seems to be a bit of a “miles war” going on here, with Citibank also getting in on the action.
For new to Citi customers, you can get 45,000 miles if you hit the minimum spend of $9,000 in the first 3 months. Otherwise, you can also get 18,000 miles if you hit the minimum spend of $4,000 in the first 3 months. You also need to pay the annual fee, otherwise you get just 10,800 and 4,800 miles accordingly, which is dramatically less.
If you’re an existing Citibank card holder, the promo is significantly less attractive: 10,800 miles if you spend $9,000 within 3 months and pay the annual fee. (There’s no option to waive the annual fee if you want those miles, sadly.)
DBS Altitude Card — 38,000 miles with $6,000 spent
DBS Altitude is one of the most popular beginner air miles as it has an entry-level minimum income requirement and the miles don’t expire.
If you’re one of those rare creatures who’s never owned a DBS / POSB credit card before, you can take advantage of their very generous promotion: A whopping 38,000 miles if you spend $6,000 within 3 months and pay the annual fee. That’s a better deal than some of its other competitors on this list.
- Sign-up bonus: 10,000 miles (5,000 DBS points)
- Annual fee bonus: 10,000 miles (5,000 DBS points)
- Spend requirement: 18,000 miles. Spend $6,000 to the card within the first 90 days from card approval ($1 = 3 miles for online flight and hotel transactions)
If you’re averse to paying the annual fee, you can opt for the regular first year fee waiver, and you get 28,000 miles instead. Take note that $1=3 mile earn rate is for flights and hotels, so you might want to apply for it right before a vacation!
So you decide if you want to pay that $192.60 for those extra miles.
Amex KrisFlyer Ascend — 21,000 miles with $5,000 spent
- Local Spend
- S$1 = 1.2 Miles
- Overseas Spend
- S$1 = 2 Miles
- Grab rides
- S$1 = 3.2 Miles
Amex KrisFlyer Ascend, the premium version of the entry-level Amex KrisFlyer card, used to have the best welcome miles promotion. It still offers a decent “up to” 21,000 miles, but there are more actions required than other cards.
Charging $5,000 in the first 3 months nets you 21,000 miles. 5,000 (first charge) + 10,000 (first transaction in the first month) + 6,000 ($1 = 1.2 miles). Not too shabby but the annual membership fees of $337.05 which is higher that of other cards offering a higher welcome bonus is a considerable drawback.
Take note that the minimum income requirement is $50,000 a year.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card — 30,000 miles upon annual fee payment
The Standard Chartered X Card would have topped this list with its insane first launch promo of 60,000 miles.
But this number has since dropped to 30,000 miles. Considering the annual fee of $695.50 including GST, though, this welcome bonus is quite disappointing.
It also has a minimum income requirement of $80,000 a year, which means it’s only for affluent individuals.
But, if you do have the ability to apply for it, you can get an additional 100,000 air miles when you sign up for Stan Chart priority banking and drop a minimum of $300,000 in fresh funds into your savings account. That’s some serious dough!
Amex KrisFlyer Card — 20,000 miles with $10,000 spent in 6 months
- Local Spend
- S$1 = 1.1 Miles
- Overseas Spend
- S$1 = 2 Miles
- Grab rides
- S$1 = 3.1 Miles
- 5,000 KF miles if you’re new to AMEX SQ credit cards
- 7,500 KF miles if you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months (works out to $1,667 spend per month)
- 7,500 KF miles if you spend $5,000 in the subsequent 3 months (basically the 4th to 6th month), but you have to be new to the AMEX card association
Amex Rewards Card — 17,500 miles with $5,000 spent
Those who are serious about playing the miles game know that, often, rewards cards are a much faster way to earn miles.
Amex’s little rewards credit card hardly gets any love, which is why I’m particularly gleeful about sharing this deal – you only need to spend $5,000 in the calendar year to get bonus miles. Pretty attainable, right?
You get 5,000 (base reward points) + 2,500 (favourite 5 bonus reward points) + 10,000 (welcome bonus) = 17,500 rewards points, which you can convert to 17,500 miles on one of Amex’s many frequent flyer programmes, including KrisFlyer.
In comparison with the other cards, the Amex Rewards Card’s welcome bonus pales in comparison BUT it does have its saving grace. There’s no limit to the membership rewards points that you can accumulate and even better, they do not expire. So, assuming you’re moving into your new BTO and shopping at Best Denki, Decathlon, Poon Huat, Da Paolo, and Vhive, you can chalk up those points with every spending.
Note you need to pay the annual fee of $53.50 though, unless you can wheedle a fee waiver out of Amex.
UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card — 3,000 welcome miles on first transaction
UOB has stopped offering generous welcome miles promotions with its 2 miles cards — the UOB PRVI Miles Card and new UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card. Instead, the bank is dangling a $100 cashback promotion for new signups.
If you want welcome miles, the UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card gets you 3,000 welcome miles on your first transaction of at least $5. But that’s about it.
Have you ever gotten bonus miles from your credit card? Share your experiences with us in the comments!