Here in Singapore, one of the world’s most expensive cities, we’re used to paying a premium for lots of things. Whether it’s housing or cars, we Singaporeans rightfully complain a lot about the high costs, but ultimately still fork out thousands of dollars because for many of us, these are necessities.
So if there’s a high chance that you’ll be spending thousands of dollars in a short time, you might as well earn something for it. Like charging it to an air miles credit card.
If I’m going to be spending so much money, shouldn’t I use a cash back credit card instead?
Cash back credit cards are great if you’re spending smaller amounts of money regularly on specific categories like dining, groceries and petrol. Because of minimum spending requirements and maximum cash back rebates each month, it would be a waste to use most of them for big ticket expenditures.
Air miles credit cards, on the other hand, often have no minimum spending requirement or maximum limits to the amount of air miles you can earn. What’s more, many air miles credit cards have sign-up bonuses and other promotions to encourage you to spend large amounts with the card.
That said, of course it ultimately depends on whether you’re interested in accumulating air miles. I expect most Singaporeans do, however. According to a Visa study last year, about 95% of Singaporeans travelled overseas for leisure in the past two years.
Okay, say I want to earn air miles from my spending, which credit card should I get?
Although there are many air miles credit cards currently offered in Singapore, the most popular are the UOB PRVI Miles Card, the ANZ Travel Visa Signature, the American Express Krisflyer Card and the Citibank PremierMiles Card. Some of these cards are popular because of their high accrual rate, while others are popular because of the generous sign-up bonuses and other promotions.
Let’s take a look at each of them.
1. UOB PRVI Miles Card
The UOB PRVI Miles Card has one of the best miles accrual rates at 1.4 Miles per Singapore dollar spent locally, 2.4 Miles per dollar for every Singapore dollar spent overseas, and 6 Miles for every dollar spent on participating hotel and airline bookings on Expedia and UOB Travel.
The UOB PRVI Miles Card is only eligible for those with a minimum annual income of $80,000.
2. ANZ Travel Visa Signature
The ANZ Travel Visa Signature is the other top credit card for air miles accrual rates at 1.4 Miles per Singapore dollar spent locally, and 2.8 miles per Singapore dollar spent in Australia and New Zealand, or for direct flight bookings with Qantas and Jetstar. All other overseas spend earns at 1.4 Miles per Singapore dollar.
Sign Up Bonus: To encourage you to spend on the card, you can earn up to 25,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first month and pay for the first year’s annual fee. Here’s how: by paying the annual fee, you’ll earn 10,000 miles bonus. Then, spend $3,000 in the first month and earn 1.4 miles per dollar for a total of 4,200 miles. Finally, get an extra 10,800 miles bonus for a total of 25,000 miles.
The ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card is only eligible for Singaporeans and PRs with a minimum annual income of $60,000, while foreigners need a minimum income of $90,000.
If you’re interested in the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card, apply here.
3. American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
The KrisFlyer Credit Card earns 1.1 Miles per Singapore dollar spent locally and overseas and 2 Miles per Singapore dollar spent on singaporeair.com, silkair.com, KrisShop and SilkAir SkyShop, both in-flight and online.
Sign Up Bonus: In addition, you get 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the first time you charge to the card, and 3,000 KrisFlyer miles if you spend $700 in the first 6 months of your Card approval.
The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card is eligible for Singaporeans and PRs with a minimum annual income of $30,000. Foreigners need a minimum annual income of $90,000.
If you’re interested in the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card, apply here.
4. Citi PremierMiles Card
The Citi PremierMiles Card earns 1.2 Miles per Singapore dollar spent locally and 2 Miles per Singapore dollar spent overseas.
You can earn 3 Miles per Singapore dollar spent overseas (50% more) if you use it during the long weekends of the year. You can also earn up to 6 Miles per Singapore dollar spent on Agoda.com and 10 Miles per dollar spent on Kaligo.com.
Sign Up Bonus: Most Impressively, the Citi PremierMiles Card has the most generous sign-up bonuses right now with the ability to earn a total of up to 42,000 Miles. You get 15,000 Miles just for using the card. You also earn another bonus 15,000 Miles when you spend a total of $10,000 within the first 3 months. And because you’ve spent $10,000, you will earn at least 12,000 Miles at the rate of 1.2 Miles per Singapore dollar spent locally.
However, this is only for new to Citi Credit Card customers who opt to pay first year card annual fee of $192.60. The Citi PremierMiles Card is eligible for those with a minimum annual income of $50,000.
If you’re interested in the Citi PremierMiles Card, apply here.
Hmmmm… so if I’m planning to spend a lot of money, which air miles credit card should I use?
Whether it’s a for a wedding banquet, your honeymoon holiday, renovation costs, or a new home theatre system, you may find yourself spending around $12,000 in a few months. Using that amount as an illustration, let’s see how many air miles you can earn from each card. For simplification, let’s assume it’s all local expenditure.
|UOB PRVI Miles Card||ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card||American Express Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Card||Citi PremierMiles Card|
|Sign-up bonus miles||N/A||10,000 Miles||5,000 Miles||15,000 Miles|
|Spending bonus miles||3,600 Miles||10,800 Miles||3,000 Miles||15,000 Miles|
|Miles Accrual||$12,000 x 1.4 Miles = 16,800 Miles||$12,000 x 1.4 Miles = 16,800 Miles||$12,000 x 1.1 Miles = 13,200 Miles||$12,000 x 1.2 Miles = 14,400 Miles|
|TOTAL||20,400 Miles||37,600 Miles||21,200 Miles||44,400 Miles|
So if you’re planning to spend about $12,000 in the next few months, and looking at how many air miles you could earn, it’s clear that the Citi PremierMiles Card is currently way ahead of the competition.
Of course, it must be said that this is only for new to Citi Credit Card customers who opt to pay the first year card annual fee. But when you think about it, the opportunity to earn twice as many miles compared to other credit cards is worth spending the relatively small $192.60 annual fee.
Do you choose a credit card based on how many air miles you can earn? Let us know.