Standard Chartered X Card – The Lowdown on the New “100,000 Miles” Card

standard chartered x card

Apparently, Standard Chartered took a leaf out of Singtel’s and Starhub’s marketing playbook with its latest credit card for miles. 

Similar to how the telcos recently pushed out GOMO and giga as faux-distinct brands, StanChart launched a new card last year, very dramatically called the X Card.

During its launch, StanChart tried to drum up the hype by creating a waitlist and dangled a big fat 100,000 miles carrot for sign-ups, while keeping the credit card mechanics under wraps.

Now, the X Card is now officially open to the public so we finally have some real details on it. Unfortunately, that big fat bonus has since been reduced.

Here’s what you should know about it — you decide if it lives up to the hype.

 

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card terms & conditions

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card
Annual fee & waiver $695.50 (non-waivable)
Supplementary annual fee $107
Interest free period 22 days
Annual interest rate 26.90%
Late payment fee $80
Minimum monthly payment 1% of current balance or $50, whichever is greater
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.50%
Cash advance transaction fee 6%
Overlimit fee N/A
Minimum income $80,000 (Singaporean/PR or foreigner)
Card association Visa
Wireless payment Yes – Visa Contactless, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay

If you want to get your miles, you’ll have to pay the annual fee of the X Card.

According to the T&Cs: “The X Cardholder will be charged with an annual fee of S$695.50 (including GST) and the supplementary X Cardholder will be charged with an annual fee of S$107 (including GST) in the first year and every subsequent year. This annual fee is strictly not waivable in the first year and every subsequent year, for as long as the principal X Card and supplementary X Card is active.”

It’s definitely high enough to seriously give anyone pause, no matter how attractive the miles promotion is. 

If you want to justify paying the annual fee as the price of those bonus miles, it works out to about 2.3 cents per mile

Whether or not that’s worth it depends on your personal valuation of a mile. Among the miles community, the value of a KrisFlyer mile is generally thought to hover around the 1.9 cent mark, but opinions differ greatly.

Now if we were talking about 100,000 miles, that would be 0.7 cent per mile, which probably makes it an unquestionable good deal, but that promotion is long gone.

 

Minimum income requirement of $80,000

According to the official T&Cs, the X Card is technically known as the “Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card”. That “Visa Infinite” is a big honking clue that this definitely isn’t an entry level credit card.

Sure enough, the X Card’s annual income requirement is $80,000 for Singapore citizens, PRs and foreigners.

This is actually on the low end for a Visa Infinite card. There are only a handful of VI cards in Singapore, and they’re all aimed at the upper echelons of society.

Credit card Min. income Annual fee
OCBC Voyage Card $120,000 $488 
HSBC Visa Infinite Card $120,000 $650
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card $150,000 $588.50
UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card $150,000 $642

I don’t know how strictly StanChart will enforce it, though. If you’re earning, say, $50,000 a year and above, you can certainly try your luck.

 

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card 85,000 miles sign-up promotion (no more 100,000 miles)

When it was first launched, the main selling point of the Standard Chartered X Card was a 100,000 miles sign-up promo (hence the title of this post).

Of course, the 100,000 miles promotion has ended by now. Now, the welcome bonus has reduced to 85,000 miles or up to $800 cash rewards. To qualify, you must not hold other Standard Chartered credit card before and have to spend at least $4,000 on the card.

But you have to spend $4,000 within 1 month — now till 31 Aug 2020, Sep 2020, Oct 2020, Nov 2020 or Dec 2020 to qualify.

Standard Chartered logo
Frequent Travellers
on Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
on Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Welcome Gift
30,000 Miles

Existing Standard Chartered Visa X cardholders can also earn some miles during the promotional period too but they’ll just get up to 50,000 miles.

 

Sign up and activate the card to get 30,000 miles

During the pre-launch waitlist period for Standard Chartered X Card, there was a lot of discussion on forums on what it takes to get the 100,000 miles with the X Card. I expected a hefty minimum spending requirement of at least $6,000 to $10,000 within the first 2 or 3 months, which is the “market rate” for such sign-up offers.

Turns out that StanChart’s requirements were on the low end after all. It took just $6,000 of spending to get the bonus miles.

After the bonus mile reward reduced to 30,000 miles, even better. You only need to sign up, get approved and pay the annual fee to earn 30,000 miles.

 

How the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card works

I was really hoping that the X Card would be a solid everyday spending miles card along the lines of the UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card, but it isn’t.

Apart from the exciting 100,000 miles promotion, the X Card is a pretty lacklustre credit card. It’s just your generic miles card, really, with an average earn rate of $1 = 1.2 miles locally and $1 = 2 miles overseas. That’s the same basic earn rate as the entry-level DBS Altitude and Citi PremierMiles cards.

With the Standard Chartered X Card, there isn’t even any way to accelerate your miles accrual, e.g. by making travel bookings on partner sites or taking Grab rides, which almost every other miles card has.

The X Card lets you earn miles in the form of rewards points, which means that, if you so desire, you can opt to redeem cashback or travel credits instead of air miles. But that’s not much to shout about — earning miles via rewards points is standard for most banks’ miles cards.

There are a couple of other travel benefits, most notably 2 x Priority Pass airport lounge visits a year, but, again, almost every miles card offers something along those lines.

 

Who should use the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card?

Though not exactly the best card around for everyday use, there will probably still be people who will sign up for the X Card just to get hold of the miles.

I’d say it’s best for frequent business travellers who can make use of hotel and airline purchases.

But since we can’t really travel for leisure now, and if you’re the type who loves staycations, you could use this card to take advantage of all the ongoing staycation promotions.

 

Alternatives to the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card

If the fee requirements are just too high for you, check out some other more attainable miles cards and welcome bonuses for Krisflyer miles for 2020.

Citi PremierMiles offers 37,300 miles as long as you hit the minimum spend of $9,000 in the first 3 months and pay the annual fee.

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn Miles That Don't Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = Up to 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel Bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive: <div>Get a <strong>Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones</strong> worth $549 when you apply and spend on your card! Fill in the redemption form after the application to redeem. T&amp;Cs apply.</div> Valid till 30 Sep 2020.

The next best sign-up promo for a miles card is 38,000 miles — that’s the DBS Altitude Visa signature card. You get up to 38,000 miles for spending $6,000 within the first 3 months, but that’s only if you’ve never owned a DBS credit card.

DBS logo
Online Promo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Min. Spend
S$0
Online Promo: <div><!--block-->Get S$200 Cashback with no minimum spend! Use the promo code "<strong>DBSFLASH"</strong> when you apply.</div> Valid till 05 Oct 2020.

Finally, the Amex KrisFlyer Ascend card offers up to 61,000 KrisFlyer miles if you spend a minimum of $20,000 within the first six months.

American Express logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
Grab rides
S$1 = 3.2 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive: <div>Get an illy x7.1 Coffee Machine when you get your card approved.</div> Valid till 18 Oct 2020.

Would you sign up for the X Card? Tell us your thoughts in the comments. 

 

Header image: Screengrab from www.x-card.com.sg