We take a look at the best air miles credit cards for three types of Singaporeans: credit card newbies, travel junkies, and high flyers. Which are you, and what’s your air miles credit card? With all the air miles credit cards in Singapore, you’re basically spoilt for choice. But it’s not enough to compare the base miles you can accrue – there are other factors to consider as well.
Each air miles credit card has its own benefits, and one card might be better for you than another. Try finding yours in our best air miles credit cards list below:
- Best Air Miles Credit Card for First Time Cardholders
Winner: American Express Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit Card
Here’s the scoop: It’s the most convenient way to earn miles. Unlike other air miles cards, which charge a fee to convert miles earned into their partner airlines’ miles programmes, any Krisflyer miles earned on this card gets automatically credited to your Krisflyer account. Earning miles is very easy. To start off, you earn 5,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles on your first charge, and 3,000 KrisFlyer miles if you spend S$700 on your first 6 months. You also get a cool 1.1 KrisFlyer mile for every dollar spent in Singapore and overseas, and 2 KrisFlyer miles on purchases made on singaporeair.com, silkair.com, and KrisShop. If you spend overseas during June and December, you get 2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1. We did some quick calculations of how many KrisFlyer miles you can potentially earn in a year, assuming you spend S$800 on your card each month, and book a weekend holiday in Hong Kong in June: 20,400 KrisFlyer miles is more than enough for a one-way ticket to Bali from Singapore!
|Amount Charged to Card||KrisFlyer Miles Earned|
|Bonus miles||8,000 KrisFlyer Miles|
|Local monthly spend||S$800 x 12 = S$9,600||10,560 KrisFlyer Miles|
|Round trip ticket to Hong Kong purchased on SingaporeAir.com||S$620||1,240 KrisFlyer Miles|
|Overseas spend in June||S$300||600 KrisFlyer Miles|
|KrisFlyer Miles Earned in 1 Year||20,400 KrisFlyer Miles|
With the first year’s annual fees waived, and subsequent ones at S$173.50–one of the lowest in the market–this card is great to start with if you have never owned a credit card. And its S$30,000 minimum income requirement allows the majority of Singaporeans to be eligible for it.
A number of perks also come with the Krisflyer Credit Card, including a S$100 cash rebate at Grab, 500 bonus miles on your first charge at GrabPay, and up to 50% off restaurants in Singapore through the American Express Selects dining programme. Not bad for your first air miles card at all.
- Best Air Miles Credit Card for Travel Junkies
Winner: Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
Frequent fliers shouldn’t do without the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card in their wallets. For one thing, you earn a decent 1.2 Citi miles per S$1 spent locally. New cardmembers can earn up to 42,000 miles if they spend wisely in the first 3 months – the highest welcome miles being offered in Singapore today! Here’s how it works: you get the first 15,000 Citi miles just by using the credit card within the 3 months. And if you spend a total of S$10,000 during those first 3 months, you get another 15,000 Citi miles, plus 12,000 base Citi miles earned from your S$10,000 spend.
Citi PremierMiles Visa Credit Card Acquisition Promotion May-August 2016 is valid until 14 August 2016. Subject to payment of 1st year Card annual fee.”Miles” refer to Citi Miles. In addition to the welcome offer, Citi PremierMiles Card also a fantastic accelerated miles programme. With a high earn rate of 2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent abroad, 50% more miles per S$1 overseas spend during long weekends, 6 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Expedia.com, and 10 Citi Miles per S$1 spent on Kaligo.com, you can rack up thousands of miles in just one trip! Let’s say you and a friend book a flight and hotel to Phuket on Expedia for the Easter long weekend (3 days, 2 nights). You manage to land a package deal of S$1,000 for flights and hotels for two adults. During your holiday, you spend S$250 each on food, drinks, and tours. Here’s how many Citi Miles you can expect to earn from that weekend.
|Amount Charged to Card||Citi Miles Earned|
|Hotel and Flight for 2 (via Expedia)||S$1,000||6,000|
|Overseas spend for 2||S$500||1,000|
|50% bonus miles on long weekend spend||500|
|Total||7,500 Citi Miles|
Add this to the 42,000 welcome miles, and you have 49,500 Citi Miles – enough for a trip to New Zealand. Citi Miles also never expire, which means you don’t need to spend unnecessarily just to catch up and use your existing miles. And with over 70 airline partners worldwide, you get the flexibility of choosing how to use your miles. Finally, Citi PremierMiles Visa cardholders enjoy regular discounts of up to 50% on Agoda, and an additional 8% on top when booking selected destinations on Agoda by 31 December 2016.
- Best Air Miles Credit Card for High Flyers
Winner: Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
For high flyers, this card wins all other air miles credit cards in the market hands down. With base miles of 1.4 miles per dollar spent locally and 3 miles per dollar spent overseas, the accumulates points faster than most. With a minimum income requirement of S$150,000, for non-priority/private banking customers and S$30,000 for Singaporean priority/private banking customers, this card is mostly applicable for frequent business travellers. If you’re to use your own credit card to charge company expenses overseas, the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card helps you rack up miles. Say you charge S$2,000 per month on flights, accommodations, and dining on business trips abroad – you’ll get 72,000 miles at the end of a calendar year! You’ll also receive 35,000 miles or 25,000 miles and S$100 Uber credits when you apply for the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card. Our detailed review has more details about the amazing privileges in store for you.
Rohith Murthy, Co-founder and Managing Director, SingSaver.com.sg