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Miles Or CashBack? Which Type Of Credit Cards Should You Go For In Singapore?

Miles or Cashback – Which do you prefer?


This post was updated on 7 May 2018 to include updated information.

We have written extensively in the past on why it makes financial sense to be using your credit cards as often as you can. When you use credit cards, you not only enjoy convenience, but also the added benefits given to you by the banks issuing these credit cards.

In Singapore, the main benefits that most people look for these days can be narrowed down to two categories. Miles and Cashback.

Miles – You use a credit card that gives you miles for every dollar you spend. These miles can be used to redeem for flights.

Cashback – You use a credit card that gives you a cashback for every dollar spent. Some credit cards though have a limit to the amount of cashback that you can enjoy each month.

Are Miles Or Cashback Better? We Compare

To help us compare which is better, we decided to use two credit cards. They are the Citibank PremierMiles Card (Miles) and the new Standard Chartered Unlimited Card (Cashback).

We choose both these cards because they have no restrictions on how much miles and cashback can be earned. The more you spend, the more you earn. It’s as simple as that. This makes it easier for a like-for-like comparison, as opposed to other credit cards that may come with more terms and conditions.

Citibank Premier Miles Card

If you don’t already know, the Citibank PremierMiles Card is our team’s weapon of choice whenever it comes to clocking up miles. How it works is simple. For every $1 that you spend, you enjoy 1.2 miles. Overseas spending in foreign currency will earn you 2 miles for every S$1 spent.

The best part about the Citibank PremierMiles Card is that the miles never expired. So you will never be forced to use your miles prematurely, until you actually want to.

If we assume that you spend an average of $1,000 per month on your credit card, along with an occasional big-ticket purchase of $5,000 every 6 months, that would mean a total spend of $22,000 each year, enough to earn you about 26,400 miles. This is also assuming that you don’t earn any accelerated miles, which would make the figure higher.

Based on the current Singapore Airline Krisflyer miles conversion chart, this would be sufficient miles for you to enjoy a 2-way flight to Phuket on the Economy Saver (25,000 miles). If you want to travel further, you can save up two years worth of miles to travel to places such as Japan and Turkey.

If we assume a 2-way flight to Japan would cost about $1,000, then the simple calculation here is that for every $44,000 that you spend, you will be able to redeem a flight worth around $1,000.

Cash Spent To Benefits: $1: $0.023

The only downside to the CitiPremier Miles Card is that you need a minimum income of $50,000 per annum in order to apply for the card.

Additional Note: It’s important to note that airfare prices change all the time while the miles for airfare conversion doesn’t normally change. Hence, it will make more sense for you to redeem your miles if you are not able to secure a good price for your airfare.

Standard Chartered Unlimited Card (New)

The Standard Chartered Unlimited Card provides a cashback benefit of 1.5%. The reason why we are choosing it for comparison is because unlike other cashback credit cards, there is no minimum spent nor any cap on cashback. You also enjoy the cashback benefits for all categories. It’s easy to understand with no restrictions.

If we assume the same spending habit as what we did for the miles card, a credit card user who spends $1,000 a month can expect a monthly cashback of $15, plus $75 for the big-ticket purchase of $5,000 that he or she made every 6 months. In total, a user can expect to earn a cashback of about $330 per annum.

Cash Spent To Benefits: $1: $0.015

You need a minimum income of $30,000 per annum in order to apply for the card.

Our Analysis

It comes as no surprise to us that a miles card would deliver slightly better cash spent to benefit value, since miles are more restrictive in terms of what you can use them for compared to getting cash.

At the same time, how valuable miles would be also depends on the flights that you are using them for. For example, a flight redeemed using miles to Japan through Singapore Airlines on two separate days can have varying dollar value, even though they cost the same in terms of miles that are required for redemption.

At the end of the day, if you are someone who will travel at least once every two years for a holiday, using a miles card like the Citibank PremierMiles Card would make more financial sense, especially if you know how to choose your flights well.

If you are someone who may not travel often, maximising your cashback return through a card like the Standard Chartered Unlimited Card will be a sensible choice, since you are enjoying definite cash savings for every purchase you make.

Regardless of whether you prefer a Miles card or a Cashback card, paying with a credit card is always going to be better than paying with cash. Either way, you pay the same amount. With a credit card however, you get some additional benefits, be it miles or cashback.

Exclusive Promotion Through SingSaver – For Citibank PremierMiles Card & Standard Chartered Unlimited Card For May 2018 

If you are interested to sign up for either the Citibank PremierMiles or the Standard Chartered Unlimited Card, SingSaver has an exclusive promotion for a limited time till 31 May 2018

For every successful Citibank PremierMiles Card sign up (New Citi Customers Only), you will receive $150 in cash from SingSaver (Yes, that’s right, cash!) and up to $120 cashback from the bank.

For every successful Standard Chartered Unlimited Card sign up, you will receive $150 in cash from SingSaver (Yes, that’s right, cash!) and up to $120 cashback from the bank.

The cash rewards are given by SingSaver, and are on top of any existing promotions that may also be offered by the banks issuing the credit cards.

Additional Note: We are sorry if you read this article after 31 May 2018. We will update this post again if there are any further promotions.

How To Apply For These Cards

If you want to find out what’s the full list of credit card promotions that SingSaver is offering for the month of May 2018, you can check it out on their website here.

For easy reference, here’s a quick summary.

Citibank Credit Cards (New Citi Customers Only) – $150 Cash (yes, cash!) and up to $120 Cashback

  1. Citi Cashback
  2. Citi PremierMiles
  3. Citi Reward
  4. Citi SMRT Card

Standard Chartered Credit Cards – $150 Cash (yes, cash!) and up to $120 Cashback

  1. Standard Chartered Unlimited Card
  2. Standard Chartered Spree Card
  3. Standard Chartered Visa Infinite

American Express – $100 Cash

  1. American Express Singapore Airline Krisflyer Card
  2. American Express True Cashback Card
  3. American Express Krisflyer Ascend Card
  4. American Express Capitacard

To qualify for the additional cash payout , which is an exclusive SingSaver reward, you must apply through SingSaver. Promotion ends 31 May 2018. Do note the terms and conditions.

You can apply for any of these credit cards through this link.

Simple Instruction:

1. Apply on SingSaver through this link.

2. You will land on the SingSaver landing page.

3. Once you click apply on one of the selected credit cards with the promotion, you will be brought to a page to fill up your name and email before you are directed to the bank’s application page. It’s important that you fill this page up before heading to the bank’s application page. Otherwise, it will not show that you applied through SingSaver.

4. Complete the bank credit card application form. Separately, you will receive an email from SingSaver for your next step.

Either to

– provide bank application ref. no

– or provide approval letter screenshot

– or no further action needed

This promotion ends on 31 May 2018.

For any further questions or clarification, you can email Singsaver at [email protected]



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