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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 13 November 2018 to include updated information.

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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 give greater rewards, but 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 only 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.

Furthermore, if you use a tool like CardUp to make credit card payments to recipients that do not typically receive credit cards, you will similarly get to enjoy miles earned on every dollar spent. This means you can also be earning air miles on large, recurring spend such as your taxes, insurance premiums, rental and more – getting you the miles you require at a faster rate!

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.

End-Of-Year SingSaver Credit Card Promotion Till 30 November 2018

If you are looking to sign up for a credit card for your end-of-year shopping trips or overseas holidays, SingSaver has a wide range of cards that you can choose from. From now till 30 November 2018, if you apply for a credit card through SingSaver, you can receive additional reward for every successful application.

You can choose credits cards from American Express, UOB, Citibank and many others. Do note, you must apply for your credit card(s) and complete your redemption form to qualify for the additional rewards.

American Express

For every successful American Express credit card sign up, you will receive$150 in cash from SingSaver. These are the eligible American Express cards. Click on the link below to sign up through SingSaver.

  1. American Express Singapore Airline Krisflyer Card ($150 cash voucher)
  2. American Express True Cashback Card ($150 cash voucher)
  3. American Express Krisflyer Ascend Card ($150 cash voucher)
  4. American Express Capitacard ($100 cash voucher)


For every successful UOB credit card sign up, you will receive $50 in cash from SingSaver. These are the eligible UOB cards.Click on the link below to sign up through SingSaver.

  1. UOB One Card ($50 cash voucher)
  2. UOB YOLO ($50 cash voucher)
  3. UOB Delight Credit Card ($50 cash voucher)
  4. UOB PRVI Miles Card ($50 cash voucher)

For every successful Citibank Card sign up (New Citi Customers Only), you will receive $200 in NTUC, Takashimaya or Grab Voucher from SingSaver. For existing customers, you will receive $50 in NTUC Voucher.


These are the eligible Citibank cards. You can click on the link below to sign up through SingSaver.

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

For the full list of credit cards promotion including cards offered by HSBC, OCBC and Standard Chartered, you can check out the SingSaver website.

The above rewards are a SingSaver exclusive deal and you must apply for these cards through SingSaver AND complete the redemption form in order to qualify for them. Promotion ends 30 November 2018. Terms and conditions apply.

Please refer to the graphics below on the steps required to apply for your credit and to redeem your promotion.