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Miles or cashback? This was a credit card-related question that used to be on everyone’s mind back in the good old pre-COVID-19 days.
Travel lovers would opt for miles, reasoning to themselves that redeeming their hard-earned accumulated miles for that elusive first-class seat is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that they would not be able to afford, or otherwise be willing to pay for.
Cashback fanatics would opt for cashback perks, which acts as a discount for anything that they pay for using a cashback credit card. For example, the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card gives us a 1.5% cashback on every purchase that we make, with no minimum spend or maximum cap on the cashback we can earn.
Given the current pandemic imposed travel restrictions, maximising cashback – instead of accumulating miles – for our credit card spend seems to be the better strategy for now.
Read Also: Why An Unlimited Cashback Credit Card Is Perfect For Any Financial Minimalist
However, our credit card benefits are not limited to just choosing miles cards or opting for cashback cards. A third category, reward cards, might make a lot of sense as we continue to navigate the uncertain COVID-19 world that we are living in.
How Reward Credit Cards Work?
Unlike airmiles cards that let us earn miles, or cashback cards that gives us a rebate based on our spending, reward credit cards give us reward points when we pay using our reward credit cards. These points can subsequently be exchanged for a variety of rewards such as shopping vouchers, gifts and, more importantly, air miles and cashback benefits.
This makes reward cards a good alternative for many during this pandemic period. For those of us who are hoping to travel in 2022 or 2023, we can continue to accumulate miles during this period. But rather than to earn miles directly through an airmiles card, we should tweak our miles-earning strategy and to earn them indirectly via a reward card.
For example, through the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card, we can earn up to 10x reward points on foreign currency retail, dining and travel spend, and 5x reward points on dining transactions in SGD. Based on the Standard Chartered 360° Rewards Programme, 5 points can be converted into 2 miles, so this means that our foreign currency spend will earn us 4 miles per dollar spent while local dining spend will earn us 2 miles per dollar.
Alternatively, if we have been accumulating our reward points over the next few years and later decide that we are not intending to travel anytime soon, or have no desire to redeem our miles for airline seats, we can choose to earn cashback benefit.
Read Also: Why Credit Cards That Only Reward You With Air Miles Are A Bad Idea In 2020
For example, if we spend $3,200 on eligible foreign currency retail, dining and travel spend, we can earn 32,000 reward points (10x earnings). 32,000 reward points allow us to redeem a $100 cash credit. This gives us an indirect cashback rate of 3.125% ($100/$3,200).
Of course, we can strike a balance between both air miles or cashback, and not necessarily to choose one over the other. So if we only have a couple of flights that we want to redeem our miles for once overseas travelling resume, and wish to use the rest of our reward points to redeem for cash credit, we can also do so.
If we are not keen on either airmiles or cashback benefits, we can also redeem our reward points for other items on the Standard Chartered 360° Rewards Programme.
The point here is that reward points allow us to delay the decision we need to make today on the kind of credit card benefits we want. When we are more certain of what we want (or don’t want) in the future, we can choose our credit card rewards accordingly. The is exceptionally useful because while we wish to travel again in the future, we may still prefer having the flexibility of switching our reward in the event that the pandemic does not allow us to travel, or if we are unwilling to travel even when we are allowed to. This beats sitting on thousands of air miles in our account that we can’t use.
Read Also: Standard Chartered Bonus$aver Account – Here’s How You Can Maximise The Interest Earned On This Deposit Account
For those who are keen to sign up for a reward card such as the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card, we have good news for you. From now till 30 November 2021, you can enjoy a cashback of $120* when you apply for the Standard Chartered Rewards + Credit Card and make one eligible transaction (no minimum amount).
Applying for the Standard Chartered Rewards+ Credit Card doesn’t just allow us to earn reward points. It also gives us access to the suite of credit card services that Standard Chartered also offers to its cardholder. For example, we will be able to enjoy the Standard Chartered The Good Life Privileges that gives us discount on our dining, retail and online purchases. Through the Standard Chartered EasyPay, we can also convert our retail transactions above $200 into 6 or 12 months interest-free instalments whenever we want to.
If you are keen to adjust your credit card strategy to focus on earning reward points, instead of only miles or cashback, consider applying and start using the Reward+ Card today.
*Click here for the full Standard Chartered Rewards+ Card Promotion (“Rewards+ Card Promotion”) Terms and Conditions that apply.