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By now, most of you should already know that it makes financial sense to be using a credit card over cash. As long as you have financial discipline (i.e. pay your bills on time, don’t overspend), not using your credit card when you can is just plain silly. Using your credit card allows you can enjoy discounts, promotions, cashback and of course, earn you air miles.
In Singapore, the two main camps that people find themselves on when it comes to card benefits are miles and cashback. We wrote about this previously and explained why a miles card would usually deliver better “cash spent to benefit received” value.
We are not saying that there is no place in your wallet for a cashback card, or even multiple cashback cards. Most of us have them and we wouldn’t be surprised if even Aaron from The MileLion has at least one cashback card with him.
But when you look at some of the best combination of credit cards that people have (read this article to find out some of our reader’s best credit cards combinations), you will know that every great combination of credit cards that an individual uses would consist of at least one (if not more) air miles credit card.
And if you don’t already have an air miles credit card yet, we will explain why January 2019 might be the best time for you to apply for one.
Yes, even if you are a cashback diehard like Budget Babe is, you should still own at least one air miles credit card.
# 1 You Enjoy Many Free Benefits
Similar to many credit cards in Singapore, it usually costs you nothing to apply for an air miles credit card. Yet, you will enjoy many free benefits when you own one.
For example, in the airmiles vs cashback promotion which SingSaver is running from now till 31 January 2019, you can get $150 cash upon card approval, and $20 NTUC FairPrice vouchers when signing up via MyInfo, if you signed up for the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card.
So you essentially get $170 free! And while we don’t think the economy is that bad, we certainly have not come across anyone (yet) who would knowingly say no to such a great deal. Don’t be the first.
Beyond just the free money (and vouchers), American Express will also give you 5,000 free miles upon the first spend on your credit card, and an additional 7,500 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 within the first three months (extremely achievable for most working adults, even frugal ones).
What this means is that if you spend $3,000 within the first three months of card approval, you would earn 15,800 miles – enough for a round-trip economy class ticket to Bali on Singapore Airlines.
So if you and your partner are looking to travel somewhere close by, all you need to do is to apply for an American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card each, earn the free $340 welcome gift (for two cards) and spend $3,000 each within the first three months to earn for yourself a pair of round-trip economy class tickets on Singapore Airlines to Bali.
Flight for your honeymoon destination settled.
# 2 You Earn More When It Comes To Big Ticket Items
As much as we loved some of our cashback cards, the truth is that they pale in comparison when compared to using the right air miles credit card.
Let’s take for example the UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card. If we assume you and your partner are looking to travel to Taiwan for a 10-day getaway. Similar to many travelers, you book your accommodations through Agoda or Expedia and spent a total of $2,800.
The UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card allows you to earn 6 miles for every S$1 spent on major airlines or hotels. This means that just by booking your accommodation, you would already earn for yourself 16,800 miles. Add this to the 15,800 miles that you already earned on your American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card and you are looking at 32,600 miles – enough to redeem one round-trip economy class ticket on Singapore Airlines to Taiwan.
Look at it this way. By spending just $5,800, you can redeem a round-trip economy class ticket on Singapore Airlines to Taiwan which is worth between $500-$600. We don’t think any cashback card will be able to deliver you such a great cash spent to benefit value (please let us know if we are wrong).
Other information about the UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card: You earn 1.4 miles per $1 spend locally and 2.4 miles on every $1 spent overseas.
# 3 The Added Incentive If You Time Your Application To Coincide With A Big-Ticket Purchase Is Pretty Unbeatable
Every once in a while, we incur big-ticket expenditure. For example, if you are planning for your wedding, you will incur additional expenses that you would not normally incur.
For these big-ticket spending, we doubt anyone would want to use their usual cashback cards. No offence but if you do, you are not being clever. Let us explain why.
Imagine if you and your partner both apply for a Citi PremierMiles Visa Card each. If you pay for the annual fee (we know what you are thinking but trust us, it is worth paying for this) and spend a total of $7,500 each within the first three months, you will receive 30,000 bonus miles each, or 60,000 in total.
This is on top of the 1.2 miles you will earn for every $1 spend (9,000 miles each).
To reiterate, here’s what you want to be doing.
# 1 Time the application such that you apply for your Citi PremierMiles Visa Card just a couple of weeks before you make your big-ticket expenditure.
# 2 Split the big-ticket expenditures such that you and your partner achieve a minimum spending of at least $7,500 per card. Most retailers, hotels or restaurants will be quite happy to do this for you.
# 3 Pay for the annual fee. Do NOT ask them to waive this for you (they would willingly do so if you request for it).
Other notable occasions: Buying furniture and electronics before moving in to a new home; planning for an overseas holiday; delivering a baby
In total, you and your partner would receive 78,000 miles at the end of three months. This is enough for you to redeem two one-way business class flights on Singapore Airlines to Maldives, which for most of us regular folks, will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that no cashback card can ever give.
If you already have the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card, you obviously can’t do this again. However, you can employ the same trick using the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card instead.
If you apply for a Citi PremierMiles Visa Card through SingSaver, you will receive $200 cash voucher (New Citi customer only) from SingSaver. Existing Citi customers will receive $30.
Apply For An Air Miles Card Today
Don’t get us wrong. We are not deriding cashback fanatics and their schoolboy crush on cashback cards. We ourselves used them.
The point here however is that even if you are a cashback fanatic, it still makes financial sense to have at least one air miles credit card. Given the right usage, you (and your partner) may be in for an amazing holiday experience.
As what The MileLion will say, “Travel Better For Less”
SingSaver - Battle Of The Cards. Apply for your favourite miles, cashback and rewards card today!
From now till 9 June, you can participate in SingSaver’s Battle of Cards campaign. To participate, all you need to do is to apply (via SingSaver) for any of these credit cards during this period (you can apply for more than one).
Battle Of Cards (Best Miles Cards)
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card: $200 NTUC Voucher/Grab Code (new customers only) or $30 vouchers (existing customers)
UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card: $50 cash gift (new customers and existing customers)
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite: $100 cash gift (new customers only) or $50 cash gift (existing customers)