As staycations are currently the only hassle-free option for a getaway, you may be looking at how you can make use of your credit card to offset some of the costs. In this case, travel credit cards are your best bet. Not only do these credit cards often partner with hotels and travel portals to give you discounts on your bookings, you’ll also be able to earn and redeem hotel points and other travel rewards. Continue reading to find out how you make full use of your travel credit card to elevate your staycation in Singapore.
Hotels in Singapore partner with certain credit cards that allow you to transfer miles earned into hotel points, which you can redeem to offset the cost of your stay. For instance, Citi PremierMiles and CitiBank Rewards cards have partnered with InterContinental Hotels Group, giving you the option of transferring your Citi Miles or ThankYou points into hotel points.
Before considering that option, you should determine whether it’s cost effective to transfer your miles into hotel points. To do so, calculate the reward redemption value, and compare that to the value per hotel point. The easiest way to calculate the redemption value is to divide the dollar value of the reward by the number of points required to redeem it and multiply by 100 to convert dollars to cents. For example, if 15,000 points are required for a room rate of S$360, the cents per point (CPP) is 2.4. If the reward redemption value is less than the CPP of the hotel points, it wouldn’t be worth transferring.
|Citibank PremierMiles||10,000 miles = 10,000 IHG Rewards Club Points|
|Citibank Rewards||25,000 points = 10,000 IHG Rewards Club Points|
|Points Earned||Redemption Method||Redemption Total Value||CPP|
If the reward redemption value is less than the CPP of the hotel points, it wouldn’t be worth transferring miles to hotel points. Since hotel points are rare in Singapore, usually the best way to generate hotel points is to purchase them outright when they go on sale. For instance, IHG has previously run up to 100% bonus sales at US$1000 (S$1320) for 200,000 points, bringing the CPP down to US$0.50 (S$0.7).
While booking directly with the hotel gives you quicker access to customer service in case of emergency, it may be worth booking your stay through travel portals once in a while to take advantage of promotions. Travel portals such as Expedia, Agoda, Airbnb often partner with banks to offer their cardholders discounts and promotions of up to 10% on bookings. Besides that, you can also earn miles and cashback when you pay the bill using a credit card from the portal’s credit card partner.
|Credit card||Current promo||Rewards||Limit|
|Citi PremierMiles||10% off hotel booking with promo code CITIHOTEL10 on Expedia||3 Citi miles or 7 Citi ThankYou Points or 2.5% cashback for every S$1 spent on flights & hotels.||n/a|
|DBS Altitude (all variants), DBS Woman’s World Mastercard or DBS Woman’s Platinum Mastercard||
||10 mpd on staycations booked through Agoda to June 2021. 10 mpd on Kaligo, 6 mpd on Expedia, 3 mpd for other hotel||S$5000/mth|
|UOB PRVI Miles (All variants)||n/a||6 mpd on Agoda, 6 mpd on Expedia, 6 mpd on UOB Travel||n/a|
|Maybank Horizon Visa Signature||n/a||3.2 mpd for bookings made at Agoda||Min S$300 total card spending per month|
|KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card||Up to 9% off worldwide hotel bookings valid till 31 December 2021 for stay period till 31 December 2022.||3 mpd on Agoda, AirBnB, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Kaligo, Traveloka, Trip.com, UOBTravel||Min S$500 spend on SIA-related transactions per year|
To save on the costs of your staycation, look out for card promotions from your bank via email newsletter, social media, website or browse through travel aggregators and online travel agents like Klook or JTB regularly for updates. Credit card issuers/banks also partner with hotels and travel sites to offer exclusive deals such as complimentary upgrades, cashback, booking discounts, and packages only for cardmembers.
|Credit card||Participating Properties||Current offer details|
|UOB||Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road, Singapore Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore Pan Pacific Singapore PARKROYAL on Beach Road, Singapore PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Singapore PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore||
|Citibank||The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore||
Add-on perks include:
|OCBC||The Fullerton Hotel Singapore||Book and stay by 30 March 2021.Pure Relaxation Package at S$370 nett Comes with:
|HSBC||Hilton Singapore||Complimentary upgrade to Deluxe Plus room with Prosecco, ocean inspired high-tea set for 2 from S$245++|
Staycations are a great opportunity to dine at upscale hotel restaurants at a discount. Most staycation card promos (see table above) include a complimentary breakfast while some such as Citibank and OCBC offer dining credits which can be spent in the hotel’s restaurants. Hotels also run dining deals independent of staycation promos, so check your card issuer’s website for ongoing deals.
|Credit card||Restaurant||Dining credit/promo|
|DBS||n/a||1-for-1 & 50% off dining deals via Chope from now to 31/03/2021|
|OUB||Town Restaurant, The Fullerton Hotel||1 dines free with every 3 paying adults for Sunday Brunch* and Dinner Feast at Town from now until 31/03/2021|
|OCBC||Asian Market Café, Fairmont Singapore||50% off lunch & dinner from now until 11/04/2021|
|Citibank||Marriott Cafe, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel||Up to 25% off on total food bill until 30/04/2021|
|HSBC||Andaz Singapore – Alley on 25||1-for-1 Afternoon Tea at S$48++|
If your booking doesn’t include dining credits and the hotel’s restaurant isn’t offering discounts, check restaurant booking platforms such as Chope, Eatigo or Entertainer for exclusive dining deals specific to your bank. Otherwise, opt for a 1-for-1 buffet promotion elsewhere, or pay with a dining credit card to earn cashback for dining.
Wondering how to stretch the S$100 Singapore Rediscovers Voucher (SRV) even further? If you’re a UOB cardmember, you’re in luck. Klook has partnered with UOB to offer cardmembers exclusive discounts of up to S$40 that can be applied on top of your SRV when you check out using a UOB card. Take S$5 off a minimum S$30 spent on top of your SRV, S$10 off a minimum spend of 60 or S$20 off a minimum of S$200 spent on top of your SRV. Discount will apply automatically on the check out page when an eligible UOB card is used, limited to 2 checkouts per cardmember.
Depending on the current price per hotel point, transferring your rewards or miles into hotel points isn’t always the most cost efficient way to use your travel rewards. Unless your miles are about to expire, it’s better to buy hotel points when they go on sale. Besides hotel points, you can take advantage of discounts and promos offered by your credit card issuer and its partner hotels, restaurants, and travel aggregators. When you’re ready to book a staycation, search for deals, discounts, and offers on your card issuer’s website and you can elevate your staycation while stretching your dollar.
This article was first published in ValueChampion.