From The Straits Times    |

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Singaporeans who dream of travelling whenever an opportunity presents itself will appreciate air miles more than the average Joe because they let us save money on travelling whether it be free seat upgrades or free air tickets. While getting the right air miles credit card is crucial in and of itself, we also reckon you ought to be aware of these important things about air miles credit cards that not everybody knows.


Mile conversion rates vary 

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Depending on the travel credit card you have and the frequent flyer programme you are enrolled in, the value of your points and miles in real life can vary a lot. Just to put things in perspective, here’s a quick comparison that will help illustrate things clearer:

  • 450 American Express Membership Rewards Points = 250 KrisFlyer Miles
  • 1 Citi Mile = 1 KrisFlyer Mile
  • 5 Citi Rewards Points = 2 KrisFlyer Miles
  • 5 Standard Chartered 360° Rewards Points = 2 KrisFlyer Miles
  • 1 UOB UNI$ = 2 KrisFlyer Miles
  • 5,000 DBS Points = 10,000 KrisFlyer Miles
  • 5,000 HSBC Rewards Points = 2,000 KrisFlyer Miles
  • 50,000 OCBC$ = 20,000 KrisFlyer Miles


Points conversion fee

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While there are solid rewards credit cards that let you redeem your rewards for air miles, almost all credit cards in Singapore that let you transfer rewards points to your frequent flyer programme account levy a fee of $25 for each transfer.

That said, it certainly makes more sense for you to get ahold of cards that offer rewards points that do not expire so (i) you have the freedom to spend and accumulate your points without time pressure; and (ii) you can save money by converting your points to actual air miles only when you have enough points to redeem for, say, a free flight. This ensures that you are not wasting your money converting small amounts of points.

If all the points conversions and conversion fees are too much for you to handle because you’d gladly take anything that offers convenience, consider these 2 credit cards that let you get actual miles without the need for conversion at all.


Expiry dates of miles accrued 

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Some credit cards let you earn miles or rewards points that do not expire while some miles and rewards points will expire after a period of time. Unless you are incredibly on the ball when it comes to keeping track of your miles or rewards points, you will be better off with miles or points that stay valid forever so long as your account is open and in good standing. Take note of the expiry date of converted miles, too. Case in point, both KrisFlyer miles and Asia Miles expire after 3 years.


Some credit cards give you free miles upon card renewal 

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I bet you didn’t expect cards to have such a nice perk. But of course, not all travel credit cards give away free bonus miles upon card renewal, lah. If you are interested, check out these credit cards that reward you with miles upon card renewal.

Tip: Paying for the card renewal may work out far better than if you were to spend on purchases in a bid to earn the same amount of miles that you would have bagged if you paid the annual fee. For instance, you’ll receive 10,000 Citi Miles upon card renewal if you pay the $192.60 annual fee. On the contrary, you would have to spend $8,333.33 locally to earn 10,000 Citi Miles purely from spending at the rate of 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 spent.


Once you’re done signing up for the perfect air miles credit card, scroll down to check out the hottest destinations like Bawah island and Courchevel you should visit in 2018.

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