Can you believe it? There are only 7 more weeks left to the end of this crazy rollercoaster year, and I for one cannot wait to end the year on a good note, and preferably on an actual rollercoaster.
And no, I don’t mean the ones in Sentosa. I’m thinking somewhere much, much further away. But if you haven’t started planning your overseas trip, like me, here are some tips on how the right credit card can help you decide where to go by maximising its benefits.
1. Use a credit card that rewards you when making your flight booking
Gone are the days where the preferred way to travel was to book a package with an agency. More and more, the ability to customise your flights and accommodation (while saving money in the process!) has become easier and more convenient via sites like Expedia.
But don’t just use any random credit card when making your booking. Here are some credit cards that reward you for making your travel plans:
The UOB PRVI Miles Card earns you 6 Miles for every $1 spent on airline bookings on Expedia and the bank’s own site, UOB Travel.
The DBS Altitude Card earns you 3 Miles for every $1 spend on online airline bookings, regardless of airline.
Some credit cards reward you for flying with a specific airline.
The ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card earns you 2.8 Miles for flights with Qantas and Jetstar. What’s more you also earn 2.8 Miles for all your spend in Australia and New Zealand.
The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card allows you to earn 2 Miles per $1 spent flying (surprise, surprise) Singapore Airlines or SilkAir.
If you’re not the type to get bitten by the travel bug and therefore don’t like earning miles that you’ll probably not be able to use, consider earning cashback rebates instead.
The ANZ Optimum Card allows you to earn 5% rebates for travel-related expenditure (assuming you choose Travel as your preferred category).
Although there’s no cap to how much total cashback you can earn, do note that you’re limited to a maximum of $30 in rebates per transaction. This is a little tricky for travel expenditure, since you’ll probably not want to use it for transactions of more than $600.
The other alternative then is the American Express True Cashback Card, which earns a flat 1.5% cashback rebate. However, since there’s no cashback cap and no minimum spend, it’s perfect for large travel transactions.
2. Use a credit card that rewards you when making your hotel booking
While Expedia allows you to book both your flights and hotel in the same website, other sites like Agoda are exclusively for hotel and resort bookings. Sure, it may be a little inconvenient to book your hotel separately from your flights, but depending on your credit card, this might end up rewarding you more.
Here are some examples:
The Citi PremierMiles Card lets you earn 12 Miles per $1 spent on hotel booking site Kaligo.com till the end of November.
The UOB PRVI Miles Card earns you 10 Miles for every $1 spent on Kaligo, and 6 Miles for every $1 spent on hotels on Expedia. With this card, you can even get 8% off bookings on Hotels.com
The DBS Altitude Card earns you 10 Miles for every $1 spent on Kaligo (notice a trend here?), and 3 Miles for every $1 spend on online hotel bookings, including Agoda and Expedia and even Airbnb!
Once again, if earning air miles is not your thing, consider the ANZ Optimum Card and American Express True Cashback Card for their cashback rebates.
3. Use a credit card that rewards you for spending overseas
Several of the credit cards mentioned above earn you air miles at a faster rate for overseas spending:
The DBS Altitude Card currently has a promotion, earning you 3 Miles per $1 spent overseas. Note that there is a cap of 2,000 per calendar month.
The ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card earns 2.8 Miles per $1 spent in Australia and New Zealand
The UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card earns 2.4 Miles per $1 spent overseas.
The Citi PremierMiles Card, the KrisFlyer Credit Card and DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card all earn 2 Miles per $1 spent overseas.
Of course, when using your credit card overseas, you should always take the necessary precautions. Ensure that your bank is aware of your travel plans so that they can allow your card to be used overseas, and always be on the watch for fraudulent transactions.
Another thing to look out for would be the additional charges that you’ll incur when using a credit card overseas.
As a rule, you should charge the card in a foreign currency and reject any option to pay in Singapore dollars.
4. Take advantage of your credit card to enjoy airport lounge access
Since you’re already planning to use your credit card to enjoy your travel, why not enjoy airport lounge access all over the world as well? That’s right. By signing up for some credit cards, you will be eligible for Priority Pass membership, which gives you access to over 700 VIP lounges in hundreds of cities worldwide.
How do I take advantage of all this information?
So, for example, if I got the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card, I’d probably want to plan a trip Down Under to Sydney or Melbourne to enjoy their summer.
By using this card, I’d want to take advantage of the Qantas or Jetstar benefits, as well as the higher miles earn rate for spending in Australia. Plus, with the relatively cheap Australian dollar, I know the overseas charges for credit card use won’t affect me so much.
Just… maybe no rollercoasters there.
This post first appeared on the MoneySmart blog. MoneySmart.sg is Singapore’s leading personal finance portal that helps you to maximise your money. Compare and shop for the best deals on loans, insurance and credit cards on their site.
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