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Postby renter » Fri, 15 Dec 2006 1:10 pm

Grim Reaper wrote:Yes, there are significant differences in consumer banking between Europe (Holland / UK) and Singapore.

The marketing strategies and marketing campaigns here in Singapore are so much more effective and intense, when compared to Europe. The competition is of course much more intense here and as you know Singapore is a prime market: densely populated and relatively wealthy.

In Holland I never was the target of the banking marketing campaigns, although earning more than enough.

Here in Singapore not a single day goes by where I am not somehow targeted; sms, phone, mail, advertising etc etc.

Gotta say, you have to be disciplined indeed...


A lot of these lie in the differences of the country size and laws. I doubt the strategy here works equally well in a vast country with different laws.
And you can't have a fair comparison of Singapore to most of the other countries, because size does matter. Even the advanced US are not as effective as Singapore is in a lot of areas, because there are physical things that technology can't change, however advanced. After all, we are all physical living in a physical world, not 0101s traveling in optic fibers.

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Postby jpatokal » Sat, 16 Dec 2006 1:08 am

Plavt wrote:Clearly Singaporean banks have a different set of criteria to the UK where it is only too easy to get credit provided you have an income. I am not sure I see the point of a credit card if you pay back the amount owing at the end of the month since overdrafts will do just as well if not better. However, I do not know if banks in Singapore offer such a facility.

Sure, but overdrafts also cost money. The great things about credit cards are convenience (esp. overseas, where things like NETS/Visa Electron don't work) and the points -- I've flown SQ Raffles class around the world without paying a cent. :cool:
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Postby Plavt » Sat, 16 Dec 2006 1:54 am

jpatokal wrote:Sure, but overdrafts also cost money. The great things about credit cards are convenience (esp. overseas, where things like NETS/Visa Electron don't work) and the points -- I've flown SQ Raffles class around the world without paying a cent. :cool:



I am not sure what you are getting at JP because credit cards also cost money and although I have never looked in depth I am pretty darn sure my overdraft facilities have cost a good deal less than any credit card. In the UK when you have a Barclaycard you get charged £1.50 for every cash withdrawal from an ATM not to mention the APR! The Visa Electron facility is coming into more widespread use in Europe and it won't be too long before it is used as commonly as any credit card. As for the use of credit cards abroad, I personally think travelers cheques are a better option since the numbers can be recorded in several different places and they can be split up making it more difficult for thieves. However, such cheques nowadays can be purchased in card form. Point of interest; in The Philippines you cannot use an ATM with a foreign card outside banking hours (at least last time I visited). On another point of interest the Visa card I have from my bank is debit not credit but is not Visa Electron.

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Postby ksl » Sat, 16 Dec 2006 2:40 am

jpatokal wrote:
Plavt wrote:Clearly Singaporean banks have a different set of criteria to the UK where it is only too easy to get credit provided you have an income. I am not sure I see the point of a credit card if you pay back the amount owing at the end of the month since overdrafts will do just as well if not better. However, I do not know if banks in Singapore offer such a facility.

Sure, but overdrafts also cost money. The great things about credit cards are convenience (esp. overseas, where things like NETS/Visa Electron don't work) and the points -- I've flown SQ Raffles class around the world without paying a cent. :cool:


That's what you believe :cool: The marketing strategy and tactics are to make profits, right, and business is always about providing the wants and needs of consumers, and that is exactly what they are doing, and very good at it too.
Last edited by ksl on Sat, 16 Dec 2006 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby seasider » Sat, 16 Dec 2006 7:38 am

Ah so the truth is out - this thread is not really about banks and credit cards at all. Signing off. :roll:

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Postby jpatokal » Sun, 17 Dec 2006 11:29 pm

ksl wrote:
jpatokal wrote:Sure, but overdrafts also cost money. The great things about credit cards are convenience (esp. overseas, where things like NETS/Visa Electron don't work) and the points -- I've flown SQ Raffles class around the world without paying a cent. :cool:


That's what you believe :cool: The marketing strategy and tactics are to make profits, right, and business is always about providing the wants and needs of consumers, and that is exactly what they are doing, and very good at it too.

OK, let me qualify that "without paying a cent" part a little...
* I pay my bill in full every month, so no interest charges. Not doing this is how CC companies make their money and people go bankrupt.
* Most credit card companies waive the annual fee for a few years when you sign up, and will waive it again if you whine about when renewal time comes up.
* In Singapore, what I pay is what I get, no surprises. I occasionally use promotions to get discounts but rarely let them influence my spending.
* Overseas, I know that the CC company screws me out of a few percent by diddling with the exchange rates. However, on company business we can use xe.com's rates to claim back, which offsets the damage a bit. Also, the damage is always relative: if I didn't use a CC, I'd have to withdraw money from an ATM (which incurs charges) or exchange SGD cash (in which case exchange rates are often even worse), and both alternatives would be inconvenient and possibly dangerous if carrying around larger amounts. Rates on traveler's checks are usually worse yet and, while safe, they're a pain to deal with.
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Postby Plavt » Sun, 17 Dec 2006 11:47 pm

jpatokal wrote: Rates on traveler's checks are usually worse yet and, while safe, they're a pain to deal with.


I don't think this is true any longer as I mentioned earlier they are now available in card form (similar to credit card in appearance but it can be 're-charged when you have used up funds).

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Postby ksl » Mon, 18 Dec 2006 12:22 am

I've flown SQ Raffles class around the world without paying a cent


I agree directly it looks like you are not paying a cent!

The flying milage one saves up, is a very expensive, way of flying, although their are cheaper ways to get from A to B, I will agree on the comfort and needs, is worth paying the extra for, to get the milage, but my point is the 130,000 miles I have saved, has actually cost me more, than if i didn't have a loyalty card, I could have changed airlines. Instead of paying a premium price on one all the time.

If I cash in the mileage, the amount is hardly worth the trouble, and the way the free trips, work, are not always to ones advantage, I mean I can get a free trip to Japan, USA, although not normally a free trip to Europe.

I also believe you are probably right about CC in Singapore, although UK, I doubt very much that you could get the fees, wiped out!

In fact I doubt if you could even get to see a qualified person with authority.
They are pretty poor service providers, that's why I am off UK full stop.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Mon, 18 Dec 2006 10:23 am

jpatokal wrote:OK, let me qualify that "without paying a cent" part a little...
* I pay my bill in full every month, so no interest charges. Not doing this is how CC companies make their money and people go bankrupt.
* Most credit card companies waive the annual fee for a few years when you sign up, and will waive it again if you whine about when renewal time comes up.
* In Singapore, what I pay is what I get, no surprises. I occasionally use promotions to get discounts but rarely let them influence my spending.
* Overseas, I know that the CC company screws me out of a few percent by diddling with the exchange rates. However, on company business we can use xe.com's rates to claim back, which offsets the damage a bit. Also, the damage is always relative: if I didn't use a CC, I'd have to withdraw money from an ATM (which incurs charges) or exchange SGD cash (in which case exchange rates are often even worse), and both alternatives would be inconvenient and possibly dangerous if carrying around larger amounts. Rates on traveler's checks are usually worse yet and, while safe, they're a pain to deal with.


This is exactly what i do.

Taking money out of an ATM only works if you are taking out a lot otherwise the charges home & abroad are a killer. I generally just exchange enough cash to see me through immediate expenses for transport and snacks etc. with everything else going on a card.

This year hsbc managed to waive the annual fee on both my cards, which is nice and i rarely have to pay for any card....... except for Airline Cards such as the Cathay Pacific one. Normally they would offer points/miles instead of waiving the fee but let's say you cut the card, you apply a new one after 6-months or a year or whatever it is and get another sign-on bonus of a few thousand miles again etc.

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Postby jpatokal » Tue, 19 Dec 2006 10:29 pm

ksl wrote:The flying milage one saves up, is a very expensive, way of flying, although their are cheaper ways to get from A to B, I will agree on the comfort and needs, is worth paying the extra for, to get the milage, but my point is the 130,000 miles I have saved, has actually cost me more, than if i didn't have a loyalty card, I could have changed airlines. Instead of paying a premium price on one all the time.

I read that four times and I'm still not sure what you're trying to say. With credit cards, you get points for any spending -- any airline, any hotel, whatever -- and you can convert those into FF miles in the program of your choice. Earning frequent flyer miles the old-fashioned "butt-in-seat" way is a whole different kettle of fish.

If I cash in the mileage, the amount is hardly worth the trouble, and the way the free trips, work, are not always to ones advantage, I mean I can get a free trip to Japan, USA, although not normally a free trip to Europe.

My "free" flights would cost well north of S$10,000 if I booked them on the SQ website -- and there are no discounted business class seats on this route, ever. Now, it's perfectly true that I would never fork out that kind of cold hard cash for the trip, but it's definitely "worth the trouble" in my book to get it with points!
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Postby ksl » Wed, 20 Dec 2006 3:51 am

Yes I agree, but I am just wondering, how much you have actually spent, to qualify for the free flight of which costs 10,000$?

I'm looking at, how CC encourages a person to spend more, from a subliminal point of view, although I will say, there is really no answer we can agree on, because I believe statistical information needs to be gathered to prove a point, which I am pretty sure, that the credit card companies have done their research, long before giving away 10,000$ Flights.

Although you pay off, the CC every month to avoid the charge, there would be a difference in your spending pattern and the guy next to you, what I mean is, your purchasing decision, is based on the credit card, to get the points, these are concious, purchases.

How many points must you have to qualify for a free flight?

So the points equate to a certain amount of money spent, at prices, which are not the cheapest, but the most alluring

The differences between targeted consumers is based on incomes I believe in the CC world, and the next step, would be, is to figure out how to increase the spending, and I am pretty sure, that if you wasn't spending enough, they probably wouldn't waiver the credit charges, why should they?

I mean I'm no expert in this area, but from a business point of view, you are a good customer if you are collecting points, you are spending in places, where the CC have made arrangements, to give you discounts.

Discounts are quite easy to get in most places, without having a CC, although one does have to request it, everyone is entitled to a discount, but not all request it, and not all give it.

Price is elastic for the right customers, providing profit is taken!

And like you say, 10,000$ is not what you would consider paying, for a flight, although you probably have paid a considerable amount of money to get all the points required for the free flight.

That is not much different from putting coins in a one arm bandit, where you stay the course and hit the jackpot, how long 3 years 5 years or is it relative to an amount of money spent. (but how much have you spent to get the Jackpot) and those that check out early get nothing.

I see things from another angle, if i don't have the credit cards, then I wouldn't be tempted into this or that hotel, just to get points. When maybe another hotel is cheaper and better.

It is much easier for me to have cash in all the countries, that i have earned money, and I very rarely have to use any cash, but debit cards.

I know, that when i go out shopping, that all sales, are gimmicks, to increase spending and consumers don't always get what they expect and don't know any different.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5195544.stm

This is not even the tip of the iceburg, mark up on branded watches 1000% is not uncommon, Clothing & textiles the same all though many will say 1st class goods, if you check the stitching and find errors, you have a right for a discount, it's probably second quality goods any way.

I guess it is the way we percieve, the markets, I see everything in a different way to you, although no one is wrong, because we are both satisfied, with the items we purchase, and that is the whole aim of business, to satisfy wants and needs.

I often wonder if i'm making any sense at all :???:

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Wed, 20 Dec 2006 12:32 pm

jpatokal wrote:
ksl wrote:The flying milage one saves up, is a very expensive, way of flying, although their are cheaper ways to get from A to B, I will agree on the comfort and needs, is worth paying the extra for, to get the milage, but my point is the 130,000 miles I have saved, has actually cost me more, than if i didn't have a loyalty card, I could have changed airlines. Instead of paying a premium price on one all the time.

I read that four times and I'm still not sure what you're trying to say. With credit cards, you get points for any spending -- any airline, any hotel, whatever -- and you can convert those into FF miles in the program of your choice. Earning frequent flyer miles the old-fashioned "butt-in-seat" way is a whole different kettle of fish.


I read this without reference to credit cards.

I am an AsiaMiles member and have been for years, since i was living in Hong Kong years back. Now that i am in KL the number of times i have taken CX even when there are more direct or cheaper options is...... probably quite a few.

So i get your meaning about paying more for flying CX in order to earn my miles rather than flying MAS for example. The extra i spend on CX to get these miles is more than the cost of the free flight, in your example. My comparison with MAS, however, is not a good one as MAS are usually more expensive from KL than even CX. Different fare levels in CX itself though means there is a premium for a ticket that does earn miles and bundling these extras together is most likely more than the cost of another non-earning ticket.

However, earning miles as a frequent traveller is beneficial in terms of service with lounge access, priority boarding, extra luggage capacity, preferred advanced seat reservation all being normal for those with at least a Silver Card. Gold card members are guaranteed an Ecconomy Class seat on even a full flight and this is very useful, took advantage of this a few times myself when i had a gold card.

With regards the credit card, and going back on topic slightly , i don't think a card really influences us to buying more simply for the sake of miles. It influences us to buy more because it is just so simple, the buy-now-pay-later syndrome.

A "free" flight starts around 30-35,000 miles meaning that depending on the credit card you need to spend this amount in USD. I think a lot of airlines work off either USD1=1Mile to USD1.50=1Mile.

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Postby ksl » Sun, 28 Jan 2007 11:51 pm

The UK banks made 4.5 Billion on underhand business practice and Britons face a lifetime of debt!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6306857.stm

Lifetime of debt
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5009510.stm

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Postby jpatokal » Wed, 31 Jan 2007 11:23 pm

ksl wrote:Yes I agree, but I am just wondering, how much you have actually spent, to qualify for the free flight of which costs 10,000$?

I'm looking at, how CC encourages a person to spend more, from a subliminal point of view, although I will say, there is really no answer we can agree on, because I believe statistical information needs to be gathered to prove a point, which I am pretty sure, that the credit card companies have done their research, long before giving away 10,000$ Flights.

Well, the $10,000 flight cost me 130,000 KrisFlyer miles, which at S$1.60=1 mile would require $208,000 in spending. :o The real figure is not that bad, because there are some butt-in-seat miles in there and quite a few 5x points promos and whatnot, but yeah, it's still a big chunk of change.

However, the vast majority of my spending is on business travel, which is paid (and often arranged) by my clients. So I, personally, am not spending a cent extra to get the points, it's just a nice perk to compensate for those times my incoming flight from Jakarta is delayed by four hours and lands at 1 AM when I have a 5 AM flight and 9 AM meeting in Kuala Lumpur the next morning...
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Postby ksl » Thu, 01 Feb 2007 2:32 am

jpatokal wrote:
ksl wrote:Yes I agree, but I am just wondering, how much you have actually spent, to qualify for the free flight of which costs 10,000$?

I'm looking at, how CC encourages a person to spend more, from a subliminal point of view, although I will say, there is really no answer we can agree on, because I believe statistical information needs to be gathered to prove a point, which I am pretty sure, that the credit card companies have done their research, long before giving away 10,000$ Flights.

Well, the $10,000 flight cost me 130,000 KrisFlyer miles, which at S$1.60=1 mile would require $208,000 in spending. :o The real figure is not that bad, because there are some butt-in-seat miles in there and quite a few 5x points promos and whatnot, but yeah, it's still a big chunk of change.

However, the vast majority of my spending is on business travel, which is paid (and often arranged) by my clients. So I, personally, am not spending a cent extra to get the points, it's just a nice perk to compensate for those times my incoming flight from Jakarta is delayed by four hours and lands at 1 AM when I have a 5 AM flight and 9 AM meeting in Kuala Lumpur the next morning...


Very interesting to know! I have further discovered, the art of using the credit card to it's full potential, at no cost, it appears my wife uses hers also to benefit, so maybe i will consider the use of one, although my thoughts on UK banks remain very negative, Scandinavian banks appear to be much more consumer friendly.

I'm also pretty well disciplined, when it comes to running my own finances, although it did take me many years, to realise how stupid/careless I was in my younger days, when the banks very often talked me into renewing my loan, every time it was almost cleared, with the garbage talk of how one can offest the interest on the tax form, in DK.

Most young people I believe are also a little careless too, and i think that's where banks take advantage, there customer profiling, is very thorough, and clients are not treated like consumers, but more like targets!

So the borderline of integrity maybe breached for the commissions, in more ways than one.

Are the products actually worth the price, especially when we in UK have been forced into the financial system at our cost and their benefit. Most interest rates are the same or very little difference, unless you have a few million set aside.

I don't see this profession as transparent, its a law to itself and backed by government in many ways, it's most certainly no fair playing field for consumers., when one sees the ridicules amounts of profits they are taking each year. Insurance Companies are also not very transparant with regards to the layman, so many people are quite often taken for a ride.

The problems with banks is also that they do cheat and call it a computer error, human error, if one doesn't spot the quick 5$ they just siphoned, or query it, they are not going to inform you.

A bit like falling asleep with your wallet open, "oh yes sorry was you watching, i only loaned 5$" normally a service charge, is the best description, which means checking the full years statements again, to see how many times they deduct it.


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