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The 'Best credit cards for air miles accrual' master thread

Discuss the different banking options, rates, offers and perks.
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The 'Best credit cards for air miles accrual' master thread

Postby aster » Wed, 14 Apr 2010 10:26 pm

I'm going to update this first post as more info flows in to create a 'master list' of all credit cards that offer a decent way of accruing miles - so please help out!

If you know of and/or use any other cards (or the ones already mentioned), please share your thoughts.

***ALL VALUES BELOW IN SINGAPORE DOLLARS (SGD)***
============
In no particular order:
============

1. DBS Altitude AMEX

Mileage accrual: 1 mile for every $0.83 spent (every $5 gives 3 DBS points which equal 6 miles) for first $1,000 monthly spend. 1 mile for every $0.63 spent (every $5 gives 4 DBS points which equal 8 miles) for monthly spend above $1,000.

Requirements: min. income $80,000.
Cost: First year free, then $180 for main and $90 for supplementary. Annual fee waiver if you charge $25,000 or more per year.
Miles conversion fee: $42.80 annually for unlimited conversions.

Pros: Occasional bonus points promos, like the one during October-December where tickets purchases on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways and United Airlines (for travel anytime) generated 4 miles for every $1 spent! 10,000 miles renewal bonus if and only if you have to pay card renewal fees.
Cons: Points allocated on every $5 spent, rounded down to next $5. AMEX not always accepted by merchants.

2. DBS Treasures Black Elite AMEX

Mileage accrual: 1 mile for every $0.83 spent (every $5 gives 3 DBS points which equal 6 miles). DOUBLE miles for overseas spend.

Requirements: maintain at least $200,000 in deposits/investments with DBS.
Cost: None.
Miles conversion fee: $42.80 annually for unlimited conversions.

Pros: Great for overseas spend.
Cons: Points allocated on every $5 spent, rounded down to next $5. AMEX not always accepted by merchants.

3. Citi PremierMiles Visa

Mileage accrual: 1 mile for every $0.83 spent (every $1 gives 1.2 miles). 10,000 miles extra for each annual membership renewal, plus another 10,000 miles if you spend more than $50,000 in any membership year.

Requirements: min. income $80,000.
Cost: First year free, then $180 for main, supplementary always free. Annual fee waiver available in exchange for 10,000 miles renewal bonus.
Miles conversion fee: $25 per conversion.

Pros: Bonus miles for annual card renewal and spend >$50,000.
Cons: Unsure of any annual fee waiver conditions.

4. Citi Platinum Visa/MasterCard

Mileage accrual: 1 mile for every $0.50 spent (every $5 gives 5 Citi Dollars which equal 10 miles) at supermarkets (Carrefour . Cold Storage . Giant . Market Place . NTUC Fair Price . Shop N Save . Singapore Meidi-Ya) and department stores (Tangs . Isetan . John Little . Marks & Spencer . Metro . OG . Robinsons . BHG . Takashimaya Department Store).

1 mile for every $2.50 spent elsewhere.

Requirements: min. income $30,000 ($60,000 for foreigners).
Cost: First year free, then $150 for main and $80 for supplementary. Annual fee waiver if you charge $15,000 or more per year, BUT applicable to main card only.
Miles conversion fee: $25 per conversion.

Pros: Great for shopping at supermarkets and department stores.
Cons: Great ONLY for shopping at supermarkets and department stores. Points might be allocated on every $5 spent, rounded down to next $5 (someone please confirm).

5. Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa

Mileage accrual: 2 miles for every $1 spent on air tickets, perfumes & cosmetics purchased at Changi, and all overseas spend.

1 mile for every $2.50 spent elsewhere.

Requirements: min. income $30,000 ($80,000 for foreigners).
Cost: $150 for main, supplementary always free.
Miles conversion fee: free.

Pros: Great for ticket purchases and overseas spend.
Cons: Great ONLY for ticket purchases and overseas spend. Unsure of any annual fee waiver conditions.

6. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold AMEX

Mileage accrual: 1 mile for every $1.60 spent. Double miles for tickets bought at singaporeair.com for departure from country of card issuance (offer does not apply to SilkAir).

* 50% bonus for those who charge $5,000 or more to their card(s) this calendar year (additional miles will be posted in Feb '11).
* Additional 50% bonus for those who charge $12,000 or more to their card(s) this calendar year, capped at 8,000 bonus miles (additional miles will be posted in Feb '11).
========
e.g. $2,000 ticket purchase at singaporeair.com:
1,250 base miles
625 bonus if annual spend reaches $5,000 or more
625 additional bonus if annual spend reaches $12,000 or more
1,250 double miles bonus for purchasing ticket online
------
3,750 total miles for this purchase (1,250 of which will only be credited in Feb '11)

Same purchase using Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa would generate 4,000 miles straight away
========

Requirements: min. income $40,000 ($60,000 for foreigners).
Cost: First year free, then $50 for main, 2 supplementary cards always free (more available at $50 each).
Miles conversion fee: $60 annually for unlimited conversions.

Pros: None, except for a 5,000 miles sign-up bonus.
Cons: Simply nothing special - there are better cards available for all types of purchases, including flight tickets, even with all of the bonuses above applied. AMEX not always accepted by merchants.

============

Please pitch in with info about any other cards that could be of interest to us miles earners. :)
Last edited by aster on Sat, 09 Apr 2011 10:33 am, edited 13 times in total.

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Postby Splatted » Wed, 14 Apr 2010 11:24 pm

Some of the best cards are not available to the general public.

I have an amex card only available to the professional organisation I belong to and bears no annual fee or membership cost for rewards program (for life).

It earns 1 point / dollar (not that great, but pretty good considering it's a free card).

These AMEX points never expire and are covertable 1:1 for krisflyer points,.. and a number of other airlines.

But this card is also only available in Australia, so probably wont be relevant to anyone here.

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Postby aster » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 12:25 am

Yeah, let's keep this limited to Singapore-issued cards.

Nice card to have from Down Under though. :)

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Postby Saint » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 8:38 am

3. Citi PremierMiles Visa

Mileage accrual: 1.2 miles for every $1 spent. 10,000 miles extra for each annual membership renewal, plus another 10,000 miles if you spend more than $50,000 in any membership year.

Requirements: min. income $80,000.
Cost: First year free, then $180 for main, supplementary always free.
Pros: Bonus miles for annual card renewal and spend >$50,000.
Cons: Unsure of any annual fee waiver conditions.


The annual fee can be waivered but you then don't get the 10,000 extra miles. So it's up to you if you want to pay $180 for 10,000 miles

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Postby aster » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 12:31 pm

Thanks - updated. Also added a Maybank card good for ticket purchases and overseas transactions.

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Postby aster » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 5:12 pm

Saint, any idea what Citi's take is on the Platinum Visa/MasterCard with regards to fee waivers? They mention spending 15k but with only the main card then being exempt... are they "flexible" here?

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Postby Saint » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 6:40 pm

aster wrote:Saint, any idea what Citi's take is on the Platinum Visa/MasterCard with regards to fee waivers? They mention spending 15k but with only the main card then being exempt... are they "flexible" here?


I've also got the Citibank SMRT visa (best card ever!) and Platinum Mastercard and both had the annual fee waivered via a quick phone call.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 9:19 pm

Aster, for which airlines do the miles accrue (OP)?

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Postby aster » Fri, 16 Apr 2010 1:40 am

Strong Eagle, DBS mentions "You can choose to redeem your air miles with any one of 37 participating airlines" but what it really means is that they will only credit the miles to KrisFlyer or Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific's FFP).

And then due to Star Alliance rewards you can book tickets on other airlines using KrisFlyer. So the wording is slightly off because it makes you think that you can transfer the points to any of the 37 airlines mentioned, but that's not the case.

Citibank will also let you transfer your miles to Thai Airway's FFP and something called WorldPerks (which I think is no longer around).

KrisFlyer offers some good redemptions on the 744 and the 777 series except for the 77W. So if you live here and spend money then by all means having one of these cards will get you some upgrades/flights just for using your card.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 16 Apr 2010 4:52 pm

I just got a letter from HSBC this morning now saying their Premier Mastercard comes with 5x points for each $5 spent. That should sum up to a very good rate of exchange given before it was 1000miles = 2500points.

I've been trying to get into the HSBC website all afternoon to work out the details but the site is down, at least for me.

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Postby aster » Fri, 16 Apr 2010 6:25 pm

So just how many points do they give for every $1 spent and then how do those points convert into miles?

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 17 Apr 2010 3:00 am

Saint wrote:
aster wrote:Saint, any idea what Citi's take is on the Platinum Visa/MasterCard with regards to fee waivers? They mention spending 15k but with only the main card then being exempt... are they "flexible" here?


I've also got the Citibank SMRT visa (best card ever!) and Platinum Mastercard and both had the annual fee waivered via a quick phone call.


I have both Citibank Platinum VISA and MC.This is for life both for myself and the wife
No annual fee. Limit $100K.
Very good , only thing is spend $5.00 for 1 krisflyer point if I am right
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby aster » Sun, 18 Apr 2010 10:08 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:I just got a letter from HSBC this morning now saying their Premier Mastercard comes with 5x points for each $5 spent. That should sum up to a very good rate of exchange given before it was 1000miles = 2500points.

I've been trying to get into the HSBC website all afternoon to work out the details but the site is down, at least for me.


The HSBC Premier MC gives just 1 mile for every $2.50 spent, which is lousy to say the least...

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Postby aster » Wed, 21 Apr 2010 5:13 pm

MC, if you have a card with Citi and then get another one with them, what happens to your previous limit? Do all cards share a single limit or are they separate for each card?

If the latter is true then I assume applying for more cards means that the previous limit will be lowered to allow for a separate one to be assigned to the new card?

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Postby Saint » Wed, 21 Apr 2010 5:22 pm

aster wrote:MC, if you have a card with Citi and then get another one with them, what happens to your previous limit? Do all cards share a single limit or are they separate for each card?

If the latter is true then I assume applying for more cards means that the previous limit will be lowered to allow for a separate one to be assigned to the new card?


Joint shared limit for all cards


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