There are so many credit cards to choose from that reward you for spending on things you would already buy. A travel rewards credit card brings your next trip a little closer every time you use it. It is designed to pay for your travel expenses by rewarding you with points and miles for every purchase. Some airlines and hotel chains offer their own brand of credit cards. However, for a more general-purpose travel credit card, here is our recommended list.
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
The Citi PremierMiles Visa Card earns 1.2 miles for each S$1 spent locally. You can earn 2 miles for each S$1 spent overseas. Moreover, you can earn up to 10 miles by booking on select travel sites and up to 14% on fuel savings at Esso and Shell. Your miles never expire, come with free travel insurance and give you 2 annual airport lounge vouchers to more than 600 airport lounges. This card has been known for its generous welcome bonus. Currently, if you spend S$7,500 within 3 months from the date of card approval, you will earn 30,000 miles, after you pay the first annual fee.
Now the fine print and promotions. In order to qualify, Singaporeans must have a minimum income of S$30,000. Foreigners must have a minimum income of S$42,000. The annual fee is S$192.60. However, most of this is offset by the 10,000 annual renewal miles (worth S$100). New members can often earn 20,000 welcome miles. After paying the first annual fee, you can earn 21,000 bonus miles by spending S$7,500 and 6,400 miles for spending S$3,000. There is a S$25 administrative fee for each Frequent Flyers Program redemption. This card is best for average spenders looking to earn miles for diversified purchases.
DBS Altitude Card
The DBS Altitude Card is a solid credit card to earn miles with an easily waived annual fee. As a result, it is known as the best no annual fee miles credit card. Cardholders earn fairly high reward rates of 1.2 miles per S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for overseas purchases, and 3 miles for online travel booking. This card comes with travel insurance of up to S$1 million and 2 free airport lounge visits per year.
Now the fine print and promotions. In order to qualify, Singaporeans must have a minimum income of S$30,000. Foreigners must have a minimum income of S$45,000. The annual fee is S$192.60, which is waived for the first year. However, subsequent annual fees are waived with an annual spending of S$25,000. For every annual membership renewal, you will receive 10,000 bonus miles. There is a S$25 conversion fee for each conversion. This card is ideal for consumers seeking miles for diversified spending habits, average spenders who prefer not to pay an annual fee, and people who primarily make travel bookings online.
UOB PRVI Miles Card
The UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card is designed for high spenders. You can get great promotions and even avoid an annual fee with this card’s quick mile accumulation system. Cardholders earn top rates of 1.4 miles per S$1 spent locally, 2.4 miles overseas, 6 miles with major airlines and hotels, and up to 10 miles with select travel booking sites. As you would likely expect, this card also provides travel insurance and even limo transfers. This card comes with specially curated American Express Essentials discounts. Currently, you can earn up to S$120 rebate with a minimum of S$1,000 spent within the first month. Furthermore, cardholders earn 20,000 annual renewal miles by spending S$50,000.
Now the fine print and promotions. In order to qualify, Singaporeans must have a minimum income of S$30,000. Foreigners must have a minimum income of S$40,000. The annual fee is S$256.80, which is waived the first year. After that, subsequent years’ fees are waived with an annual spending of S$50,000. Miles are earned in the form of UNI$. 1 UNI$ equals 2 miles and expires 2 years from the date in which they are earned. There is a S$25 conversion fee for each conversion. This card is ideal for affluent spenders who want to rapidly accrue miles but prefer a low waiverable annual fee.
BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard
I would remiss if I did not mention the BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard. This card had its heyday in 2018 when it offered a ridiculous high market rate of 5 miles for every S$1 spent overseas and 2 miles for every S$1 spent locally. This promotion ended in 2018 but the card is still worthy of special mention for its simple and direct rewards. Currently, the earning rate is S$1 local spending earns 1.5 miles and S$1 overseas spending earns 3 miles. This is still the highest rate out there. Unlike most travel credit cards that only offer up to 2 complimentary visits to airport lounges per year, The BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard offers you 4 free visits to Plaza Premium Lounges, until June 30, 2019.
Now the fine print and promotions. In order to qualify, Singaporeans must have a minimum income of S$30,000. Foreigners must have a minimum income of S$60,000. The annual fee is S$190. However, it is waived in the first year. There is no minimum spending required and there is no cap on the miles you can earn. Unfortunately, all points earned have a validity period. For example, points earned from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019 expire June 30, 2020. Points earned from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 expire June 30, 2021.
Therefore, depending on when you earn your points, they are valid for either 12 months or 24 months. Your points must be converted in blocks. For example, to convert your BOC reward points to KrisFlyer miles, you must convert them in blocks of 10,000. Naturally, you will have some excess points that can’t be converted before the expiration date. You can redeem those points for vouchers. Each time you convert points to air miles, you will be charged a conversion fee of S$32.10. This card is best for people who want great miles for general spending and frequently make purchases in foreign currencies. This card is not ideal for those who like to save their points and slowly earn their rewards.
Travel credit cards are designed for the single purpose of earning you points and miles that you can put toward your next trip. Many times, these cards also come with additional perks such as bonus miles, points, or travel protections. By assessing how much you normally spend, you can easily find a credit card with no annual fee. Always look for special promotions for new cardholders and keep track of your points’ validity period. May your next travel credit card reward you with more future trips!