Post updated as of 16th August 2018.
NEW UPDATE: Get up to 5.3 Krisflyer miles per $1 spent via Mobile Wallet (Apple, Samsung, Android Pay.) Max of 1,200 bonus miles in the offer period (Offer ends 15 Nov). The standard blue Krisflyer Amex Card that I have gives me 5.1 Krisflyer mile.
Offer limited to the first 20,000 eligible cards so sign up fast!
HOW TO: Login to your Amex account online and you’ll see it under ‘offers’.
Click here to link to American Express’s promo page.
After you spend, you should receive an email saying this, “Your Mobile Wallet – bonus KF miles Amex Offer is now ready to use.”
The days of getting tons of miles via Apple Pay (8 mpd via Citi Rewards, 4 mpd via OCBC TR) are over. The whole miles community knew this was coming, but the pain of reverting to a normal miles earn rate is real. My strategy going forward is probably going to be a radical departure from the usual advice one may find from other blogs but I have my reasons, which may or may not suit your spending patterns.
The wisest king in the world, king Solomon once said that to every thing, there is a season. To quote directly from Ecclesiastes 3:6, “A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”
With the ending of a slew of great promos, I don’t think it necessarily is a bad thing. For one, I spent more than I should in the last three months. I also purchased supermarket vouchers and topped up a substantial amount in my Starbucks card. It is time to cut back, spend less, and save.
“A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away”
That doesn’t mean I’m totally throwing the traditional mile earning strategies out of the window. I’m just not going to be pedantic over earning a few miles less. I’ve already managed to amass a substantial amount of miles (I’ll write on this soon); a few hundred miles less isn’t going to make much of a dent on my dreams. However, if you’ve been following this blog and your dream is to take your very first virgin trip on business/first class, then read till the end for the latest mile earning opportunities.
Here’s my strategy going forward:
Shopping (4 Mpd)
Thankfully, this hasn’t taken a hit. It’s still 4 Mpd with Citi Rewards (up to $1,000 per month according to the T&Cs) and OCBC TR for clothes, bag, shoes and shopping at major departmental stores such as Takashimaya, Tangs etc.
Still good for shopping at brick and mortar stalls and online!
I’d rather stay on the safe side by physically signing on the card.
You could also use these cards to shop online at certain stores.
OCBC TR (Apple Pay) was my go to card for dining (actually everything). Unfortunately, this has taken a major hit. I don’t intend to apply for specific dining cards. I don’t dine out often enough for this to matter. These are my current options:
- DBS Altitude/ Citi PM – 1.2 mpd per dollar. It’s better than paying cash, but at most I’ll be getting 2.4% to 6% rebate depending on the class of redemption. In which case, I would prefer a cash back card in the short term.
- Amex True Cashback – I just applied for this. I get 3% cash back for the next 3 months up to $5,000 spend.
- UOB One Card – I need to hit $500 spend (3.33% cashback) if I want to unlock the min 1.5% interest on my account. I’m looking to maximise interest up to 2.44% on my UOB ONE account in the near future so this is almost a must for me.
- Mileslife – Combine Mileslife with any general spend credit card and you could potentially get between 2 to 5 miles. There are even great promos from time to time
I wouldn’t bite at all promos offering enhanced miles for dining as it would be penny wise pound foolish to go for these promos and pay full when another promo, for example, Fave (old groupon), offers a 1 for 1, which you could have earn general miles for anyway and pay half the price. It’s like getting 10 miles on Kaligo but paying more for the same hotel room that you could have gotten cheaper on Expedia, Agoda or bookings made from the hotel itself, but I digress…
Electronics, Gadgets, Home appliances (4 Mpd at Physical Store)
OCBC TR trumps all in this category. Some major merchants include Best Denki, Courts, and Harvey Norman. Shopping at Best Denki also give you an additional 2% cashback till 31 January 2019. (Click here for the T&Cs). I’m in the midst of shifting house so this card is going to come in handy. 4 Mpd isn’t shabby at all and this is where the next bulk of my miles are going to come from. I’ll be needing a refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, and various home appliances.
Airfare (Online Purchases)
I get to travel on average, probably only around twice a year. My existing miles cover the travel needs of my wife and I just fine, I even have enough to sponsor a friend on a return trip on SIA business.
But what would I do if I have to buy tickets? I’ll use:
- DBS Altitude @ 3 Mpd (up to S$5k spend) Click here
- Krisflyer Amex @ 2 Mpd – This could be useful for direct top ups on Krisflyer as there isn’t a need to pay any transfer fee just to top up a small amount.
There are cards that offer better rates, but I don’t have a need for these. Nevertheless, These cards listed are for your consideration:
- BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard – 5 Mpd (for purchases charged in foreign currency) (Till 31st Dec)
- DBS Woman’s World Card – 4 Mpd (capped at S$2,000 a month)
Hotels (Online Booking)
- Citi PM – Up to 7 Mpd on Agoda & 10 Mpd on Kaligo
- DBS Woman’s World Card – 4 Mpd (capped at S$2,000 a month)
- DBS Altitude – 3 Mpd (up to S$5k spend) Click here
The big question: If I’m a miles enthusiast, why am I not getting the new BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard which provides 2 Mpd until December 2018? These are my personal reasons:
- It takes slightly more than a full month for the card to arrive. That means I’m looking at mid Sept before receiving my card, leaving me three months to enjoy the 2 Mpd rate. 1.5 Mpd after Dec 2018 is still decent, but not life changing.
- There will always be new credit card promos that offer sign up bonuses, and potentially even match or come close to 1.5 Mpd.
- I already have numerous credit cards to cater to different situations. Unless it’s a big general purchase, one has to consider the trouble of getting and eventually cancelling the card, and the transfer fee of $32.10 for each transfer (min 10,000 miles).
That being said, if every mile hastens the process for your very first luxury trip, this might be a card you want to consider. One of my favourite bloggers, Andrew, gives a full review of the new BOC credit card (click here).