Sick of taking budget airlines and want to up your travel game and fly via business class? Welcome to the miles game.
When it comes to earning miles, You have to put in time and energy to learn the miles game. There are many miles hacks to speed up the process of earning more miles, and these miles can be used to redeem your next business class flight out.
Do note that airport taxes and other miscellaneous charges are still payable, even if you fully redeem your air tickets.
From the best miles credit cards to sign-up bonuses, and other useful information that you should know about miles, here is our beginners’ guide to the miles game—our tips and travel hacks on how you can accelerate your miles earnings.
THE BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR MILES
Let’s start with credit cards. The most common question that we get is “which is the best credit card for miles”?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble but one size doesn’t fit all; there is no single best credit card for miles. You need several right credit cards in order to maximise the number of miles you can earn because every card rewards differently.
How to decide which credit card to get? This really depends on your spending. Here are the miles credit cards that every miles chaser should get.
4MPD CREDIT CARDS
There are several credit cards that offer you 4mpd (miles per dollar) for certain transactions. Everyone should definitely have these credit cards.
- DBS Women World Mastercard – 4mpd for online shopping, capped at S$2,000 per calendar month.
- UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card – 4mpd for contactless payments, capped at S$1,000 per calendar month.
- UOB Visa Signatures – 4mpd for contactless payments, minimum S$1,000 per month & capped at S$2,000 per statement month.
- Citi Rewards Visa – 4mpd for all online shopping, capped at S$1,000 per statement month.
- OCBC Titanium Rewards – 4mpd for online & offline shopping, capped at S$12,000 per membership year.
CREDIT CARD FOR GENERAL SPEND
Unless you can get a credit card that offers you 1.6 mpd—including UOB Reserve Card, DBS Insignia Card, OCBC Premier Voyage Card, Citi Ultima Card—your best bet is probably UOB PRVI Miles Visa card which offers 1.4/2.4mpd for local/overseas spending.
Every cent counts. Charge everything to the right credit cards and you will soon be on your way on a business class flight to your favourite destination.
SIGN-UP BONUSES FROM CREDIT CARDS
Several credit cards in Singapore offer pretty decent sign-up bonus when you apply for the credit cards. Here are some credit cards that you can apply to enjoy sign-up bonuses.
- Citi PremierMiles Visa – 6,400 / 26,500 miles (26,500 miles if you spend a minimum of S$9,000 in the first 3 months, or 6,400 miles if you spend S$3,000 in the same timescale with first-year annual fee waived.)
- Standard Chartered Visa Infinite - 35,000 miles (S$588.50 annual fee)
- HSBC Visa Infinite – 35,000 miles (S$650 annual fee)
- Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X – 30,000 miles (S$695.50 annual fee)
- Citi Prestige MasterCard – 25,000 miles (S$535.00 annual fee)
- OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite – 150,000 miles (S$3,210 annual fee)
- DBS Altitude Visa / Amex – 10,000 miles (free annual fee for the first year)
BOOKMARK MILES WEBSITES AND READ MORE ON HOW YOU CAN EARN AND MAXIMISE YOUR MILES
There are many great miles websites that offer a lot of useful tips and travel hacks on how you can earn and maximise your miles.
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT MILES
1. Cash-back or miles credit cards?
There’s no right or wrong answer for this. For those of you who don’t like to travel or are happy with whatever class you are flying, you can get credit card(s) for cash-backs if you are looking for rebates. But if you aspire to travel more (be it on economy class or business class), it’s really a no-brainer. You need more miles to make this happen!
The dream to fly on business (or first for some) class may seem very far away. But like all good things in life, you need to work hard for it.
2. Which is the best miles card for dining?
Use a good contactless card such as UOB Preferred Platinum Miles (4mpd, capped at S$1,000 per calendar month) or UOB Visa Signatures (4mpd, min spend of S$1,000 and capped at S$2,000 per statement month) when you pay for your bill at restaurants. Note: this only applies to dining places that accept paywave.
Another good credit card for dining is the UOB Lady’s Card (4mpd, capped at S$1,000 per month). You just have to choose ‘dining’ for the bonus category.
3. I just started my first job. Should I apply for credit card(s)?
If you are the kind who has no discipline and cannot stop yourself from spending money, please do not apply for a credit card. The last thing you want is to get into more debts when you haven’t finished paying your study loan.
For everyone else, please do yourself a favour and apply for credit cards. You are going to spend money on things such as transport, food, buying clothes for your new job etc. Why not accumulate miles while you are at it? Just remember to pay your credit card bills on time (or apply giro for them).
4. How do you remember which credit cards to use for different types of spending?
That is honestly the main challenge. Just try your best to remember or create a simple spreadsheet/note for all the credit cards.
5. Do you recommend redeeming miles for economy class?
If you prefer quantity over quality, by all means, use your miles for economy flights. However, from a dollar value stand point, it’s typically not worth it to accumulate miles to redeem economy flights or to upgrade your flight from economy to business class. If you are really planning to accumulate and maximize the value of your miles, save enough to redeem Business or First Class tickets.
6. Is there any way to earn miles on large payments such as rent, taxes and condo maintenance fee?
YES! This brings us to our next point. You guys need to start using ipaymy!
If you want to really rack in the miles, and collect them fast, here’s our secret.
One of the best things that we did since embarking on our journey on chasing miles—other than applying for the right credit cards—is use ipaymy. Since we started using ipaymy in early 2019, we’ve been sharing it with everyone and haven’t looked back since.
ipaymy allows anyone in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia to use your credit card(s) to pay for virtually anything currently paid by bank transfer or cheque including rent, insurance, taxes, tuition, condo maintenance fee etc locally and abroad to over 30 different countries.
By simply shifting these large expenses you are already paying, to ipaymy and your credit card you can earn those miles much faster than you would on normal spend of dining, shopping, and general expenses.
And if you run your own business, you can sign up for an ipaymy business account to pay operating expenses such as invoices to your suppliers and salaries to your employees. You don’t need us to tell you how much miles you can get from these expenses.
ipaymy business accounts also get access to the ‘BE PAID’ product where businesses can issue and collect invoice payments via credit cards from their customers.
HOW IPAYMY WORKS
It takes minutes to create a free ipaymy account. On the easy-to-use dashboard, select what you want to pay: rent, invoice, tax or salary. From there, let ipaymy know who you need to pay, how much and their bank account details. ipaymy then charges your card that amount plus a small fee and pays your landlord, supplier or employees as fast as the next day. It’s THAT EASY to earn more miles!
Plus, you can set up your rent or other obligations on a recurring basis leaving you with one last thing to think about while you passively earn miles every month.
VALUE OF USING IPAYMY
ipaymy charges a transaction fee starting at 2.25% per payment and occasionally runs promotions for reduced fees. (Tip: follow their Facebook page to be in the know on their latest offers.)
First-time ipaymy users can use our code ‘LIC’ to enjoy a discounted fee of only 1.79% on your first payment made with locally issued Visa or Mastercard.
If you are someone wants to travel better, faster, and for up to 70% less then ipaymy is definitely worth it!
Let’s run through a scenario, a business class ticket to Tokyo on Singapore airlines is 94,000 miles. Assuming you have a credit card such as UOB PRVI Miles Visa card that offers you 1.4mpd and you currently spend S$2,000 a month you will earn 2,800 miles per month ($2,000 x 1.4 mpd). At this rate, it will take you 34 months, or just under three years, to earn enough points for a business class ticket. That is a long time to wait and you also run the risk of airmiles devaluing over time.
Now add ipaymy to the scenario. By also paying you monthly rent of S$3,500 for example, you will now be earning 7,700 miles per month allowing you to accumulate enough miles for a Business Class ticket to Tokyo in just 1 year! Adding other expenses, such as taxes, will only accelerate this. Accelerate your miles balance even further by using a newly issued credit card on ipaymy to quickly reach the sign-up bonus.
To give you a dollar perspective, a business class ticket on Singapore Airlines to Tokyo typically cost around S$3,000. The cost of paying your rent for a year on ipaymy is S$928.60 with the LIC 1.79% promo code on your first payment. This is roughly a 70% savings from the market price of a business class ticket! If you are planning a trip to Tokyo, you might as well do it in style!
Ready to get started with ipaymy? You can find a list of the cards that currently earn miles on ipaymy and they are all backed by ipaymy’s ‘Points Guarantee.’
New users of ipaymy can use our code ‘LIC’ upon signing up for an account to make any transaction on ipaymy for a fee of 1.79% on a one-time payment made with locally issued Visa or Mastercard.
You get the idea now? Good, start using ipaymy.
All the best for your miles game!
This post was brought to you by ipaymy.