Lot of friends know me as lobang king, mileage guy, credit card guy and many other nicknames. They will often ask about which credit card to get/use to maximize their returns and I do post on Facebook about using miles earned from credit cards to fly in premium cabins like SQ Business Class and Suites. (SG$38.50 + 31,875 miles vs SG$2,768.50 for Hong Kong one way Suites ticket on SQ sounds good? Savings of SG$2,730.) So after some thinking, I decide to set up this site to share more about:
So UOB launched the UOB KrisFlyer Account on Wednesday and it got whack pretty badly.
UOB KrisFlyer Debit Card. Is a beauty isn’t it?
So after reading through the conditions (Always do your homework…), it works for me and so I applied for this on day 1. It is not a perfect product. But it has some merit.
This product is non interest bearing. Instead, it reward you with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles based on your monthly savings in account and spending on UOB KrisFlyer Debit Card. It comes with a cheque book as well for free.
So here’s an illustration:
UOB KrisFlyer Valuation
Think this will be the 1st time you see me talk about valuation of miles. My calculation is very simple: 10,000 miles is worth SG$192.60 to get. This is the annual fee I pay for most of my air miles credit cards to get 10,000 miles every year. So that translate to 51.92 miles/SG$1. I secure a minimum of 30,000 miles per year this way. With that valuation, I derive the “interest” you will earn annually based on your deposits and the “interest rate”. Starting from the minimum deposit of SG$1,000 to SG$10,000 where you will max out your bonus miles cap with a monthly SG$500 spending. (5% of balance.)
So here’s the summary for this product:
Very nice debit card.
Welcome bonus of 1,000 KrisFlyer miles. (With SG$500 spending in 1st month.)
Direct transfer of miles to KrisFlyer. (Not UNI$! If UNI$ it will have been ugly…)
Pay with this debit card at http://www.flyscoot.com/KrisFlyerUOB and get Priority check-in and boarding/Additional baggage allowance/Standard seat selection/Convenience fee waiver for Scoot.
Minimum SG$500 spend/month required for base earn rate of 0.4 miles/SG$1 spend.
Monthly average balance of SG$3,000 required for bonus miles.
KrisFlyer miles awarded will be calculated in spending blocks of SG$5 and round down.
Bonus KrisFlyer miles will be capped at 5% of monthly average balance.
Travelled to Hong Kong again last month and flew back with Cathay Pacific on their A350-900 Premium Economy cabin. That was good. But I enjoyed their lounge the most.
CX Lounge Map
In Hong Kong International Airport which is the home hub for Cathay Pacific, there are not 1 but 4 Business Class lounges for departing passengers.
The Wing, Business (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 1-4): Noodle Bar, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, Shower Rooms, Workstations
The Bridge (Level 5, Terminal 1 near gate 35): Bistro, Bakery, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, Shower Rooms, Workstations
The Cabin (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 23): Health Bar, Deli, Workstations
The Pier, Business (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 65): Noodle Bar, Tea House, Food Hall, Coffee Cart, Shower Suites, Relaxation Rooms, Bureau
So with my Marco Polo Club Elite Silver membership, I can go to any of these lounges for free. So which 1 should I go to? As my flight is near gate 65, The Pier, Business is a natural choice as it is near to my gate, newly renovated and with the best facilities across all these lounges. Will be keen to try out The Cabin in the future.
Many people know me as a big Uber advocate. I have stopped taking cabs when possible unless there are absolutely no Uber around or surge pricing is ridiculously high.
I have stayed in W Hong Kong in December 2016 and that was the first time I stayed in a Starwood property even though I have my Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) membership since 2011. So with this stay and a promotion with World MasterCard, I got upgraded to SPG Gold.
So now with SPG gold, I can earn SPG points faster. But how to make it work even harder? That’s when partner programs will help to maximize.
With a stay done in Starwood property, I can start earning SPG points on every Uber ride. Simply link my SPG and Uber accounts together.
At the moment, earn rate is as follow:
1 SPG point per US$1 day to day.
2 SPG points per US$1 during stays with Starwood property.
From February 2017 onwards, earn rate will revise to following:
1 SPG point per US$2 day to day.
2 SPG points per US$1 during stays with Starwood property.
From now on, I will write more about how partner programs can help you in maximizing your membership programs and I call this series of articles 1+1>2.
This site was started 1 year ago to share about what I know and love.
How to use credit cards to earn your next trip?
How to travel in style with the least money?
Where are the good deals?
What gear am I using?
What membership cards are useful?
What mobile applications are making my life easier?
Here’s a video to wish this site Happy Anniversary with many more years to come.
For upcoming trip to Hong Kong, I thought I will want to watch a concert at the classic Hong Kong Coliseum AKA 红磡 and what can be more classic than a concert by god of songs 歌神 Jacky Cheung 张学友.
Jacky Cheung A Classic Tour
For this kind of concert, there is no doubt that tickets are sold out pretty quickly. So this calls for some special arrangement. You may know each credit card has a phone number behind that you can call your bank for issues with your credit cards. Some banks may even have their own concierge service but services offered may be quite basic or with limited global coverage unless you are holding a top tier credit card. (Like American Express Centurion.) So to get things done globally for average joe like me, who can help? Visa Signature Concierge.
How to reach them?
Phone: 800 448 1450
Online (Alternative contact numbers listed online for language and region.)
Car rental reservations
Event ticket purchases
Reporting lost or stolen cards
Emergency card replacement
Emergency cash disbursement
Other general requests
So how did it went? From enquiry to receive tickets via FedEx, the whole process took 2 weeks. Not too bad. Though I have to pay a premium for the ticket, (A little more than double the cost. What to do? Sold out!) I feel is worth it and I need not worry about the ticket’s authenticity. The seat looks good based on seating plan. So looking forward to an enjoyable concert on boxing day in Hong Kong!
Another flight in 2 weeks time again to Hong Kong. As usual, flying out on Singapore Airlines Suites on boxing day morning using my miles. Will be in The Private Room on Christmas night to enjoy my Christmas dinner.
So what’s new on this trip? Let’s start off with the return flight. This time round, I will not be returning on a Star Alliance carrier. I will be returning to Singapore on Hong Kong’s flag carrier: Cathay Pacific. (CX)
So why CX?
It’s Hong Kong’s flag carrier. I have been to Hong Kong quite a few times but have never tried it. Have friends who are fans of CX. All ask me to give them a try.
CX took delivery of their Airbus A350-900XWB recently. So got to give this plane and CX’s new cabin product a try. I’m an Airbus guy.
Got my Marco Polo Club Silver status for free. (Usually cost: USD100 and flights worth 300 club points.) Thanks to a corporate benefit from CX for the company I work for in my day job. Benefit: Business Class lounge access for any travel on CX’s flight. SCORE! Will be going to the Pier!
Marco Polo Club Silver (OneWorld Ruby BTW!)
Miles transfer. Most banks in Singapore only allow transfer of credit card points to 2 programs: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and CX Marco Polo Club/Asia Miles. (Citibank and American Express allows transfer to more programs while Standard Chartered allows transfer over to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer only at a pretty lousy rate of transfer.)
So I transferred 10,000 miles from UOB using 5,000UNI$ (Due to block redemption requirement.) and 14,000 miles from Citibank to redeem a Premium Economy Class ticket on CX’s A350-900XWB from Hong Kong to Singapore one way for 260HKD. (SG$49.16.) That’s a total cost savings of 7200HKD. (SG$1,361.35. 97% savings!)
Let’s see if I can score an upgrade on this flight…
On my recent trip to San Francisco, I took the chance to try out another lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 3 before departure and that is The Haven by JetQuay.
A quick tour around lounge.
So here are some unique points about The Haven by Jetquay:
The only landside lounge in Changi Airport. (Air travel 101 time: Landside vs Airside. Landside means before immigration/public/unsecured area while Airside means after immigration/restricted/secured area.)
Most lounges will have shower, business Centre, meeting rooms, TVs and F&B. This goes 1-up: Nap rooms. An alternative to airport hotel.
For the lounge portion, I thought this is like a smaller version of JetQuay. Small, cosy and provides the necessities. Food is made to order for breakfast and they have some bread, cereals, snacks, instant noodles and drinks available. For the nap rooms, I did not sleep there but I took a peek. Not very big rooms. But looks comfy for a short nap.
So which card will get you in?
The Priority Pass card will get you into the lounge with food for 3 hours per visit. (Excluding Nap room and conference facilities.) The following credit cards will give you complimentary Priority Pass membership with 2 free visits per year.
Followers of my site will be aware that I will be flying with United Airlines to San Francisco on UA2 from Singapore today. So I have just taken United Airline’s mobile application on a spin and like it. It provides very clear information on your flight with them and that is good.
United Application Splash Screen
United Application Main Screen
United Application Wallet
United Application Flight Menu
United Application Reservation Details
United Application Reservation Details 2
United Application Reservation Details 3
United Application Flight Status Details
United Application Flight Status Details 2
United Application Flight Status Details Seat Map
United Application Flight Status Details Standby List
United Application Flight Status Details Upgrades List
This application is available for FREE without ADs on Android Google Play and iOS App Store.
With merger of Marriott and Starwood Hotels done and dusted, we welcome a new era in their loyalty program. The Ritz-Carlton/Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs are now linked!
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)
I have been a member with SPG since 2011 but I have never stayed in any Starwood property as I usually prefer local hotel chains over international hotel chains. Recently, I signed up for Marriott Rewards as Marriott offers employees of the company that I work for in my day job direct Elite Silver tier on Marriott Rewards. (Tip: If you are working in a large MNC, chances are your company may have some kind of benefits along this line. If in doubt, check with your HR!)
So with these 3 programs linked, they are offering direct status match and points transfer between these programs. (3 The Ritz-Carlton/Marriott Rewards points to 1 Starpoint.)
Next week, I will be travelling to San Francisco and staying in San Francisco Marriott Union Square. So these linked programs come in handy and timely. I can start to earn points on Marriott Rewards on an accelerated basis and have flexibility in transferring my points across these 3 programs.
On my trip to San Francisco, I will be writing reviews on Hotels and Airport Lounges that I will be visiting. So do keep a look out on them here.
Recently, I mentioned about Standard Chartered Bonus$aver. In view of their recent changes to interest earn rate, I decided to change to UOB ONE Account as I have UOB ONE Visa Platinum Credit Card as well.
UOB ONE Visa Platinum Credit Card
So how is it different?
Spending SG$500 on UOB ONE Visa Platinum Credit Card earns me 1% interest on my savings. Spending same amount of money on Standard Chartered Bonus$aver World MasterCard Credit Card earns only 0.88%.
3.33% Cashback for SG$500 spending on UOB ONE Visa Platinum Credit Card.