[Credit Card] ANZ Switch MasterCard Platinum

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ANZ Switch

ANZ Switch MasterCard Platinum Credit Card

Some folks have asked me about Credit Card annual fees like which card should I pay annual fee for and the million dollar question: Which card has annual fee waiver for life?

So recently, I have started 2 credit cards with ANZ. They are ANZ Travel Card Visa Signature Credit Card and ANZ Switch MasterCard Platinum Credit Card. ANZ Switch MasterCard Platinum Card has annual fee waiver for life. So you will never have to worry about annual fee on this card.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.

[Travel] U-Tiny Boutique Home Suvarnabhumi Bangkok

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Usually I will try a top 10 ranked local hotel (Not under any international chain and manage by locals.) based on TripAdvisor ranking when I visit a country for the 1st time. (Hotel Icon for Hong Kong-Rank 2, Dandy Hotel TianMu for Taiwan-Rank 3 and Hotel Ryumeikan for Tokyo-Rank 2.)  So for my recent Bangkok trip, I choose U-Tiny Boutique Home Suvarnabhumi Bangkok which is currently rank 8 on TripAdvisor. So how was it?


A quick tour round the room.

A quick tour round hotel.

That was 2 Facebook Live broadcast that I did from U-Tiny. Hope it gives you a good look around. So here are some photos taken at U-Tiny.

Lobby and Breakfast

Lobby and Breakfast

Cosy Corner

Cosy Corner

Pool

Pool

Pool at night

Pool at night

Rooms

Rooms

View

Greenery View

Breakfast

Breakfast: Western

Spring Roll

Dinner: Spring Roll

Green Curry

Dinner: Green Curry

Green Curry

Dinner: Green Curry

Inside Room

Inside Room

More photos here. (Room photos etc.)

What I like about the hotel:

  • Convenient. (Near airport and complimentary airport transfer. Additional pickup from Lat Krabang station at night chargeable at 100THB or about SG$3.87.)
  • New place and facilities.
  • Homely feel.
  • Nice public area. (Lobby, Living Room, Lawn and Pool etc.)
  • Friendly staffs.
  • Well prepared family style meals.
  • In house massage service available. (Highly recommended!)
  • Super spacious and comfortable rooms.
  • Free WIFI!

Things to improve:

  • TV reception not good. In room antenna needed a lot of adjustment. Gave up and relied on my trusty tablet instead.

[Travel] Singapore Airlines SQ976 A330-300 SIN>BKK Business Class 7 May 2016

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Is not my first time travelling on A330-300 Business Class with Singapore Airlines. (Did that to Hong Kong before. My 1st adventure in a premium cabin.) However, it is my first time travelling with Singapore Airlines on my birthday in a premium cabin. So this is how it went. In this post, I will focus more on new experiences and some interesting points.

Blue Ticket

Green (Old Economy Class. Now is Premium Economy Class. Not done that yet.)/White Ticket Checked. (Economy Class.)
Blue Ticket Checked. (Business Class.)
Gold Ticket Checked. (Suites.)
Only left Red. (First Class.)

Champagne

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne served at SilverKris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. Same as inflight.

Gate E20

Gate E20.

A330-300

A330-300.

Priority both on and off the ground.

Priority both on and off the ground.

Deliciously Wholesome: Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom

Deliciously Wholesome: Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom by Zhu Jun. (Book The Cook.) Not a common choice says the Stewardess. But good pick. Side dishes: Thai Style Salmon and New York Cheesecake as Dessert.

Hidden Menu: Birthday Cake!

Hidden Menu: Birthday Cake! Have to call in to SQ to request. Available for all classes of travel.

Packed for off flight enjoyment. (AKA: Supper)

Packed for off flight enjoyment. (AKA: Supper.)

[Travel/Deal] Travel Insurance from Changi Recommends

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Usually I do not recommend Changi Recommends (Pun intended.) for their Overseas WIFI Router Rental service because of their Fair Usage Policy (FUP) which is quite a deal breaker. I will rather touch down and buy local prepaid SIM or use Singtel DataRoam Saver Plan for places like China where I don’t have to worry about limit/VPN etc.

Recently, there is finally something from them that I can recommend. They are now running a promotion for single trip Travel Insurance to Thailand and Hong Kong underwritten by ACE Insurance. Free prepaid SIM card for Thailand or Hong Kong upon purchase.

Changi Recommends

Good deal!

Travel insurance costs SG$28 for Thailand and SG$36 for Hong Kong. Counting in SG$13 for Thailand prepaid SIM and SG$15 for Hong Kong prepaid SIM, it costs SG$15 and SG$21 respectively for travel insurance. Good deal eh? I have collected my Thailand prepaid SIM at Changi Recommends and will be using it on my Thailand trip!

Thailand AIS SIM

Thailand AIS SIM

[Travel] Bangkok Bookings

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For those who have been following this site on Facebook, (If you have not, please follow it with a like. I promise to do more Facebook Live as it now support Android on unverified pages too!) you should have seen that I have booked a trip to Bangkok as usual on Singapore Airlines using miles.

SQBKBusMiles

17,000 KrisFlyer Miles + SG$102.80 for flight out on Business Class.

SQBKBusCost

Normal cost? SG$1,050.80! Save SG$948! (90% Savings.)

SQBKEcoMiles

10,625 KrisFlyer Miles + THB2,722 (SG$108.97) for return flight on Economy Class. Paid THB707 (US$20 or SG$28.30) more for Exit row seat.

SQBKEcoCost

Normal cost? THB6,797! (Inclusive of Exit row premium.) Save THB4,075. (SG$163.13. 60% Savings.)

So this leads to a total savings of SG$1,111.13 (84% Savings!) with 27,625 KrisFlyer Miles. Comparing it to savings on my previous trip to Hong Kong on Singapore Airlines Suites/Economy Class with KrisFlyer Miles, this is not as worth it. However, I got some special plans.

SQSecretMenu

Notice something special? I have Booked The Cook as usual but this time it will be Namyu Cabbage Roll and Jinlen Eggplant and Beancurd with Brown Lamien Noodle and Wood Ear Mushroom on their Deliciously Wholesome Menu. You can also see a special meal requested: Birthday Cake! You can call in to KrisFlyer Membership Hotline to request if you are flying close to your birthday or significant anniversary dates.

Hotel wise, TripAdvisor and Agoda called upon again to help me with decision making/booking, This time round, I book using Agoda’s UOB portal and that got me 7% off my stay at U-Tiny Boutique Home Suvarnabhumi Bangkok which is currently ranked 7 on TripAdvisor. Review looks good and I will be contributing my review as well.

Agoda UTiny

Booked on 1 of their 3 Executive Garden Access Rooms. Shall see how good is this.

Upon arrival in Suvarnabhumi Airport, I will be able to go on Immigration Fast Track as I am travelling on Business Class. Airport Transfer will also be provided by U-Tiny. Upon arrival back home, JetQuay will be waiting for me.

Look forward to reviews here and have a good week ahead!

[Credit Card] Points Credit and Miles Transfer

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You may have paid your credit card annual fees based on advice for Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card, DBS Altitude Visa Signature Credit Card and DBS Altitude American Express Credit Card. You may have also used them enough to earn enough points for transfer to your favorite frequent flyer program to redeem your next flight ticket. So how long will transfer take?

Citibank/UOB/DBS transfers to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer/Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club-Asia Miles in 2 days. Some folks may say that American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card is the fastest as it is a direct conversion. But don’t forget that miles earned this way have an expiry period of 3 years. Having a miles expiry period of 3 years to deal with vs points that never expire and convert at will with a week wait at most, I take the later anytime for flexibility.

So where will these miles take me to next? Watch this space for update.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.

[Deal] Citibank Dining

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Seems like Citibank is now running dining privileges pegged at SG$100. They have been running $100GOURMET since April last year and soon it will be its first year anniversary. I almost attended 1 last year when Chef Alvin Leung (Demon Chef-3 Michelin Stars.) and Chef David Liew (TÓNG LÈ PRIVATE DINING) were supposed to collaborate. However, collaboration was cancelled as Chef Alvin could not make the trip due to unforeseen circumstances.

100Gourmet

$100GOURMET

Concept of $100GOURMET is simple. SG$100++ (Pay with Citibank Credit Card or else it will be SG$180++.) for lunch or dinner prepared by a partnership of local and guest chef from overseas. There have been some Michelin rated guest chefs who have partnered with local chefs throughout last year.

Recently, Citibank started another dining program and they generated a bit of hype on social media before launch. Introducing Citibank Wine & Dine.

CitiWineAndDine

Citibank Wine & Dine

Concept of Citibank Wine & Dine is simple as well. Spend SG$100 excluding taxes at participating restaurants and get a bottle of wine free to go along. Some participating restaurants that I have patronized before are Osteria Art and TungLok. Recently, I discovered a hidden gem that is participating in Citibank Wine & Dine program: The Pipe District.

The Pipe District

The Pipe District

They have quite a few signature dishes on menu. Charcoal series (Charcoal Fish & Chips and Charcoal Onion Rings.), Squid ink pasta which you can customize and many more. Under Citibank Wine & Dine program, they are offering Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2013 or Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 from Chile for free with SG$100 food purchase excluding taxes.

Check here for more information.

[Travel] Changi Airport: Behind the scenes

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Woke up pretty early on 3rd March 2016 morning around 5:11am and saw a message from Wilson (Global Travelogy) that was sent at 3:31am. He was travelling in New Zealand and saw an email from Changi Rewards about an insider visit to Changi Airport. (That’s when time difference works in your favor.)

Changi Rewards Email

Changi Rewards Email.

Since I have more than 500 points in Changi Rewards account (DFS shopping, dining and gold tier status FTW!), I quickly lock in my redemption and proceed to Changi Airport to make payment for myself and an additional slot for Wilson on the same day. However, I was told that there was no more allowance available for additional slots when I wanted to make payment. Not good news for Wilson. But thank goodness, an additional slot was made available for us and I went down to make payment for Wilson a few days later. On actual day last Saturday (19 March 2016), we discovered that my redemption was 2nd on list. Guessed that helped Wilson in securing his spot. He is a happy man.

So on 19 March 2016, woke up early in morning and head down to Changi Airport on an UberX. Comfy ride as usual even though it is not a limo. This driver provides charger on board for mobile devices. Not bad. The best I have seen so far is charger + drinks + sweets. It is my preferred mode of transport for Airport other than MRT as it is competitively priced against taxis with no midnight surcharge, comfortable and no queue.

Uber

UberX

Upon arrival at Changi Airport, I jumped into action immediately. Started my first Facebook Live broadcast at entrance. After that, I took some photos and met up with Wilson at Terminal 2 Staff Canteen for breakfast. It is quite easy to find the place with prominent signs.

Changi Staff Canteen Breakfast

Changi Staff Canteen breakfast from pancake stall. Had peanut pancake as well. Not bad.

After breakfast, we head down to Changi Airport Group’s office to register and collect airport visitor pass. There are some interesting sights there too.

Changi Airport Group Logo

Changi Airport Group Logo.

Starwars

Star Wars!

Changi Airport Model

Changi Airport Model. I love taking Panorama shots like this using my Sony a5100. No tripod and minimal to no post editing required.

So here are some pictures of our day in Changi airport. Thanks to Changi Airport for hosting us!

Sunflower Garden

Sunflower Garden.

Enchanted Gardens

Plant in a ball.

Enchanted Gardens

Enchanted Gardens.

Koi

Koi

Orchid

Orchid

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool.

The Social Tree

The Social Tree.

Butterfly

Butterfly

More Butterfly

More Butterfly.

Dom Perignon

Dom Pérignon at DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex.

Wine for sampling

Wine for sampling at DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex.

Bus

Bus for airside tour.

Firefighting Gear

Firefighting Gear.

Water blast

Water blast.

Redbird

Redbird

Changi

Good to see this whenever landing in Changi.

Disclaimer: Drink responsibly.

[Mobile Application] iChangi

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Firstly, congratulations to Changi Aiport for winning Skytrax World’s Best Airport Award for four consecutive years. It is a place that can make a hardcore westlander like me travel all the way to east on my own accord.

Having stayed overnight at Changi Airport to wait for my morning flight a few times, I can really say that Changi Airport is a home away from home for travelers. There are just so many things that I can do other than staying in lounge. Walking around the 3 terminals to explore shops, cafes, restaurants, gardens, decorations, watch movies, play games on gaming console and powerpoints everywhere to charge gadgets. Most importantly, feel safe there.

So how do I get around in Changi Airport and get updated about my flight? (Like gate changes etc.) iChangi Mobile Application!

iChangi Logo

iChangi

iChangi Splash Screen

Splash Screen. Got to be proud that we win this four times in a row. Sorry Incheon and Middle East airports. Cannot fight lah!

iChangi Arrival Search

Arrival Search.

Departure Search

Departure Search.

Departure Search Flight

Departure Search Flight Number.

Departure Search Flight Result

Departure Search Flight Result. Click Add Flight # to My Flights to monitor.

Departure Flight Search Added

Departure Flight Added.

Monitored Flight

Monitored Flight. Notifications will update you on any changes.

Current Arrival Flights

Current Arrival Flights.

Current Departure Flights

Current Departure Flights.

Menu

Menu.

Flight Info Menu

Flight Info Menu.

Terminal Maps Menu

Terminal Maps Menu.

Shop & Dine Menu

Shop & Dine Menu.

Airport Info Menu

Airport Info Menu.

Settings

Settings.

1 thing I hope to see in this application soon is integration of Changi Rewards membership management.

This application is available for FREE without ADs on Android Google Play and iOS App Store.

Google Play APP Store