[Credit Card] Miles

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Many people asked me about travel oriented credit cards. So which 1 to get? There is never a 1 card to own them all kind of credit card. So I recommend a combo to maximize your mileage accrual and travel benefits.

Here are 56 travel oriented credit cards that occupy a place n my wallet and how to use them.

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

PrviMiles

UOB PrviMiles World MasterCard Credit Card

Altitude Amex

DBS Altitude American Express Credit Card

Altitude Visa

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Credit Card

[NEW!] American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

ANZ Travel Card

ANZ Travel Card Visa Signature Credit Card (Soon to be gone…)

Travel Credit Card Comparison

Travel Credit Card Comparison

From above table, you will be able to see cells highlighted in green or red. Green means best in category while red means poor. As a starter, will recommend the following cards:

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card.

The good:

  • Annual Income requirement: SG$30,000. (SG$60,000 for foreigners.)
  • 5,000 miles on 1st transaction which will effectively give you an earn rate of 5,000 miles per SG$1 if you charge just SG$1 on your 1st transaction. (No other credit card can beat this kind of earn rate.)
The bad:
  • Earn rate of miles is still quite lousy even after improvement. (Other than welcome bonus.)
  • Miles will be subjected to a 3 year expiry as they are directly transferred to your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account immediately.
  • No airport lounge benefit.
  • Travel insurance coverage is quite minimal. (Need to charge full airfare to credit card to enjoy benefit.)
The ugly:
  • No annual fee renewal bonus. So never ever pay for annual fee for this credit card. If you have an American Express Platinum Credit Card, it will be waived. If not, kill this credit card when they charge annual fee. You can reapply 6 months later with annual fee waived for 1 year.

Bottom line:

  • Use this as your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer membership card after 1st transaction.

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Credit Card

The good:

  • Annual income requirement: SG$30,000.
  • Decent earn rate. (1.2 miles per SG$1 locally, 2 miles per SG$1 after FX conversion for transactions performed using FX and 3 miles per SG$1 on Singapore Airlines.)
  • 10,000 miles renewal bonus by paying annual fee of SG$192.60. (Earn rate of 51.92 miles per SG$1.)
  • No expiry for miles till transfer to programs.
  • Priority Pass.
  • Travel insurance coverage of up to SG$1,000,000. (Need to charge full airfare to credit card to enjoy benefit.)

The bad:

  • No welcome bonus.
The ugly:
  • Block redemption requirement. (10,000 miles per 5,000 points.)

Bottom line:

DBS Altitude American Express Credit Card

The good:

  • Annual income requirement: SG$30,000.
  • Decent earn rate. (1.2 miles per SG$1 locally, 2 miles per SG$1 after FX conversion for transactions performed using FX and 3 miles per SG$1 on Singapore Airlines.)
  • 10,000 miles renewal bonus by paying annual fee of SG$192.60. (Earn rate of 51.92 miles per SG$1.)
  • No expiry for miles till transfer to programs.
  • Travel insurance coverage of up to SG$1,000,000. (Need to charge full airfare to credit card to enjoy benefit.)

The bad:

  • No welcome bonus.
  • No airport lounge benefit.
The ugly:
  • Block redemption requirement. (10,000 miles per 5,000 points.)

Bottom line:

  • Pay annual fee for renewal bonus.

ANZ Travel Card Visa Signature Credit Card

The good:

  • Annual income requirement: SG$30,000. (Advertised to be SG$60,000. 50% discount! Woo!)
  • Decent earn rate. (1.4 miles per SG$1. Good for local not good for overseas as it will stay at 1.4 miles per SG$1.)
  • No expiry for miles till transfer to programs.

The bad:

  • No annual fee renewal bonus. So never ever pay annual fee for this credit card.
  • No airport lounge benefit.
  • No travel insurance benefit.
The ugly:
  • Block redemption requirement. (5,000 miles per 5,000 points.)

Bottom line:

  • Use this card only if you travel to Australia and New Zealand regularly.

Once your income increase to SG$50,000 per annum, that is when a new world opens up for you. 3 more credit cards can come into play.

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card.

(Note: You can only hold 1 American Express Singapore Airlines branded credit card and no more than 2 American Express issued credit card at any time. Credit limit will also be split among 2 credit cards evenly.)

Ascend

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

The good:

  • Annual Income requirement: SG$50,000. (SG$60,000 for foreigners.)
  • 5,000 miles on 1st transaction which will effectively give you an earn rate of 5,000 miles per SG$1 if you charge just SG$1 on your 1st transaction. (No other credit card can beat this kind of earn rate.)
  • SATS Premier Lounge and Plaza Premium Lounge benefit.
  • Travel insurance coverage of up to SG$1,000,000. (Need to charge full airfare to credit card to enjoy benefit.)
The bad:
  • Earn rate of miles is quite lousy even after improvement. (Other than welcome bonus.)
  • Miles will be subjected to a 3 year expiry as they are directly transferred to your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account immediately.
The ugly:
  • No annual fee renewal bonus. So never ever pay for annual fee for this credit card. Kill this credit card when they charge annual fee. You can reapply 6 months later with annual fee waived for 1st year.

Bottom line:

  • Use this as your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer membership card after 1st transaction.

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

The good:

  • Annual income requirement: SG$50,000.
  • Decent earn rate. (1.2 miles per SG$1 locally and 2 miles per SG$1 after FX conversion for transactions performed using FX.)
  • 10,000 miles renewal bonus by paying annual fee of SG$192.60. (Earn rate of 51.92 miles per SG$1.)
  • No expiry for miles till transfer to programs.
  • No block redemption requirement.
  • Priority Pass.
  • Travel insurance coverage of up to SG$1,000,000. (Need to charge full airfare to credit card to enjoy benefit.)

The bad:

  • No welcome bonus.

The ugly

  • Block redemption requirement (10,000 miles per 10,000 points with effect from 30 March 2017.)

Bottom line:

  • Use this card on day to day basis especially overseas or online. Always specify to pay in local currency when given a choice for maximum earn rate.
  • Priority Pass.
  • Pay annual fee for renewal bonus.

UOB PrviMiles World MasterCard Credit Card

The good:

  • Annual income requirement: SG$50,000. (Advertised to be SG$80,000. SG$80,000 required for foreigners.)
  • Best earn rate. (1.4 miles per SG$1 locally, 2.4 miles per SG$1 after FX conversion for transactions performed using FX and 3 miles per SG$1 on Singapore Airlines.)
  • Travel insurance coverage of up to SG$1,000,000. (Need to charge full airfare to credit card to enjoy benefit.)
  • JetQuay.

The bad:

  • No welcome bonus. (I got this card when there was a welcome bonus promotion. 15,000 miles by paying annual fee of SG$256.80. 58.41 miles per SG$1. Decent earn rate.)
The ugly:
  • Block redemption requirement. (10,000 miles per 5,000 points.)
  • 2 years point expiry. (Combine with block redemption requirement = FUGLY.)
  • No annual fee renewal bonus. So never ever pay annual fee for this credit card.

Bottom line:

  • Get this just for JetQuay.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.

[Travel] Essentials

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Before going on your trip, there are some important things to get.

So let’s talk about two things. Travel Insurance and Overseas Data.

For this trip to Hong Kong, I charged my airfare completely on Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card. Therefore I got my travel insurance for free. Most credit cards related to travel will offer that on condition that you charge your airfare to it in full. Coverage may not be comprehensive. But good enough.

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

As for overseas data, I usually buy local prepaid SIM card upon arrival. However, this time I decide to rely on data provided by Dorsett Mongkok via a smartphone that they provide for free. Is unlimited LTE data with no strings attached. As for China, I decide to pay for SingTel’s DataRoam Saver. (Daily) It is SG$25 for 1 day of unlimited LTE data with no strings attached as well.

So with that, I am all set and ready for travel.

[Membership Card] Changi Rewards Gold

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When travelling, some membership cards are worth bringing. Even if I have them virtually on my Perkd application, I will bring physical cards along just in case technology fails or a staff rejects my virtual cards.

Other than my Priority Pass membership card that I must bring along as they only accept physical card, I do bring along some other membership cards as well. Here is 1 of them that I will bring along.

ChangiRewardsGold

Changi Rewards Gold

  • Qualified by spending SG$4,000 at Changi Airport. (Spending requirement waived off courtesy of American Express KrisFlyer Gold Credit Card. Promotion no longer available.)
  • 2 Points for every SG$1. (Normal tier 1 point for every SG$1.)
  • 500 Points = SG$5 rebate.
  • 7% GST savings at participating outlets in Changi Airport public area.
  • 5 Lucky Draw chances per SG$30 spend. (Normal tier 1 Lucky Draw chance.)
  • Points convertible to KrisFlyer miles. (3,000 Points to 1,000 Miles.)
  • 2 Points for every SG$1 at Agoda.

[Deal] Priceless Singapore by MasterCard

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MasterCard has tied up with some merchants to offer good benefits. As they are famous for their campaign “Priceless”, they have a website to highlight benefits: Priceless Cities.

As I worked on booking things for my Hong Kong Trip next week, I looked through for benefits that I can possibly try for first time. One thing that popped up is JetQuay.

JetQuay

JetQuay

For those who are not aware of JetQuay, it is a special terminal in Changi Airport serving CIP. (Commercially Important Person. You read that right. Is not VIP.) It is located near to Terminal 2 of Changi Airport. Some dignitaries served by them include Lady Gaga and most recently Gordon Ramsay. (Just this week.)

So you may think this is something for rich and famous. Think again. You can enjoy JetQuay’s signature QuaySide service for free once a month for you plus one with Titanium MasterCard, World MasterCard and above. I saw this benefit on UOB PrviMiles World MasterCard Credit Card website and went ahead to book with JetQuay.

PrviMiles

UOB PrviMiles World MasterCard Credit Card

So what’s the catch? You must be flying on full service airline except for Delta, United, Swiss and budget airlines. You can be travelling on any class and you can enjoy this service for arrival or departure. Enjoy lounge before or after travelling, fetched to/fro gate by buggy and arrive/depart in style with dedicated immigration counters. Check-in luggage? No worries as they will collect it for you. Duty-free? Let them know what you want, pass them your passport, boarding pass and credit card. They will purchase them for you. Transport? They can arrange vehicle for you.

Looking forward to try this on arrival in Singapore. Review next week!

[Deal] Takashimaya 10% Rebate

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Last week, we mentioned about Tangs’ 12% rebate day on anyday of your choice here. That is still available. From today, another deal will start till this Sunday. Takashimaya 10% rebate. That is on top of existing rebate of up to 6% for Takashimaya card members.

TakashimayaRebate

Takashimaya 10% Rebate

There are a lot of products on sale and you can earn rebates at the same time. So good time to do your Chinese New Year purchase right? Definitely! Do go to both Tangs and Takashimaya to compare prices before purchase. See which side gives you better savings.

I have been shopping at Takashimaya mostly for Nespresso capsules (Unless I am in my Nespresso heaven in Europe.) or SodaStream syrups. (I am a drinks person at home.) So I do hold a Takashimaya Credit Card for that: DBS Takashimaya American Express Platinum Credit Card.

This card will earn you 6% rebate and additional 10% rebate on special days. Every SG$500 spent at Takashimaya will earn you 100 points which can convert to SG$30 Takashimaya voucher. You can also get SG$3 parking credits by spending SG$120 at Takashimaya. In Takashimaya Japan, you can also enjoy 5% discount. As a DBS card, it also entitles you to DBS points. Every SG$5 gives you 1 point so use that to redeem anything you want. DBS privilages islandwide is also applicable to this card. American Express SELECTS is also applicable to this card.

Takashimaya

DBS Takashimaya American Express Platinum Credit Card

[Travel] Booking Hotel Through Agoda: Dorsett Mongkok

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As mentioned in previous post here, you can use your credit card to earn yourself some discount off your next hotel stay by booking with Agoda. So as a person who walk the talk, I booked my next hotel stay in Hong Kong via Agoda Citibank portal using Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card.

Before making booking, do your research. Few pointers:

  • Location! Location! Location!
  • Budget.
  • Facilities.
  • Loyalty Program.
For research, I depend on tripadvisor. (http://www.tripadvisor.com) So far, I have booked hotels in tripadvisor’s top 10 ranking in cities like Hong Kong (#4: Hotel Icon), Taipei (#3: CityInn Hotel-Taipei Station Branch II/#4: Dandy Hotel-Tianmu Branch) and Tokyo. (#10: Hotel Ryumeikan) So far, they have not disappoint.
However, for this trip to Hong Kong, I decided to make a return to Dorsett Mongkok. (Ranked #67 in Hong Kong.) Why?
  • Location:
    • Centralize in Mongkok.
    • Near to places that I want to visit.
    • Good as a base.
    • Free shuttle bus service to many places. (Langham Place/Ladies Street, Temple Street, Star Ferry and Elements-Kowloon Station.)
  • Budget:
    • Bang for buck.
    • SG$204.79 for 2 nights!
    • Free WIFI. (Must have!)
    • Free smartphone provided for use!
      • Unlimited data! (With tethering support!)
      • Free IDD call to Singapore!
      • Navigation on Google Maps.
      • Can do whatever you are doing with your own smartphone!
  • Facilities:
    • Room is clean and neat.
    • Dorsett Lounge available with a basic gym.
  • Loyalty Program: Not applicable to Dorsett group.

With that, I will be posting pictures and review of Dorsett Mongkok during my trip. It will be my 2nd time there. Hopefully I will be able to see them maintaining their standard or even better it.

Agoda

Agoda Booking with Citibank discount

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

[Deal] Chillax

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Have been sharing about dining privilages offered by Palate and the FAR CARD recently and hope you enjoyed them. If you missed these posts, please read them here and here.

Will like to share another deal and this time is for nightlife people! It’s Friday (TGIF!) today so how many of you are thinking of where to go party or chill after work? Here is a good deal that you can look at: Chillax!

Chillax features a good selection of chill out spots for you to unwind after a day’s work. Here are the merchants and benefits:

 Merchants Benefits and Restrictions
 :pluck
  • 1-for-1 on First Drink.
  • 10% off total bill.
  • Except on Fridays and eve of Public Holidays.
 Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall at Boat Quay
  • Complimentary bespoke cocktail.
 Anti:dote
  • Complimentary welcome drink-Bespoke cocktails, house wine, beers, fruit juice.
 Horse’s Mouth Bar
  • Complimentary bespoke cocktail.
 Gem Bar
  • 1-for-1 on First Drink.
  • 10% off total bill.
  • Except on Fridays and eve of Public Holidays.
 iNCOGNiTO
  • Complimentary craft beer.
 Maison Ikkoku
  •  Complimentary bespoke cocktail.
 Manor
  • 1-for-1 on First Drink.
  • 10% off total bill.
  • Except on Fridays and eve of Public Holidays.
 Shin Gi Tai
  • Complimentary craft cocktail or beer.
 The Auld Alliance
  • Complimentary glass of house whisky.
 The Mad Men Attic Bar
  • Complimentary Kirin or Pure Blonde beer.
  • 1-for-1 Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky by glass.
  • Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky bottle at SG$178.
  • Excluding eve and Public Holidays.
 The Secret Mermaid
  • 1-for-1 first drink-Beer, wine, bespoke cocktail and tasting flights.
 Wanton Seng’s Noodle Bar
  • 1-for-1 on First Drink.
  • 10% off total bill.
  • Except on Fridays and eve of Public Holidays.

Chillax is a lifestyle benefit brought to you by American Express Platinum Credit Card. Just pay using American Express Platinum Credit Card at these merchants to Chillax. Chill on!

Amex Platinum

American Express Platinum Credit Card

[Membership Card] Palate

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Update! (22 January 2016): New merchants added!

Yesterday, I have covered the FAR CARD Classic which is a good dining benefit membership. Here’s another 1: Palate.

Palate

Discount tiers are slightly different from the FAR CARD.

 Palate the FAR CARD Classic
  • Single adult: 15% Discount
  • Two adults: 50% Discount
  • Three adults: 35% Discount
  • Four adults: 25% Discount
  • Five or more adults (Up to 20.): 20% Discount
  • Beverages: 15% Discount
  • Single adult: 10% Discount
  • Two adults: 50% Discount
  • Three adults: 33% Discount
  • Four adults: 25% Discount
  • Five or more adults (Up to 10.): 20% Discount
  • Beverages: 25% Discount

Here are the participating merchants (Discount rate as above unless otherwise stated.):

  • Alkaff Mansion Ristorante
  • Argo
  • Atrium Restaurant (Buffets only)
  • Bobby’s Restaurant & Bar
  • Bottura
  • Breeze Beer Garden @ Link Hotel Singapore (Closed for renovation. 15% off beverages.)
  • Burlamacco Ristorante
  • Buyan Russian Restaurant and Caviar Bar
  • CATO
  • Dean & DeLuca
  • Escape Restaurant & Lounge (Buffet only)
  • Fabrika (15% off beverages.)
  • FRESH! (15% off beverages.)
  • InterContinental Singapore
    • Lobby Lounge (15% off beverages.)
    • Victoria Bar (15% off beverages.)
  • Kinki Restaurant + Bar
  • Lawry’s The Prime Ribs (New!)
  • Lime House (NEW!)
  • Mad For Garlic
  • Napoleon Food & Wine Bar (15% off beverages.)
  • Nabehide Japanese Hot Pot Dining
  • Pepenero
  • Pind Balluchi Bar & Grill
  • Praelum Wine Bistro
  • Senso Ristorante & Bar (New!)
  • Shima Restaurant
  • Song of India
  • Sopra Cucina & Bar
  • The Clan Restaurant
  • The Marmalade Pantry
  • The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill
  • TungLok Group (Minimum 4 pax for weekend a la carte.)
    • Dancing Crab
    • Lao Beijing
    • Lingzhi Vegetarian
    • Shin Yeh
    • TungLok Heen
    • TungLok Seafood
    • TungLok Signature
    • TungLok Teahouse
    • TungLok XiHé Peking Duck
  • Xin Cuisine

Blackout dates:

  • Eve of Public Holidays
  • Public Holidays
  • Special Occasions: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  • Chinese restaurants:
    • Eve of Chinese New Year
    • 15 days of Chinese New Year

Sounds like a good deal right? Palate used to be an independent program but now they are exclusively under American Express Platinum Credit Card! Just pay using this card at participating merchants listed in this post to enjoy benefits.

Amex Platinum

American Express Platinum Credit Card

You can also use Cardable mobile application to monitor deals offered by Palate. Read more about Cardable here.

[Membership Card] the FAR CARD Classic

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Nowadays there are a lot of dining membership programs which gives discount in following format:

  • Single adult: 10% Discount
  • Two adults: 50% Discount
  • Three adults: 33% Discount
  • Four adults: 25% Discount
  • Five or more adults (Up to 10.): 20% Discount
  • Beverages: 25% Discount

One of such membership program is the FAR CARD Classic membership.

thefardcard logo

It provides following benefits:
Fairmont Singapore Swissôtel The Stamford Swissôtel Merchant Court
Dining (Discount rate as above unless otherwise stated. 50% Discount for 5 adults every Monday at restaurants!)
  • Alligator Pear
  • Mikuni
  • Szechuan Court (20% Discount on dim sum buffet. Not valid for Set lunch at Szechuan Kitchen and Chinese New Year Eve.)
  • Prego (10% Discount at Prego Deli.)
  • Asian Market Café
  • Anti:dote (20% Discount for a maximum of 10 people.)
  • Kopi Tiam
  • Café Swiss
  • Equinox Restaurant
  • City Space (20% Discount for a maximum of 10 people.)
  • Introbar (20% Discount for a maximum of 10 people.)
  • New Asia (20% Discount for a maximum of 10 people and complimentary entry for 2.)
  • Lobby Court (20% Discount for a maximum of 10 people.)
  • Ellenborough Market Café (Not valid for Chinese New Year Eve.)
  • Blue Potato
  • Crossroad Bar (10% Discount for beverages.)
 Accomodation 10% Discount off Best Available Rate 10% Discount off Best Available Rate 10% Discount off Best Available Rate
 Spa Willow Stream Spa (15% Discount off a la carte bookings of spa treatments excluding nail/hair treatment from Monday to Friday excluding eve of public holidays/public holidays.)  NA Spa and Sport (15% Discount off a la carte bookings of spa treatments excluding nail/hair treatment from Monday to Friday excluding eve of public holidays/public holidays.)

Regional dining and accommodation benefits:

  • Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Bangkok
  • Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Upon membership onboarding, you will also receive a set of vouchers:

  • 1 50% off total food bill for 8 to 10 persons at Asian Market Café, Ellenborough Market Café, or Café Swiss Voucher
  • 2 Complimentary Cake or Bottle of House Wine Vouchers
  • 1 Weekend Rate of SG$230++ per night at Fairmont Singapore Voucher
  • 1 Weekend Rate of SG$200++ per night at Swissôtel The Stamford Voucher
  • 1 Weekend Rate of SG$190++ per night at Swissôtel Merchant Court Voucher
  • 5 Complimentary Room Upgrade Vouchers

Sounds like a good deal right? Normally you will have to pay to get this membership. But you can get it for free with American Express Platinum Credit Card! Just pay using this card at participating merchants listed in this post to enjoy benefits.

Amex Platinum

American Express Platinum Credit Card

You can also use Cardable mobile application to monitor deals offered by the FAR CARD. Read more about Cardable here.

[Deal] Booking hotel through Agoda

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I have been on trips to Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo and London previously for leisure. Planning trip is always something that I enjoy. Especially looking for deals for air tickets, attractions, hotels, food, shopping and transports.

In this post, let’s look at hotel booking. 1 of my frequent website for hotel booking is Agoda. They have pretty low rate for hotels and good loyalty reward program which gives you points that can offset your next booking with them. However, most people may not know that they have tie up with several banks and membership programs to offer discounts for credit cards or perks for members. You got to book via special portals on Agoda website and make payment by using specific bank’s credit card to get discounts or specify membership number to get perks.

Agoda

Credit Cards/Membership Cards Portal  Discount
Citibank http://www.agoda.com/citibanksg
  •  8% Discount for:
    • China
    • Taiwan
  • 7% Discount for others.
DBS http://www.agoda.com/dbssg
  •  8% Discount for:
    • Japan
    • Korea
  • 7% Discount for others.
OCBC http://www.agoda.com/ocbc
  •  8% Discount for:
    • Hong Kong
    • Macau
    • Singapore
  • 7% Discount for others.
UOB http://www.agoda.com/uob
  •  8% Discount for:
    • Thailand
    • Malaysia
  • 7% Discount for others.
BOC http://www.agoda.com/boc
  • 5% Discount.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer http://www.agoda.com/singaporeair
  •  2 KrisFlyer miles/US$1.
Changi Rewards http://www.agoda.com/changirewards
  • 1 point/SG$1 for Member.
  • 2 points/SG$1 for Gold Member.
  • 3 points/SG$1 for Platinum Member.

Hope this helps you in planning your next trip or staycation.