[Membership Cards] The Ritz-Carlton/Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

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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!

The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton

Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

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.

 

[Travel] Transport in Hong Kong

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Update (1st February 2016): Price increased to HK$350. (SG$66.36)


Whenever visiting Hong Kong, will always travel by MTR. After all, even our government is looking up to them for their service quality and standards. It is also very comfortable and convenient. So I make a booking online for Airport Express Travel Pass – 2 Airport Express Rides for HK$300. (SG$56.88)

Airport Express

Airport Express Travel Pass

What this provides is 2 rides on Airport Express (Excluding travel between Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo stations.), 3 days of unlimited rides on MTR (Except additional travel on Airport Express, East Rail Line First Class, and travel to/from Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau stations.), Light Rail and MTR Bus. (Northwest New Territories.)

It is quite economical as return ticket on Airport Express can cost up to HK$180. (SG$34.13) At end of your stay in Hong Kong, you can refund ticket for HK$50. (SG$9.48) So that works out to HK$250. (SG$47.40) HK$70 (SG$13.27) for 3 days of unlimited rides is good.

They also run complimentary shuttle bus service to many hotels. (Including Dorsett Mongkok that I am staying at.) Check out here.

You may book online at 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.

[Mobile Application] Stocard

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How many of you are carrying your Starbucks card with you physically or via Starbucks mobile application? Do you have an Apple Watch or Android Wear device? Pay at Starbucks using your smartphone with Starbucks mobile application is too mainstream. How about paying with your wearables? You can with Stocard.

Storcard is a mobile application created by a company based in Germany. It allows you to create barcode based virtual membership cards for easy portability on your mobile devices and wearables. Cards supported are grouped by Hotels & Airlines and Countries. It has a good collection of cards in Singapore.

Stocard Logo

Stocard Logo

Stocard Logo New

Stocard Logo New

Stocard Screenshot

Stocard Screenshot

Stocard Screenshot New

Stocard Screenshot New

Stocard Watch

Stocard Watch

Storcard is good as it supports Starbucks special barcode format for payment and wearables. However, it falls short in merchant collaboration when compared to application like Perkd which I will cover in future. Both Stocard and Perkd support Timberland and The Body Shop membership cards. But Timberland and The Body Shop both use Perkd as their official virtual card application. They will send offers to their members using Perkd and recognize membership cards and offer vouchers on Perkd platform.

Mobile applications like Stocard or Perkd can be very useful in reducing numbers of cards that you need to bring with you. However, do be careful of certain merchants (The Soup Spoon and Tangs.) that only recognize their own application’s virtual card.

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

 Google Play APP Store

[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.