[Membership Cards] 1+1>2: SPG+Uber

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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.

SPG+Uber

SPG+Uber

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.

Happy Anniversary!

Video

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.

[Travel] The Haven by JetQuay

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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.

Here are some photos on my Facebook page.

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?

Priority Pass

Priority Pass

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.

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

Altitude Visa

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Credit Card

[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.

 

[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.

[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.

[Mobile Application] Perkd

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Have shared about Stocard previously here and mentioned that I will cover another application Perkd. So what is different about Perkd?

Perkd Logo

Perkd Logo

Basic function remains. Both allow you to digitalize your membership cards. However, there are some additional functions in Perkd. It has a better experience in creating custom membership cards not available on their database compared to Stocard. You can capture image of membership card for custom membership cards in Perkd for easy identification.

Perkd List

Perkd List

Perkd Custom

Perkd Custom

Other than custom membership cards, Perkd also have merchants tie-up which is lacking in Stocard in Singapore. Perkd is official membership card platform for Timberland and The Body Shop. They will send out offers and track rewards using Perkd application. So if you frequent these shops, Perkd will be good for you.

Perkd Timberland

Perkd Timberland Card

Perked Timberland Offer

Perked Timberland Offer

Perkd also has a good collection of membership cards on their database. So you need not put in too much effort to do custom cards.

Perkd Categories

Perkd Categories

So how do I use Perkd and Stocard? I use Stocard just for Starbucks payment with my Sony SmartWatch 3 as it has wearable support and Starbucks Card barcode support which are not present on Perkd. (Update 27 March 2016: Developer of Perkd has reached out to update that Perkd now supports Starbucks card barcode and many others. Tested and works. But I still like to use SmartWatch to pay at Starbucks!) I use Perkd for almost all of my other membership cards.

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

Google Play APP Store

[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.

[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