[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.

[Travel] JetQuay: Changi Airport CIP Terminal

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So Madonna Rebel Heart tour is over in Singapore. How did she arrive and leave Singapore?
Private Jet: Yes
Terminal 1/2/3: Neither. CIP Terminal

Wait a minute. VIP is familiar to most people but what is CIP? CIP stands for Commercially Important Person. Examples of CIPs include Madonna, Gordon Ramsay and Lady Gaga just to name a few. Whenever a private jet or CIP lands in Changi Airport, they will be received and handled by CIP Terminal: JetQuay.

JetQuay Logo

JetQuay Logo

As mentioned in my previous post, I have decided to try JetQuay for the first time when I touch down in Singapore from Hong Kong. So here was my experience as a CIP.

Buggy Ride

Buggy ride from gate to JetQuay. My check-In luggage was retrieved in parallel by their staff.

Arrival in style

Arrival in style.

Bar

Bar

Food

Food

Drinks

Drinks and light food.

Drinks

Drinks

Food

Food

Table and bench

Table and bench: Casual

Cosy

Cosy: Homely

Group

Can fit group comfortably.

Exotic

Exotic corner.

Relax

Relax

Family

Family friendly.

Corner

Corner

Chill while waiting for DFS purchase.

Chill while waiting for DFS purchase.

Business

Can do some business.

Computers

Computers

Spiral

In front of JetQuay’s signature spiral stairs.

So this place looks very exclusive right? It is actually more accessible than many people think. All you just need is Standard Chartered Manhattan World MasterCard Credit Card which only require annual income requirement of SG$30,000. Any freshman who start work can access this. You can just call JetQuay for booking. For details, check my previous post.

Manhattan

Standard Chartered Manhattan World MasterCard Credit Card

[Travel] On rails

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One mode of transport I like other than plane is rail. So far I have been on KLIA Ekspres in Malaysia, Airport Express/MTR in Hong Kong, Intercity train from Hong Kong to Guang Zhou, Metro in Guang Zhou, HSR/Metro in Taiwan, NEX/Subway in Tokyo, Heathrow Express/Tube in London, Virgin Trains from London to Manchester and Milan Metro. So far more of modern rails or high speed rail and enjoyed them.

So on this recent trip to Hong Kong, I decided to venture into China for 1st time. 2 cities were considered: Shen Zhen and Guang Zhou which are both accessible by train.

Shen Zhen

  • Accessible by MTR.
  • Electronics paradise.

Guang Zhou

  • Accessible by Intercity train. (2 hours approximately.)
  • Bigger city than Shen Zhen.
  • Ex colleagues are there.

So eventually decided on Guang Zhou. Here are some pictures and description on my rail journeys in Hong Kong and Guang Zhou.

Airport Express Ticket

Airport Express ticket. Return journey and 3 days of unlimited travel on MTR at HK$300. (HK$250 after HK$50 refund by returning ticket. HK$350 now for ticket after price adjustment. See this for more information.)

Platform

Airport Express platform directly accessible from Hong Kong International Airport concourse.

Luggage area

Airport Express luggage area.

Station Information

Airport Express station Information.

Power

Airport Express power socket. Good to see USB ports there.

Intercity Through Train

Intercity Through Train to Guang Zhou at Hung Hom station. (Where stadium is.)

First Class Ticket

Intercity Through Train First Class tickets. Well, there is only First Class on this ride. HK$219 each way inclusive of booking fee. See this for more information.

Gate

Intercity Through Train Departure Hall Entrance.

Duty Free

Intercity Through Train Duty Free.

Intercity Through Train

Intercity Through Train. Nice touch to have board to bridge gap between train and platform.

Intercity Through Train Cabin

Intercity Through Train Cabin.

Intercity Through Train footrest

Intercity Through Train footrest and tray table.

Intercity Through Train

Intercity Through Train magazines and tray table.

Intercity Through Train Tray Table

Intercity Through Train tray table set.

Intercity Through Train Power Socket

Intercity Through Train power socket.

Intercity Through Train Menu

Intercity Through Train Menu. Payment can be made by HK$ or RMB. Slightly cheaper in RMB.

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich with Coffee.

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich

Intercity Through Train Fried Ham Sandwich. Egg just the way I like.

Shen Zhen

Shen Zhen

On Intercity Through Train

On Intercity Through Train.

Guang Zhou East Station

Guang Zhou East Station. Interchange for different type of trains including Guang Zhou Metro.

Guang Zhou East Station Concourse

Guang Zhou East Station Concourse.

Guang Zhou Metro Ticketing Machine

Guang Zhou Metro Ticketing Machine.

Guang Zhou Metro Single Trip IC Chip

Guang Zhou Metro Single Trip IC Chip.

Guang Zhou Metro Signs

Guang Zhou Metro Signs.

Mongkok MTR

Mong Kok MTR.

Hong Kong MTR

Hong Kong MTR.

[Travel] Hotel: Dorsett Mongkok

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In Hong Kong, I have stayed in a few hotels and some of them are in top 10 ranking on TripAdvisor. (Hotel Icon for example.) In terms of pricing, I will usually go for less than SG$200 per night unless I want to pamper myself a little and room is really very good. (Club room etc.)

However, I have found a good hotel that will be my base whenever I am in Hong Kong: Dorsett Mongkok. To find out why, check this post.

Dorsett Mongkok is now ranked 69 on TripAdvisor and I feel that it is the most value for money accommodation in Hong Kong.

TripAdvisor Dorsett Mongkok

TripAdvisor Dorsett Mongkok.

I had a chat with an university junior who is based in Hong Kong before I went on my trip. He suggested to help me to book hotel using his corporate rate. But once I tell him about Dorsett Mongkok, he stunned. This deal is too good.

So here are some photos to show you around Dorsett Mongkok.

Dorsett Mongkok Shuttle Bus

Dorsett Mongkok Shuttle Bus. You can get to Dorsett Mongkok by this or Airport Express Shuttle Bus.

Dorsett Mongkok Shuttle Bus TimeTable

Dorsett Mongkok Shuttle Bus TimeTable.

Dorsett Mongkok Entrance

Entrance

Chandelier

Chandelier

Lobby

Lobby

Room 2002

Room 2002. (Level 20.)

Minibar

Minibar (Anything in fridge and chips chargeable, anything out of fridge free.)

Sink

Sink

Shower

Shower

WC

WC

Towards room

Towards room. Enough space to walk.

Bed

Bed in mirror reflection.

Simmons Bed

Simmons Bed.

Mirror around

Mirror around to make it feel spacious.

Safe and drawer

Safe and drawer.

Open wardrobe

Open wardrobe.

Handy and alarm clock

Handy and alarm clock.

Hairdryer and LAN Cable

Hairdryer, LAN Cable and plug adapter.

Information

Information

Table and Chair

Table and Chair

View

View

View

View

[Mobile Application] WorldMate Gold

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How many of you used a Palm OS device before? I have been through Palm OS, Pocket PC, then smartphones like iPhone and Android. One mobile application that has been with me through this entire journey is WorldMate.

Worldmate Logo

WorldMate Logo

WorldMate is a travel management application. It helps you generate and monitor itinerary for your trips. Just forward your itinerary (Sent via email from carrier.) via email to WorldMate’s mailbox and you will see information appearing nicely in WorldMate application with little modification required.

WorldMate Gold

WorldMate Gold (Paid tier with premium services like flight alerts/status, calendar synchronization etc. US$9.99 per year. Book hotel or car with WorldMate to get 3 months free WorldMate Gold.)

WorldMate Home

WorldMate Home. (Upcoming trip showup here.)

WorldMate My Trips

WorldMate My Trips

WorldMate Trip

WorldMate Trip Information

WorldMate Flight

WorldMate Flight Information

WorldMate Hotel

WorldMate Hotel Information

WorldMate Booking

WorldMate Booking

WorldMate Tools

WorldMate Tools

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

Google Play APP Store

[Credit Card] Annual Fee: To pay or not to pay?

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Just got off a happy call with American Express staffs (Best customer service in my opinion across all banks.) over my American Express Platinum Credit Card annual fee and decided to close it as annual fee benefit is not fantastic. (25,000 points which converts to 13,500 miles for SG$321. Earn rate? 42.056 miles per SG$1.) By closing this credit card, I can consolidate my split credit limit to my American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold Credit Card (When you have 2 credit cards with American Express, they split up your total credit limit among 2 credit cards and is not shared like other banks.) and this credit card has also helped me waived off annual fee for my American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold Credit Card. Besides that, I can always wait 6 months to get this credit card again for free.

Amex Platinum

Bye Ameican Express Platinum Credit Card! See you again in 6 months time!

So you may ask this golden question on which credit card should you be paying annual fee for? In my current credit card arsenal, there are 3 credit cards that I will pay annual fee for:

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

Altitude Visa

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Credit Card

Altitude Amex

DBS Altitude American Express Credit Card

These 3 credit cards charge an annual fee of SG$192.60 and give you 10,000 miles each. (Earn rate of 51.92 miles per SG$1. Versus SG$321 for 13,500 miles for American Express Platinum Credit Card. Why should I pay SG$128.40 more for 3,500 miles? That is too little.) By combining these 3 credit cards together, you earn 30,000 miles which is sufficient for return economy saver redemption on Singapore Airlines for Taipei.

Below is a table to summarize how easy or difficult it is to get your credit card annual fee waived based on my understanding and experience.

Bank Note
UOB
  • Easiest to get credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Punch in credit card number over voice system to get instant decision. (Update 5 March 2016: No longer an instant decision over system. Need to talk to staff over phone.)
  • Low or no usage requirement for credit card annual fee waiver.
Citibank
  • Easy to get credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Speak to staff over phone for instant decision.
  • Low or no usage requirement for credit card annual fee waiver.
DBS
  • Easy to get credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Speak to staff over phone for instant decision.
  • Low or no usage requirement for credit card annual fee waiver.
Standard Chartered
  • Easy to get credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Speak to staff over phone for instant decision.
  • Low or no usage requirement for credit card annual fee waiver.
American Express
  • Not so easy to get credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Speak to staff over phone for instant decision and options.
  • Usage requirement for credit card annual fee waiver.
OCBC
  • Damn difficult to get credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Take damn long to be able to reach a staff over phone for discussion.
  • SG$5,000 annual usage requirement for credit card annual fee waiver.
  • Inconsistency: Heard some of my friends getting credit card annual fee waived by OCBC even though they never use their OCBC credit card at all.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.

[Travel] Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong

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Hope you have enjoyed my recent review of Singapore Airline SilverKris Lounge The Private Room at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. I always believe that travel experience and service from an airline starts from ground and ends with ground. From check-in to lounge to boarding to in flight and eventually disembark. Airlines will need to deliver a good experience to delight passengers. Singapore Airlines remains on top of my list when it comes to this. Whenever I fly with them, I enjoyed their service. It is still a great way to fly.

So I flew with Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong in end January 2016. It was my second time travelling on Suites on this route. So I am familiar with this product and what it offers. It is the shortest route (4 Hours at max.) on Singapore Airlines that offers Suites product and they are the first airline to fly Airbus A380 with Suites offering before their middle east competitors.

Boarding

Boarding at Singapore Changi Airport is a smooth and efficient affair. After security screening at gate, I comfortably waited for boarding announcement for Suites, First Class, Business Class and PPS members. PPS stands for Priority Passenger Service which is the elite frequent flyer program offered by Singapore Airlines. Need to spend SG$25,000 with them on premium cabins within 1 year to qualify. (Ouch. Personally thought that unless travel super frequently for business. Otherwise forget about qualifying for this. Even KrisFlyer Elite Silver status is also a bit far fetch for me.)

After boarding announcement was made and ground agent scanned my boarding pass, I am on my way to plane on aerobridge. So far I never had to take a bus to board or disembark a plane in Singapore Changi Airport and I have to thank (But no thanks!) Doha Airport for giving me a chance to do that when I boarded a plane which has Doha as a home hub. (Quite easy to know which 1.) For that experience and many other unpleasant things that add up, that airline went into my condemn list. (That experience is enough for me to write a horror story. Will write about it when I feel like.)

At end of aerobridge, lovely cabin crew were there anticipating arrival and gave a warm welcome.

Gate Display

Gate Display

Priority Lane

Priority Lane

Gate

Gate

Airbus A380

Airbus A380

In cabin

As soon as I set foot on plane, cabin crew escorted me to my Suites: 3D. As I am travelling solo, ground agent did ask me if I like to have a window Suites instead. In any other class, I will have asked for that. For Suites, no way! Unless Suites 3C or 2C is taken. Why? When Suites 3C or 2C is not taken when you are on either Suites 3D or 2D, you can enjoy an expanded feel of roominess. On long haul flights or when travelling with a companion, you can even request for 2 Suites to be combined into 1 with full flat bed deployed for 2. (Not converted from seat.) If not all 12 Suites are occupied, you can even have luxury of requesting for 1 Suites to be used for living/dining room and another 1 for sleep on long haul flight. (First come first serve!)

Suites Plan

Suites Plan. Lower deck front of plane.

Suites 3D

Suites 3D. Small closet for jacket which cabin crew will gladly help you stow your jacket into. Blinds can be pulled down for Privacy.

Empty Suites 3C

Empty Suites 3C. Divider can be pulled up for privacy.

Around Suites

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancellation Headphone

Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone in compartment, ports and power socket.

Seat Control

Controls

Seat Control

Seat Controls on armrest.

Leg rest or Stool for guest

Leg rest or Stool for guest. Pillow etc by Givenchy. Hand carry luggage stows below here as there is no overhead bins. Magazines and safety information on side.

Full stretch

Full stretch

Door

Door

Food and Beverages

Welcome Drink: Krug Grade Cuvee

Welcome Drink: Krug Grade Cuvée

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Table set

Table set

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter: Pomelo, Raspberry and Blueberry

Special K and Pastries

Special K cereal in skim milk and Pastries

Book-The-Cook: Nasi Lemak

Book The Cook: Nasi Lemak. Recommended by my friends who are in service and ex Singapore Girl. Good recommendation. Had this as I have tried Boston Lobster Thermidor in my first Suites flight.

Dessert: Warm Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream, Canilla Sauce, Fresh Fruit Salad and Blue Mountain Coffee

Dessert: Warm Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream, Vanilla Sauce, Fresh Fruit Salad and Blue Mountain Coffee

In Flight Entertainment System (KrisWorld)

Personally find in flight entertainment system to be lacking in content and sound quality. Especially if it is middle east airlines. Censored movies…Thanks! I prefer to bring my own Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi with movies loaded and use Sennheiser PXC310 Noise Cancelling Headphone nowadays. However, Singapore Airlines KrisWorld is one of the better In flight entertainment system around.

KrisWorld Controls

KrisWorld Controls

Screen and leg rest

23″ Screen and leg rest

Flight Map

Flight Map with Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006

Screen

23″ Screen

Benefit of empty Suites next door

Benefit of empty Suites next door: 2 screens!

Conclusion

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites may have been caught up by middle east competitors in terms of hardware like newer Airbus A380, more lavish Suites, in flight shower, bar etc. However, 1 thing remains in Singapore Airlines favor: Service. Service in Singapore Airlines A380 Suites is very personalize and attentive. Team of Stewards and Stewardesses make sure you are well taken care of. They check in from time to time to see how they can help you and make your journey a comfortable 1. I also enjoyed my conversation with them about the flight, experience, Hong Kong and even food/drinks options. They make good recommendations. Some of them are even certified Sommeliers.

This flight is also a test to crews’ capability. As it is only a 4 hours flight, crew delivered nothing short of the impeccable service offered on A380 Suites on a long haul flight.

Suites

Suites

Stairs to upper deck

Stairs to upper deck

Disclaimer: Drink Responsibly.

[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] Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge The Private Room at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

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For those who have been following this site, you will be aware that I flew with Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong on 25 January 2016. (Monday) It was a great experience as always and I will be writing about it here.

First, let’s talk about check-in. Checking-in for Singapore Airlines Suites and First Class can be done within Changi Airport Terminal 3 check-in rows. However, there is a separate check-in reception located next to Changi Airport Terminal 3. You need to walk to end of terminal, exit and walk to next building or drive there directly.

Suites/First Class Row

Suites/First Class check-in row

Suites/First Class Check-In Reception

Suites/First Class check-in reception

Privacy

Privacy

Relax & Check-In

Relax & check-in

Decor

Décor

Decor

Décor

Ticket

Golden Ticket

Walkway to dedicated immigration counter

Walkway to dedicated immigration counter

As a passenger on premium cabin class (Business, First and Suites.), lounge is standard entitlement. However, lounge for Singapore Airlines’ First class and Suites in Changi Airport Terminal 3 is different. It is called The Private Room which is located deep in Changi Airport Terminal 3’s SilverKris Lounge. After walking through dedicated immigration counter for Singapore Airlines First Class and Suites passengers, you will be at airside which is not too far from SilverKris Lounge. At reception of SilverKris Lounge, staff will receive you and lead you to The Private Room upon presentation of Golden Ticket. Walking past Business Class and First Class section of SilverKris Lounge along the way.

SilverKris Lounge

SilverKris Lounge

The Private Room

The Private Room

Papers

Papers

Signs

Signs

Seats with high backing for privacy

Leather seats with high backing for privacy

Dining Room

Dining Room

Private Room Within The Private Room

Private Room Within The Private Room

Family Room

Family Room

After making myself comfortable in dining room, champagne is served and food is made to order.

Champagne

Champagne

Menu

Dinner Menu. Ordered Sauteed Lobster with Linguine. U.S Prime Beef Burger with Foie Gras, Rocket Leaf and Fried Quail Egg is also a good pick. Had that on my 1st Suites experience in 2014.

Menu

Dinner Menu. Ordered Assorted Satay and Dim Sum Delights which are quite well known for The Private Room.

Table

Table

Sauteed Lobster with Linguine

Sauteed Lobster with Linguine

Assorted Satay

Assorted Satay

Dim Sum Delights

Dim Sum Delights

Desserts

Desserts

TWG Imperial Oolong Tea

TWG Imperial Oolong Tea

Breakfast Menu

Breakfast Menu. Ordered Scrambled Egg with Bacon.

Scrambled Egg with Bacon and Coffee

Scrambled Egg with Bacon and Coffee

Healthy Stuffs

Healthy Stuffs

You will be able to walk around in The Private Room pretty comfortably. It is spacious and you will feel right at home.

PC and iMAC

PC and iMAC

LG UHD TV

LG UHD TV

Amenities

Amenities

Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul

Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul

L'OCCITANE Face Splash with Peppermint

L’OCCITANE Face Splash with Peppermint

SQ Exclusive

SQ Exclusive

Shower

Shower. You can pull your luggage in for security and there is a dry area for you to stow your luggage in.

Shower

Shower

Overall, I enjoyed The Private Room a lot. Size is just nice, ambience is good, delicious F&B, impeccable service, comfortable and safe. The Private Room is open daily from 0530HRS to 0230HRS. When The Private Room is closed, you can still make yourself at home at SilverKris Lounge’s First Class area which is open 24 hours.

Disclaimer: Drink Responsibly.