What is the Best Credit Card for Air Miles

What is the Best Credit Card for Air Miles
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Mileage Credit Cards

Many credit cards that are promoted as mileage credit cards (see Credit Card for Miles) are actually simply earning a higher number of reward points which can be converted to air miles for a fee. Different banks have different credit cards air miles redemption rates and also different fees for the conversion. It is important to take all these into account when looking for the right credit card to accumulate miles on.

 

Types of Mileage Credit Cards

Mileage credit cards belong to category-based spending credit cards or broad-based spending credit cards or a mixture of both in order to attract more signups. Category-based spending credit cards usually reward users with miles (or points) for spending on specific categories such as Dining, Online Shopping or Overseas Spending and are covered under their respective reviews. Broad-based spending credit cards are cards which reward users with miles (or points) for spending on everything but sometimes with specific payment methods. Category-based spending credit cards tend to have a higher mileage earn rate for their specific spend category as compared to broad-based spending mileage credit cards for spending on anything. A short comparison for broad-based spending credit cards is covered in the table below.

 

Broad-based Spending Mileage Credit Cards
Comparison Table

Credit Card Issuer and Type of Credit Card Minimum Requirements / Conditions Mileage Earn Rate

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card

Only when using using Contactless payments

Earn 4 air miles or 10X UNI$ per $1 spend

UOB Visa Signature Card

Only when using using Visa payWave or mobile payments with minimum spend of $1,000 per statement period

Earn 4 air miles or 10X UNI$ per $1 spend

BOC Elite Miles World MasterCard

None

Earn 1.5 air miles or 4.5 Points per $1 spend

Amex SIA Solitaire PPS Credit Card

Step-up earn rate of 1.5 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend only valid for all spending above $3,800 in a month

Earn 1.3 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

Earn 1.5 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

UOB PRVI Miles Amex Card

UOB PRVI Miles World MasterCard

UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card

None

Earn 1.4 air miles or 3.5X UNI$ per $1 spend

UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card

None

Earn 1.4 air miles or 3X UNI$ per $1 spend

Amex SIA PPS Club Platinum Credit Card

Step-up earn rate of 1.4 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend only valid for all spending above $3,800 in a month

Earn 1.3 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

Earn 1.4 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

Citi Prestige Card

None

Earn 1.3 air miles or 3.25X Citi ThankYou Points per $1 spend

HSBC Visa Infinite Card

Step-up earn rate of 1.25 air miles per $1 spend only valid from Year 2 of card membership

Earn 1 air miles or 2.5 Rewards Points per $1 spend

Earn 1.25 air miles or 3.125 Rewards Points per $1 spend

Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card

None

Earn 1.2 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

Citibank PremierMiles Card

None

Earn 1.2 air miles or 1.2 Citi Miles per $1 spend

OCBC 90°N Credit Card

None

Earn 1.2 Travel$ per $1 spend

KrisFlyer UOB Card

None

Earn 1.2 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card

DBS Altitude Amex Card

None

Earn 1.2 air miles or 3X DBS Points per $1 spend

DBS Black Card

DBS Treasures Black Elite American Express Card

None

Earn 1.2 air miles or 3X DBS Points per $1 spend

Maybank Visa Infinite Card

None

Earn 1.2 air miles or 3X Treats Points per $1 spend

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card

None

Earn 1.2 air miles or 3X Points per $1 spend

OCBC VOYAGE Visa Infinite Card

None

Earn 1.2 Voyage Mile per $1 spend

Amex SIA KrisFlyer Credit Card

None

Earn 1.1 Krisflyer miles per $1 spend

 

Best Credit Card for Miles

The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card is the best credit card for miles due to its highest earn rate of 4 miles per $1 spend on contactless payments and online spending (see Best Miles Credit Card Review Singapore 2020 for comprehensive review). There is no minimum spend and is an extremely useful card for everyday spend as most Singapore merchants accept some form of contactless payment.

 

Other Mileage Credit Cards with Promotions

The American Express Rewards Card comes with an annual fee of $53.50 that cannot be waived and only earns 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent. However, a promotion allows you to receive 24,000 bonus Membership Reward points (13,333 miles) when you spend $500 a month for the first three months of card membership.

Another interesting promotion by American Express allows American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card cardholders to earn 5,000 miles + 16,000 miles by spending $10,000 within 3 months of approval. This is on top of an earn rate of 1.2 miles per $1 spent. Cardholders will be automatically upgraded to the KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership tier when they spend above $15,000 at singaporeair.com within 12 months approval. They can also enjoy a complimentary night stay at Hilton Properties in Asia Pacific and at Village Hotel Sentosa as well as four complimentary lounge access vouchers to SATS Premier and Plaza Premium Lounges anually. If paying for annual feees is not your thing, you can consider the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card instead as it awards 5,000 miles + 8,000 miles by spending $5,000 within 3 months of approval and another 8,000 miles by spending $5,000 within 4th to 6th months of approval. This is on top of an earn rate of 1.1 miles per $1 spent and a free first year fee waiver.

The previously best mileage card BOC Elite Miles World MasterCard has an attractive high earn rate of 3 miles per $1 overseas spend and 1.5 miles per $1 local spend. It is a useful card for large expenses or miscellaneous non-PayWave spending as there is no minimum spend and no maximum cap on miles earned. However, Bank of China has cracked the whip and made it impossible to get a 2nd year annual fee waiver. Coupled with a very short reward points validity of 12 to 24 months, we are not sure if the card is worth the effort.

The UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card has a high earn rate of 2.4 miles per $1 overseas spend, 1.4 miles per $1 spend locally and 6 miles per $1 spend on Expedia. The most attractive thing about this card is that you will also receive a bonus of 20,000 miles every year if you spend more than $50,000 a year and is a great card for you to use for large expenses like wedding or car purchase.

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card is similar to the UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card in terms of mileage earn rate but lets cardholders earn 1.2 miles for every $1 spent locally instead. It has an attractive overseas spend promotion which allows cardholders to earn 4 miles per $1 overseas spend until 31 Mar 2020.

The Citibank PremierMiles Card earns a similar mileage earn rate as DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card but with the opportunity to earn up to 26,500 bonus miles for new signups if you are willing to fork out the $192.60 annual fee.

OCBC VOYAGE Visa Infinite Card awards 2.3 air miles (2.3 VOYAGE Miles) per $1 equivalent spend in foreign currency. The main advantage of this card lies with the fact that VOYAGE Miles can be used to redeem air tickets on any airline, anytime, with no black-out dates with flexibility of partial or full redemption for yourself or your family members. VOYAGE Miles never expire and there is no conversion cost for redemptions. In the event VOYAGE Miles are used for air tickets redemption, the redeemed tickets can still earn new VOYAGE Miles.

The Citibank Rewards Visa / MasterCard Card earns 10X Citi ThankYou Points or 4 air miles for retail shopping worldwide and for online spending (excluding travel-related spend). It is running a promotion which ends 31 Mar 2020 on that allows new cardholders to earn 10,800 bonus miles.

Similarly, OCBC Titanium Rewards Card earns 10X OCBC$ or 4 air miles for shopping for babies and children’s wear, department stores, clothes, shoes and bags, electronics and gadgets and personal care.

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