Air Miles Credit Cards

In 2012, Singaporeans made nearly 6.5 million trips overseas, by air. No wonder, Air Miles credit cards have become Singaporeans’ favourite travel companion! An Air Miles credit card lets you earn air miles for your credit card spends, to be redeemed for subsequent air travel.

These cards typically offer a bouquet of benefits, in addition to the air miles feature.

Air Miles
Air Miles Card

This article strives to present the main features of such air miles cards to help you evaluate the best possible offering out there.

Miles/Spend ratio

This is the number of miles earned for every dollar spent. Check the miles/spend in relation to the rewards structure. For instance, once spend exceeds a certain amount, you start to earn more miles for subsequent spends.

Get to know those transactions that qualify for earning miles and those that do not. Some transactions can earn you more than the norm. Eg. overseas spends earn more miles than spends in Singapore.

Finally, check if there is a conversion fee for using the miles earned. Some cards also allow you to convert your air miles into rewards points and even cash credit.

Annual Fee/Miles Earned

Most cards charge you an annual fee. On payment of the fee, you get a lumpsum credit of miles. If the annual fee is waived, you may not get the credit.

Eligibility

Annual Income should be in the range S$30,000-S$80,000. A few select cards meant for high networth customers have much higher eligibility criteria, expressed in terms of assets under management.

Points expiry

Some cards have an expiry period for the miles earned, ranging from 1-5 years. Some cards, like the Citibank PremierMiles card, do not have an expiry period.

Participating airlines

Some cards allow you to redeem your miles on different airlines eg: the Citibank PremierMiles card gives the largest such option with 50 airlines. Check to see whether your chosen card covers all the major airline networks.

Privileges

Most air miles cards offer a set of privileges in addition to the air miles features. These may include:

  • Access to VIP airport lounges across the globe.
  • Accident/Medical/Baggage Insurance and Medical assistance (a card like the Citibank Premier Miles offers a full Travel Inconvenience Coverage package that includes baggage loss/delay, flight delay, trip delay/interruption in addition to a S$1million accident insurance and a comprehensive medical assistance programme).
  • Hotel, dining and entertainment offers.
  • Limousine pick-up/drop to/from the airport/residence.

Read through the terms and conditions relating to the above features with particular attention to exclusions and limitations.

Make the most out of air miles cards

Focus all your spending, especially the type of spending that earns you miles, on the card you’ve chosen.

Stay loyal to one airline. Spreading your miles amongst multiple airlines is not very effective. Air miles are useful when in a large number. Having a couple of hundred or even a couple of thousand air miles in different frequent flyer programs is not enough to redeem for a flight or an upgrade.

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