Credit Cards

Best Air Miles Credit Cards 2018

We researched and compared over hundreds of cards extensively to find you the cards with the best travel rewards of 2018.

Everyone's spending habits are different, and there's a card to match your exact needs. Our team reviewed and compared 100+ options to come up with the best airline miles credit cards – based on the value of rewards, miles and bonuses they provide. Use our reviews below to compare the best credit card for miles in Singapore today.

Table of Contents

Best Airline Miles Credit Card: Citibank PremierMiles Visa Card

Consider this if you are an average consumer who wants a balance of generous mile awards and other travel perks

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$42,000

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card is one of our favorite travel cards for average consumers. It offers a simple to understand 1.2 miles for S$1 spent locally (2 miles per S$1 spent overseas), so that you can earn miles on every expenditure you make. This essentially matches most of the top offers in the country. Not only that, Citi PMV Card provides even more features like welcome cashback bonus, complimentary lounge access and travel insurance, and access to Citi Privileges globally. When you pay the annual fee of S$192.6, you can also receive 10,000 miles every year as you renew your card. Citi Miles can be redeemed at over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotel properties, so you can use the miles for almost any trip.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived 1st year
  • 1.2 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas
  • Up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on online travel booking sites like Kaligo and Agoda
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Priority Pass Membership for free lounge access
  • Access to Citi Privileges globally
  • 14% off petrol spend at Shell & Esso
  • Promotion: S$120 cashback
  • Bonus: 10,000 miles when you pay the annual fee and renew
  • Read Our Full Review

Best No Annual Fee Miles Credit Card: DBS Altitude Visa Card

Consider this if you a good miles credit card with an easily waived annual fee

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$45,000

DBS Altitude Card is an amazing miles credit card that's suitable for people with a budget. With it, you can earn 1.2 miles for every S$1 of local expenditure and 2 miles for every S$1 of overseas expense, which is one of the best offers available. This feature is particularly useful for those whose budget is spread out across multiple spending areas. To make this card affordable, DBS also waives this card's annual fee of S$192.6 for those who spend more than S$2,000 a month (or S$25,000 per year). Hence, if you value annual fee waivers over bonus mile awards, DBS Altitude could be a great way to earn miles without the burden of paying the annual cost.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived when you spend at least S$25,000 a year
  • Option to earn 10,000 bonus miles when paying the annual fee to renew
  • 1.2 miles for S$1 of local spend and 2 miles for overseas spend
  • 3 miles for S$1 spent on online travel bookings
  • Up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on online travel booking sites like Kaligo and Expedia
  • 14% discount on petrol at Esso
  • Complimentary travel insurance: S$1mn in accident & death
  • 2 Complimentary Global Airport Lounge Access visits per year
  • Promotion: 1 chance to win 2 SIA suites class tickets for every S$500 spend (5x for travel bookings)
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Overseas Spending & Business Travelers: Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card

Consider this if you travel overseas frequently for business or shopping

Annual Income Requirement S$150,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$150,000

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is the last of high end travel cards we have handpicked for this list. We think the card's features are quite suitable for frequent business travelers who spend a lot of time overseas. While 1.4 miles awarded for S$1 spent locally is already great, where SC Visa Infinite card shines is its 3 miles reward for S$1 spent overseas.

SC Visa Infinte Card also comes with luxurious perks like Hilton HHonor Gold Status, discounts on Grab rides globally and discounts on golf clubs and private jets. For busy business travelers who have the money to spend but not much time for leisure, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card could help to squeeze every ounce of happiness and joy out of your time in style.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$588.6 and no waiver
  • 1.4 miles and 3 miles for every S$1 spent locally and overseas, respectively.
  • Hilton HHonor Gold status, complimentary VIP lounge access & travel insurance, discounts for golf clubs, yachts and private jets
  • 20% cashback and more on Grab rides globally
  • Promotion: Welcome bonus of 35,000 miles (or 15,000 miles and a Samsonite 28" luggage)
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Mile Card for Entertainment & Online Shopping: HSBC Revolution Card

Consider this if you spend mostly on shopping, dining and entertainment

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$40,000

HSBC Revolution Card is the best no-annual fee air miles credit card in Singapore, in our view. First, its rewards program focuses on major spending areas for an average consumer: dining, entertainment and online shopping. For each of these categories, HSBC Revolution earns 2 miles per S$1. Not only that, HSBC Revolution provides the same 16% off on petrol and 10% off on travel bookings so you can save even more money. Though it does charge an annual fee of S$160.5, you can get this waived quite easily, as the first 2 years are waived and subsequent years are waived for those who maintain an annual expenditure of S$12,500 on the card. Since the average monthly spend in Singapore is S$2,000, spending S$1,000 per month to get this fee waived should be reasonably easy for most people.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$160.5. waived for 2 years, and then waived in subsequently for annual spend of S$12,500
  • 2 miles on online spend (shopping and travel bookings), dining, and entertainment
  • 16% off on petrol at Caltex & Shell
  • Up to 10% off on travel bookings online
  • Welcome Bonus: American Tourister Caravan 70cm TSA luggage (worth S$260) or S$100 cash back for new customers (S$50 for existing customers)
  • Promotion: Save up to S$10,000 with 1,000 Entertainer 1-for-1 deals
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Miles Card for Dining: Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

Consider this if you want to maximise miles earned on dining and petrol

Annual Income Requirement S$50,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$60,000

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card is an awesome miles credit card for people who want to avoid high annual fees. This card is particularly useful for people who drive and dine out a lot, as it awards 3.2 air miles for every S$1 you spend on dining or on petrol, which is practically one of the best deals we've seen for these two categories. You can also earn 2 to 3.2 miles per dollar on your travel bookings and on foreign currency transactions. Last but not least, its annual fee of S$180 can be easily waived if you spend just S$1,500 on the card every month (S$18,000 per year). By providing great mile award rates for your travel expense as well as your daily needs, Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card helps you build up miles while saving up on the annual fee you would otherwise have to spend with other cards.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$180, waived with S$18,000 of annual spend
  • 2 miles for S$1 spent on air tickets, travel packages and foreign currency transactions
  • 3.2 miles for every S$1 spent on petrol, dining, taxi fares (including GrabTaxi) and hotel bookings via agoda.com/horizon
  • Complimentary access to selected VIP airport lounges & travel insurance
  • Bonus: Receive a complimentary Samsonite Orfeo 69cm Spinner worth S$420 when you apply for 2 Maybank Credit Cards and CreditAble
  • Read Our Full Review

Best for Bonus Mile Award: American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card

Consider this if you want an easy to use miles card and fly mostly on Singapore Airline's various brands

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$60,000

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card is a great card for miles card beginners. It combines convenience, rewards and perks into one card. Amex Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer card provides the easiest way of redeeming miles that doesn’t require additional fees or long processing time. If you are unfamiliar with how this works or don't want the trouble of navigating the redemption system, Amex KrisFlyer card is an excellent way of getting your feet wet. It also provides up to 14,000 KrisFlyer miles as a bonus for new customers who meet certain conditions like expenditure amount.

It also provides a great reward of 1.1 mile per S$1 spent locally, 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas or with Singapore Airlines for your travel bookings. Since Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary Silk Air have more than 40% market share of flights in Singapore, we don't think being limited to these two airlines will present material problems for most people. Annual fee is S$176.6 and is waived for the first year.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$176.55, first year fee waived
  • 1.1 miles per S$1 of local spend, 2 miles per S$1 spent with Singapore Airlines
  • 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas in June and December
  • 3.1 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on Grab and Uber rides
  • Access to American Express Selects
  • Promotions: Up to 11,000 bonus KrisFlyer Miles when you spend S$2,000 in the first 3 months
  • 1,500 KrisFlyer Miles each for the first two approved supplementary cards
  • S$150 Cashback for use with Singapore Airlines when you spend S$12,000
  • Get 1 chance for every S$50 spend on your card in each monthly draw to win 2 business class tickets to 12 destinations in the world (varies by month)
  • Read Our Full Review

Miles Credit Card with Flexible Miles Redemption: OCBC Voyage Card

Consider this if you want the ability to redeem your miles whenever you want, without blackout dates

Annual Income Requirement S$120,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$120,000

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of OCBC Voyage Card is its flexible mile redemption program. It is the only card we have seen that allows you to redeem miles for any flight at any time, without a long process time or blacked out dates. This feature is ideal for busy professionals who may not have much visibility into their schedule weeks in advance. Because OCBC Voyage will allow you to book your free flight last minute (as long as there is availability on the flight), OCBC Voyage helps you use the miles to go on the vacation you've been craving at moment's notice.

OCBC Voyage card also comes with great mile benefits like 1.6 miles per S$1 spent on local dining and retail, with another 2.3 miles for S$1 spent overseas. Its slick design feature special alloy material sets it apart from other "luxury" travel cards in the market. Although it has a rather high annual fee of S$488, OCBC Voyage helps offset the cost with 15,000 welcome bonus miles and an opportunity to buy 150,000 miles for S$3,210 (S$0.02 per mile), which is a great deal if you can redeem it for business class flights or better.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$488, no waiver
  • 1.6 mile per S$1 spent on local dining and retail spend, 2.3 miles for S$1 spent overseas
  • Flexible miles redemption program that allows you to book any flight you want at anytime
  • Unlimited VIP lounge access, complimentary travel insurance and free airport limo service
  • Slick metal design
  • Promotion: Welcome bonus of 15,000 miles and ability to buy 150,000 KrisFlyer Miles for S$3,210 (S$0.02 per mile)
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Miles Card for Shopping: Citi Rewards Visa Card

Consider this if you want to maximise miles rewards on shopping expenses

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$42,000

There are two miles credit cards in Singapore that are the best in terms of shopping rewards. First, we have Citi Rewards Visa Card. While most shopping cards limit their rewards to predesignated stores or online retailers, Citi Rewards card provides 4 miles for every dollar you spend online, offline and even in foreign countries. Besides shopping, it also helps you save money on petrol at Esso and Shell (up to 14%), though we do admit 0.4 miles on other purchases is pretty dismal. For this reason, we highly recommend Citi Rewards Visa Card only to active shoppers who can earn enough miles to offset the high S$192.6 of annual that is not waived.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, waived 1st year
  • 4 miles (10 reward points) for every S$1 spent on shopping (including online), 8 miles (20 reward points) at selected department stores in Singapore
  • Up to 14% off on petrol at Esso and Shell
  • Promotion: 8 miles per S$1 spent on Lazada and Amazon
  • Welcome Bonus: S$120 cash back
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Online Shopping Without Annual Fee: OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card

Consider this if you want to earn miles on shopping and mobile payments without paying an annual fee

Annual Income Requirement S$30,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$45,000

In our opinion, OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card is a great miles card for active shoppers, especially those want to avoid paying the high annual fees. After its major rebranding in 2016, it is providing equivalent mile awards as Citi Rewards credit card: both cards now provide 4 miles for every S$1 spent on shopping, and 0.4 miles for S$1 spent on all other things. In 2018, OCBC is also unique in extending the 4 mile offer to every dollar spent on mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Android Pay. Not only that, OCBC Titanium Card is actually cheaper than Citi Rewards Credit Card because its annual fee of S$192.6 is waived for 2 years, and waived in subsequent years as long as you spend at least S$10,000 on the card annually, while its chief competitor waives its fee for only 1 year.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 2-year annual fee waiver, with subsequent years waived with annual spend of S$10,000
  • 4 mile for every S$1 on shopping (offline, online and overseas) and mobile payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay)

Best Miles Card for 0% Interest Payment Plans: DBS Woman's World Card

Consider this if you need to make a large purchase that you can't immediately afford

Annual Income Requirement S$80,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$80,000

For shoppers who tend to make large purchases that they can't immediately afford, DBS Woman's World Card is an excellent way to earn miles without incurring large interest charges. First, its 4 miles per S$1 spent online matches its leading competitors. Although its 1.2 miles per S$1 spent overseas or 0.4 miles per S$1 spent offline are lower than what other cards offer, DBS Womn's World Card has a very unique feature that others lack: a 0% interest payment plans. With DBS's approval, this card's My Preferred Payment Plan allows cardholders to slowly pay for their purchase in instalments over 3, 6 or 12 months long tenure. This particular feature is especially useful because DBS does not charge any processing fee for up to 12 months, though you can't receive rewards for the balance either. If you tend to make a relatively large payment every now and then, this feature could save you a lot of money in interest.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year annual fee waiver
  • 4 mile for every S$1 on online spend
  • 1.2 mile for S$1 spent overseas
  • 0% interest payment plan at no processing fee for up to 12 months
  • Promotion: Up to S$200 cashback for new customers (S$20 for existing customers)
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Golfers: Maybank World Mastercard

Consider this if you are an avid golfer who travels frequently to golf clubs worldwide

Annual Income Requirement S$80,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$80,000

Maybank World Mastercard is easily the best credit card in Singapore for golfers. That's because it provides its cardholders complimentary green fees all year around at 79 world-class fairways in 15 different countries, by far the best deal available for golfers in the country. Not only that, it comes with mile and cash back rewards to cover a golfer's every major expenditure area: dining, petrol and travel expenses. Though this card comes with a relatively high annual fee of S$240, it's much cheaper to use than other luxury cards that come with worse golf privileges. Furthermore, Maybank World Mastercard's benefits are more than valuable enough to offset the annual fee for people who golf at least once or twice a month.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$240, 1 year waiver
  • 2 complimentary green fees per month at 79 world-class fairways in 15 countries
  • 10X TREATS points (or 4 miles) per S$1 spent at select retail and dining establishments
  • 19.1% savings on petrol in Singapore (including the 4 miles per S$1 spent on petrol)
  • Up to 20% savings at select SPG Hotel and Resorts restaurants
  • Complimentary VIP Access to JetQuay at Changi Airport
  • Bonus: Receive a complimentary Samsonite Orfeo 69cm Spinner worth S$420 when you apply for 2 Maybank Credit Cards and CreditAble
  • Read Our Full Review

Citi PremierMiles American Express Card

Citibank PremierMiles American Express Card

Consider this if you want to earn a large amount of miles

Annual Income Requirement S$80,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$80,000

Citi PremierMiles Amex Card is one of our favorite travel cards in Singapore. It offers a simple to understand 1.3 miles for S$1 spent locally and 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas or with Singapore Airlines, so that you can earn miles on every expenditure you make. Not only that, you could another 15,000 in bonus miles every time you pay the annual fee of S$267.5 to renew your card membership. Though its annual fee and annual income requirement are a bit high, Citi PremierMiles Amex Card can yield a very high amounts of miles rewards for those who spend a lot more than S$2,000 per monnth. Citi Miles can also be redeemed at over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotel properties, so you can use the miles for almost any trip. Finally, this card brings a plethora of travel perks like complimentary lounge access, travel insurance, and great deals globally through Citi Privileges and American Express Selects.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$267.5
  • 1.3 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas
  • Up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on online travel booking sites like Kaligo and Agoda
  • Flexible miles convertibility to over 60 airlines & 8,000 hotel properties, including Star Alliance, Skyteam, IHG rewards and Hilton HHonors points
  • Complimentary travel insurance and Priority Pass Membership for free lounge access
  • Access to Citi Privileges & Amex Selects globally
  • 14% off petrol spend at Shell & Esso
  • Promotion: 15,000 miles when you pay the annual fee and renew
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Card for Luxury Travel Perks: Citi Prestige MasterCard Credit Card

Citibank Prestige Mastercard Card

Consider this if you want special travel perks like free hotel nights and unlimited lounge access

Annual Income Requirement S$120,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$120,000

Just as the name suggests, Citi Prestige MasterCard Card is the best luxury miles credit card with prestigious benefits. One must admit, however, that luxury and prestige don't come for free. If you can stomach the S$535 of annual fee, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider getting Citi Prestige card. We recommend Citi Prestige card especially for long-time banking customers of Citibank who have earned their Citigold status. Its 1.3 miles for S$1 spent locally and 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas gets a boost of up to 30% if you are a loyal Citigold member. Other special benefits include SPG Gold Status, complimentary nights at hotels, and special deals and discounts at golf courses and resorts.

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$535
  • Annual income requirement: S$120,000
  • 1.3 miles and 2 miles for every S$1 spent locally and overseas, respectively, with the ability to boost your reward miles by up to 30% with a banking account with Citi
  • Special benefits at Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton around the world, unlimited complimentary 4th night at any hotel
  • Unlimited Airport Lounge VIP Access
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Promotion: Annual bonus of up to 25,000 miles when you pay the annual fee to renew
  • Read Our Full Review

Best Air Miles Rewards for Affluent Spenders: UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card

UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card

Consider this if you want to maximise mile rewards without paying an extravagant annual fee

Annual Income Requirement S$80,000
Foreigner Income Requirement S$80,000

UOB PRVI Miles American Express Credit Card provides an excellent opportunity to earn luxury mile awards without the luxury fee. It matches the highest flat-rate mile awards in the country at 1.4 miles for S$1 for local spend. Its overseas spend mile award of 2.4 miles per dollar is also on the high-end of the market. For all these benefits, UOB PRVI Miles card only charges S$256.8 of annual fee that is waived for the first year. This is roughly half of fees charged by other high-end cards like OCBC Voyage or SC Infinite Visa cards.

Given the low fee, however, UOB PRVI Miles card does come with less perks compared to the more expensive cards. We think this card works quite nicely for people who want to earn high miles, and prefer low annual fee over perks like free lounge access or hotel rewards. This is especially true for affluent spenders who can spend S$50,000 on the card every year, which UOB rewards with 20,000 loyalty miles per year (exclusive to American Express version).

Highlights

  • Annual fee: S$256.8, waived 1st year
  • 1.4 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2.4 miles for S$1 spent overseas, 6 miles on S$1 spent on travel
  • Bonus: 20,000 loyalty miles per year with S$50,000 of annual spend (exclusive to American Express version)
  • Promotion: 12,000 welcome miles for new customers who spend S$4,000 within first 60 days (5,000 miles for existing customers)
  • Read Our Full Review

Summary of the Best Air Miles Credit Cards

In case you want a quick look at our picks, here are ValuePenguin's best miles credit cards for 2018.

Travel CardsMile RewardAnnual Fee
Citi PMV1.2 miles/S$1, 2 miles/S$1 overseasS$192.6Apply Now
DBS Altitude1.2 miles/S$1 spent, 2 miles/S$1 overseasS$192.6 (waiver)Apply Now
SC Visa Infinite1.4 miles/S$1 spent, 3 miles/S$1 overseasS$588.5Apply Now
HSBC Revolution2 miles on online, dining, and entertainmentS$160.5 (waiver)Apply Now
Amex SIA Krisflyer1.1 miles/S$1, 2 miles/S$1 on SIA & overseas, 3.1/$1 on Grab, up to 14,000 bonus milesS$176.55Apply Now
Citi Rewards4 miles/S$1 on shoppingS$192.6Apply Now
OCBC Titanium4 miles/S$1 on shoppingS$192.6 (waiver)Apply Now
Travel CardsMile RewardAnnual Fee
Citi PMVApply Now1.2 miles/S$1, 2 miles/S$1 overseasS$192.6
DBS AltitudeApply Now1.2 miles/S$1 spent, 2 miles/S$1 overseasS$192.6 (waiver)
SC Visa InfiniteApply Now1.4 miles/S$1 spent, 3 miles/S$1 overseasS$588.5
HSBC RevolutionApply Now2 miles on online, dining, and entertainmentS$160.5 (waiver)
Amex SIA KrisflyerApply Now1.1 miles/S$1, 2 miles/S$1 on SIA & overseas, 3.1/$1 on Grab, up to 14,000 bonus milesS$176.55
Citi RewardsApply Now4 miles/S$1 on shoppingS$192.6
OCBC TitaniumApply Now4 miles/S$1 on shoppingS$192.6 (waiver)

Compare the Best Air Miles Rewards Credit Cards by Dollar Value

Below is a visual representation of the approximate savings one can earn by using the best air miles credit cards in Singapore. Each card's dollar value, however, can vary depending on its user's spending habits. This amount can vary depending on what your spending habit looks like and how you redeem your miles. For frequent travelers who like to redeem their miles for long-haul business class seats, the value of these airline miles can be significantly higher than our estimates. There are also other "intangible" benefits like complimentary travel insurance and free access to airport lounges whose values are difficult to quantify but nevertheless incredibly valuable to some consumers.

For more information on how we determined the winners for each of the above categories, take a look at our methodology section. You can read more about how to choose the best travel credit card in our guide below.

A graph displaying how best travel credit cards and air miles credit cards compare to one another in terms of their rewards
Best Travel Credit Cards in Singapore by Estimated 2-Year Dollar Value

How to Choose the Best Miles Credit Card

No doubt you have seen an uncountable number of promotional phrases like "5% cash back," "3 miles on all dining and restaurant bills," and so on. Miles, cash back, and points are omnipresent when it comes to credit card offers. It may be difficult sifting through hundreds of offers without a deep understanding of what these things do and what they are ultimately worth. Here in this guide, we help you get a firm grasp of these concepts and effectively compare them to decide which type of card is best for you.

Cashback, Points and Miles: What's the Difference?

Rewards credit cards provide either cashback, poitns or miles when you use the card to make a payment. The biggest difference among these benefits is the flexibility they provide to consumers.

Points can be redeemed for different prizes and services at designated locations, and exact worth of points depends on the card issuer. While points generally function similar to coupons and discounts (effectively similar to cashback), many award programs allow easy conversion of points into miles.

Miles can be redeemed for flight tickets at various airlines designated by the card issuer, and generally are worth somewhere between S$0.01 to S$0.08 depending on how you redeem them: the longer and more expensive the flight, the higher the value of mile. Most mile programs allow easy transfer to a number of airlines and hotel chains. Most people will likely redeem miles at conversion rate of around S$0.01 per mile.

Cash back rewards are the most flexible and straightforward to understand. These cards simply rebates a certain percentage of expenditures back to the consumer, often in form of statement credits.

Who Should Prefer Miles Over Cashback?

Whether your credit card collects you frequent flyer miles or cashback, you have to keep in mind that they are worth nothing unless you redeem them. While these cards accumulate awards automatically, they benefit you without your effort. This is especially important to remember in case they expire. Before you decide on a miles card, make sure you actually have occasions to use the miles (or points). In that regard, the first thing you should consider when deciding between Award Miles and Cashback much you value free air tickets. If you travel often, earning miles may have more positive impact on your finances than earning cashback.

Also, you should also bear in mind how the value of mile varies depending on price of the flight tickets: short-haul economy flights tend to be worth less than 1 cent per mile, medium-haul economy awards are worth around 1 cent per mile, and business class seats are worth more than 3 cents per mile. If you have have reasonable number of opportunities to redeem miles at or above 1 cent per mile, mile awards cards tend to be quite valuable.

How to Compare Rewards Rates of Mile Cards and Cashback Cards

In order to accurately compare different credit cards types, you must determine their rewards rates. This rate, often presented as a percentage, represents a card’s efficiency – how much value does it give you back given the amount of money you spend? For instance, if one card gives me 8% of my bill in rebate, while another gives me just 5%, I would always prefer the former. Cashback cards have clear and explicit rewards rate, but miles cards or point cards do not. We have to calculate the rewards rate in those cases.

The most important step in calculating a credit card’s rewards rate is figuring out the worth of its miles or points. First, you must figure out how many points (or points) are needed to redeem for a certain prize. Dividing the dollar value of that prize by the number of points needed yields the value of dollars per point (or mile). Multiplying this figure by the number of points (or miles) you get per S$100 spent results in the rewards rate. Miles are somewhat easier than points, because most mile programs are convertible to one another 1 mile for 1 mile. We have done our own analysis which indicates that most miles are valued around 1 cent or higher. On the otherhand, value of points will differ depending on the issuing bank's policies.

Lastly, each card will offer different rewards rate for different areas of expenditure. For example, some cards will reward 4 miles per S$1 on dining, but will only yield 1 mile on other expenses. Once you understand how your typical monthly expenses are distributed across different categories, you can apply the aforementioned principle to calculate how much award you can earn from any given card.

Doing this analysis for each card can help you effectively evaluate which card will result in the highest benefits for your budget.

Other Travel Perks

Besides earning airline miles, many credit cards can also provide great travel perks. Some of those include free access to airport lounges, complimentary travel insurance, and even free limousine transfers to the airport. Sadly, some people are not even aware of these perks and forget to utilise them fully. These travel perks are very valuable not only in terms of monetary value, but also in terms of the amount of physical and psychological comfort they can bring to your trips that can often be quite exhausting. You can read our analyses for the best air miles credit cards that provide free airport transfers, airport lounge priority pass lounge access and complimentary travel insurance.

Methodology

*ValuePenguin calculates the dollar value of rewards based on S$2,000 of monthly spending. We sum the value of points, miles and cashback in dollar terms and subtract the annual fee over a 24-month period. The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Duckju Kang

Duckju is the Senior Vice President of ValuePenguin Singapore. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting, and investing. He previously worked in the financial services industry, including at such hedge funds as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital.