When choosing a credit card, you must consider how you spend your money. Everyone’s spending habits and needs are different, and there’s a card to match your exact needs and wants. With this principle in mind, our team reviewed 100+ options to come up with the best travel rewards credit cards – based on the value of rewards and bonuses they provide. A true comparison is best made between cards that fit into their individual categories. As a result, the list below is organized into groups that provide the highest value to people with different needs.
- Our Top Travel Credit Cards
- No Annual Fee Airline Miles Rewards Credit Card
- Best Air Miles Rewards Card for an Average Consumer
- Luxury Air Miles Rewards Without Luxury Fees
- Best Luxury Miles Card for Business Traveler
- Visual Comparison of Travel Credit Card Rewards
- Other Travel Perks
- Award Miles or Cashback?
The following cards are among the best for their respective categories. For more information on how we determined the winners for each of the above categories, take a look at our methodology section. We have organized this section based on how much you can earn in rewards over a 2-year period. Each card's dollar value, however, can vary depending on its user's spending habits. Read our extensive review of each card below to find out which card suits your lifestyle most ideally.
|Travel Cards||Annual Fee||*2-Year Dollar Value|
|HSBC Advance Visa Platnium Card||S$0.0||S$2,174|
|UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card||S$256.8||S$1,994|
|Citibank PremierMiles Visa Card||S$192.6||S$1,950|
|Citibank Prestige Card Mastercard||S$535.0||S$1,343|
|OCBC Titanium Card||S$192.6||S$1,747|
|Maybank Family & Friends Platnium MasterCard||S$80.0||S$1,174|
|CIMB Visa Signature||S$0.0||S$1,040|
HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Card is the only card we have featured in Best Travel Cards 2017 that has no annual fee. We think this card is quite ideal for millennials, online shoppers and foodies alike. While its flat rate award is relatively weak at 0.4 miles per S$1 spent, HSBC Advance card grants 4 miles for every dollar spent on self-indulging activities like online shopping, dining and entertainment.
The fact that all of this comes for absolutely free is the greatest part of this deal from HSBC. With this card, you can earn miles while you shop online, eat out with your friends and partying on weekends without paying an expensive annual fee. For this reason, we think HSBC Advance could be an excellent choice for young people who might be more conscious about costs but have an active shopping habit or social life.
Pros of HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Card
- No annual fee
- 4 miles on online spend (shopping and travel bookings), dining, and entertainment
- 16% off on petrol at Caltex & Shell
- S$85 HSBC’s All Days Movie Card if you spend S$100 in the first month, S$950 Samsonite luggage if you spend S$500 per month in the first 3 months
Cons of HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Card
- Very low flat award rate of 0.4 miles per S$1 spend on everything outside of online, dining and entertainment
- Not many other perks to speak of (i.e. lounge access, airport limousine service, etc.)
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card is one of our favorite travel cards for average consumers. It has a very good set of offers that includes great mile awards (1.2 miles for S$ spent locally) and bonus miles. When you pay the annual fee of S$192.6 and spend S$10,000 in the first 3 months, you can receive an award of up to 40,000 bonus miles. Citi Miles can be redeemed at over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotel properties, so you can use the miles for almost any trip.
Pros of Citi Premier Miles
- 1.2 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for S$1 spent overseas
- 10x miles for online travel bookings (promotion)
- Flexible convertibility to over 60 airlines & 8,000 hotel properties, including Star Alliance, Skyteam, IHG rewards and Hilton HHonors points
- Up to 30,000 bonus miles (15,000 when you apply and spend within first 3 months + 15,000 miles when you spend a total of $10,000 within first 3 months)
- 10,000 miles when you pay the annual fee and renew
- 14% off petrol spend at Shell & Esso
Cons of Citi Premier Miles
- S$192.6 of annual fee, no waiver
- S$25 administration fee for each Frequent Flyers Programme redemption
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.
Pros of UOB PRVI Miles Card
- One of the highest awards rates, 1.4 miles for S$1 spent locally, 2.4 miles for S$1 spent overseas, 6miles on S$1 spent on travel
- 20,000 loyalty miles every year with at least S$50,000 of spend on the card
- Low annual fee compared to other high mile cards (S$256.8, waived 1st year)
Cons of UOB PRVI Miles Card
- Points expire in 2 years
- No complimentary lounge access (you do get 30% discount on lounge fees)
- Limited perks like complimentary nights at a limited hotel chains
Just as the name suggests, Citi Prestige MasterCard Card is a luxury 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.
Pros of Citi Prestige MasterCard Credit Card
- High mile award of 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
- Annual bonus of up to 25,000 miles when you pay the annual fee
- Various travel perks like SPG Gold Status, special benefits at Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton around the world, unlimited complimentary 4th night at any hotel and unlimited Airport Lounge VIP Access
Cons of Citi Prestige MasterCard Credit Card
- High annual fee of S$535 & annual income requirement of S$120,000
- Not as good as other luxury cards unless you are a Citigold customer
Best Air Miles Credit Card for Autralia and New Zealand: ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card
If you frequently go travel between Singapore and Australia or New Zealand, there might be no better card to use than ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card. As far as spending in Australia and New Zealand is concerned, this card provides the best mile award of 2.8 miles per S$1 spent in these countries. ANZ Travel card also helps earn miles on your flights to these countries, with 2.8 miles awarded on S$1 spent on Qantas Airways or Jetstar Airways. Every other spend receives 1.4 miles of reward, which is a phenomenal deal. Therefore, we highly recommend this card for expats from those countries who are living in Singapore or anyone whose job requires frequent trips between the islands. Its annual fee is $200 and is waived for the first year.
Pros of ANZ Travel Card
- The highest mile award rate of 2.8 miles per S$1 spent in Australia or New Zealand, or on Qantas Airways and Jetstar Airways
- 1.4 miles for S$1 spent on everything else
- 2,000 bonus air miles when you spend S$500 on your card, and 10,000 bonus miles when you pay the annual fee to renew
- Unlimited lounge access around the world
Cons of ANZ Travel Card
- Outstanding benefits are limited to Australia and New Zealand
Cashback Rewards for Travel in Malaysia and Singapore: Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card
Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card is a cashback card from Maybank, the biggest bank in Malaysia. Although it's not an air miles card, we think it could function nicely as a "travel card" for people who frequently travel between Malaysia and Singapore. This unique card offered by Maybank provides a number of benefits in both countries, like 8% off on petrol, groceries and taxi rides.
Maybank Family & Friends card is also very affordable to use, with only $80 of annual that is waived when you spend S$12,000 or more on the card annually (S$1,000 monthly). For these reasons, we have decided to include it in the Best Travel Cards under a specific niche.
Pros of Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card
- Very low annual fee of S$80, waived with S$12,000 of annual spend
- Great cashback of 8% on petrol, taxis and groceries in both Singapore and Malaysia
- S$80 cash credit for new members with S$400 spent in the 1st month
Cons of Maybank Family & Friends MasterCard Credit Card
- No mile awards
- S$600 cap on annual cash rebate
- Low petrol rebates at 8%
Low Foreign Exchange Fee & Dining Cashback Rewards: CIMB Visa Signature Card
CIMB Visa Signature card is not an airmiles card. However, we have featured this card here because of a few characterstics that transform it into a quite nice travel card. It’s completely free to use and has no monthly minimum spend. Because it has only 1% foreign transaction fee and provides a complimentary travel insurance, CIMB Visa Signature card presents a nice way of having a "travel card" without paying the air miles card fees. While it has low cashback rate on general purchases, its 10% rebate on dining is top of the industry.
Pros of CIMB Visa Signature Card
- No annual fee
- 10% cashback on dining
- 1% foreign exchange transaction fee
Cons of CIMB Visa Signature Card
- 0.2% cash rebate on everything else
- 10% cashback on dining is capped at S$60 per month
Air Miles Rewards Card with Easy Fee Waiver: DBS Altitude Visa Card
DBS Altitude Card is quite similar to Citi PremierMile Card, especially in terms of air mile rewards. You can earn 1.2 miles for every S$1 of local expenditure and 2 miles for every S$1 of overseas expense. Where they differ, however, is DBS Altitude's 3 miles award for S$1 spent on online travel bookings, a feature Citi Premier Miles does not have. Also, if you spend more than S$2,000 a month, DBS will wavie the S$192.6 of annual fee. Hence, if you value annual fee waivers over bonus mile awards, DBS Altitude maybe the right card for you.
Pros of DBS Altitude
- Annual fee of S$192.6 is waived when you spend at least S$25,000 a year
- 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
Cons of DBS Altitude
- Lags peers in bonus awards, only gives 10,000 bonus miles when you pay to renew instead of getting the waiver (i.e. you didn’t meet the S$25,000 of minimum annual spend)
Best Air Miles Card for Frequent Business Travelers: Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
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 Uber discounts 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.
Pros of Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
- Some of the highest mile award rates of 1.4 miles and 3 miles for every S$1 spent locally and overseas, respectively.
- Luxurious perks like Hilton HHonor Gold status, discounts on Uber rides globally, complimentary VIP lounge access, and Gold Class Infinite Experience Package (i.e. discounts for golf clubs, yachts and private jets)
- Welcome bonus of 35,000 miles
Cons of Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
- Expensive annual fee of S$688.6 and no waiver
Best Air Miles Credit Card for Moderate Budgets: Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card
Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card is another great card for people who want to avoid high annual fees. Its annual fee is quite low at S$150, and actually can be waived every year if you spend just S$1,000 on the card every month (S$12,000 per year). This, however, does not mean that Maybank Horizon lacks a meaningful reward program.
For every S$1 you spend on dining or on petrol on weekends, Maybank Horizon card will award 2 miles. You can also earn 2 miles per dollar on your travel bookings and on the money you spend overseas. By providing great mile award rates for your travel expense as well as your daily needs, Maybank Horizon helps you build up miles while saving up on the annual fee you would otherwise have to spend with other cards.
Pros of Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card
- Low annual fee of S$150, which is waived with S$12,000 of annual spend
- 2 miles for S$1 spent on air tickets, travel packages and overseas
- 2 miles for every S$1 spent on petrol & dining on weekends
- Only 1% foreign transaction fee, one of the lowest in the country
- Complimentary VIP airport lounge access
- S$80 cash credit for new members with S$400 of spend in the first month
Cons of Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa Card
- Limited perks
- S$25 fee for converting miles
- 2 miles for every S$1 spent on petrol & dining on weekends expiring in July, not clear what will happen afterwards
Best for Miles Card Beginners: American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card
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 a great reward of 1.1 mile per S$1 spent locally, 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas or on singaporeair.com and silkair.com 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.
Pros of Amex KrisFlyer Card
- Most convenient mile redemption program with no additional fee
- 1.1 miles per S$1 of local spend2 miles per S$1 spent on singaporeair.com, silkair.com, KrisShop and SilkAir SkyShop
- 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas in June and December
- Up to 8,000 bonus miles when you spend S$700 in the first 6 months upon card approval
- Access to American Express Selects
Cons of Amex KrisFlyer Card
- High travel reward only from Singapore Airlines & Silk Air
- Miles redemption limited to Singapore Airlines, Silk Air and Star Alliance partners
- Lower award rates than other comparable cards
Best For Flexible Miles Redemption: OCBC Voyage
Perhaps the most distinguishing characterstic of OCBC Voyage card is its flexible mile redemption prgoram. 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 avaialbility 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 2.3 miles for S$1 spent on dining or overseas (everything else receives 1 mile). 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.
Pros of OCBC Voyage
- High miles award especially for dining, at 2.3 miles for S$1 spent overseas or on local dining, All other spend receives 1 mile per S$1 spent
- Flexible miles redemption program that allows you to book any flight you want at anytime
- Travel perks like unlimited VIP lounge access and free airport limo service
- Slick metal design
- Welcome bonus of 15,000 miles and ability to buy 150,000 KrisFlyer Miles for S$3,210 (S$0.02 per mile)
Cons of OCBC Voyage
- High annual fee of S$488, no waiver
- Not as much luxury perks as other luxury cards like Citi Prestige MasterCard Credit Card or Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
Honorable Mention: OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card
In our opinion, OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card is a decent air miles card designed for frequent travelers with low income combined with a very basic, middle of the road benefits. It has its own bright spots, and allows you to rack up miles relatively quickly. On the other hand, we think you can do much better than this card regardless of your needs and spending level. Unless your budget constrains you such that you plan to spend almost exactly S$1,500 a month and can’t afford to pay an annual fee, we think there are other cards like Citi PremierMiles Card, DBS Altitude Card, Maybank Horizon Platinum and HSBC Advance Cards >that might better suit your needs.
Pros of OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card
- 2-year annual fee waiver, with subsequent years waived with annual spend of S$10,000
- 1 mile for every S$1 spent locally, 2 miles for every S$1 spent overseas
Cons of OCBC Titanium MasterCard Credit Card
- S$1,500 monthly spend requirement to enjoy high benefits
Below is a visual representation of the approximate savings one can earn by using the best air miles credit cards in Singapore. For a consumer that spends about S$2,000 per month, these cards can earn about S$1,244 over 2 years. This amount can vary depending on what your spending habit looks like and how you redeem your miles. For frequent travellers 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.
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.
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.
*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.