Rack Up Air Miles with Credit Cards in 3 Simple Steps

Ryan Ong

Ryan Ong

Last updated 15 July, 2015
<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Rack Up Air Miles with Credit Cards in 3 Simple Steps</span>

You don’t need to book a flight with an airlines to collect air miles. With credit cards, you can easily get enough to redeem flights around the world.

What’s the best way to save money on flights? By redeeming the miles you’ve collected, of course. Before, the only way to accumulate air miles was through frequent-flyer programs by airlines. With air miles credit cards in Singapore, you don’t even have to leave the country to rack up your miles.

So how exactly can you rack up air miles?

1. Sign up for an air miles credit card (if you haven’t already)

Every purchase you make with this type of credit card earns you air miles. When armed with an air miles credit card everywhere you go, whether in Singapore or overseas, it’s possible to accrue enough miles to redeem first-class return tickets to New York over time.

With a card such as the DBS Altitude American Express card, you can earn 1.2 miles on every dollar spent locally. Using your card out of Singapore will get you 2 miles per dollar spent. That adds up to a whole lot of miles per month if you charge what you normally spend on your air miles credit card.

However, keep in mind that you should never use a credit card with the sole purpose to earn miles. It is an added bonus, not one where you spend extra money to accumulate more miles

2. Make full use of promotions from the bank

How do you maximise using an air miles credit card? Each bank has its own promotions for earning more miles. Some banks reward you with miles the moment you sign up for it. Others reward you with bonus miles once you’ve charged a certain amount to your card in a time period.

For example, the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold Credit Card rewards the cardholder 5,000 miles when a first purchase is made. On top of that, after $5,000 is charged to the card within six months, the cardholder earns 50% more miles and an additional 5,000 miles.

Sign up for the provider’s newsletters to get updated on latest promotions so you can maximise using your air miles credit card. It’s also important to read the fine print of each promotion carefully.

3. Convert rewards points on existing cards to air miles

If you have existing credit cards that earn you rewards points, you might want to check if you can convert them to air miles. Instead of redeeming for vouchers, especially if you have no use for them, use your rewards points to rack up your air miles.

Banks such as HSBC work with more than one frequent-flyer program. In their case, an HSBC credit card allows you to convert rewards points to KrisFlyer miles (by Singapore Airlines) or Asia Miles (by Cathay Pacific).

Don’t mistake a rewards credit card for an air miles credit card. You’ll still earn more miles on an air miles credit card compared to that of a rewards credit card.

How to maximise your air miles?

So you’ve accumulated an impressive amount of air miles, and you’re ready to redeem them for flights. However, not every flight gives you the best deal. To get the best bang for your buck, save your miles for non-promotional flights, especially to lesser popular destinations. Or better yet, for long-haul flights with prices that remain constant throughout the year.

You can use SingSaver.com.sg's free comparison tools to compare travel credit cards and start racking up miles.

Ryan has been writing about finance for the last 10 years. He also has his fingers in a lot of other pies, having written for publications such as Men’s Health, Her World, Esquire, and Yahoo! Finance.


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