Maximise Your Miles On Everyday Spending With These Credit Cards

|Posted by | Credit Cards, Save Money, Travel Hacking
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Fancy yourself an intermediate miles chaser now? Introducing a niche approach for your miles earning pleasures.

It’s one thing to have a good starter miles card that you can use everywhere, but the way to really accelerate your miles collection is to use the right card, at the right time, and in the right situation. 

Why? Imagine you’re buying a $2,000 laptop online. You could use the Citi PremierMiles card to earn 1.2 miles per dollar (mpd) for 2,400 miles in total, but you could also use the DBS Woman’s World card for 4 mpd or 8,000 miles! 

Simply put, every time you don’t use the right card, you’re leaving value on the table. Therefore, it’s important to identify the categories you spend on the most, and use cards which reward them accordingly. 

In this post, we’ll take a look at the best cards to maximise miles for some popular spending categories. 

For online shopping

CardEarn RateRemarks
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DBS Woman’s World Card
4 mpdCapped at $2,000 per calendar month
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Citi Rewards
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per statement month
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OCBC Titanium Rewards
4 mpdCapped at $12,000 per membership year

Even if you don’t consider yourself a voracious online shopper, you almost certainly need a dedicated card for online spending. Sure, you might not spend half your day browsing Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10 and the likes, but think about how many online transactions you make in an average month:

  • Deliveroo/Foodpanda
  • Entertainment subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify etc.)
  • Groceries (Redmart)
  • Grab/Gojek rides
  • Movie tickets

All these are opportunities to earn 4 mpd, which is possible with the DBS Woman’s World Card and Citi Rewards. 

It’s also possible to use the OCBC Titanium Rewards, but OCBC’s definition of online spending is a lot stricter. You’ll earn 4 mpd on e-commerce sites like Lazada and Shopee, but not on food delivery or Grab/Gojek rides. Read the T&Cs to see what is covered and what’s not. 

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For dining

CardEarn RateRemarks
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HSBC Revolution
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per calendar month. Must use contactless payments.
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UOB Lady’s Card
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per calendar month. Must declare dining as quarterly 10X category.
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UOB Lady’s Solitaire
4 mpdCapped at $3,000 per calendar month. Must declare dining as quarterly 10X category.
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Maybank Horizon Visa Signature
3.2 mpdCapped at $4,300 per month, with min. $300 spend on any category

Prior to 1 August, the best dining card in the market was the women-only UOB Lady’s Card or Lady’s Solitaire. Cardholders could select ‘dining’ as their quarterly bonus category and earn 4 mpd on up to $1,000/$3,000 spending per month.

Then came the HSBC Revolution’s makeover, and things are much more egalitarian. The new-and-improved HSBC Revolution card offers 4 mpd on dining for up to $1,000 per month, so long as contactless payments are used. Even better — hotel dining is also eligible for the bonus, something that is often excluded by other dining cards. 

An alternative option for dining would be the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature, but you’ll only earn 3.2 mpd, provided the cardholder spends a minimum of $300 per month (on any category). 

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For public transport

CardEarn RateRemarks
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UOB Lady’s Card
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per calendar month. Must declare transport as quarterly 10X category
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UOB Lady’s Solitaire
4 mpdCapped at $3,000 per calendar month. Must declare transport as quarterly 10X category.
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Maybank Horizon Visa Signature
3.2 mpdCapped at $4,300 per month, with minimum $300 spend on any category
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KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
3 mpdWith minimum $500 spend on SIA group in a membership year

Public transport (i.e SimplyGo) won’t be a major component of most peoples’ monthly expenditure but every little bit helps. 

Women can use the UOB Lady’s Card/Lady’s Solitaire for 4 mpd with transport selected as the quarterly bonus category.

Otherwise, both the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature or KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card work, although they each come with their own minimum spend caveats. For the former, you’ll need to spend $300 on any category in a month and, for the latter, a minimum of $500 on the SIA Group (Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or KrisShop) in a year. 

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For foreign currency spending

CardEarn RateRemarks
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UOB Visa Signature
4 mpdMinimum $1,000 and maximum $2,000 of foreign currency spending per statement month
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Standard Chartered Visa Infinite
3 mpdMinimum of $2,000 foreign currency spending per statement month. 

Card is no longer issued.

Granted, no one’s travelling overseas at the moment, but for your future foreign currency spending needs, the UOB Visa Signature offers the highest return. Cardholders will earn 4 mpd when they spend at least $1,000 in foreign currency in a given statement month. 

However, if you’re shopping online at a merchant, which charges in foreign currency, you could just as well use one of the cards from the online shopping section listed above.

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For department stores

CardEarn RateRemarks
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UOB Lady’s Card
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per calendar month. Must declare fashion as quarterly 10X category.
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UOB Lady’s Solitaire
4 mpdCapped at $3,000 per calendar month. Must declare fashion as quarterly 10X category.
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Citi Rewards
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per statement month
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OCBC Titanium Rewards
4 mpdCapped at $12,000 per membership year
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HSBC Revolution
4 mpdCapped at $1,000 per calendar month, must use contactless

If you’re shopping at department stores, there’s an almost embarrassing selection of cards to choose from.

Once again, the UOB Lady’s Cards are good options (with ‘fashion’ selected as the quarterly bonus category), but you can also use the Citi Rewards, OCBC Titanium Rewards or HSBC Revolution for 4 mpd.

Do note that, unlike other cards, the OCBC Titanium Rewards applies its 4 mpd cap on an annual basis, rather than monthly. This means that if you’re buying a big ticket item like a mattress, it’d be better to use the Titanium Rewards. 

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For petrol

CardEarn RateRemarks
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Maybank World Mastercard
4 mpdNo cap
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UOB Visa Signature
4 mpdMinimum $1,000 and maximum $2,000, on petrol and contactless spending per statement month. 

Excludes Shell, SPC

Drivers can use the Maybank World Mastercard to earn 4 mpd on petrol with no cap. Alternatively, they can use the UOB Visa Signature, but this is a lot more restrictive. Shell and SPC are excluded, and cardholders must spend at least $1,000 on petrol (and/or contactless transactions) in a month to earn 4 mpd. 

Petrol stations may offer substantial discounts to holders of certain credit cards (for example, SPC and American Express), so it always pays to check at the counter. Sometimes, the value of the discount may make it worth using a card that earns fewer miles. 

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For all other spend

CardEarn RateRemarks
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UOB Preferred Platinum Visa
4 mpdMust use mobile payments, excludes SMART$ merchants. Capped at $1,110 per month

If all of this is too much to memorise, here’s some good news. The UOB Preferred Platinum Visa rewards you with 4 mpd so long as you use mobile payments (tapping the physical card doesn’t count; you must add it to your mobile wallet). Given the ubiquity of mobile payments (anywhere with a contactless reader is fair game), this is practically carte blanche to earn 4 mpd everywhere. 

There is a catch, though. Miles will not be earned at UOB SMART$ merchants. Fortunately, there aren’t too many of these, but you’ll want to take note of major ones like Cold Storage, Giant and Shell. 

SMART$ merchants

DiningGroceriesInsurance
– BreadTalk
– BreadTalk Cafe
– Bread Society
– Hard Rock Cafe
– Polar Puffs & Cakes
– Cold Storage
– Giant
– Jasons
– Market Place
– EQ insurance
– UOI
EntertainmentPetrolShopping & Wellness
– Cathay Cineplexes
– City Tours
– Shell– bYSI
– Crocodile
– Gordon Max
– Guardian
– Paris Miki
– Winter Time

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Conclusion

Although we’ve covered a wide range of cards, remember that many of them can pull double duty. For instance, the HSBC Revolution card would earn you bonuses on dining and department stores, while the UOB Lady’s Cards allow you to switch your bonus category every quarter. 

Using the right cards in the right situation helps you maximise your rebates on every transaction, and earn your free holiday that much faster.

Read these next: 
Miles Credit Card Comparison: What’s Good For First-Time Miles Chasers?
Dining, Shopping, Workshops: Other Ways To Redeem KrisFlyer Miles This Year
Credit Cards With The Best Dining Perks
Top Credit Card Promotions And Deals On SingSaver
11 Work-From-Hotel Packages To Suit Every Budget


By Aaron Wong
Aaron started The MileLion to help people travel better for less and impress “chiobu”. He was 50% successful. This is his story.