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How much are credit card annual fees?
Credit card annual fees can range from S$160 to S$700, with the standard being S$192.60. Premium credit cards tend to charge higher annual fees, ranging from S$400 to S$700. There are a few exceptions with annual fees in the thousands, such as DBS Insignia Visa Infinite and Citi ULTIMA card.
Which credit cards offer fee waivers?
Most credit cards offer first year fee waivers, with some going further to offer two to three years fee waiver. There are a few select credit cards that waive annual fees for life, such as CIMB Visa Signature and CIMB Platinum Mastercard. However, do note that these are cashback cards.
How do I get fee waivers after the first year?
Besides the default fee waiver offered by the bank, some credit cards require you to spend a minimum amount for the year to earn yourself an annual fee waiver for the following year. This spending amount can range from S$10,000 to S$60,000. Alternatively, you can also call in to the customer service to try and get it waived.
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Air miles, also known as just miles or frequent flyer miles, serve as a customer loyalty program for passengers of an airline. Airlines reward you with points each time you fly with them; you may eventually build up enough points to redeem for incentives, such as free or discounted tickets or seat upgrades.
Some credit cards also offer miles as a reward for spending on the card, enabling you to get more out of your credit card spend by accumulating miles.
A miles credit card converts your credit card spend into miles, or points that can be exchanged for miles. Every dollar you charge to your air miles credit card earns a certain number of miles or points. This works like a rewards points system and in this case, the rewards are air miles. These miles can then be used to redeem a free flight or help you to partially cover the cost of your air ticket.
You can consider getting a miles card if you travel frequently, whether for business or pleasure, as miles credit cards are specially designed to reward frequent flyers. Miles credit cards make it easy to rack up miles or points with overseas spending and in some cases, spending with travel-related merchants and on specific airlines.
If you love to travel, earning miles on your everyday spend could be a way to earn your next flight ticket, especially if you have enough miles to redeem a luxurious first-class flight.
The two important questions to consider are these:
a) how often do you travel;
b) can your spend earn enough air miles to redeem free flights?
If you love to travel or travel frequently, especially medium to long-haul flights, a miles credit card is a great idea. Of course, your cumulative spend should allow you to convert your air miles points into flights.
If it doesn’t, you could be better off with a cashback card where the savings can be used to offset the cost of a flight ticket anyway. Do keep in mind that cashback cards often have a minimum monthly spend required to earn higher cashback rates.
Read this article on cashback vs miles vs rewards to find out which type of credit card suits you best.
If the miles you earn from your credit card are directly credited into a frequent flyer programme, you can directly log into the airlines’ website to view your miles. For example, if you earn KrisFlyer miles, you can log into your KrisFlyer account to view the miles you have accumulated and subsequently redeem the miles when purchasing an air ticket on the site.
In the case of reward points, when you've collected enough reward points on your card, you can exchange these for air miles by making the redemption online, over the phone or via other methods specified by the credit card provider. Credit card providers often allow conversion of points into miles in conversion blocks, such as blocks of 10,000 miles. This would require you to accumulate sufficient points before you can make the conversion.
Once your points have been converted to miles, you can view and redeem your miles on the frequent flyer website.
One way to compare miles credit cards is to compare the miles earn rate (A.K.A. miles per dollar, or mpd). It refers to the number of miles you can earn for each dollar spent. To put things into perspective, you can expect a 1.2 mpd earn rate to be the average for local spends, while a 4 mpd earn rate is considered to be high.
You can also compare based on other factors such as the annual fee, frequent flyer programme partners or whether it can be used for public transport with SimplyGo.
First-time miles chasers can read this article for a comparison of the popular miles cards on the market.
When selecting a miles credit card, you should look out for features such as: