SG Budget Babe
Asked 5d ago
What are some good starter cards? should I even be looking into miles at the moment? would cashback be a better option?
Top Contributor (Nov)
I would say that cashback is a better choice for you now. Focus on getting your degree first, as it is very unlikely that your expenditure will allow you to generate a lot of miles. Instead, spend time understanding the miles game, you have 4 years to read up, and when you graduate with a job, you'll have access to all the starter miles card on the market. At that point, you will know what cards to apply for, what cards work well for you, as well as which cards to use for which purchases; this will allow you to maximize your mpd earning.
If you have no income, BUT have spending power, then you probably can use the Citi PremierMiles Visa card.
However, if you are not looking to sepnd alot, then I would say go for cashback first, and look for side jobs you can do while studying.
I prefer to have the cashback card in case the monthly expenses are not much. Cashback card gives you instant cashback upto 5% of your total spent & you can get that back in ur monthly statements.
Honestly, no bank is gonna give you a credit card unless you have an income. The only one I can think of is the uob krisflyer debit card, but that has its drawbacks too as sgbb pointed out in a post a while back.
Another suggestion- get a parent to apply, pass you a supplementary card, you spend on it and pay off on you, and when it's time to transfer miles, transfer it yourself (if possible) or to your parent and put yourself as the nominee so you can use the miles!
Honestly it's a bit tricky to go for the miles game without any income at the moment. A cashback card would be a better choice; look at it this way, when you earned the miles you will still need to spend to travel so it might not be too economically smart from that perspective.
Its good to see you're starting early but I would say you can start with one of those basic cards (citi PM/ DBS Alt) so that you can keep your miles with purchases as well as get a Priority pass for times when you would like to travel.
It might be hard to get those as well but as long as you have had a bank account for a while and some credit history, banks locally should be able to give you
You probably shouldn't be looking at the miles game if you're currently not earning an income. A cashback card with no minimum spend would be a better take.
First and formost, REALLY love the idea of miles and then trading them for trips around the world. And just like you I too wondered on what card to start with. At 21 after army, I was teaching part time while attending uni, so I had a little bit of cash to play with. My expenses were very little, just phone bills, ez-link card and utility, so the amount of miles I could accumulate was quite pathetic tbh hahah.
I had a UOB account as that was how my employer would pay me, and with that, I decided to get a UOB one card. When applying, I was given the 'cocktail' package. I got the UOB One card, UOB YOLO card and UOB Privi Miles. The Miles card was indeed tempting. I ended up with the UOB One card as I was able to hit a higher return with that. Yolo was great if I take grab everywhere and ate out on weekends.
Long post but hope this helps with making a decision.
Most credit card reards involving airmiles tend to have a sign up promotion which gives you upsized airmiles for a certain amount of expenditure. therefore, its better to only start accumulating miles with you have a large enough amount of expenditure. Unless you are a student with a large amount of monthly expenditure, don't get involved in the accumulation of airmiles game yet; stick to cash back credit cards
Considering you're a student and have limited funds to travel often, miles might not be the best card to go for. Would recommend cashback cards instead
Best option is to deposit $10k and get a secure card.
Assuming you spend less than 1k/month, UOB PPV is definitely my go to card. Gives 4miles/dollar on Online Spend and Paywave.
Another no deposit option is clear card. But generally in your case, cashback would be better because it takes a long time to accumulate before you can redeem flight tickets with your miles.
Currently there is only 1 credit card out there in the market for students that works on miles - Citibank Clear Card. You can earn 1 Citi dollar (equivalent to 0.4 miles) per S$1 spend. However, there are many downside to using this card if you want to get into the miles game that will eventually pay out to something:
0.4miles per S$1 spend is hardly attractive when compare to the cashback earnings from other student credit cards as well as the miles you can earn using miles credit card, after you've started having income
Citi dollars expire after 1 year - this means you have to convert these into miles within a year. However, given that you're a student, it is likely that you do not have that much spending to generate meaningful amount of citi dollars/miles. Additionally, you will have to use the miles within 3 year because miles have expiry too so in the end unless you can somehow clock up to 25,000 miles (which is equivalent to a spending of $62,500) to exchange for a return flight to Bangkok, it is not likely for the returns to make much sense for you. By the way, it is also impossible for you to spend $62,500 on Citi Clear because there's a $500 spending limit on it.
Citi Clear excludes quite a few categories that a student would usually need to spend on; the major ones that I spot are bills to institutions (e.g. school fees) and transit.
All in all, I would not recommend students playing the miles game because there is only one player in the market having a students credit card for miles but it has horrible returns that doesn't support your aim to accumulate sufficient miles and give tangible output.
Top Contributor (Nov)
You can consider Citi Clear for student. It earns 0.4 miles per dollar. However, this is not exactly very attractive considering that you will only use the card for 4 years without huge and major expenses (unless you max out the card every month which is not recommended unless you have a stable income and have that spending need).
Instead, you may wish to consider a cashback card which gives you instant reward for your reward. In return, this reduces your overall expenditure.
Either way, understand your spending needs and make an evaluation accordingly.
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