Asked on 31 May 2018
When playing the miles game, have a strategy and have an ideal redemption in mind. Also, don't mix cashback cards into your army of credit cards. In fact, don't get them.
Bascially, you need to understand and ingrain the idea of MPD (miles per dollar), which is how many miles you are getting per dollar spent. This is the backbone of all miles hacks.
And with that, just sharing some things I learnt:
1) Be prepared to own a lot of credit cards. Different banks at different point of time will come up with promotions to get new sign ups. The promotions normally give away quite a huge amount of miles so just sign up and get the sign-up bonus. Citibank in the past give 10k or 15k miles just for signing up and using the card. AMEX has that forever 5k miles for your first transaction on the card.
2) With reference to point 1, keep a lookout for credit card promotions. Once you see a promotion and it fits you, jump on it. Otherwise, wait ba.
3) Have a credit card spending strategy, like what card is used for what purpose and make sure the card you use gives you the most mpd. The DBS World Women MasterCard gives you 4mpd for all online spend, hence making it the most popular one among miles chasers. OCBC Titanium Rewards gives you 4mpd for all mobile payment, hence covering gaps that the World Women card miss. Different miles chasers have different plans to plug the gaps but all in all, the general rule is that every dollar spent using a credit card should give you miles. But note that banks can change their credit cards from time to time so be mindful of any announcemnt by the banks.
4) Get cards that have no expiry dates on their points. Citi Premiermiles, DBS Altitude Visa and AMEX versions are the 3 currently known cards that have no expiry date on the accumulated points.
5) Get cards that give you points/miles on paying annual fees. Again, the 3 cards that i mentioned in point 4 give you extra miles for paying the annual fee.
6) Pair your credit cards with MilesLife app. Gives you opportunities to double-dip. You earn miles through the app and you earn miles through the credit card that you use in MilesLife.
7) Read the milelion and shutterwhale (why they are based off animals is something i cannot comprehend) to get more tips and tricks and they are also normally the first places to announce any upcoming promotions on credit card.
8) Also, HWZ forum users have complied a crowdsourced spreadsheet for credit cards. Just do a google seacrh and you should find it. Very useful spreadsheet, especially when you don't know if the merchant you are shopping at gives you the max points available or just the minimum.
Cheers and all the best to your next redemption!
3 more comments
02 Jul 2018
I'm by no means a miles expert but been studying it for quite some time!
Here are some tips which I've picked up along the way:
Have a miles strategy (start with the end in mind, eg a trip for a honeymoon to X country with X miles needed for business class)
Work backwards till today
Find the best card based on your needs (are you a local, overseas or online spended primarily)
For example for online spend, you can use the Woman's World mastercard(http://10x/4mpd for online spending. (Grab, Fave, and pretty much everything online%29) which gets you almost 10x/4mpd for online spending. (eg GRAB, Lazada etc) or the CITI rewards Card which seems to be highly rated as well.
Only spend on either Business or First class (it's most worth it only on those)
Sign up bonuses (time your purchases eg home renovation or pre-wedding or banquet packages) these are huge
Paying for yearly renewals to get the miles (per dollar)
You can consider using Mileslife but not many merchants on it yet (it's like a payment option which allows you to redeem miles per spend)
Finally, without fail, subscribe to Milelion and his blog at http://milelion.com/ he's clearly niched himself very well in that space :) And he has a telegram group as well where miles hunters hang out frequently.
Perhaps i just share how i accummulate miles via credit card.
First of all, i am currently holding 4 Air miles credit cards.
Complimentary Rewards Infinite membership where 1) Point never expire; 2) 50% off the TREATS Points redemption (max: 5700) for each birthday year; 3) no miles conversion fee
only transfer during birthday month and when I need the Krisflyer/Asia Miles
2 other ways to accummulate FREE miles which i think is super useful are:
1) Free 10-200 miles per week for daily check-in for 7 days consecutively
2) Bonus mile given during the 7-day check-in (for example get 300 miles with $45 spent)
3) Refer friend and get 1,000 miles (this is quite tricky, must make sure that your friend download the app via the link you sent, not from App Store or Google Play). When your friend click on the referral link, the app will automatically 'trigger' your friend to download from the app and not thru your referral link. In that case, milelife won't give you 1,000 miles upon successful referral.
b) Krisflyerspree - the miles kind of "shopback"
Thanks for reading!
Use a specific air miles credit card. For example, the American Express KrisFlyer Ascend gives you 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spend worldwide. If you're spending during the holiday months of June and December, this increases to 2 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spend overseas. Air miles aside, the card also gives you complimentary access to airport lounge and even travel insurance.
Aim for sign up/ spend bonuses but only spend necessarily.
Highest MPD may not be the best. Most importantly suit your way of spending. I prefer Citi Premiere Miles because the miles do not expire.
Family members uses the supememtary cards to pool the miles accrual.
I get my miles from a few sources: credit card, passion card debit card, mileslife and grab.
My goal is to travel to Europe in business class in 2020 using miles only. Long way to go!
E.g. ocbc platinum for shopping. DBS altitude (or lady card) for ticket spending.