Always too busy to do the things that really matters? 24-hours isn’t enough? Fret not! Time-hacks are what I refer to as little tips or tricks that can potentially give tremendous time savings. Through these little tidbits, you’ll find yourself with that extra couple of minutes!

Credit Cards Use

Credit card penetration rate is incredibly high in Singapore, and I have always been the one benefiting from credit cards (perks, rebates, freebies, etc) and not the other way round (credit cards earn from me). Once in a while, we would be overwhelmed by our busy lives and forget to pay our bills! The horror!

Just this week, I came across a blog post (sorry, for the life of me I can’t recall whom it belongs to) which mentioned the difficulties of getting credit card annual fees or late payment fees waived, provided you can even get through to the bank’s hotline! A short while back, I myself was in the same situation, trying to get through to a local big-three bank on behalf of my wife.

Can you imagine being put on hold for more than half an hour?! What kind of service level is that?

Time Hack Solution

Many people (I hope) know that we never ever have to pay credit card annual fees. Once in a while, banks would happily waive your late payment fees as well. The problem is, we gotta spend time getting our call through first. What many people do not know is how to bypass the tactics that banks like to use.

The time-hack solution? Get a premium credit card that offers a dedicated hotline. These could typically be your frequent flyer cards etc. You may suddenly attain the status of a VIP.

For example, I hold a CitiBank Premier Miles card that has a 24-hour service line that is separate from the main hotline. The result is pretty amazing – in my years of calling them I’ve never been put on hold, and the CSOs (customer service officers) are incredibly polite and accommodating towards my requests.

Waive my annual fee? Done.

A replacement card? Sure, the request has been sent in.

Waive my late fee? Will do.

Convert my miles to cash rebates? No problem.

Anything else I can help you with, Sir? That would be all – thank you.

The only difficulty you might face is the income level that is required to be eligible for the required credit card. Once upon a time, road-shows are the go-to places where one can easily bypass the income eligibility. I’m not sure if it still works nowadays.

Stop Queuing At POSB ATMs

While we’re at the topic of banks and waiting etc, another obvious time-hack is to use a non-POSB ATM card. Have you noticed the POSB ATM queues? If I can save 10-minutes a month, that’s like 2-hours saved every year. That’s more than enough time required for me to re-balance my Index Investing portfolio. Food for thought, huh?

Happy weekend-ing!