Expenses continue to be incurred and so, miles will continue to be earned – regardless of whether we’re working from home or not. The miles counter has moved up by a modest 5,000 which I consider as slow and steady progress.

The main reason for the slow rate of accumulation is due to the crazy cash 10% rebate offers I have been getting on my other cards. Despite having Grab Wallet top-up being excluded from cash rebate, regular Grab transactions still get me 10% rebate on the UOB One credit card. Crypto.com MCO Visa debit card gets me flat 10% rebates on selected grocery and food deliveries as well.

Miles Stash : April 2020 (Month #42)

My current miles stash looks like this –

KrisFlyer : 106,456
Citi
: 85,605 (85,605 Citi Miles)
Citi : 15,040 (37,600 Citi Points)
DBS : 4,030 (2,015 DBS Points) 
UOB : 8,118 (4,059 UNI$)
Total Miles Available : 219,249

I’m a fairly rational person, and it would be nuts to ignore 10% cash rebates, even to a miles collector. This means that I’ve been using these two cards heavily, despite still topping up my GrabPay wallet using the Citi Rewards Visa.

Yes, the open secret still works but if you’re not receiving miles when the system glitches, I highly suggest you don’t ask the customer support.

KrisFlyer Miles Extension

A question that has been on my mind is regarding miles validity. In response to this, Singapore Airlines has put out the following notice :

In view of the Covid-19 outbreak, we understand there will be uncertainty in our members’ travel plans in the months ahead. In appreciation for our members’ loyalty, we will be:

  • Renewing KrisFlyer Elite Silver and Gold membership for one membership year.
  • Extending Elite Gold Rewards that will be expiring between July and December 2020 to be valid till 31 March 2021.
  • Extending KrisFlyer miles that will be expiring between April and August 2020 by six months.

We hope the above measures will offer you more flexibility in planning your upcoming travels with us. We wish you good health, and we look forward to welcoming you on board our flights again.

I have been redeeming and using my miles fairly frequently so this isn’t a big problem for me right now.

Geo-arbitrage idea add-on : Bali

In a slight expansion to the geo-arbitrage ideas I have previously touched on in this blog post, some questions were raised about the kind of costs and expenses we can expect to incur. I can share a little bit regarding accommodation.

In terms of my needs, I’ve mentioned that my top requirements are high-speed internet and air-conditioning. Convenience is good to have since that would guarantee food-delivery options (GoJek is HUGE in destinations like Bali) and nice coffee would be a huge plus.

I don’t exactly have the full set of numbers to share but in view of the current situation, let me share an offer that I came across recently. The property is a good quality 1-bedroom, dual-storey pool villa with premium location in Seminyak i.e. walking distance to many famous spots that I’ve been to. It is now going for IDR $10-mil per month.

Terms are fairly standard for Bali rentals –

  • Included : Twice a week cleaning, WiFi, and Cable TV.
  • Excluded : Electricity & water bills, drinking water, bath & kitchen supplies.

Yes, that is how kick-ass the pool villa looks like. Indeed, it was inspired by Singapore shophouses if you were wondering about the similarities. I can vouch for the quality because I have stayed in villas that are managed by the same company. The place looks as good as it does in the pictures, if not better.

Currently, the prices has absolutely plummeted due to the total absence of demand, so we can assume normal rates to be at least 1.5x or twice of this. Committing to a long-term, 6-month rental at this point would cost about S$30/night or S$900/mth. To think that $17/night would get you just one bed in a twelve-pax hostel mixed-room in Singapore I once worked at 😛

For comparison, I did a search on HDB for rental stats for a 4-room apartment at my estate for the past year and they were fetching approximately S$1,500 to S$2,000 per month.

To be honest, this is really the top-tier kind of villa that if folks stay in, they are not going to choose a location like Seminyak because it is just too expensive. Much better to head further away like Ubud or Canggu for long-term stay. No-frills 1-BR pool villas that do not have premium locations can be had as cheaply as US$500+ prior to 2020.

If you enjoyed my miles posts and found them useful, here are more useful guides :

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