[Psst. No affiliate links for credit cards sign-ups because few people read my blog haha.]
How time flies. It has been thirty months since I started my little project to start collecting air miles. What gives?
OK, the bad news first. I regret to inform that I have not flown on Singapore Airlines Suites Class yet. This is not due to a lack of air miles but rather, life have its way taking control. My plans to fly on Suites Class have been thwarted on several occasions, and for now, the elusive Suites Class remain out of reach for me. Since the production of Airbus A380 aircraft will be stopped in 2021, there remains a couple of years left for me to experience it.
The good stuff then! Data! In two and a half years (or 30 months), I have collected a total of 243,670 miles all by myself. If I extrapolate it, it means that I would potentially amass a grand total of ONE MILLION miles in ten years! Amazing thought huh?
Monthly air miles updates will still be posted here because progress tracking.
There was a huge jump initially because I made use of sign-up bonuses for a few credit cards plus there was significant expenditure incurred for my Maldives trip. While I did not fly on Suites Class yet, I have managed to make two sets of redemption for my wife and myself (see the two orange columns in the chart) ..
- Taipei – Singapore – Bali (total of 55,000 miles for 2-pax)
- Bali – Singapore – Bangkok (total of 40,000 miles for 2-pax)
- Leg #1 : DPS – SIN [SQ 947]
- Leg #2 : SIN – BKK [SQ 972]
.. which is a total of 8 flights in business class for less than 100k miles. Booya! It IS possible, especially with the use of stopovers (and a little cash). How does having Lobster Thermidor for lunch sound like? FUN!?
At the moment, I still have 148,670 miles spread across my KrisFlyer account and banks.
Miles Available (KrisFlyer) : 39,194
Miles Available (Citi) : 58,302 (58,302 Citi Miles)
Miles Available (DBS) : 3,676 (1,838 DBS Points)
Miles Available (UOB) : 47,498 (23,749 UNI$)
Total Miles Available : 148,670 miles
Some expire with time, while some don’t. The slight hassle of having to manage them is something I’ll have to live with, unfortunately. I know, this 148k miles might sound like a lot, but the passage of time leads to the inevitable devaluation of KrisFlyer miles. The opportunity cost of inaction is very real. And of course, I’m redeeming for two-pax instead of one, so the cost is practically doubled. (nope, a supp card for the wife is not the answer HAHA)
To give my air miles collection a little boost, I have made use of recent promotions for the following two credit cards to give me some bonus miles :
- OCBC Titanium Rewards credit card
- I had applied for this card as a “new-to-bank” customer and had received 8,400 miles upon approval.
- Waiting for another 4,200 miles be credited with minimum spend of S$300 within 1 month of approval.
- I already have shopping card(s) so this won’t be a keeper
- UOB KrisFlyer credit card
- I had applied for this card as a “existing” customer.
- 5,000 miles when I make your first transaction (min. S$5) within the first 60 days from the card open date.
- I don’t like the one-year delay in crediting of “bonus” miles so this won’t be a keeper either
The plan is simple – get the miles and dump the cards. Probably be able to redeem 10,000 miles off OCBC and pay $25 in fees. UOB KrisFlyer, being a co-branded card, makes life a little easier. 5,000 miles would get automatically transferred into my KrisFlyer account. That’s probably an easy 15,000 miles in my pocket.
Once again, if you’re looking to get something for nothing, more likely than not .. the air miles game is not for you. It requires a significant amount of effort to start and maintain the pursuit, and payment remains mandatory for miles redemption, taxes and stopovers. The air miles game is for folks who wish to enjoy a level of indulgence that is far more than what we pay for.
This is my current core setup since it seems like a popular question to ask. Pretty simple strategy with only 4 cards. I could cut it down to three if I want since my wife has general spend cards too, but having the option to buy miles with DBS is good to have.
- What – Online Shopping @ 4 miles per dollar (mpd)
Card #1 – DBS Woman’s World Card (the gold one, not the blue one)
- Contrary to popular belief, men can get this card too (HAHA) and without $80k income
- I was an existing POSB/DBS card holder when I applied online, and I got it without having to update my income records. I haven’t updated my income records in many years.
- Although points have a short expiry of 1-year, they pool with DBS Altitude during redemptions which is an advantage
- I use it primarily on Lazada etc.
- I wrote a post on the DBS points redemption process. It is really easy.
- What – Paywave Transactions @ 4 mpd
Card #2 – UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card
- Increasing more and more merchants accept PayWave
- Always wave, wave and wave. NTUC FairPrice, food courts – wave!
- 2-years expiry for points
- Beware of UOB-partnered merchants (e.g. Cold Storage) which earn SMART$ which isn’t smart at all
- An easy but imperfect way to tell is to avoid tapping if the contactless terminal is UOB-branded
- What – General Spend Card @ 1.2 mpd / Buy Miles / Lounge Access
Card #3 – Citi Premiere Miles / DBS Altitude
- In situations that don’t earn 4 mpd, use general spend cards.
- The plus point for these cards is that miles earned don’t expire.
- If you choose to pay annual fees, you are buying 10,000 miles for $192.60 or 1.926 cents per mile
- Each card grants two visits to Priority Pass lounges, great for overseas airports which are not as zai as Changi Airport. (Well, that’s assuming you’re not flying Business class since you would have already been entitled to lounges)
- I recently used Citi PayAll feature to pay for my income tax, but that’s another post for another time 🙂
Before I end off this post, a quick share on my profile so if you’re thinking about how I did it, there really isn’t much that I can say, “yeah I’m earning easy miles from xxx”. Grind hard, every month. Just do it.
- Non-existent work expenses to spend on using personal credit cards, so the absolute number one hack goes up in smoke. If there are folks who tell you how many million miles they have, ask them HOW they earned them.
- For me, it’s just my wife and myself, so no kids-related expenses to clock with either. Sometimes, I spend a little on my parents or niece/nephew.
- Primarily, it is just food, bills, transport, pak tor, travel and household expenses.
- I’m a salaried employee.
By the way, PLEASE call for credit cards annual fee waiver if you don’t plan on buying” miles.
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