Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Earn free flights and flight upgrades and enjoy perks such as complimentary travel insurance and concierge services with a travel rewards credit card.

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Travel rewards cards can be a great way to save up for trips and enjoy extra benefits when you travel. By spending on a travel rewards credit card, you can earn points that can be redeemed for flights, flight upgrades, accommodation, car rental, merchandise and a host of other lifestyle rewards. This guide will explain the different types of travel rewards credit cards available, how to compare them, and everything else you need to know about travel rewards credit cards.

Travel rewards credit card comparison

Name Product Reward Cashback Offer Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
Citi PremierMiles Card
Deals and discounts in 95 countries. Plus, 10% off on hotel bookings with Expedia
Up to 10% cash back at selected merchants
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 37,300 miles when you spend S$9,000 in the first 3 months. Annual fee applies. Ends 30 June 2020.
UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
6 air miles for every S$1 spent through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel.
Get S$150 cash credit if you spend a minimum of S$1,500 within 30 days. First 800 new customers only.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply today and enjoy free transfers to Changi Airport. Plus, 20,000 bonus air miles if you charge S$50,000 to your card in a year.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Earn 3 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 when you spend with Singapore Airlines, Scoot, SilkAir or KrisShop and 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 on all other spend.
Get S$150 cash credit if you spend S$1,500 or more within 30 days. First 800 new customers only.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply today and enjoy up to 3,000 KrisFlyer miles if you charge at least S$1,500 to your credit card in the first month.
UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card
6 air miles for every S$1 spent through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel
Get S$150 cash credit when you apply. Minimum S$1,500 spend within 30 days. First 800 eligible applicants only
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply today and enjoy up to S$150 in cash credits. Plus, free travel cover.
Citi Prestige Card
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
Up to 20% cashback at selected merchants
S$535 annual fee
S$120,000
Get a welcome gift of 62,500 Citi ThankYou Points (25,000 Miles) or Gadget Welcome Gift. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 June 2020.
UOB PRVI Miles World Mastercard
6 air miles for every S$1 spent through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel
Get S$150 cash credit when you apply. Minimum S$1,500 spend within 30 days. First 800 eligible applicants only.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$256.80 thereafter
S$30,000
Apply today and enjoy up to S$150 in cash credits. Plus, free travel cover.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
Up to 5X Rewards points (2 miles per S$1 spent) on qualifying purchases
S$150 cashback when you make S$800 in qualifying transactions in the first month of your account. Ends 30 June 2020
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and up to S$160.50 thereafter
S$30,000
New cardholders will be awarded with a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth SS670) or S$150 cashback with minimum spend of S$800 in qualifying transactions from card approval to the end of the following month. Receive an additional S$20 worth of grab rides when you apply online with MyInfo via SingPass. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 June 2020.
DBS Altitude Card
Earn up to 4 miles per S$1 spend, with no expiry
Get Airpods or S$200 Cashback when you apply now!
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get fee waiver for the first year and up to S$192.60 thereafter, with 10,000 bonus miles.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
Enjoy money-saving offers on Hertz, Grab and at restaurants in Singapore and overseas
S$150 cashback for use at singaporeair.com when you spend a minimum of S$12,000 untill 30 June 2020
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$176.55 thereafter
S$30,000
Earn 8,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Ends 30 April 2020.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Credit Card
3 miles per $1 spent on foreign currency.
Get Cashback/Reward points/Bonus Interest on IRAS, Education, Insurance & Rental payment. T&Cs apply
S$695.50 annual fee
S$30,000
American Express Platinum Credit Card
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
N/A
S$321 annual fee
S$50,000
Get Samsonite luggage (worth S$600) and a 1-night stay at Swissotel The Stamford Singapore (worth S$529) upon approval and spend S$4,500 in the first 3 months. Ends 13 April 2020.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
Complimentary stay at a Hilton hotel in Asia Pacific each year. Plus, enjoy four airport lounge passes
N/A
S$337.05 annual fee
S$50,000
Earn 16,000 KrisFlyer miles if you spend at least S$10,000 within the first three months. Ends 30 April 2020.
Standard Chartered Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card
Earn 2.5 points for every $1 spent on your credit card
Apply today via MyInfo and receive up to S$100 cashback. End 31 May 2020.
S$321 annual fee
S$30,000
Apply today via MyInfo and receive up to S$100 cashback. End 31 May 2020.
Maybank Business Platinum Mastercard
Get your business logo printed on your card. Plus, enjoy a global concierge service
Get up to S$50 cash credits to offset your credit card payments
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and up to S$180 thereafter
N/A
Get up to S$1 million in Travel Accident Insurance when you purchase flights or travel packages using your card.
Maybank Visa Infinite Credit Card
Complimentary two-way airport limousine transfers. S$3,000 minimum spend per month
Earn up to 5X TREATS Points (2 air miles) on all spend
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$600 thereafter
S$150,000
Get an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account at least S$300 in the first 2 months.
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card
Complimentary access to selected VIP airport lounges. Plus, travel cover of up to S$1,000,000. Ts&Cs apply
Earn up to 3.2 Air Miles (8X TREATS Points) per dollar spent in Singaporean restaurants, petrol stations and more
S$0 annual fee for the first 3 years and up to S$180 thereafter
S$30,000
Get an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account at least S$300 in the first 2 months.
Maybank World Mastercard
A range of dining, shopping and travel deals - including up to S$1,000,000 of travel insurance
10X TREATS Points (4 air miles) on every S$1 spent at selected merchants
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and up to S$240 thereafter
S$80,000
Get an American Tourister Linex 66/24 Luggage TSA (worth S$260) when you charge to your card or withdraw from your CreditAble account at least S$300 in the first 2 months.
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2016-rewards-program

What types of travel rewards can I get with a credit card?

There are two ways to earn your travel rewards when it comes to credit cards. You can either opt for a credit card that is directly linked to your preferred frequent flyer program, or choose a credit card that has its own membership rewards program. With the latter, you can also transfer your accumulated rewards points to your frequent flyer program afterwards (if they’re affiliated), or simply spend your points via your credit card’s internal rewards program which usually offers a similar spectrum of redemption possibilities.

Frequent flyer points

Frequent flyer credit cards let you earn points with your preferred airline loyalty program for every S$1 spent on your credit card. You can then redeem these points for flights, ticket upgrades, accommodation, car hire or other lifestyle goods and services.

With this type of card, you also earn membership tier points that count towards your membership status. And you could get complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access and concierge services (for premium cards).

Reward points

Rewards credit cards are similar to frequent flyer options, except you earn reward points that are not linked to a specific airline loyalty program. Many rewards credit cards let you earn points per S$1 spent that can be redeemed directly for flights, travel upgrades, accommodation, car hire, gift cards, shopping or fuel vouchers, electronics, clothes, concert tickets and even cashback.

You also have the option of transferring your accumulated points over to a partner frequent flyer program. This gives you more flexibility if you have several frequent flyer memberships and want to switch between them.

Complimentary extras

Some of the perks you can expect to find on travel rewards credit cards include:

  • International travel insurance. Many travel rewards credit cards include international travel insurance for cardholders at no extra charge. Usually, their only requirement is that you charge a specific amount or the total cost of your prepaid return ticket and other travel expenses (including accommodation, car rental, tour package, etc., but excluding taxes, airport or travel agent charges) to your eligible credit card. Your spouse and children can often also enjoy the same complimentary travel insurance if they are travelling with you for the entire trip and satisfy the same expenditure requirements using your credit card. Always consult your card provider or credit card Product Highlight Sheet (PHS) about the specific criteria for your card.
  • Transit accident insurance. Similar to the above, most cards provide coverage for transit accident as long as you fulfil the eligibility criteria. You and your spouse and children would usually receive automatic cover as long as you’ve prepaid your travel expenses using your credit card and met your card’s specific requirements.
  • Flights. Some credit cards offer complimentary flights or promotions, e.g. the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card or OCBC Titanium credit card.
  • Airport lounge access. Airport lounge access is also a common feature with these types of cards. Some cards offer a free airport lounge pass each year, while more premium cards may offer unlimited business class and first class lounge access.
  • Concierge services. Premium platinum and black credit cards often provide you with a personal concierge service that you can use to book travel, accommodation, restaurants and entertainment packages anywhere in the world.
  • Flights and flight upgrades. You can use your points to get rewards flights, or to bump up existing flights to the next class. This is usually the main draw for people using travel rewards credit cards. Even if they’re not frequent flyers per se, saving up points for that yearly holiday is also a great way to maximise your credit card rewards.
  • Hotel stays and car rentals. Even if you don’t enjoy flying, your travel rewards credit card can earn you a staycation or road trip. Redeem your rewards points for hotel accommodation or car rentals.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Travel rewards credit cards may also offer a 0% foreign transaction or currency conversion fee, which is an apt benefit for frequent travellers. The foreign transaction or currency conversion fee is usually worth around 2-3% of transactions so cards without this fee can save you a lot of money when you go overseas.
  • Free international ATM withdrawals. This is another feature that frequent travellers can appreciate because ATM withdrawals can amount to a fair bit at 3% per transaction. Note that even when the withdrawal is free, cash advance fees and cash advance interest charges will still apply.

girls comparing credit cards

How to compare travel rewards credit cards

It is important to consider the following key features when comparing travel rewards credit cards:

  • Bonus point offers. Credit card promotions generally pack some pretty good perks these days, such as bonus points for new customers. For example, a card could give you 30,000 bonus points when you sign up before a certain date and spend S$300 in the first month. You should factor in the value of these points when considering which card offer to take, because a sizeable amount of bonus points can immediately equate to a return air ticket.
  • Promotional interest rates. Card promotions also generally include attractive promotional interest rates. For example, a new card could offer 0% interest on balance transfers for 6 months or 0% on purchases for 12 months. The catch is knowing when the promotional period ends, and what the rate reverts to, as well as any conditions you need to meet to take advantage of the offer.
  • Standard interest rates. These rates will apply after any promotional period has ended. Make sure you consider the standard purchase rate and cash advance rate for the card if you plan on travelling with it, because interest costs could add up when you carry a balance.
  • Annual fees. Weigh up the annual cost of a credit card against the benefits it offers. Depending on how much you spend on your card and how much value you derive from the rewards benefits, a card with a high annual fee may not be worthwhile for you.
  • Reward points earn rate. Some premium credit cards give higher earn rates when it comes to reward points. While you can earn 2 points per S$1 spent instead of 1, these cards may also charge high annual fees and high-interest rates for the ability to double your earn rate.
  • Points cap. Some cards put a points cap on your earning capacity. For example, you could earn 1 point per S$1 spent up to S$2,000 a month, and 0.5 point per subsequent S$1. This will limit your ability to collect points if you usually spend above that amount, which means you should probably consider a different card.
  • Reward expiry. There can sometimes be an expiry date set on your reward points or complimentary extras. For example, for the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card, the DBS points expire on the anniversary of your Card Account Open Date (1 year), which is one of the shortest validity for credit card points.
  • Blackout periods. Some rewards may be limited by blackout periods, which means you can’t redeem them at certain times. This usually applies to flights and hotel accommodation.

Should I get a travel rewards credit card?

Travel rewards credit card are suited to people who are:

  • Frequent travellers. The more you travel, the greater the potential value you can get out of a rewards credit card that offers points and other perks such as airport lounge access. You also have the option of a card that allows you to transfer your reward points to different frequent flyer program accounts, or one that directly earns you points for a specific frequent flyer program.
  • Regular credit card users. Travel rewards credit cards are a great way to monetise your expenditure. Since you already spend this much on your credit card, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be getting something back for it.
  • High income earners. Even though premium credit cards charge higher annual fees and have higher minimum income requirements, they also offer premium luxury perks such as airport limousine services, personal concierge services and lounge access benefits.

Travel credit cards may not be suited to people who are:

  • Infrequent travellers. If you travel infrequently, there may be a more suitable credit card out there for you with low annual fees and lower interest rates. However, if you are a high spender you might still find travel rewards credit cards useful for their non-travel rewards.
  • Impulse spenders. Rewards cards tend to charge higher interest rates when compared to no-frills options, so using these cards for impulse purchases can lead to high interest fees, especially if you don’t pay your account’s closing balance in full each month.
  • Struggling to manage a credit card. The potentially high interest rates and annual fees on these cards mean they are not recommended if you’re having trouble managing your finances because you could end up in a lot of debt.

When shopping for your travel rewards credit card, remember the importance of comparison. Always compare a card relative to your own spending habits and lifestyle preferences. No credit card is perfect, but there can be one out there that is suitable for you.

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