Frequent flyer credit cards offer you points for every S$1 spent, which you can then redeem flights, upgrades and other rewards. You can also enjoy a range of additional features including complimentary travel insurance, bonus point’s offers, airline lounge access and promotional interest rates.
Compare your frequent flyer credit cards options below, plus learn how these cards work, tips for earning and using points and insights to help you choose the right card for you.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
Receive up to 26,600 KrisFlyer miles welcome bonus
Offer ends 30 June 2019
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
Apply today and earn miles for every S$1 spent on eligible purchases with your credit card, including a 1 year fee waiver.
Principal Annual Fee: S$0 annual fee for 1 year - S$176.55 thereafter.
Frequent flyer credit cards earn you points when you use them for eligible purchases. These cards earn a set number of points for every dollar spent (e.g. 1 point per S$1), which is known as the earn rate. This means the more you pay with plastic, the more frequent flyer rewards you can get. Depending on the type of rewards credit card you use, there are different ways to earn and redeem frequent points. Some cards credit points directly to your frequent flyer account and others allow you to transfer points to a variety of eligible frequent flyer account.
Is a frequent flyer credit card right for me?
If you’re interested in getting a frequent flyer credit card, weigh up these pros and cons. Please keep in mind that these factors may vary depending on the card.
Benefits of choosing a frequent flyer credit card
Redeem flights and travel upgrades faster. By earning points on your everyday spend you can reach your rewards goals in less time.
Sign up bonus points. Some credit cards offer introductory bonus points, also called “Welcome Miles” as an incentive for new customers. These offers boost your points balance so you can redeem rewards such as flights and holidays faster
Large range of rewards. Use your points to redeem rewards including flights, hotels, online shopping and other lifestyle benefits.
Travel perks. Travel comfortably with flight vouchers, access to airline lounges and 24/7 concierge services.
Complimentary insurance. Save on stand-alone insurance costs and get peace of mind when travelling with complimentary insurance covers including travel insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance and purchase security insurance.
Risks when choosing a frequent flyer credit card
High interest rates. Frequent flyer credit cards often come with less competitive interest rates than other cards. As such, they are suited to cardholders who pay their balance off each month so that the accumulated interest doesn’t outweigh the value of the rewards.
Higher annual fees. As well as high interest rates, these cards often come with higher annual fees than no frills options.
Temptation to spend. If you struggle to repay your credit card on time or need to consolidate a debt, a rewards card might tempt you to spend for the sake of points when you should be reigning in your purchases.
Offer requirements. Frequent flyer credit cards that come with introductory offers or complimentary insurance may have specific spending requirements you need to meet to enjoy these benefits. For example, you may need to spend S$1,500 in the first 3 month you have a card to get bonus points, or pay for your travel with your credit card to get travel insurance.
Frequent Flyer alliances
Credit cards have become one of the most popular ways to earn frequent flyer points, with both direct and indirect methods for boosting your point balance. Now that you know more about how they work, the potential benefits and pitfalls and what you should consider when comparing frequent flyer credit cards, you can make a more informed decision about the next credit card you apply for so that it really works for you.
Frequent flyer credit card questions from our users
Since frequent flyer credit cards provide many benefits and features, choosing one can be a challenging task. Here, we answer the most popular questions from our users about frequent flyer credit cards and how to earn/ redeem points.
Frequent flyer credit cards can offer a range of benefits, including points for your everyday spending, complimentary insurance, flight vouchers and airport lounge access. When you’re comparing frequent flyer credit cards, you can weigh the value of these benefits against the costs of the card – such as the annual fee and interest rates – to decide if it’s worth it based on your lifestyle, budget and goals.
A selection of premium cards offer access to airport lounges. You can compare and apply for credit cards that provide complimentary lounge access here.
The number of points you’ll need will depend on the route you take and the status of your flight seat (e.g. economy, business, first class). Most frequent flyer program websites provide a free point’s calculator that can be used to estimate how much a reward flight will cost to redeem.
This will depend on the program you’re with. Generally, this is a no for frequent flyer programs. However, even if you can’t directly transfer your points to another program, you can redeem your points with a partner airline for flights, upgrades and other rewards.
As a general rule, most frequent flyer points cannot be redeemed after they have expired. Some will expire after a certain amount of time, whereas others will expire if your rewards account has remained inactive (meaning you haven’t earned or redeemed any points) over a particular period. Check with the frequent flyer program to confirm when and how your points expire so you can use them while they’re still valid.
To check your current points balance, you can either log in to your frequent flyer account or contact the airline directly.
Frequent flyer credit cards are only worth it for a particular type of credit card holder. Unless you’re a big spender, loyal frequent flyer and a high income earner, they’re probably not worth it. Frequent flyer credit cards generally come with high interest rates on purchases and annual fees. But the points earned per S$1 spent and any bonus point offers can still tempt cardholders to spend more to earn points. This causes some people to fall into debt. So unless you earn enough points to offset these costs (which are usually a struggle) and you always repay your balance in full each month, a frequent flyer credit card probably isn’t for you. Before you apply for a frequent flyer credit card, compare your options and make sure you can afford it by weighing up all the benefits and costs.
We all know what the perks of a frequent flyer credit card are, but there are some traps and mistakes you need to watch out for. These include:
High interest rates. Frequent flyer credit cards usually have high interest rates to counteract the cost of offering a rewards program. So if you struggle to repay your balance each month, your purchases will attract higher interest charges and it’ll be easier to fall into debt. The additional interest costs and the negative impact that accumulating debt has on your credit file aren’t worth it to earn points.
High annual fees. As well as high interest rates, frequent flyer credit cards typically come with high annual fees. So to benefit from the card, you’ll need to spend enough points to redeem a reward that outweighs the cost of the annual fee. This can be an expensive task and the interest you could pick up from those purchases will also add to the overall costs of the card.
Temptation to spend. If you struggle to keep your spending in control, it may be best not to use a frequent flyer credit card. They entice you to make purchases to earn points. Unless you’re repaying your balance in full each month, the value of the rewards rarely outweighs the interest charges that are applied to your balance.
Bonus points terms and conditions. Bonus points can help boost your point balance, but they often come with spend requirements. For example, you might be required to spend S$2,500 in the first 3 months of getting the card to be eligible for the extra points. It’s unlikely that the monetary value of the reward points will be worth more than this spend requirement. So, unless the necessary spend is in line with your budget and you repay it all without incurring interest, the inconvenience of spending to earn bonus points is probably not worth it.
Poor exchange rates. If you have a credit card that allows you to transfer your reward points to several frequent flyer programs, check the transfer rate to see how much value you’ll get. Usually, the exchange rate gives you less frequent flyer points in comparison to credit card reward points. For example, you might find that 1.5 or 2 credit card reward point’s equals 1 frequent flyer point. This means that you need to spend more to redeem the same amount of frequent flyer points you could earn on a flight or with a card that has a 1 for 1 exchange rate.
The most popular questions about earning frequent flyer points
While the amount of frequent flyer points you earn varies between credit cards, there are a number of ways you can maximise your rewards, including:
Earning points on everyday purchases. This type of credit card lets you earn points on day-to-day purchases including groceries, fuelling the car and direct debit for some bills. The more you use your card for these purchases, the faster you’ll get frequent flyer points.
Bonus point offers. Many reward credit cards offer thousands of bonus points to new customers when they are approved for a card and spend a certain amount in the first few months. These additional points are often worth hundreds of dollars, and may even be enough to fly overseas.
Spending with program partners. Some credit cards partner with airlines, retailers, fuel providers or supermarkets to offer additional points when you use your card with them. Check the credit card issuer’s website for details of participating partners, and try to shop with them more to boost your rewards.
Supplementary credit cards. Requesting an additional credit card means you can share your account with a partner or family member, giving them a chance to use it for their spending and boost your points balance.
Gold, platinum and black cards. Gold, platinum and black credit cards are more premium than standard options, and many offer more points per dollar and/or higher points caps as a result.
Earning frequent flyer/ rewards points will be capped or uncapped depending on the credit card. Capped points allow you to earn points at the normal rate up to a specified amount during a given period, such as 7,500 points per statement cycle. After you have reached the points cap you will either earn points at a reduced rate for the remainder of the period or be unable to accumulate points for the remainder of the period. Check your credit card terms and conditions for details of points caps and consider how likely it is that you will reach that limit. For example, if you have got a card that earned 1 point per S$1 up to 7,500 points per month, you would only be affected by the cap if you spend over S$7,500 each month.
The details of bonus point offers available on frequent flyer credit cards vary depending on the specific promotion. But some of the most common requirements include:
New customers. Most bonus point offers apply to people who don’t have existing credit cards with the provider. Some providers also specify that you must not have had an active account with them in the past 12 months to be classified as a “new customer” that’s eligible for bonus point offers.
Promotional period. You usually have to apply for the card within a set timeframe in order to be eligible for bonus points.
Spending requirement. If you’re approved for a card with a bonus point offer, you may be required to spend a certain amount on the card within a given period of time. For example, S$2,500 of purchases within 3 months of card approval.
If you meet these conditions, you’re usually able to take advantage of a point bonus and boost your frequent flyer balance.
In most cases, you can cancel the credit card with no additional fees or charges after receiving your bonus points. However, you may be charged the annual fee, or a percentage of that fee based on how long the account has been active. If your credit card has S$0 annual fee for the first year and you cancel within the first 12 months, you may be able to avoid this. Check with your provider to find out if fees will apply.
Usually points are only earned by making eligible purchases, and not for balance transfers or cash advances. If you want points for a balance transfer, you can consider a limited number of credit cards that provide this option.
The lists of transactions that do and don’t earn points when you use a frequent flyer credit card vary between providers and products. But some of the most common exclusions are:
Cash advance transactions
Purchasing foreign currency
Keep in mind that not all cards have the same exclusions, so it’s important to check the terms and conditions or product disclosure statement for full details of what individual frequent flyer credit cards do and don’t count as an “eligible transaction”.
This is possible with a credit card reward program that allows you to transfer reward points to frequent flyer points. Make sure you check the transfer rate for these cards though, as you may “lose” points when exchanging them to different frequent flyer programs. Alternatively, if you have a direct earn frequent flyer card, the associated airline partners and alliances let you use your points to travel with other airline partners.
Did you forget to quote your frequent flyer number at the time of booking or have your points not appeared in your account?
The most popular questions about redeeming frequent flyer points
While credit card and airline reward programs all have their own specific steps for redeeming or transferring points, the following steps can be used as a guide for most of online reward point redemptions:
Log in to your reward account
Check your point balance to see how many points you have to use
Select the “Redeem” option
Choose the type of redemption you want to make (e.g. “flights”)
Select the specific option you want
Follow the prompts to book or secure the reward
Confirm the redemption
Some frequent flyer credit cards also give you a “points plus pay” option, which means you can use a combination of points and cash to redeem your reward.
The value of your credit card or frequent flyer points varies based on the types of rewards you redeem. Usually, frequent flyer points go further when redeemed for airline rewards such as flights or upgrades, when compared to gift cards other rewards.
Credit card and frequent flyer reward programs offer a wide range of rewards that you can claim using your points, including:
The amount of points required varies between redemptions, and not all of them are equal. The different amounts of points required for every redemption has a direct impact on the value of your rewards, so comparing these costs before you use points will help you get more out of them in the long run.
If you are transferring credit card rewards points to a frequent flyer program, the conversion rate may not be 1:1. Often a reduced conversion rate is provided since you have the flexibility of earning both rewards and frequent flyer benefits.
Sally McMullen is Finder's credit cards and frequent flyer editor by day and a music maven by night. She's also one half of the Pocket Money podcast. Her byline can be spotted on Yahoo Finance, Dynamic Business, Financy and Mamamia as well as Music Feeds and Rolling Stone. Sally has a first-class Honours degree in Communications and Media Studies (majoring in Journalism and Professional Writing) from the University of Wollongong.
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