This is an update to the previous version written more than a year ago. Along the way, new cards have come into the picture, T&Cs have been revised.
Before you travel, when it comes to booking of air tickets and accomodation, do be aware that some of the cards do provide free travel insurance and limousine services. There are 3 cards that provide free limousine service to the airport – HSBC Visa Infinite, OCBC Titanium, UOB PRVI Miles but bear in mind the T&C which might change from time to time. If you would like to be treated like a VIP, check in via the Jet Quay terminal when you book using HSBC Visa Infinite, OCBC Titanium and Maybank World MasterCard (not featured here as it does not offer any perks for foreign currency usage).
There are some cards that are excellent for their specific function and I will always bring these cards out because of their excellent earn rates – namely the Citibank Rewards Card where you earn 4 miles per $1 when you shop for clothes/shoes/bags/departmental stores and UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX for dining locally or overseas. (Note that the MasterCard does not give 10x UNI$)
For other overseas spending, the UOB PRVI Miles Card has the best earn rate of 2.5 miles per $1 when you charge to a foreign currency, but bear in mind this is an AMEX card so it may not be that widely accepted. Something to carry around as a backup would be Citibank Premiermiles VISA or Maybank Horizon Platinum VISA which earn a respectable 2 miles per $1. Sometimes when you charge at a foreign merchant, they may allow you to pay in SGD but I would always opt for the foreign currency as I think the bank’s exchange rate is usually better plus you get additional miles.
The March school holidays are just around the corner so choose your cards wisely!