I’ve received many positive feedback regarding my previous article on booking a budget travel. Now, this article shall discuss how to use your credit cards to the fullest advantage when you want to book a long haul flight!
1. Free limousine service
Currently there are 4 credit cards that provide a free limousine service when you charge a minimum spend to these cards. UOB PRVI Miles American Express has the lowest spend which is $500, but this $500 has to be in a single receipt and limited to air ticket, hotel or travel package and posted within 3 months of departure. This is the only limousine service that I have tried out so far, and I am impressed by the brand new black Mercedes limousine that picked me up from my place and sent me to the airport.
Both ANZ Travel Visa Signature and OCBC Titanium MasterCard require $1500 charged on any transaction to be eligible for booking. HSBC Visa Infinite actually provides a free airport limousine transfer, JetQuay check-in and expedited immigration clearance during your first quarter of owning the card. Subsequently, you need to spend $5000 in a quarter to qualify for unlimited limousine transfers and the other services. For frequent travellers, HSBC Visa Infinite would probably be the way to go if you want to travel and check-in in style, but do note that the miles accrual rate of this card is not very high (first year $1=1 mile locally, $1=2 miles overseas).
2. Buying your air ticket
Let’s say you spent $500 on UOB PRVI Miles AMEX card on your hotel stay and have obtained a free limousine ride to the airport. What card should you use to book your air tickets?
ANZ Travel VISA Signature has changed their T&Cs recently. Previously, one will earn 2.8 miles/$1 when this case is used to book airtickets, but this has since been changed to booking QANTAS and Jetstar flights only.
Citibank Premiermiles AMEX is the best choice if you want to book flights from our national carrier Singapore Airlines or Silkair as you get 2.5 miles/$1, which is far better than the rate offered by American Express Ascend card (you can do your own sums to verify)
If you are booking a flight via a foreign airline e.g. United Airlines, you can choose to pay in USD, and using the UOB PRVI AMEX would be ideal as you get 2.5 miles/$1 since the transaction is charged in a foreign currency.
If you are not flying on the above airlines, use Maybank Horizon Visa Card to earn 2 miles/$1 for other flights that you are booking.
3. Jet Quay check in
Never heard of Jet Quay before? Check out their website here. Essentially it is a dedicated check-in area where you are treated like a VIP. If you are interested to try out this service for free, then consider using HSBC Visa Infinite or Maybank World MasterCard and match your spending to qualify!
4. Travel insurance
The recent tragedy of the MH370 still lingers in my mind. I’ve always encouraged my friends to spend a bit on travel insurance as you never know what may happen during your trip. If you want to save on this, most of the credit cards mentioned above have free travel insurance so you are covered to a certain extent. However, do note that T&Cs are present and it may be difficult to claim if you do not meet those requirements.
Now, are you wiser regarding your travel bookings?