Air Miles Credit Card Strategy: Here’s How to Fly Biz Class for Free to Anywhere

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My wife and I got into the miles game in early 2017 and we have managed to earn enough miles to go on a return SQ business class trip to South Africa. This post is pretty much about our personal air miles credit card strategy.

miles card strategy: Singapore to Capetown on Singapore Air Business Class

For a pair of Business Class tickets on Singapore Airlines, I’ll need 180,000 miles to get to Capetown.

No, we don’t splurge every month. In fact, we only started actively earning miles AFTER our home renovation last year, which could have accelerated our miles accumulation. If only the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card was launched earlier.

Like any average Jane and Joe, we spend on normal things like dining, insurance, travel, and shopping in moderation.

What I am trying to say is, if you play your (credit) cards right, you can also earn enough miles to go to a faraway destination within 365 days.

It’s also good to have a goal in mind. This infographic about where you can go with your KrisFlyer miles will be helpful.

miles card strategy to enjoy the Singapore Airlines Business Class Suite

This will soon be us casually dining on local delights with extra legroom in plushy seats.

Play your miles card strategy right, and you will be on a business class flight to somewhere awesome in no time

I am not going to beat around the bush; here are exactly the miles credit cards I use for different spend categories.

Category Credit Card Miles Equivalent
Local dining and entertainment HSBC Revolution Credit Card 2 miles/dollar
Local insurance premiums and interest-free instalment plans (needs to be coded as online payments) HSBC Revolution Credit Card 2 miles/dollar
All online spends, including travel bookings, fashion purchases, and PayPal transactions DBS Woman’s World MasterCard

If you are unable to get this card, use the HSBC Revolution Credit Card

4 miles/dollar, up to S$2,000 of spending per month
Online travel bookings after you exceed S$2,000 of spending on the DBS Woman’s World MasterCard DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card 3 miles/dollar, up to S$5,000 of spending on travel bookings
Other online spends after you exceed S$2,000 of spending on the DBS Woman’s World MasterCard HSBC Revolution Credit Card 2 miles/dollar
Retail shopping, spends at department stores like Tangs and Robinsons, Lazada, Watsons, Guardian, Courts, Harvey Norman, Best Denki, Audio House, and Apple.  OCBC Titanium Rewards Card 4 miles/dollar, up to 120,000 OCBC$ or 48,000 miles per year
Clothes, shoes, bags at online or retail stores, or department stores, locally and overseas

20X promotions on Lazada, Zalora and Amazon where possible

Citibank Rewards Card 4 miles/dollar, up to 20,000 Citi Dollars per statement cycle and 120,000 Citi Dollars or 48,000 miles per year
Everything else DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card 1.2 miles/dollar

To consolidate our spendings per card, I applied for supplementary cards for my wife. Also, look out for promotions where there are bonus miles when you spend in selected categories for a limited time.

Related: How to Fly for Free in Business Class

Bonus: Use Mileslife for more miles as you spend

Mileslife App

Mileslife is a wonderful invention for people who want to earn more miles, faster.

It is a mobile payment app that earns you bonus miles at restaurants, spas, hotels, and entertainment merchants, on top of what your credit cards already offer.

All you have to do is visit any Mileslife partnering merchants and pay your bill via the app with any credit card and see your miles accumulate. Earn even more miles on certain days and at certain merchants.

Mileslife is classified as an online spend, so using your HSBC Revolution Card will allow you to stack another 2 miles/dollar on top of any spends you make. Note: DBS Woman’s Card is not eligible for 10X points on Mileslife. 

I started using Mileslife last August 2017 (tagged with my Amex KrisFlyer Ascend Card) when it was running promotions that gave away lots of bonus miles just for completing a few tasks. Using the Amex card also gave me 2x bonus miles on my dining spends.

Mileslife is definitely worth checking out because the list of partner merchants are growing really quickly. If you’re keen, I have a referral link that will give you up to 1,000 miles to start with. Check it out here.

You can credit the miles you earned on the app to any of their partner airlines, including Singapore Airlines Krisflyer. There are no fees or charges.

So, are these the best miles credit card?

These cards personally work for me, but other more experienced travel hackers may have a different miles card strategy that they prefer. It depends on what you spend on, how many cards you’re willing to manage, which frequent flyer programme you use, etc. Nonetheless, if you’re just starting out, I think this would be a good miles card strategy to consider.

Here’s a recap of the cards I use:

[update] I’m looking forward to using the BOC Elite Miles Card this year for all general spends and foreign currency spends.

Read this next: Best miles credit cards guide to know which card to use and when


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