Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card Review: Is This The Best Miles Card for High-Earners?

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Visa Infinite credit cards are the pinnacle of luxury when it comes to travel credit cards. Of course, not every Singaporean can get ahold of a Visa Infinite Card because most of them are invitation-only cards.

But the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card can be obtained without waiting for the bank’s invitation if you have an annual income of S$150,000 or more.

If you are a Priority or Private Banking customer, you need to have an annual income of just S$30,000. So if you can get there, this card promises to make your travels full of indulgence.

Going by the nature of this card, we are going to assume a couple of things before we continue.

  • That you are a frequent traveller (if you are not, you can make little use of this card anyway);
  • That you earn well and spend well (because of the minimum annual income required).

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card Review

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card Review

Top reasons to consider this card

  • Welcome gift 35,000 miles
  • 1.4 miles/dollar spent locally
  • 3 miles/dollar spent overseas
  • Never-expiring points
  • 6 free airport lounge entries through the Priority Pass Membership
  • 24×7 Visa Infinite Concierge and Emergency Service
  • 10% cash rebate on Uber spends, capped at S$100 per quarter
  • Special price for luxury yacht bookings with Yacht Management Pte Ltd (YPML)
  • Income tax payment option

Pile on the miles

The miles-earning rate on the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is quite high at 3 miles (7.5 Rewards Points) per dollar spent overseas and 1.4 miles (3.5 points) per dollar spent in Singapore.

But if your monthly spend is less than S$2,000, you’ll only get 2.5 miles (6.25 points) per S$1 spent overseas and 1 mile (2.5 points) per S$1 spent locally. Miles are credited in the form of rewards points that have to be converted at the time of miles redemption.

However, if you are earning more than S$150,000 annually, we suppose that you’ll most likely spend over S$2,000 per month and thus earn more miles.

Related: 5 of the Best Air Miles Credit Cards in Singapore

Talking of the oh-so-loved bonus miles, the SC Visa Infinite Card gives you two welcome gift options to choose from:

a) 35,000 miles OR
b) 15,000 miles and a 28-inch Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner Luggage

We all love gifts, but it would be more sensible to buy a similar Samsonite luggage at S$890 to S$1,090 yourself and earn another 1,246 to 1,526 miles on the card, instead of forgoing the additional 20,000 miles earned.

A little bit about the terms surrounding conversion

Standard Chartered allows you to convert miles in blocks of 2,500 points, which will give you 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles. The miles will take about 5 to 7 working days to be credited to your account, and you also have to pay a conversion fee of S$25 per redemption.

Now, if you spend S$1,800 locally and S$1,000 overseas in a month, you are going to earn a total of 5,520 miles. Multiply that by 12 and you have 66,240 miles in a year. Add the 35,000 miles you got at the time of card approval, and you have a total of 101,240 miles just at the end of the first year of owning the card.

And don’t worry, the points don’t expire, so you can keep hoarding until you want to redeem it.

What can you do with these miles?

You can convert your miles to KrisFlyer Miles and fly with the Singapore Airlines. Here are some options:

  • Jet off to Perth, Australia, and back in a First Class suite once a year (95,000 KrisFlyer Miles).
  • Fly to and return from Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, or Laos in Business Saver Class twice a year (80,000 KrisFlyer Miles).
  • Visit Hong Kong, South China or Taiwan 3 times a year (round trip) in Economy Saver Class (90,000 KrisFlyer Miles).

Related: How to Get the Most out of the Krisflyer Miles Program

Face-off with other cards

If you look at the other high-end travel credit cards in Singapore right now, the only ones apart from the Standard Chartered card that you can apply for without an invitation are the BOC Visa Infinite Card and the CIMB Visa Infinite Card. However, since both of them give cashback rather than miles, we are going to skip them.

The HSBC Visa Infinite Card, the Maybank Visa Infinite Card and the UOB Visa Infinite Card are all invitation-only credit cards. However, HSBC allows you to register your interest in getting the card, and if you meet the earnings criteria, we can safely assume that you will be allowed to get the card.

Another credit card with a good earning rate is the UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card, which comes at a not-so-low income criteria of S$80,000.

So let’s do a quick comparison of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite, HSBC Visa Infinite and UOB PRVI Miles Visa cards:
SC Visa Infinite Card HSBC Visa Infinite Card UOB PRVI Miles Card
Rewards
  • 3 miles per S$1 spent overseas
  • 1.4 miles per S$1 spent locally
  • 2 miles per S$1 spent overseas for the first year
  • 2.25 miles per S$1 spent overseas if you spend S$50,000 or more in the previous year
  • 1 mile per S$1 spent locally for the first year
  • 1.25 miles per S$1 spent locally if you spend S$50,000 or more in the previous year
  • 10x rewards points earned at luxury boutiques
  • 6 miles per S$1 spent on major airlines and hotels through Agoda, Expedia and UOB Travel
  • 2.4 miles per S$1 spent overseas
  • 1.4 miles per S$1 spent locally
Welcome bonus 35,000 miles 35,000 miles 12,000 miles
Privileges
  • Free travel insurance cover of up to S$1 million
  • 6 free Priority Pass lounge entries per year (when most other travel credit cards give you 2 to 4 free entries)
  • Complimentary 4-hour yacht voyage for 14 people if you spend S$75,000 in 2017
  • 10% cash rebate on Uber rides globally
  • Up to 37% discount on international car rentals through Auto Europe
  • 24×7 Visa Infinite Concierge and Emergency Service
  • Green fees waiver at Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore
  • Accelerated entry into Hilton HHonor Gold Status
  • Exclusive movie experiences such as discounts on the Gold Class Infinite Experience Package
  • Freebies and discounts at The Fullerton Spa, The Fullerton Hotel and The Fullerton Bay Hotel
  • Hotel & Resort Rewards at Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel
  • Dining benefits at Crystal Jade with a free Jadeite membership
  • Best rates and freebies at Visa Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Free travel insurance cover of up to US$2 million
  • Unlimited Priority Pass lounge entries each year
  • Free one-time limo transfer to Changi Airport plus one-time expedited immigration clearance for every S$2,000 you spend. You can claim these services up to 24 times in a year
  • Special perks on stays at any participating hotel in the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Free access to ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa, and special rates for various services/treatments
  • 24×7 Visa Infinite Concierge and Emergency Service
  • Green fees waiver at Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore
  • A maximum of 30% discount on green fees at 30 golf clubs globally
  • Free golfer’s insurance
  • 5% cash rebate on Franck Muller at Watches of Switzerland
  • Dining discounts at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel and at over 50 European restaurants
  • Free travel insurance cover of up to S$1 million
  • Special promotional offers on international travel, dining, leisure and shopping through UOB Privileges Passport
  • UOB PRVI Travel Butler
  • Get regular UOB offers on dining, travel, shopping, etc.
  • Special perks on stays at any participating hotel in the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Exclusive movie experiences such as discounts on the Gold Class Infinite Experience Package
Income eligibility (per year)
  • S$150,000 for normal customers
  • S$30,000 for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents who are Priority or Private Banking customers
  • S$60,000 for foreigners who are Priority or Private Banking customers
S$120,000
  • S$80,000
Annual fee S$588.50 (No waiver)
  • S$650 for normal customers (no waiver)
  • S$488 for Premier customers (no waiver)
S$256.80 (first-year fee waiver)

 

Which is costlier?

The HSBC Visa Infinite Card is costlier at S$650 per year than the SC Visa Infinite unless you are an HSBC Premier customer. There are no fee waivers or bonus miles for paying the annual fee for either of these VI cards.

UOB is cheaper because not only is the annual fee the lowest of this list, but it also offers a fee waiver for the first year. But if you consider the number of free flights you can do with the SC Card in the first year, it’s actually even better than an annual fee waiver.

Read also: When Is It Worthwhile to Pay Your Credit Card’s Annual Fee?

Which card gives you more ‘mileage’?

The miles earning rate for the Standard Chartered VI card is the best of the lot, with a requirement to spend just S$2,000 per month. HSBC gives you slightly higher-than-normal rates only if you spend S$50,000 in the previous year (which comes to around S$4,167 per month).

UOB PRVI Miles, on the other hand, gives you lower-but-still-good miles earning rate, and an even higher earn rate when flight and hotel bookings are made through one of their partner online travel agents.

If we compare our earlier example of a person spending S$1,800 locally and S$1,000 overseas:

SC Visa Infinite Card HSBC Visa Infinite Card UOB PRVI Miles Card
Welcome bonus miles 35,000 35,000 12,000
$1,800 local spend + $1,000 overseas spend 66,240 miles 45,600 miles 59,040 miles*
Total miles earned in the first year 101,240 miles 80,600 71,040

*this amount may be higher if travel bookings are made through UOB travel partners.

As you can see, at the end of the first year, your miles-earnings are probably going to be higher with the SC Visa Infinite card.

HSBC Visa Infinite wins in some areas

The complimentary travel insurance benefits are the highest for the HSBC VI card, though – up to US$2 million on personal accident cover. It also has some sweet golfing perks including the golfer’s insurance. The HSBC card also has unlimited airport lounge access as against 6 entries with the Standard Chartered card. While SC gives no limo transfers to the airport, HSBC gives you up to 24 trips in a year, which is worth considering if your spending levels are high.

Read also: Warning: Don’t Pay in Singapore Dollars When Shopping Overseas

So, what’s the verdict?

If your annual income is lower (and you’ve read this far) we recommend the Citi PremierMiles Visa Signature Card or the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card.

But for a high-income, frequent-flyer individual in Singapore, the real choice is between the Standard Chartered and HSBC Visa Infinite Cards. If you are enamoured by the yacht privileges, Uber cash rebates, Auto Europe car rental discounts, and Hilton HHonor benefits, AND the number of miles you earn per year is important to you (value for money, and all that), then you should go for the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card.

If the lower rate of accruing miles doesn’t bother you (but why???), and you really want that higher travel insurance cover, limo transfers and unlimited VIP lounge access, then you should register your interest in the HSBC Visa Infinite Card.

But all in all, we think the SC Visa Infinite Card is one heck of a travel card.

Banner of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card

Related: 5 Often Overlooked Ways to be Smart About Money While Travelling Abroad

What is your favourite travel or miles credit card? Tell us!

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