With the holiday season fast approaching, some of us choose to celebrate it by feasting, others celebrate it with merrymaking, and the rest of us celebrate it by… taking to the skies.
Can relate to the latter? We get it. There’s no better feeling than taking a trip out of the country for a few days, though steep airfares might be a deterrent to most.
Or should they be? Hmm, not if you’re using air miles to pay for said airfares, of course!
Keep those wallets away, because AVENUE ONE has gathered the nine best hacks to collect more air miles if you’re planning a trip out of the country this season:
1. Get a credit card that rewards you with air miles
Most credit cards actually reward you with air miles, depending on their terms and conditions. Check with your bank as to which of your current credit cards do that, and apply for a specific one that does if none from your stash do.
One of the best hacks to collect more air miles for all you frequent fliers out there? Opt for the American Express Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit Card.
This one allows you to accumulate Krisflyer miles with virtually every dollar spent on the card, including granting you a welcome bonus of 5,000 miles the very first time you charge to it. Neat!
Apply for it online here.
2. Pay for everything with credit
Once you have a specific credit card (or cards) set aside for air mile accumulation, make sure to pay for everything with credit. Yes, we’re talking everything. From groceries to your online purchases, to a quick meal over at McDonald’s.
According to frequent travellers (and fervent air mile collectors) using cash to pay for anything is the equivalent of losing cash because you don’t earn rebates, points, or miles from it.
If possible, always, always pay with credit. If your credit cards don’t offer such great deals, check out our list of cards that do give back (especially when it comes to dining privileges!)
3. Coincide the application of your credit card with big purchases
Need yourself a new laptop in the coming months? Or a home entertainment system? Well, if you know you have some big purchases coming up, make sure to coincide it with the application of your credit card.
Why? Mainly because certain credit card companies offer signing bonuses that reward you with air miles. Take the Citi PremierMiles card, for one! It rewards you with 42,000 air miles, though they would require you to spend SGD10,000 within the first three months.
If you were already planning on spending that amount, why not make sure you get air miles while you’re at it? It’s a definite win-win situation, at any rate.
4. Sign up for frequent flyer programmes…
One of the best hacks to collect more air miles? Signing up for a frequent flyer programme, of course. They sometimes offer promotions that stack with your credit card, allowing you to get higher tier rewards for fewer air miles.
If you’re holding a Krisflyer membership, consider joining Star Alliance, which lets you fly for less from a partner airline (think Thai Airways and Asiana) so you can rack up air miles for each trip.
5. … or just jump on a plane, basically
One of the easiest hacks around to collect more air miles is to, of course, take more flights. However, do make sure to check what sort of flight it is so you’ll be to discern the amount of air miles you’ll be earning from it.
Apparently, heavily discounted flights under Singapore Airlines only earn you 50% of the miles travelled. Ugh.
6. Check to see if your favourite taxi apps, hotels, and or telco companies allow you to swap loyalty points for air miles
Accumulated loyalty points from your Grab App or at your favourite hotel? Well, you might just be able to swap them for air miles as well.
Take Grab, for instance: you can now convert GrabRewards points to Krisflyer miles. Hotels such as The Marriott also allows you to swap rewards points for air miles, while Telco companies such as M1 and Starhub offer the same.
Make sure to check with the companies you usually use to see if they have programmes like these in place. If not, well, you can always sign up for any of the companies mentioned above.
7. Shop online using Krisflyer Spree
Yes, there is a dedicated shopping portal offered by Singapore Airlines that actually gives you the opportunity to rack up miles. Regarded as one of the best hacks to collect more air miles, this site is also super easy to use.
Simply log into the portal and search for your favourite merchants — Lazada, Aliexpress, and Zalora are on it, for instance — and start shopping for your goods as per normal.
In fact, this portal is really advantageous considering how large purchases can even earn you up to thousands in air miles. (Trust us, this is a must-know tip for those looking to accumulate a large number of points. Score!)
8. Sign up for a points management system
Hoarding up all those miles can sometimes be a bad idea because they— unfortunately! — do come with an expiration date. But how is one person supposed to keep track of them all, especially when you have multiple credit cards used to accumulate said points?
Luckily enough, there is just about an app for anything these days. Download a points management system or app when in doubt, which helps keep track of points in said cards. Some of them even drop reminders when they are about to expire!
A favourite that most people opt for is points.com. With a user-friendly interface, bank-level security to keep your information safe, and easy accessibility via either your phone or desktop, it’s easy to see why.
9. Charge, but don’t spend
Ensure that you repay every dollar that you spent on your credit card! This is essential when it comes to keeping those air miles (and hard-earned cash) close to your chest, considering how the typical interest rate on an unpaid credit card is around 26% per annum.
Yup, that’s more than you save by accumulating air miles. Make sure you don’t make that mistake by paying promptly before the billing cycle comes around, and you’re good to go.