For mile chasers, the credit card rewards you get with every dollar spent might not be as immediately visible as cashback, but the value of your miles can be worth up to thousands of dollars each year if you use your cards wisely. You can also easily rack up miles on your everyday spend - dining, transportation, groceries — by comparing between the best cards in these categories.
For expenses that are not payable by card such as tax, rent, education fees and more, CardUp allows you to do so, earning you precious miles that would otherwise be missed out on. Spend on CardUp typically falls under the general spend category, earning the base rate on all miles cards.
Fly business class for half the price with CardUp. Learn more >
Best air miles credit card to use on CardUp
"Which miles card should I use to maximise my rewards on my CardUp spend?"
This is a question we get a lot, and while earn rate is typically the metric most of us look at to maximise our miles, there are also a number of different factors that should be considered.
Factors to consider before choosing a card
- Expiry period
Most miles cards earn points (e.g. UNI$, Citi Miles), which have varying expiry periods to be converted into miles, which then has varying validity periods to be redeemed
- Card bonuses
Some banks run promotions that give you welcome miles, sign up bonuses, or bonus miles when you spend a certain amount within a period
- Transferability of miles
Different banks partner with different frequent flyer programmes for the redemption of miles
- Additional travel benefits
Lounge access, hotel stays, travel insurance
List of the most popular cards to use on CardUp
In no specific order, here are some of the most popular cards our users use when they make their payments on our platform, be it rent, insurance, education fees or more!
1. UOB PRVI Miles Credit Cards
At 1.4 miles per dollar on local spending (CardUp included) and 2.4 miles per dollar on overseas spend, the UOB PRVI Miles Credit Card is one of the more generous cards in the market, and has long been a favourite amongst many miles chasers here. The entry-level income requirement of $30,000 also makes it an attractive card for many young professionals who wish to embark on their mile-chasing journey.
While the UOB UNI$ earned expire within 2 years, there are also many opportunities for cardholders to earn bonus miles, with bonus earn rates of 10 miles per dollar spent on popular travel sites such as Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel!
The card comes in the Visa, Mastercard and American Express versions, and the American Express version stands out with 20,000 loyalty miles each year with a minimum spend of $50,000 in a year — easily attainable when you shift your large, recurring payments to your card via CardUp!
- Business travellers who fly and spend frequently on travel-related expenses and large, recurring expenses (e.g. insurance and rent payments through CardUp)
Another UOB alternative would also be the newly-launched Krisflyer UOB Card — which gives you 3 miles per dollar spent on “everyday spend”, including dining, transportation, travel and more. CardUp spend earns the base earn rate of 1.2 miles per dollar spent - directly credited to your Krisflyer account!
2. Citi PremierMiles Card
While the Citi PremierMiles Card has a lower earn rate at just 1.2 miles per dollar (CardUp included), compared to some of the other cards, it still remains a card that many swear by. The strength of this card lies in its miles earned - they never expire, and can be flexibly redeemed at 12 different miles transfer partners, the most of any bank in Singapore.
The card also comes with bonus spending with partners such as Agoda and Expedia from time to time, as well as a free Priority Pass membership that grants you 2 airport lounge visits per year.
Another card worth checking out from Citibank is its Citi Prestige Card, which earns you 1.3 miles per dollar spent — if you’re able to hit the minimum $120,000 income required.
- Young professionals with relatively lower monthly expenses (e.g. car loans or insurance through CardUp, dining or groceries), since miles earned have no expiry date and have great flexibility
3. DBS Altitude Card Visa Signature Card
The DBS Altitude Card also has an earn rate of 1.2 miles per dollar spent locally (CardUp included), and 2 miles earned per overseas dollar spent. In addition, cardholders get to enjoy 3 miles per dollar spent on online travel, with promotional rates up to 10 miles per dollar with partners like Expedia and Kaligo from time to time.
The card’s attractiveness lies in the annual fee waiver year after year — so long as you have charged a minimum of $25,000 each year. This amount is reasonable and realistically achievable, especially if you can now shift payments such as insurance, income tax, car loans and more onto your card via CardUp.
- Cardholders with fixed, consistent spending who prefer not to pay an annual fee each year
4. Maybank Visa Infinite Card
The Maybank Visa Infinite Card has an earn rate of 3X Treats Points (1.2 miles) per dollar spent locally (CardUp included), and 5X Treats Points (2 miles) earned per dollar spent on foreign currency transactions. What's great is the enrolment into the Rewards Infinite Programme, which means your points earned do not expire! As a premium card, you also get to enjoy many perks, such as complimentary two-way airport limousine transfers, the complimentary use of JetQuay, a five-star private terminal at Singapore Changi Airport, as well as an exclusive Priority Pass membership giving you access to over 1,300 VIP airport lounges worldwide.
There are also additional lifestyle perks from time-to-time, for example a 5-hour complimentary VIP guided tour at Universal Studios Singapore with a purchase of 4 Day Passes (valid till 31 Dec 2020), as well as complimentary green fees at participating golf clubs in 23 countries (valid till 31 Dec 2020)!
- Professionals who prefer premium travel and accelerated earn rates on both their local and foreign spend
5. American Express KrisFlyer Card
Last but definitely not the least, we have the American Express KrisFlyer Card. Similarly, this card may not be as popular because of its earn rate of 1.1 miles per dollar spent locally (CardUp included), but has its reputation as a hassle-free, easy-to-use miles card. Krisflyer miles are earned directly on this card, without any transfer fees or lengthy processing times.
This card also has some of the best miles promotions on the markets frequently including exclusive offers from Singapore Airlines, and as such, is a great introduction to the world of miles cards for beginners. If you are one who has a very loyal preference for Singapore Airlines, the card will also be perfect for your lifestyle.
There is also the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card that’s worth checking out. If you’re a Singapore Airlines PPS Club member or Solitaire PPS member, there’s the American Express Singapore Airlines PPS Club Credit Card and the American Express Singapore Airlines Solitaire PPS Credit Card which you’re eligible for.
- Singapore Airlines loyalists or young professionals starting out on their miles journeys
At the end of the day, you will be wondering how much your miles earned are worth — is it going to be worthwhile paying the CardUp fee to earn this amount of miles? Truth is, there are many factors that determine how much a mile is worth, based on your preferences.
How are miles valued?
A general rule of thumb has the miles valued as such:
|Economy class||Business class||First class|
|1 air mile = ~$0.020 to $0.028||1 air mile = ~$0.025 to $0.040||1 air mile = ~$0.050 to $0.060|
With an annual spend of $68,000 on CardUp, you will incur a $1,530 CardUp fee. This total spend will earn you 97,000 miles on a 1.5mpd card. Taking the average worth of an air mile redeemed for Business Class tickets, these miles earned are worth approximately 3.25c each, or $3,150 in total, and 5.5c each for first class, or $5,335 in total!
In actual fact, they could also be worth much more, with the amount of miles earned enough to redeem you a business class flight to Tokyo, Japan (worth up to $4,000) or a first class flight to Perth, Australia (worth up to $6,280)!
Not too bad for just $1,530 in CardUp fees for payments you're already making anyway! Here are some more in-depth calculations for each of the cards featured on this list:
|Credit Card||Example annual spend on CardUp||CardUp fee||Total miles earned (Approx.)||Worth if you fly:|
|UOB PRVI Card (1.4mpd)||Insurance:
|2.25% of total spend:
|97,300 miles||Business Class: ~$3,160
First Class: ~$5,350
|Citi PremierMiles (1.2mpd)||83,400 miles||Business Class: ~$2,710
First Class: ~$4,580
|DBS Altitude (1.2mpd)||83,400 miles||Business Class: ~$2,710
First Class: ~$4,580
|Amex Krisflyer (1.1mpd)||76,480 miles||Business Class: ~$2,485
First Class: ~$4,200
Is your favourite card not mentioned in this article? The list of cards accepted on CardUp can be found on our interactive calculator page here. Feel free to also use our calculate to find out how much you can earn with your spend on CardUp!
Ready to let your air miles take flight?
Enjoy lowered CardUp fees when you pay for your Prudential insurance premiums on CardUp. Find out more:
Tags: Savings & Rewards