What makes a good travel rewards card

We’re biased, but we think the rewards credit card is one of the finest inventions of this modern age.


Used sensibly, they give the card owner the incentive to spend and save points on any number of useful rewards. With so many card holders in Singapore using their cards for travel purposes, it makes huge sense to seek out the best travel rewards cards. But what should the potential cutomer look out for?


Firstly, look out for that annual fee. One of our featured deals is for the American Express KrisFleyer Ascend Card. It’s a travel rewards card that comes with an annual fee of S$256. That’s a pretty good fee when you see what you’re getting for the money – 5,000 free miles when you start using the card, double points for the first three months, offers redeemable against Singapore Airlines, then the card has already paid for itself. Then look at the members’ free airport lounge, and a free night in a Millennium Hotel each year, then the value just gets better.

The fact that AmEx are able to offer these perks just goes to show how competitive the market is. Citibank’s Premier Miles card costs S$192.60 per year, but offers 10,000 miles on renewal, 2 miles per every dollar spent, free VIP lounges, plus gourmet pleasures benefits. This is a card for the elite traveller, at a reasonable price.


So, on top of reasonable offers for your annual fee, what else should the traveller look out for? Obviously, if you’re a frequent flyer, the one thing you hate is being charged extra for currency conversions. If you use your card a lot outside Singapore, see if you can find yourself a card that doesn’t penalise you for foreign currency transactions. A few nights in a luxury hotel can come with an unexpected added surprise once conversion fees and poor exchange rates are added on.

Look out, also, for extra perks that other cards might not offer. Free concierge deals, or unexpected airline upgrades, for example. But most of all, explore that cards that are available and get the best sign-up deal. With the travel card market so competitive, most have similar offers, so shop around for the one that gives you the best deal for your signing on fee. You’ll be surprised what you will find.


If you are looking for a travel credit card in Singapore, then check out our travel credit card comparison table