Best Credit Cards with Air Miles for Paying Your Annual Fee (2020)
Paying the annual fee on your credit card to get bonus miles seems like an easy way to chalk up your KrisFlyer miles quickly. But is it worth it? Take a look at how much you are actually paying per mile.
Citibank PremierMiles Card
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
Selected Online Hotel and Flight bookings
Those new to Citi cards can enjoy an attractive 26,500 miles bonus if they pay the annual fee of S$192.60, provided they can also meet the minimum spending requirements. That works out to a very cheap 0.7 cents per mile.
Unfortunately, this offer is only for new-to-Citi cardmembers. Existing ones only get 3,500 bonus miles for paying the annual fee.
Standard Chartered X Card
on Local Spend
on Overseas Spend
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get 30,000 Air Miles
Online Promo: Bonus of up to 300,000 extra air miles with Priority Banking sign-up
On the other hand, you get 60,000 miles for paying the annual fee, provided you meet the minimum spending requirements within the first few months. This works out to a reasonable 1.2 cents per mile.
AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend Card
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get up to 33,000 KrisFlyer miles when you apply and spend!
And like the Standard Chartered X Card, it has a non-waivable annual fee that kicks in from the first year. However, if you pay the $337.05 annual fee and meet the minimum spending requirements, you can net 20,000 miles. That works out to 1.7 cents per mile.
Note that American Express also has an entry-level version of this card, the Amex KrisFlyer Card, which has an annual fee waiver for the first year. This credit card also offers welcome miles for hitting a minimum spend, but without the need to pay the annual fee.
DBS Altitude Card
Bus, MRT and Taxi rides
MoneySmart Exclusive: Get AirPods or S$200 cashback or 38,000 miles when you apply online and spend!
Online Promo: Double your earn rate with DBS Altitude Card!
It has a first-year annual fee waiver, but if you choose to pay the annual fee of S$192.60 from the second year, you can get 10,000 miles in return. That works out to 1.9 cents per mile.
You can also opt to get a second year fee waiver if you are eligible, but you will naturally miss out on the 10,000 bonus miles.
OCBC 90N Card
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
on Overseas spend
on Local spend
While it also offers a first-year annual fee waiver, those who choose to pay the annual fee from Year 2 onwards will get 10,000 miles as a renewal bonus. Likewise, this works out to 1.9 cents per mile.
Should you pay the credit card annual fee for miles?
Frequently Asked Questions
Which air miles programme is best?
- For most Singaporeans, air miles are synonymous with KrisFlyer miles. But, while Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme is definitely the most popular here, Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles programme may also be worth considering. Of course, Singapore Airlines has the most destinations, but if you like to visit East Asia, Cathay Pacific operates a good number of direct flights as well.
How much are miles worth?
- The value of a mile is a subjective matter, and you will find entire blogs dedicated to arguing about it. Generally, most miles chasers are not willing to pay more than S$0.01 per mile when paying the annual fee. After that point, you may find yourself paying enough to afford the air fare in cash.
How many air miles do I need to fly for free?
- Miles award charts vary from frequent flyer programme to frequent flyer programme. For KrisFlyer miles, you should aim for at least 50,000 miles in order to redeem a free Economy flight to anywhere a good distance away. For example, it takes 50,000 miles to fly to Japan and 56,000 to fly to Sydney. If you want to fly Business class, expect about double the number of miles.