2018 had been a pretty busy year, and from the look of things – 2019 will be the same. What bad news we have that another round of devaluation from Krisflyer is just around the corner.
It was only in March 2017 that we had one round of devaluation (the biggest being the removal of the 15% discount for online redemption). To soften the blow, Singapore Airlines removed the fuel surcharge. This round, there is nothing to soften the blow as Business Class and First Class award tickets starting from Zone 1! (while Economy Class redemption remained). Perhaps, the permanent feature of Spontaneous Escape will be this round’s cushion but only a select few will be able to take advantage of the Spontaneous Escape promotion).
This further strengthen my belief in my Earn & Burn strategy. Never hoard miles! I did an impromptu redemption to London (on SQ308 Suites) and back from Munich (on SQ327 Business Class) – I burnt 318,750 miles for that trip. After a fruitful 2018 (and my upcoming 2019 flights), I don’t have that many miles to spare. Nevertheless, I am planning to burn my miles to Osaka for a short break with my wife (that will burn me 172,000 miles). With that, for once my total miles store will dip below 50,000. 2016 to 2018 had been a bountiful (for Singapore standard) in earning. The few avenues that I managed to rake in lots of points were:
- eAXS payment using Citi Rewards Mastercard
- OCBC Apple Pay promotion
- Citibank Apple Pay promotion (I really missed this)
- Citibank Premier Miles Visa bonus miles
(just to name a few)
What will be my strategy moving forward? I foresee that long haul redemption will be getting harder and tougher, especially on Suites/First Class. Given my future time constraint, I will probably be doing more regional redemptions. I am glad that I have done quite a number of long hauls between 2015-2019 in both Suites, First and Business Class. I am looking forward to my SQ52 Business Class and SQ25 Suites in June.
As for earning, I will certainly keep a lookout on bonus opportunities (which is getting fewer). Citi Prestige will still be my main earning card while Citi Rewards and DBS Woman’s Card remain my choices for categories that fall under the 4 miles per dollar category. DBS Altitude Visa will be what I will use for airline ticket purchase (> $2000) and Expedia (6 miles per dollar). For now, OCBC will be my choice for electronics purchase (until I need to pay the renewal fee). I may have a look at UOB Pay Wave and UOB Signature (for their 4 miles per dollar on Paywave) although I have never been a fan of UOB cards. Although HSBC Visa Infinite, SCB Visa Infinite and Amex Platinum looks tempting, I am not too keen to part such amount of money yet for its annual fee.
Will I buy miles on American Airlines or LifeMiles? probably not for now. Although I am crazy over award travel, I am still not keen to part good money for miles. Perhaps when I am more loaded, I can consider that option. Till then, it is back to good old tactical earning.
Happy Belated New Year!