Best credit cards to rack up those airmiles for a free flight (2018)

Best credit cards to rack up bonus airmiles for a free flight (2018)

They say there’s no such thing as a “free holiday”.

But we disagree – airline miles are your ticket to fly for free. Also known as frequent flyer miles, these are part of an airline’s royalty programme to help you get more bang for your buck for all your travels.

To rack up your airline miles, you need an efficient credit card – one that doesn’t require you to book a flight to score maximum mileage.

You could look through the list of air miles credit card we’ve prepared just for you

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Or, you could jump straight in and check out the best credit cards to help you earn those miles in double-quick time.

Card

Rewards

Other information

American Express Singapore Krisflyer Ascend

  • 1.2 miles per $1 spend
     
  • 2 miles per $1 spend overseas in June and December
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • No rewards cap

Citi Premiermiles Visa Card

  • 1.2 Citi miles per $1 spend
     
  • 2 Citi miles per $1 spend in foreign currency
     
  • Up to 7 Citi Miles per $1 spend on selected online travel booking merchants
     
  • Earn 10,000 bonus Citi Miles when you renew and pay the annual fee
     
  • Get 30,000 Citi Miles when you apply and spend $7,500 in 3 months upon card approval and annual fee payment (valid till 31 Oct)
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • No rewards cap

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

  • 3.2 miles per $1 spend on dining, petrol and on bookings on Agoda.com/Horizon
     
  • 0.4 miles per $1 spend on shopping, groceries and entertainment
     
  • From now till 30 September, additional 1 mile per $1 spend (min. spend of $1,000 per month)
  • $300 minimum monthly spend
     
  • If total spend is less than $300, 0.4 miles per $1 spend is rewarded
     
  • Annual fee is waived if you can meet the minimum spend for the entire year
     
  • 12,000 miles (30,000 TREAT points) cap for dining and petrol spend
     
  • No rewards cap for other spend

DBS Altitude American Express Card

  • 2 miles per $1 overseas spend in foreign currency
     
  • 3 miles per $1 spend on online flight and hotel bookings
     
  • 1.2 miles per $1 spend on dining, petrol, shopping, groceries and entertainment
     
  • 10,000 bonus miles when you pay the annual fee upon card renewal
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • 3 miles per $1 spend (for flight and hotel bookings) is capped at $5,000 per month (i.e. 15,000 miles)
     
  • No rewards cap for 1.2 miles per $1 spend on dining, petrol, shopping, groceries and entertainment

UOB Prvi Miles American Express Card

  • 1.4 miles per $1 spend locally
     
  • 2.4 miles per $1 spend overseas
     
  • 6 miles per $1 spend on major airlines and hotel booking through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel Bonus
     
  • 20,000 loyalty miles, with a minimum spend of $50,000 per annum
  • Annual fee waived for first year
     
  • No rewards cap

BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard

  • 2 miles per $1 spend locally (valid till 31 Dec 2018, reverts to 1.5 miles per dollar from 1 Jan 2019)
     
  • 5 miles per $1 spend overseas (valid till 31 Dec 2018, reverts to 3 miles per dollar from 1 Jan 2019)
  • BOC Reward Points valid between 12-18 months from accural
     
  • Access to Plaza Premium lounge four times per year

American Express Singapore Krisflyer Ascend

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  • 1.2 miles per $1 spend
  • 2 miles per $1 spend overseas in June and December
  • Annual fee waived for first year
  • No rewards cap

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American Express Singapore Krisflyer Ascend

Two miles: that’s the base reward you’ll earn for every $1 spent on Singapore Air, Silkair as well as both airlines’ retail stores.

The same rewards applies when you’re overseas with travel, dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Do note that the two miles per dollar reward is only applicable in the peak months of June and December. Otherwise, you’re looking at 1.2 miles per $1 spent across all expenditures.

What it does have a knee up over its competitors is its welcome bonus; you’ll receive 5,000 air miles the first time you charge to your card.

Good for:

  • Anyone who goes abroad mainly in June and December.
  • First time applicants for an air miles card to nab the 5,000 bonus miles.

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

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  • 1.2 Citi miles per $1 spend
  • 2 Citi miles per $1 spend in foreign currency
  • Up to 7 Citi Miles per $1 spend on selected online travel booking merchants
  • Earn 10,000 bonus Citi Miles when you renew and pay the annual fee
  • Get 30,000 Citi Miles when you apply and spend $7,500 in 3 months upon card approval and annual fee payment (valid till 31 Oct)

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Citi Premiermiles Visa Card

Earning miles is effortless with the Citi Premiermiles Visa Card. Every $1 you spend locally gives you 1.2 Citi miles.

But the perks get better when you travel. Spending in foreign currency gets you 2 miles per $1 spend while booking through Agoda earns you up to 7 miles.

Now here's the real draw. How'd you like to get 30,000 bonus airmiles from this card? That amounts to at least a return economy ticket to Taipei.

This, however, requires you to spend at least $7,500 within 3 months upon card approval and annual fee payment. On average, that's $2,500 per month, which you should hit easily with your daily expenses.

On top of that, your loyalty is duly rewarded, as renewing your card gets you a hefty bonus of 10,000 miles.

Good for:

  • The type of traveller who hates switching around cards, and will renew this year-on-year
  • Travellers who like to book through Agoda

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

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  • 3.2 miles per $1 spend on dining, petrol and on bookings on Agoda.com/Horizon
  • 0.4 miles per $1 spend on shopping, groceries and entertainment
  • From now till 30 September, additional 1 mile per $1 spend (min. spend of $1,000 per month)

APPLY NOW

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

With this Maybank card, the easiest way to score miles is through dining and petrol. Oh, and Agoda’s Horizon site which awards you 3.2 miles for every $1 spent.

Buying air tickets, travel packages or shopping overseas with foreign currency transactions? You’ll earn 2 miles per every $1 spent.

Take note: There’s a minimum spend of $300 per month on everything besides shopping and travel. Plus, with shopping, groceries, and entertainment, rewards amount to only 0.4 miles per $1 spent.

Maybank is also giving an additional mile per $1 spend for a min. spend of $1,000 per month for August and September. That amounts to an additional 1,000 airmiles if you hit the required amount.

Considering that your average spend is most likely above that, you are looking at a few thousand more airmiles to complete the collection and redeem your return tickets to Bangkok.

Good for:

  • Travellers who know they will spend at least $300 a month
  • Travellers who like using Agoda Horizon
  • Travellers who shop by card while abroad

DBS Altitude American Express Card

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  • 2 miles per $1 overseas spend in foreign currency
  • 3 miles per $1 spend on online flight and hotel bookings
  • 1.2 miles per $1 spend on dining, petrol, shopping, groceries and entertainment
  • 10,000 bonus miles when you pay the annual fee upon card renewal

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DBS Altitude American Express Card

A jetsetter’s fave, this card lets you score the most miles when you use your card for travel.

Every $1 on overseas spend on shopping and dining in foreign currency gets you 2 miles; with 3 miles each for online hotel and flight transaction (with a $5,000 monthly cap).

But rest assured that perks are still available locally as $1 spend in Singapore gets you 1.2 miles.

Like the previous card listed above, you’ll get 10,000 bonus miles upon paying your annual fee after card renewal.

Want more bonus miles? There's plenty of opportunities, though they are within a limited period.

First, if you're a new Mileslife user, you're going to get 1,500 miles after your first spend with the promo code 1500MILESDBS.

Consistency is the key here, because you get 50% more miles on all transactions, capped at $2,000 spend in a month, when you transact on Mileslife with your DBS credit card.

Good for:

  • Travellers who don’t spend more than $5,000 per month on online flight and hotel bookings
  • The type of traveller who hates switching around cards, and will renew this year-on-year

UOB Prvi Miles American Express Card

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  • 1.4 miles per $1 spend locally
  • 2.4 miles per $1 spend overseas
  • 6 miles per $1 spend on major airlines and hotel booking through Expedia, Agoda and UOB Travel
  • Bonus 20,000 loyalty miles, with a minimum spend of $50,000 per annum

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UOB Prvi Miles American Express Card

Earning miles with this card is easy peasy. Every $1 spent locally gets you 1.4 miles. For overseas spending, that same dollar gets you 2.4 miles.

Even better news? You’ll be awarded with six miles each for every $1 you spend with major airlines and hotel booking sites like Agoda and Expedia.

To knock this out of the park, you can get 20,000 loyalty miles if you spend $50,000 per year. How’s that for a treat?

Oh, in case you haven't noticed, there's no rewards cap at all. So it makes sense to consolidate all your spend on this card to get the most out of its miles reward.

Just watch your spending and save some for your actual holiday, okay?

Good for:

  • Travellers who book their own hotels and flights on Agoda and Expedia
  • Travellers who spend around $50,000 per annum on trips, meals, or retail purchases
  • Travellers who shop by card while abroad

BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard

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  • 2 miles per $1 spend locally (valid till 31 Dec 2018, reverts to 1.5 miles per dollar from 1 Jan 2019)
  • 5 miles per $1 spend overseas (valid till 31 Dec 2018, reverts to 3 miles per dollar from 1 Jan 2019)

APPLY NOW

BONUS: BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard

The new kid on the block has pulled off quite a coup with its generous miles offering.

For local spending, you can get 2 miles per dollar. Take that overseas and you can accumulate 5 miles for every dollar spent.

Sounds too good to be true? There is a slight caveat – this amazing accrual rate is only valid till 31 December 2018. After which, you are getting 1.5 miles per dollar and 3 miles per dollar for local and overseas spend respectively.

This is still a pretty decent rate, which you can put to good use to start building those miles for your next flight redemption.

Again, there’s another caveat to take note of – these miles have an expiry date. For points accumulated from now till 30 June 2019, the expiry date is pegged at 30 June 2020.

For points accumulated from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019, the expiry date is extended till 30 June 2021.

The expiry date, however, is immaterial if you are prudent in transferring the points to your air miles program.

Unfortunately, BOC does not have an online application process for the card just yet. You'll have to physically visit a BOC branch. Alternatively, if you spot a BOC roadshow, take that chance to ask about the application.

Good for:

  • Travellers who are planning to spend quite a bit before 31 December 2018 for the bonus miles