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Old Mar 1, 11, 3:01 am   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Singapore
Programs: SQ PPS, FB Plat, LH SEN *G, Emirates Gold, SPG Plat, Accor Plat, Hhonors Gold and some others
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relocating to SIN, new FFP and Creditcard

hi guys,

i'm going to relocate to SIN this year and need some advice on the following

Currently i'm a FB member but i don't think that's the best FFP for the region, i will be traveling a decent amount in Asia+ a few trips to the US/Europe (6-8 annual)
I know Sing Krisflyer looks like the logical choice because it's their hub, but i've heard that it's difficult to spend miles with them. how big are the upgrade changes?

I also need a new bank, so (a) new creditcard(s), are there any programs that you can earn status miles like AF/KL AMEX Gold FR?

thanks for your advice.

note: i travel mainly in coach/economy
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Old Mar 1, 11, 10:10 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sin City
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for banks.. suggest you open a DBS/POSB bank which is most common and convenient as they have plenty of ATMs around and some branches open on weekends till late.. which is a plus point.

for FF programs. UOB credit cards allows you to do that and you don't need to have an account to apply for their cards.

hope it helps!
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Old Mar 2, 11, 6:43 am   #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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thanks!

but can i get status miles with credit cards in the region? for any FFP? i can't find it anywhere..
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Old Mar 2, 11, 11:01 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Your question is clear but how to respond probably isn't.

On the credit card with FFP linkage - it might be better if you think about your basic travel pattern to decide what will be your focus airline and/or primary airline alliance once you move here. Yes, SQ would be the logical one to earn miles on but they are generally more expensive than the competition - something to be mindful of if it is your company paying for your travel. What probably makes more sense is to look at where you will be flying to the most (both business and pleasure), and see which alliance services the majority of those locations, then choose an airline program where you can get the benefit of say Gold status on the bulk of your revenue flights plus redeem the points easily on the alliance partners for award tickets. For argument's sake, this might mean keeping your points with say QF or TG or CX or LH even though these are not these airline home countries. On the upgrade opporunities with SQ, you probably need to continue trolling the SQ forum, and ask there any specific questions that you can't find an answer to otherwise.

Back to the credit card with FFP linkage - you have already found the FT thread on the DBS/KrisFlyer linked card. This type of program is not as well publicized in this part of the world although I'm sure it exists in specific markets. Here in Singapore the abovementioned DBS/SQ program is one, and ohyum notes that UOB (another one of our local banks) has one as well. What is your specific question then?

Finally on the issue of bank accounts, if I might add on to ohyum's recommendiation of DBS/POSB - it is useful to get an account with this bank not only because the ATM machines are just about everywhere, but also because they work with the main local debit system called NETS. However note that as a foreigner soon to be based here traveling in the region and internationally you may wish to see if one of the other local (and foreign) banks may offer you an account that better suits your needs. I would say get a DBS or POSB (they're sister banks) account for local Singapore needs, and possibly an account with one of the other banks that you can use for local and overseas.

BTW who is FB? Nearest as I can see FB is the code for Bulgaria Airlines (that's on both Yahoo and Wikipedia).

Last edited by dsgtc0408; Mar 2, 11 at 11:07 pm.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 12:59 am   #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Singapore
Programs: SQ PPS, FB Plat, LH SEN *G, Emirates Gold, SPG Plat, Accor Plat, Hhonors Gold and some others
Posts: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsgtc0408 View Post
Your question is clear but how to respond probably isn't.

On the credit card with FFP linkage - it might be better if you think about your basic travel pattern to decide what will be your focus airline and/or primary airline alliance once you move here. Yes, SQ would be the logical one to earn miles on but they are generally more expensive than the competition - something to be mindful of if it is your company paying for your travel. What probably makes more sense is to look at where you will be flying to the most (both business and pleasure), and see which alliance services the majority of those locations, then choose an airline program where you can get the benefit of say Gold status on the bulk of your revenue flights plus redeem the points easily on the alliance partners for award tickets. For argument's sake, this might mean keeping your points with say QF or TG or CX or LH even though these are not these airline home countries. On the upgrade opporunities with SQ, you probably need to continue trolling the SQ forum, and ask there any specific questions that you can't find an answer to otherwise.

Back to the credit card with FFP linkage - you have already found the FT thread on the DBS/KrisFlyer linked card. This type of program is not as well publicized in this part of the world although I'm sure it exists in specific markets. Here in Singapore the abovementioned DBS/SQ program is one, and ohyum notes that UOB (another one of our local banks) has one as well. What is your specific question then?

Finally on the issue of bank accounts, if I might add on to ohyum's recommendiation of DBS/POSB - it is useful to get an account with this bank not only because the ATM machines are just about everywhere, but also because they work with the main local debit system called NETS. However note that as a foreigner soon to be based here traveling in the region and internationally you may wish to see if one of the other local (and foreign) banks may offer you an account that better suits your needs. I would say get a DBS or POSB (they're sister banks) account for local Singapore needs, and possibly an account with one of the other banks that you can use for local and overseas.

BTW who is FB? Nearest as I can see FB is the code for Bulgaria Airlines (that's on both Yahoo and Wikipedia).
Thanks for the time you've spent on your post.

unfortunately i don't know yet, where i will be flying to most. it al depends on where they need me ;-)
My company is paying for the flights and i book the flights myself(or assistent) so i'm flexibel as long as the price difference is not to big)

So for what i understand, there is no Creditcard+FFP where you can get qualification miles for a higher tier?
FB is Flying Blue from KLM and AF.

thanks!
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Old Mar 3, 11, 6:43 am   #6
 
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As a traveler DBS is not a good bank to have your primary account with. They charge $5 / transaction overseas. Otherwise I do agree regarding ATM availability on the Island.

As far as FFP goes, I stress you will be at a loss if you decide on any plan other than SQ Krisflyer. SQ has the best airline departure lounge in SIN, and even if you are Star Alliance gold, you get to use just the SATS lounges - a far cry from the SQ lounge. In addition, SQ uses T3 and T2, much better than T1 to depart and Arrive.

Frequent flyers in SIN recommend the Citibank PremierMiles card giving the best miles / $ ratio. But miles accrued by credit card spend do not contribute to status (Does any airline allow this ?)

Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 10:53 am   #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesAndMore View Post
As a traveler DBS is not a good bank to have your primary account with. They charge $5 / transaction overseas. Otherwise I do agree regarding ATM availability on the Island.

As far as FFP goes, I stress you will be at a loss if you decide on any plan other than SQ Krisflyer. SQ has the best airline departure lounge in SIN, and even if you are Star Alliance gold, you get to use just the SATS lounges - a far cry from the SQ lounge. In addition, SQ uses T3 and T2, much better than T1 to depart and Arrive.

Frequent flyers in SIN recommend the Citibank PremierMiles card giving the best miles / $ ratio. But miles accrued by credit card spend do not contribute to status (Does any airline allow this ?)

Hope this helps.
ok, thanks a lot, again valuable information!

When you live in France and have a Amex FLying Blue Gold card, the miles you collect contribute to your status! that's awesome!
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Old Mar 6, 11, 6:59 pm   #8
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesAndMore View Post
As far as FFP goes, I stress you will be at a loss if you decide on any plan other than SQ Krisflyer. SQ has the best airline departure lounge in SIN, and even if you are Star Alliance gold, you get to use just the SATS lounges - a far cry from the SQ lounge. In addition, SQ uses T3 and T2, much better than T1 to depart and Arrive.
Note that you can only use the Silver Kris Lounges if you're PPS, merely SQ*G will not cut it. If the OP is not going to qualify for PPS, the KrisFlyer program may not be a good call at all.

I went through this when I moved to Singapore in 2007. In the end I went with:
- Citibank for banking. I did look very closely at DBS, but Citibank were faster to establish the accounts and offer me a decent credit limit on the PremierMiles card. Citibank also do not charge for foreign ATM withdrawals which was a huge benefit for me. There are Citi ATMs in nearly every MRT station, and the atm5 network (HSBC, ANZ, Maybank, Standard Chartered, SBI, and Citi) is widely enough spread that I never found it an issue finding an ATM nearby. The very rare occasion NETS was taken but credit card wasn't, I was either okay with cash or EZ-Link (which was linked to my credit card...). NETS would have been handy but the other Citi benefits outweighed the lack of NETS.
- AmEx Platinum Reserve credit card for my other credit card, this was mostly because I retained my Australian AmEx and they offered me a Singaporean card with a hefty credit limit which was very useful with the amount of travel I did.
- I opened a KrisFlyer account but only posted MI flights to it, and used it for the credit card miles I accrued.
- I kept my UA and NZ accounts and credited flights to them based on what earned the most for me.

For the most part, if you are not going to be able to qualify as SQ PPS (i.e. a lot of business/first class travel) I think I wouldn't bother with KrisFlyer, unless you are likely to do a lot of flying on MI. I'd look at UA, AC, OZ, TG or A3 for a Star FFP depending on what you want out of it and which airlines you're likely to fly long haul out of SIN. Some of the TG deals for business class can be quite attractive to Europe.

Singapore is a great place to live. I miss it!
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Old Apr 4, 11, 8:23 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: *A Gold
Posts: 140
Bank: You will need a DBS Bank account. Otherwise you will spend 1/2 the time searching for ATMs. Additional bank - See Standard Chartered/Citi/HSBC

Credit Card: No card gives you status miles. In fact even in the US, except AA, I believe no airline does it

Recommended cards:
Maybank horizon platinum for overseas spending
Citibank premier miles for regular spending
AMEX Rewards card for initial 16000 points for 50 dollars annual fee. Then throw away the card

FFP: Depends on your usage patterns. If you fly a lot of silkair, Krisflyer is only option. Else I recommend crediting your miles to BMI or a US-based airline.
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Old Jun 8, 11, 7:30 am   #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Singapore
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Posts: 155
sorry for bringing this old topic up again ;-) but the move is close now.

I will travel between Singapore (home), Dubai and Sydney often (2-3 times per Q.
Next to that twice a month within SEA and some trips to Tokio/Taiwan

do you think SQ is the best option for me?

Any change of a status match from KL/LH/EK?
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Old Jun 15, 11, 1:41 am   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Bank?

Hmm. If you wind up in HK/Taiwan/big cities in China, HSBC would be useful as well as Citibank.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 8:26 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey4finger View Post

do you think SQ is the best option for me?
Probably. Since SIN is their hub. But CX (make sure you visit HK during your time in SE A - great city) also serves all of those locations - so you might want to check with them.

Worth asking about status matching. Would have a better shot if your company wasn't so cheap and sent you in Business. Those are some long Economy flights - hope they don't expect you to be at 100% the minute you hit the ground.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 3:00 am   #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West Coast Ace View Post
Probably. Since SIN is their hub. But CX (make sure you visit HK during your time in SE A - great city) also serves all of those locations - so you might want to check with them.

Worth asking about status matching. Would have a better shot if your company wasn't so cheap and sent you in Business. Those are some long Economy flights - hope they don't expect you to be at 100% the minute you hit the ground.
thanks for the update.
HK is absolutely on my list, don't worry ;-)
i wil check CX and yes the company is cheap on me but it's my personal choice in the beginning, going to found the APAC office for my current company and want to start with a healty P&L, Busclass tickets are (in the beginning) not part of that.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 4:04 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey4finger View Post

Any change of a status match from KL/LH/EK?
You may want to status match to BD and then start banking in a new program or into BD.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 4:48 am   #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Singapore
Programs: SQ PPS, FB Plat, LH SEN *G, Emirates Gold, SPG Plat, Accor Plat, Hhonors Gold and some others
Posts: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
You may want to status match to BD and then start banking in a new program or into BD.
what's the benefit of going to BD now?
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