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Savvy Singaporeans bag luxury holiday on a budget. Here’s how.
Patience and a little know-how will get you the best price on flights, accommodation and transfers. You might even be able to bag yourself a luxury holiday for free.
Here’s expert advice from Budget Direct Insurance on how to make sure your money is working its hardest for you.
Get into Miles!
Firstly, make sure all the money you spend in a month is really adding up and working for you.
Try to pay for everything you can using a credit card where the points or miles accumulated are really going to take you places.
A study by consumer research firm, Value Penguin, shows that over a 12 month period it is relatively easy to accumulate enough credit card miles to get yourself and your partner a couple of round trips in the region for free.
Work out how much you and your partner spend each month and according to Value Penguin’s calculations and using a credit card, like Citi PMV Card or DBS Altitude Card, you’ll soon be jetting off at very little expense. Their research has shown...
“If you and your travel partner spend $2,000-S$3,000 per person per month, both of the cards can earn at least 57,600 to 86,400 miles per year at a rate of 1.2 mile per S$1 of expenditure. Since a 1-way ticket from Singapore to Bali costs about 7,500 miles for one person on economy saver, you can redeem 30,000 miles for two round trip tickets to Bali and still have 27,600 to 56,400 miles left.”
Look too at the deals credit cards give you on accommodation as sometimes this can even work out a better deal than on flights.
“Citi PMV Card converts 1 mile to 1IHG or 1.5 Hilton HHonors points that you can redeem for room nights. HSBC Revolution Card lets you redeem miles to travel vouchers at up to S$0.013 per mile (1 rewards point = 0.4 miles = S$0.05), a very lucrative deal being worth roughly 30% higher than what it would've been if you just redeemed it for an economy class air ticket. Since a room at a hotel like the Hilton Resort in Bali can cost as low as 29,000 HHonors points or S$200 per night, the leftover miles after getting your flights should be able to cover 30,000 to 40,000 miles required to for your weekend lodging.”
When you are looking around to see which credit card works best for you remember to also look for:
- Any cancellation fees on flights or accommodation.
- If and when miles expire.
- How else you can earn miles or get discounts, for example, when you spend in supermarkets and at petrol stations.
- Do they offer any welcome miles when you join?
- How much, if anything, they charge as an annual fee for the credit card.
- Remember to always pay off all your credit card debts every month, otherwise you will be charged a hefty interest. Credit cards charge a lot for credit but by using them in a savvy way you end up the winner!
Airline loyalty programmes.
Make sure you are signed up to the frequent flyer programmes on the airlines you use. Some are partner airlines and you may be able to transfer over miles.
Sign up for offers and discounts.
If your inbox is getting crowded then create a separate email address just to use for this. You won’t get annoyed at so many emails clogging up your regular inbox and you can scan over the deals quickerClear your browser
When you return to a site they know you are keen and so increase the price to pressure you into thinking it may go up even more and so you’d better book soon. Stop these sites from knowing your habits by clearing your browsing history or set your browser to private or incognito mode. A quick search online will tell you how to do this.
These can be costly so check to see if this is included in your stay. It usually isn’t, although you can always ask, especially if you are travelling out of season. If it’s not included it is usually always cheaper to get your own rather than rely on a hotel transfer.
Check online to see if the place you are going has Uber rides. If you are getting a regular taxi at the airport always check if there is a meter and the driver is using it, or agree the fare before driving out of the airport.
When you go.
Think about when and where you are travelling to. If you want a bargain don’t go during peak season and look at options like going mid week to mid week, rather than the regular weekend to weekend, it may well be cheaper.
Also check on currencies that are weak or strong against the Singapore dollar. Right now the Singapore is strong in Indonesia, Turkey and the US, making them relatively cheaper destinations due to the current currency exchange rate. Oh and don’t forget to pay for any flights and trips on your credit card to get your miles!
When it comes to travel insurance don’t be tempted to buy from the airline. Travel insurance from an airline is invariably more expensive for less cover than most other insurers. Instead, buy from a direct insurer where you can cut out the middleman and make a saving.