The best credit cards for frequent flyers with Singapore Airlines

By Chris Chamberlin, February 20 2018

If you often travel with Singapore Airlines, having the right credit card (or charge card) in your wallet can help you earn more points for free flights and upgrades, and could even be your ticket to airport lounge access in Australia, Singapore and further afield.

Such cards are particularly useful for premium economy passengers – as a Singapore Airlines premium economy ticket doesn’t grant lounge access – as well as those stuck down the back in regular economy, where a pre-flight place to eat, shower and relax can make all the difference.

Even when flying business class or first class, the right card can also unlock airport arrivals lounges after your flight in places like Singapore and London, which your pointy end fare wouldn’t normally include: so without further ado, take a peek at the best overall cards for Singapore Airlines flyers.

1. American Express Platinum charge card

In our books, the best all-rounder for Singapore Airlines flyers is the AMEX Platinum charge card: beginning with an earn rate equal to two KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent on flight bookings with Singapore Airlines (and all other airlines), plus on hotel spend and all overseas charges, with a sign-up bonus on-par with 80,000 KrisFlyer miles too.

In Australia, you’ll also earn a higher three KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent at restaurants, and one mile per dollar spent on most other purchases, except utility, insurance and government charges which provide one mile per $2 spent. Points are earned in Membership Rewards Ascent Premium and can be converted to KrisFlyer at a 1:1 rate.

But there’s more to this card than points alone: you’re also covered for international lounge access in Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Cairns when flying internationally with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir (and other airlines, too), with Melbourne joining the roster in the coming months.

Beyond our shores, the Priority Pass membership included with the card also unlocks access to seven lounges across the two Changi Airport terminals used by Singapore Airlines in Singapore – including an arrivals lounge – and in places like London, Paris and Frankfurt, among others.

As icing on the cake, when you fly domestically with Singapore Airlines’ Aussie partner Virgin Australia, you’ll also enjoy free access to Virgin Australia lounges, where available, including when earning KrisFlyer miles on those flights.

2. American Express Explorer credit card

While the AMEX Platinum charge card above clocks in at $1,200 per year for its package of perks and points, the AMEX Explorer credit card is much more affordable at $395/year, which is immediately offset by the inclusion of a yearly $400 travel credit which you can spend on flight bookings, among other things.

Through the Membership Rewards Gateway program, you’ll also take home the equivalent of 1.5 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent on most purchases, including insurance and utility charges, and 0.375 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent on government payments such as to the ATO.

Apply and spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months and you’ll also score 37,500 bonus KrisFlyer miles: delivered as 50,000 Gateway points, which you can convert to KrisFlyer at a 4:3 rate.

3. Diners Club personal charge card

Diners Club may not be as accepted for purchases as Visa, Mastercard or even American Express, but merely having a Diners Club card gets you access to a network of over 700 participating lounges: useful when jetting internationally with Singapore Airlines, its partners, or indeed, any airline at all.

Among the roster, the Plaza Premium Lounge in Brisbane, the Catalina Lounge in Darwin (such as before SilkAir flights), and six lounges across Changi Airport Terminals 2 & 3, from which Singapore Airlines operates.

Those perks can be yours from just $135/year for the Diners Club card only (with no points earning ability) – or, you can pay $212/year to earn the equivalent of 0.5 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent via Diners, or $299/year to earn 1 KrisFlyer mile per $1 spent on Diners with a companion MasterCard thrown in too, with its own earn rate of 0.375 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent.

4. St. George Amplify Signature Visa credit card

For Australia’s highest KrisFlyer earning rate on a Visa or Mastercard, look to the $279/year St. George Amplify Signature Visa, offering 0.825 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent on everyday purchases through the St. George Amplify Rewards scheme.

You’ll start by earning 1.5 Amplify points per $1 spent – worth 0.75 KrisFlyer miles following a 2:1 conversion – joined by a 10% ‘birthday bonus’ in the month of your birthday, being a 10% bonus on the credit card points you’ve earned over the past year, bumping the overall KrisFlyer earn rate to 0.825/$1.

There’s currently a sign-up bonus of 90,000 Amplify points (45,000 KrisFlyer miles) when you apply by September 26 2018 and spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval, with an ongoing Priority Pass lounge membership included too, offering two yearly lounge visits for free, including in places like Singapore.

5. ANZ Rewards Black Visa credit card

With no annual fee in the first year, a sign-up bonus of 75,000 ANZ reward points (worth 25,000 KrisFlyer miles) and unlimited lounge access at selected locations, the ANZ Rewards Black Visa is also worth a look for regular Singapore Airlines travellers.

On everyday spends, you’ll pick up 0.66 KrisFlyer miles per dollar up to $5,000 per month – awarded as two ANZ reward points, converted to KrisFlyer at a 3:1 rate – and the equivalent of 0.33 KrisFlyer miles per dollar spent thereafter, uncapped.

Also included is free and unlimited access to a small number of lounges via the Veloce World scheme, just by showing your ANZ card.

While there are no longer any participating lounges in Singapore, options remain in India, Japan and Thailand across Asia, and in places like Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Manchester, Milan, Paris and Zurich in Europe, for lounge access prior to your flight home with Singapore Airlines.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

Bank of Melbourne also have their identical version of the St George card

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

Indeed, as does BankSA: essentially the same card as St George Amplify Signature, from the same broad card issuer (Westpac Group), just with a different card design.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

I prefer the MCG image on the BoM card over the other 2

simiguelito47

simiguelito47

Asiana Airlines - Asiana Club

09 Feb 2017

Total posts 42

Do any of these cards have a conversion rate to Velocity high enough to hack more KF miles?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

It's not something we're covering as part of this article, but you can squeeze a few extra KrisFlyer miles with ANZ by moving them through Velocity, which we're previously covered.

simiguelito47

simiguelito47

Asiana Airlines - Asiana Club

09 Feb 2017

Total posts 42

Cool thanks Chris, is it only ANZ which has a different conversion rate?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

Hi simiguelito47, as mentioned above, this isn't something we're covering as part of this article, but you're welcome to conduct your own research on this, or to ask the question in AusBT's Community area for some 'peer support' from other readers. :)

LP

LP

30 Jun 2016

Total posts 44

Citi Rewards card can transfer too. Not sure if it’s still running but was 120k Citi points for sign up and $3k spend available.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

Yea that offer is still going however this is only the top 5 cards. It doesn't include the cards with crappy earn rates and restrictive criteria for eligible transactions (aka Citibank issued cards)

andrew84

andrew84

08 Nov 2014

Total posts 20

surprised citi prestige doesn't make it, even with the recent changes

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

As another reader has mentioned above, this is a 'top five cards' piece, not an exhaustive list.

The Citi Prestige card provides no points at all on any government spend (not just things like ATO payments, but also at the Post Office, paying car rego/rates/city parking etc.), and everyday transactions earn the equivalent of only 0.4 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent. The card does have some higher-earning categories like national retailers, airlines, supermarkets and hotels, but those categories are all places where AMEX is widely accepted, which you could use instead to earn more points, so the card isn't strong from a KrisFlyer-earning angle.

From a 'flying SQ' angle, there's one Priority Pass membership included for lounge access (such as when flying SQ) and two one-way airport transfers per year in certain countries, but you could just buy that membership and pay for those transfers for less than the cost of the card's $700 annual fee. A better feature is the ability to earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent overseas where Visa is accepted: but if you spend where AMEX is accepted instead, you'd earn 66% more points per $1 spent on the AMEX Platinum charge card as above (and with a lower forex fee of 3% compared to Citi's 3.4%), so we'd expect more of a card priced at $700/year, and accordingly, we're happy with our rankings.

*frank

*frank

21 Feb 2018

Total posts 2

Hi Chris

Just wondering how do you get the reward points Diners card (not combo) for $185/year?

Cheers

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

Hi Frank, you can get the basic card for $135 (no points), and on that card, you can opt to pay $77 more to earn points (without adding on the companion Mastercard), which would make the cost $212 all up. $185 was a typo on our part and has been corrected.

MitchW

MitchW

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Feb 2016

Total posts 8

Hi Chris,

With the $135 Diners Card, does this give you unlimited Priority Pass visits as per the Amex Platinum charge card?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

There's no Priority Pass with Diners Club. Diners has its own partner lounge network which can be accessed on presentation of a Diners Club card. Lounge listings can be found on the Diners Club International website.


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