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.