Wedding Renovation and Baby Miles Hacks 1
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Guide To Redeeming SQ Business Class Tickets To NZ With Big Purchases (Wedding, Renovation Or Baby) in 2019/2020

4 min read

Yes, It Really Is Possible!

Over the recent weekend, we were planning out our finances and getting ready for our deposit for our banquet. And we thought, why not share our many hours of research into an article with our readers and community members?

Here’s How We Plan To Redeem a 2-way Business Class Ticket For A Couple

The ticket will be for a Singapore Airlines (SQ) flight from Singapore to New Zealand for our Honeymoon about one year from now in 2020. If we used cash, this would have cost us $10,631 for a pair of return tickets.

And let me clarify:

  • We are an average-joe couple (regular earning duo)
  • We normally take budget airlines (Jetstar, Scoot, AirAsia) on regular trips
  • We don’t qualify for those crazy high-income credit cards (eg. AMEX Platinum charge)
  • We are planning a pretty generic wedding banquet next year at a local hotel
  • We don’t intend to spend any money on these honeymoon tickets (full miles redemption)
Singapore Airlines Business Class
You could actually lie flat on an A380 plane? Credit: Singapore Airlines

So if you are just like us, do read on, because the savings from flight tickets (be it in Economy or Business class, can be pretty massive indeed!

This strategy would work for most big purchases:

  • Wedding Hotel or Restaurant Banquets
  • Rennovation firms and Interior Designers
  • Child birth (Hospital bills)

Point to note: You will need to ensure these merchants accept credit cards.

So here is our strategy which we used. It may differ in some massive ways if your spending amount differ (naturally).

As opposed to normal Cashback cards (which gives you rebates between 1 to 3% overall), a Miles card gets you between 20-40% in value, especially with sign up bonuses.

TL;DR: Leverage Credit Card Sign Up bonus miles and break down your spending

  • Always start with the end destination in mind (eg. SG – NZ)
  • Find out how much miles are needed for this route
  • Find out how much you need to spend to accumulate those miles
  • Breakdown your spending into tranches to hit the bonus miles spend
  • Stick to your spending plan and react when NEW bonuses come up

Here are the cards we used

You can click into each of the cards below to read reviews of what other community members say of these cards. We do NOT get any referral fee for sharing this, it’s purely from my own experience and there may be other strategies out there which you may follow as well.

Wedding Renovation and Baby Miles Hacks 1

The cards and sign up promotions which we listed are correct as of September 2019. (with the exception of the X card which reduced the signup miles to 60,000 miles)

Card UsedExpenseMilesNotes
AmEx KrisFlyer Ascend$12,00053,60053,600 KF Miles when spend $12,000 within 6 months with annual fee of $337
SCB X Card$6,000 x 2100,000 x 2(2 cards for HIM & HER) We got the 100K miles but we had to pay the annual fee of $695.5
AmEx KrisFlyer$5,00023,00023,000 KF Miles when spend $5,000 within 3 months
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card$7,00030,00030,000 Miles upon $7,500 spend and payment of annual fee $192.60
UOB Lady's Card$4,00016,000Choose one category for the 10X UNI$ (which works out to be 4MPD (mile per dollar))
TOTAL$40,000322,600

 


Further Reading: Here’s our plan in detail

After trawling through the web and spending and inordinate amount of time on our good friend, MileLion’s blog and his recent closed-door meetup (which we organised exclusively for Level 5 and above Seedly contributors), we came up with our own strategy which we think is pretty optimised for couples planning for a wedding banquet anytime soon in end 2019 or 2020.

Also, it helps to have a fiancée who comes from an accounting background and also a #Wanderlust traveller, she has now assumed the driving role behind all our wedding finances! (thank you).

Step 1: Always start with the end in mind (SG – NZ)

KrisFlyer Redemption Chart New Zealand Zone 9
You can find this redemption chart on the SQ website

Looking at the Miles redemption table on the SQ/SilkAir KrisFlyer Saver chart, you will find that the miles required for a trip to New Zealand (Zone 9) are as such.

I have multiplied it by 2 (for a return flight ticket from SG – NZ):

  • Economy Saver: 56,000 miles needed
  • Premium Economy Saver: 94,000 miles needed
  • *Business Saver: 124,000 miles needed 
  • Suites/First Saver: 170,000 miles needed

*Business Saver is the one we concluded we were targeting. If we did not redeem this flight ticket by Miles, it would have costed us a total of SGD$10,631 for two pax return tickets.

SG NZ Business Class Tickets

Step 2: How much do you plan to spend?

We are planning for our wedding banquet lunch at a certain hotel in Singapore. The minimum table amount we would have to fork out would be close to $40,000 (including GST). We rounded the value for simplicity’s sake!

Most people who spend for wedding banquets, home renovation and child delivery would spend between $10k to $50k or more.

JW Marriott hotel
Hypothetically if you had your wedding here, a banquet would set you back at least $60k (LOL) Credits: JW Marriott Singapore

Step 3: Where do we get our 124,000 miles each?

Collectively that would mean that we need a total of 248,000 miles as a couple!

Card UsedExpenseMilesNotes
AmEx KrisFlyer Ascend$12,00053,60053,600 KF Miles when spend $12,000 within 6 months with annual fee of $337
SCB X Card$6,000 x 2100,000 x 2(2 cards for HIM & HER) We got the 100K miles but we had to pay the annual fee of $695.5
AmEx KrisFlyer$5,00023,00023,000 KF Miles when spend $5,000 within 3 months
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card$7,00030,00030,000 Miles upon $7,500 spend and payment of annual fee $192.60
UOB Lady's Card$4,00016,000Choose one category for the 10X UNI$ (which works out to be 4MPD (mile per dollar))
TOTAL$40,000322,600

If you noticed above, we actually only needed the first $24,000 to earn the total miles we needed. The excess of 74,600 miles we can actually redeem a two-way SQ economy ticket to Maldives (Zone 6) for both of us. Or simply continue collecting more miles for a further trip.

Go and hunt for the relevant deals from the respective card websites or our credit card reviews tool.

Step 4: Stick to the plan and react when there are new bonus miles deals

First we paid $8,000 for our deposit, so we already had a plan of how we were going to do the miles breakdown with the other spend amounts (broadly)

Pro Tip: Surprises do happen!

For example the recent SCB X Card launch and how the whole miles-hacking community went into a frenzy. They were offering a whole bunch of 100,000 miles if you:

  • Spent $6,000 within 2 months
  • Paid the Annual fee of $695.50
SCB X Card Funny
Check out how the packaging changed drastically from such a nice box into a simple letter.

It got so intense that they had to stop this sign up deal probably because there were too many signups, too quickly.

Now at 60,000 miles for the sign up it is still pretty much a good deal for those considering to get a sign up bonus for this card.


Conclusion: Choose Miles cards for Big Purchases (compared to cashback cards)

Now you must be thinking, are Miles cards always the best for big purchases?

In our humble opinion – YES indeed, especially when you are a Singaporean who travels out of country once or twice yearly.

Here’s a simple calculation we made using our example above:

Calculation of % return (assuming redemption for NZ business class)
Miles required248,000
Total credit card spend$24,000
Miles earned253,600
Dollar Value of ticket (per SIA website)$10,631
Nett of conversion fee ($26.75) annual fee ($695.5 + $337) & airport tax ($111.6)$8,626
% return35.94%

As compared to most cashback cards which give you between 2 to 5% cashback across all average. For example AMEX True cashback card at 3% for first $6k and 1.5% for balance payments, miles cards gets you close to 20 to 40% return in value depending on which sign up bonuses you actually get! 

Bonus advice: Always choose merchants who accept ALL credit cards (VISA, MASTER, AMEX)

Classic advice which seems simple but always choose merchants, a hotel banquet or restaurant which accepts credit card (all types).

Yes, there are some exclusive locations (eg. CHIJMES) who only accepts only Cash or Cheque.

And American Express, please do also onboard more merchants, it can be quite difficult to use your cards at common places in Singapore .

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