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is safra membership really the best?

SAFRA Membership Is The Best? Is It Really?

profileJacqueline Yan

So I’ve been seeing a few interesting promotions circulating on my social media, but on a closer look, I found that they were exclusive to SAFRA members. Sian… 

Source: SAFRA Deals | Facebook

Yeap, this one… I wanted bubble tea

And when I went to kaypoh to find out more about SAFRA membership, well, it’s only available for people who’ve served the country.

Sian x 100… 

But a little bird recently told me that SAFRA membership is one of the best memberships in Singapore, so I decided to find out how good it can be!

TL;DR – Is SAFRA Membership Really The Best?

Your standard SAFRA membership fees are tied to how early you join their membership, but regardless, it’s still pretty affordable benefits that they are giving you.

Psst, you’ll get welcome gifts too! Good deal, right?

Membership Type2-Year5-Year10-Year
NSF, Operational Ready NSmen & Ordinary B (former NSmen who joined SAFRA before reaching statutory age)Total Cost$80$155$270
Cost Per Day$0.11$0.08$0.07
Ordinary B (former NSmen who joined SAFRA after reaching statutory age) or
Total Cost$120$232$405
Cost Per Day$0.16$0.13$0.11

Pro-tip: Remember to check out SAFRA’s website to see if they have any ongoing membership promotions when you decide to join! But there’s always gonna be a give and take, promotional membership rates mean you won’t be receiving welcome gifts. Your choice!

Even though you can easily find similar or better deals for fuel, movie tickets and gift vouchers, the SAFRA membership is essentially still a pretty good deal, as long as you utilise their clubhouse facilities!

It’ll be a bonus for you especially if your family is big on chalets and staycations since members get exclusive rates for D’Resorts and National Service Resort & Country Club (NSRCC).

Who Can Apply For SAFRA Membership?

Source: The Online Citizen

Like I was saying earlier, SAFRA membership available for individuals who’ve served their time in SAF. But I missed out an important part where it’s applicable for their spouse and children as well!

Guys, if you need help knowing whether you are considered eligible, well, someone ought to smack your heads.

But for the rest of us who are a little bit clueless about the system, the membership is open to:

  • Operationally Ready NSmen
  • Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs)
  • Former SAF NSmen (excluding those transferred to the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Police Force)
  • SAF Regulars
  • Defence Executive Officers
  • Female spouses and children (except NSFs)

What Are The Membership Types & How Much Do I Pay?

You can choose between three durations for your SAFRA membership: 2, 5 or 10 years, and the membership fees largely depend on your National Service (NS) status and when you make your application.

The base criteria, of course, requires you to be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident before you can apply for the SAFRA membership.

Membership Types

SAFRA Membership TypeNS Status
Ordinary AAll SAF Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) who have completed their full-time NS
All Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs)
Ordinary BAll SAF National Servicemen who have completed full-time NS and are no longer liable for National Service
AssociateAll serving members of the SAF, i.e. SAF Regulars and Defence Executive Officers
DependentFemale spouse and children between 5-20 years of SAFRA members
(except those who are full-time National Servicemen)
Those of you who are finishing your reservist cycles, do take note that your membership will be converted to Ordinary B once you’ve completed your NS liability.

Membership Fees

As with most products in the world, the larger the quantity purchased, the more savings you’ll enjoy.

And you probably guessed it, joining the membership earlier means you’re likely to be enjoying lower membership rates!

Source: giphy

Likewise, for SAFRA memberships, the longer membership periods will also save you some money on the fees.

So if you foresee yourself making use of the facilities, services and perks for a long time, then you know what to do!

Membership Type2-Year5-Year10-Year
Ordinary A $80$155 $270
Ordinary B
(former SAFRA members)
Ordinary B
(New Applicant)
Dependant of Ordinary A$40$77$135
Dependant of Ordinary B
(Former SAFRA members)
Dependant of Ordinary B
(New Applicant)
Dependant of Associate

Oh, I almost forgot to mention…

There are also welcome gifts for principal members who sign up for the 5-year or 10-year membership, worth $170 and $349 respectively!

Ahem, spoiler alert, you’re getting nice watches. Not too bad, eh? 

Anyway, don’t say I bojio, but there’s an ongoing promotion on the standard and dependent SAFRA membership fees right now until 30 November 2019.

Up to 50% off, guys! That always gets my attention, heh. 

Just take note that welcome gifts are not included if you’re signing up with the promotional rates!

Membership Cards

Before we move on to your perks as a SAFRA member, let’s take a look at the different membership cards that you can choose from.

Not the design lah, but the functions…

 SAFRA Membership CardSAFRA DBS Credit CardSAFRA DBS Debit Card
Cash rebate on local MasterCard contactlessN.A.3%2%
Cash rebate on all online shopingN.A. 3%1%
Cash rebate on all other purchasesN.A.0.3%0.3%
SAFRA Membership CardYesYesYes
Earn SAFRAPOINTS at participating outlets YesYesYes
Credit/Debit, ATM & MasterCard contactless capabilitiesN.A. Credit CardDebit Card
All in one convenient transport card
- Tap and SimplyGo on buses and trains
No Credit/Debit Card Annual Fees (SAFRA Membership Fees apply)N.A.YesYes

Yay, no annual fees and no additional fees for the SAFRA DBS Credit and Debit cards!

It goes without saying that if you want to apply for a SAFRA DBS Debit Card, you’ll need to have a DBS Current/Savings account or POSB Savings account, right?

As for the SAFRA DBS Credit Card, you’ll just need to meet the income requirement of $30,000 and above per year.

If you’re already holding on to the standard SAFRA membership card, you can always choose to convert as well, as long as you meet the above requirements.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A SAFRA Membership?

Let me just give a disclaimer that this article will not be able to cover all the benefits and perks as a SAFRA member, there are just too many ongoing promotions and there’ll always be new and exclusive ones being announced.

But before spamming you with the other benefits, let’s take a step back and quickly recap how much you’re paying for the membership fees, on the assumption that you start as an Ordinary A member and renew as an Ordinary B member.

Membership Type2-Year5-Year10-Year
NSF, Operational Ready NSmen & Ordinary B (former NSmen who joined SAFRA before reaching statutory age)Total Cost$80$155$270
Cost Per Day$0.11$0.08$0.07
Ordinary B (former NSmen who joined SAFRA after reaching statutory age) or
Total Cost$120$232$405
Cost Per Day$0.16$0.13$0.11

At one glance, you might already be able to tell that it’s going to be quite easy to maximise your benefits and earn back the fees you paid.

Instead of zeroing into individual benefits, we’ll look at the broad categories to see if the benefits and perks are really shiok enough.

I’ll also skip the obvious member promotions with other merchants, mainly because there are just too many to cover, and well, every membership programme has that.

Access To Clubhouses

Source: CNA

SAFRA now has 6 clubhouses in total, scattered across the island at Mount Faber, Jurong, Punggol, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun.

Guys, there’s one more coming in Choa Chu Kang, but it’ll take a while more since it’s projected to launch in 2022.

If you’re an active individual, this might be good enough for you already.

Source: giphy

Even better if you’re a swimmer as you’ll get to access the pools for free as a SAFRA member!

A weekend entry to a conventional swimming complex managed by ActiveSG will cost you $1.30.

Let’s say you’ve got a 5-year membership at $155, you just need to use the SAFRA swimming pools twice a month to cover your membership fees!

If you can’t swim, like me, don’t worry! There are other clubhouse facilities that are available to you at members’ rates!

I’m not exactly the best person to talk to when it comes to booking sports facilities, but a quick comparison online shows that their member rates are relatively competitive!

While it may take you more visits to cover your membership fees, I’m sure you’ll also be maximising the other benefits, so all’s good!

Caltex Fuel Discounts

According to SAFRA’s website, you’ll get to enjoy a 14% or 16% fuel discount on Caltex petrol.

Source: giphy

That’s great news for car owners, but I’m sure you’ve thought of what I’m going to say next.

In this day and age, we’re likely to be holding on to more than one membership or credit card, giving us a wide variety of promotions and discounts.

So, fuel discounts?

You’ll probably be able to get similar or even better deals with other credit cards as well, so not a major push for getting the membership.

Discounted Movie Tickets

Source: tenor

I believe this was one of the most popular SAFRA membership benefits in the past, though I’m not sure if that is still the case nowadays.

As a SAFRA member, you’ll get to enjoy movies from $7.50 onwards!

To be honest, it’s still a pretty good deal in my opinion.

However, since there are other applications and avenues where you can get similarly discounted movie tickets, this is unlikely to entice us to get the membership.

Discounted Gift Vouchers

Source: tenor

The most common benefit that any membership or big-ticket purchase can get you, SAFRA members are also entitled to purchase gift vouchers with up to 50% discount.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with gift vouchers…

Sometimes, I get vouchers that I’ll definitely use since I already frequent the merchants.

But more often than not, I don’t!

So I’ll find ways to make use of those vouchers and end up spending money I shouldn’t have spent in the first place. Just because I don’t want to waste the vouchers.

Sounds familiar? Sigh…

But back to the membership, with so many platforms to get discounted deals, this SAFRA membership benefit just doesn’t pass the test for me.


Source: tenor

Yay, I love accumulating points!

Like any other rewards or loyalty programme, you’ll get to earn and redeem SAFRAPOINTS for lifestyle products and services.

For every $1 spent, you’ll earn 1 SAFRAPOINT.

Plan ahead and strategise for you’ll earn double SAFRAPOINTS during your birthday month!

Every 100 SAFRAPOINTS awards you a $2 rebate.

But a quick scroll through this benefit, it seems like you’re generally restricted to making use of it in SAFRA clubs and their services mainly.

They have a few exclusive partners or special redemption promotions, but those are really limited.

I get it though, they just want to keep you in their ecosystem.

So, unless you really frequent SAFRA clubs very often to be able to make full use of your SAFRAPOINTS, I feel like you’re not going to get much out of it.

Exclusive Bookings at D’Resort & National Service Resort & Country Club (NSRCC)

Source: Agoda

This brings back so many memories!

I’m sure you’ve had a fair share of parties and gatherings and chalets back in the days too!

But really, this is one of the easiest ways to get your family or a large group of friends to gather!

And omg, I looooove a good BBQ… 

SAFRA members enjoy pretty good rates for both facilities and you’ll even get complimentary tickets to Wild Wild Wet when you book with D’Resort!

Even though you’ll probably only have time to make use of this benefit once or twice per year, I feel like this is probably one of the best benefits of being a SAFRA member.

Guys, if you’ve already gotten your SAFRA membership, please share the love with your family and friends! Also, check out their Facebook page for updates for members’ exclusive deals!

About Jacqueline Yan
Full-time coffee nerd playing the personal finance game to feed her insatiable wanderlust.
You can contribute your thoughts like Jacqueline Yan here.

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