My initial rough analysis years back lead me to conclude that the returns just wasn't worth spending on cards which gave Miles as rewards.
It's quite hard to quantify Miles, cos... well, that's the point, they don't want it to be easily quantifiable... so consumers won't know how much they are spending vs how much the Miles are worth.
Once again, I can only estimate.
I went to the Krisflyer website and checked what I can redeem for against the cost of SQ flights.
I'm trying to give Miles a chance. So I want to give them a "good" biased estimate.
Cos if after I give them a "good" biased estimate, and the maths fails, then there's nothing to talk about anymore.
So from here onwards, I will value Krisflyer Miles at 3 cents each.
I looked at 2 cards providing Miles rewards.
CITI PREMIERMILES VISA CARD
1.2 Citi Miles earned for S$1 local spend
2 Citi Miles earned for S$1 foreign spend
Earn up to 10 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent on online travel bookings
1 Citibank mile = 1 Krisflyer mile
1,400 Citibank miles = $10 cash rebate
If we change Citi Miles for the cash rebate, 1 Citi Mile is worth less than 1 cent. ($0.007142)
Since 1 Citi Mile equals 1 Krisflyer Mile, then it's probably better to use the Citi Miles as Krisflyer Miles.
I'm not even going to take into account conversion costs.
We can earn 1.2 Citi Miles for every dollar for local spend.
So that means for each dollar spent, we get 3.6 cents for local spending.
OR 6 cents for foreign spending.
So we're talking about 3.6% - 6% rebate here.
IF and ONLY IF... you use it for SQ flights.
For any other purpose, the return is less than 1%.
UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card
1.4 Krisflyer Miles earned for S$1 local spend
2.4 Krisflyer Miles earned for S$1 foreign spend
6 Krisflyer Miles for hotels and flights
1 Uni$ = 2 Krisflyer Miles
2220 Uni$ = $20 Capitaland Voucher
4000 Uni$ = $50 Scoot voucher
For UOB, this is a bit more confusing. Cos the customer is actually earning Uni$. But they can convert the Uni$ to Krisflyer Miles.
So we need to do some conversion.
2220 Uni$ = 4440 Miles = $20 Capitaland Voucher
4000 Uni$ = 8000 Miles = $50 Scoot voucher
If we change "Miles" for the Capitaland Vouchers, 1 "Mile" is worth less than 1 cent. ($0.0045)
If changed for Scoot voucher, each Mile is worth slightly more but still under 1 cent. ($0.00625)
We can earn 1.4 Krisflyer Miles for every dollar for local spend.
So that means for each dollar spent, we get 4.2 cents for local spending.
OR 7.2 cents for foreign spending.
So we're talking about 4.2% - 7.2% rebate here.
Once again... this is IF and ONLY IF... you use it for SQ flights.
For any other purpose, the return is less than 1%.
Well... If you really really really really like taking SQ flights and you confirm will take SQ flights all the time, then I suppose it would be worth it to be earning Miles instead of straight off rebates.
Considering that most rebates are averaging around 3% for many credit cards, depending on spending habits. Personally, I would prefer to earn rebates to just offset my monthly purchases.
Using an SQ flight to KL as a benchmark, it costs $376.
I could fly to KL for under $100 on Jetstar. It's only a 45 minute journey. So I don't need any additional comfort. Maybe... I'd want some additional comfort IF I take a 12 hour journey.
So if we think about it another way...
If I spend on my 3% rebate card, I would need to spend $3,333 to get a rebate of $100 which I can use to fly to KL on Jetstar.
But if I spend using the UOB card to earn Miles, and I'll use the 7.2% rebate for calculation, I need to spend $5,222 to get a flight to KL on SQ.
(By right 7.2% should only be for foreign spend, but I'm trying very hard to build a case for earning Miles here. So I'm giving it as much biased numbers as I can.)
So personally, I would think that spending on a card which gives points or Miles isn't as good as just spending on a card which will give a direct rebate which just offsets my bill. Even after giving Miles a higher value at 3 cents and an unreasonable earn rate of 7.2%, it just doesn't work out. Unless the consumer is really interested in redeeming SQ flights.
Now, I'd admit, I'm not a pro at analysis of Miles redemption or how to earn it. So maybe I've made a miscalculation somewhere or maybe there are better redemption deals which I'm not aware of.
There are ways to earn 10 Miles per dollar for certain circumstances so maybe it would be worth it if the customer can easily hit all the criteria to earn 10 Miles per dollar. Cos that would be equivalent of 30 cents per dollar!!! *GASP* To fly to KL on SQ, it would only take $1,253 of special criteria spending.
But I'm not going into that kinda detail. Cos to me, if a card isn't suitable for daily usage, then the card would have limited usefulness, cos how often would I be able to hit the special criteria spending?
But I'm no pro. If someone can give me a better insight on the world of Miles rewards, I'd be most glad to edit this post.
Edit: As per the comments, there might be some form of value in these Miles. I probably need to do more research. Cos personally, I want to fly first class/suite for once in my life. IF the returns from Miles are worth it, I might spend some time accumulating Miles instead of direct rebates. But still research in progress...
2nd Edit : Due to the comments pointing me in the right direction, I have come to conclude that Miles is a good idea in certain circumstances. Updated in this post here.
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