What’s better than going on a trip? Tripping in style. No, we don’t mean dressing up only to be crammed into your budget airline seat for the next seven hours.
We’re talking about making use of travel perks and privileges provided by your bank – and there are many – to enhance your holiday, giving you an elevated experience from doorstep to plane, and throughout your overseas trip.
Here are six tips to help you travel the world in style.
1. Get free flights and seat upgrades with air miles
Ask any avid traveller and they’ll tell you: redeeming plane tickets with air miles never gets old. When your free plane seat is waiting, you can’t help sauntering up the airbridge.
But air miles aren’t just good for paying for your flight. In fact, some might argue that air miles are better spent on seat upgrades for a thoroughly enjoyable flight experience.
Consider this: Upgrading from Economy Flexi to Premium Economy costs just 30,000 air miles for a round-trip to Japan on Singapore Airlines.
And if you happen to have some leftover KrisFlyer miles that are expiring soon, you can spend them at KrisShop.com to get, say, this scented candle travel set to use in your hotel room for added atmosphere.
2. Earn more air miles with premium credit cards
Now that we’ve whetted your appetite for air miles, let’s talk about how you can get your hands on some in a hurry.
The best way to do so is simply to sign up for a travel credit card (and fulfil the spending criteria) to receive a stack of welcome air miles.
From then on, you’ll earn air miles automatically on eligible transactions charged to your shiny new credit card.
Some cards also reward you with bonus miles for paying your annual fee, or when spending at partner merchants. You will also enjoy a higher air miles earn rate when spending overseas or on transactions in foreign currencies.
By far, you’ll get the best welcome miles package and earn rate with premium credit cards, such as those carrying the Visa Infinite moniker.
This class of cards have a high minimum annual salary requirement of around S$120,000, which means they are only accessible by the wealthy.
That level of income also means you’ll likely qualify for Priority Banking. Indeed, premium credit cards are often offered to Priority Banking customers as part of their perks.
3. Relax in the airport lounge before boarding
Instead of jostling with the masses as you wait for your boarding gate to open, a better alternative would be to relax with some refreshments in an exclusive lounge with controlled access.
Not only will you have a more pleasant wait, you can also grab a bite or drink, browse the web, catch up on Netflix, even have a nap or take a shower.
Everyone is welcome to visit an airport lounge, as long as they pay the entry fee. But if you have a travel credit card, you can enjoy complimentary airport lounge access, making your trip that much more enjoyable.
You’ll get up to two complimentary lounge visits per year with most travel credit cards. Premium credit cards offer more lounge visits, and generally provide admission to a greater number of airport lounges around the world.
4. Arrive like a celebrity with complimentary airport transfer
Getting to the airport is the first step in any holiday, and you know what they say about getting off to a good start.
Certain travel credit cards provide complimentary airport transfers that chauffeur you from your home to the airport. These are dedicated professional services that are a step up from your JustGrab or Gojek ride (not that there’s anything wrong with those!).
And if you’re holding a premium credit card, expect to be chauffeured to your flight in luxury cars or limousines – just like a rockstar. All that’s missing is the paparazzi.
5. Feel like royalty with express immigration clearance
What’s the most tedious part about travelling to another country? That’s right, clearing customs and immigration.
While you can’t skip customs, you totally can speed through the process without standing and waiting in the queue with the rest of the peasants.
It’s called expedited immigration clearance, and is one of the most desirable travel perks that will truly let you travel in style. Upon landing, you’ll be ushered through the airport to specially reserved counters, and be out the other side and into your waiting limo before anyone else.
6. Use the personalised concierge service
One more tip to help you travel in style is to make generous use of your credit card’s concierge service.
If you’re holding an eligible credit card, you will be entitled to a concierge service that can help take care of things for you in the background, leaving you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.
Besides tasks like making restaurant reservations, setting up meetings and booking concert tickets, your concierge can also render more personalised services such as making travel arrangements and even doing some personal shopping for you.
Also, if you encounter a mishap and need some help, your concierge will also render assistance, fulfilling important tasks such as securing alternative accommodations or arranging for an urgent flight out of the country.
It is all very fancy, which is why such high-level concierge services are only offered along with the most premium of credit cards.
Ordinary credit card holders may also be able to access a concierge service, but the range of services available will be much narrower, and mostly geared towards emergency situations.
Text: Alevin Chan/SingSaver
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