Earning miles with credit card expenditure (Part 2: general spending)

Now that I have covered specialised spending, and how to maximise your miles earn rate, I will move on to general spending. So what exactly is general spending? I classify general spending as all other forms of expenditure that cannot be categorised according to the types of spending mentioned in my previous post. With all general spending cards, all you need to know are the miles earn rates for local and overseas spend, which I will cover in detail below. These are the cards that I personally use to earn the most miles from my general spending.

BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard [1.5 mpd (local) and 3 mpd (overseas)]


At the top of list is the BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard. Following an earlier promotion, from 31 Dec 2018, the earn rates will revert to the usual 3 mpd for overseas spend and 1.5 mpd for local spend.

Take note that the miles will only be valid for 12-24 months before they need to be transferred out to your frequent flyer programme.

Source: Milelion

For the remainder of 2019, it is safe to say that this card will be the best general spend card to have in your wallet.

UOB PRVI Miles [1.4 mpd (local) and 2.4 mpd (overseas)]


This used to be the best no-brainer card to get if you wish to charge all expenses to a single card, until the BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard came along. The 1.4 mpd and 2.4 mpd for local and overseas spend respectively is still far superior than the other cards listed below. But then again, as mentioned in my previous post, you should always learn to determine whether a specialised spend is possible before committing to a general spend strategy.

Standard Chartered Bank Visa Infinite [1.4 mpd (local) and 3 mpd (overseas)]


Take note that a minimum spend of S$2000.00 per statement cycle is required for the 1.4 mpd (local) and 3 mpd (overseas) earn rates, otherwise you will only earn 1 mpd! So why do I value this card? If you travel a lot, and if you are able to concentrate all your overseas spending (online or offline) within your statement cycle, you will be earning 3 mpd for all your purchases made in foreign currency! So bear this in mind, and time your spending to get the most out of this card.

Citi Prestige Card [1.3 mpd (local) and 2 mpd (overseas)]


A very decent earn rate for local general spend. However, this card comes with other interesting perks.

Citi Premiermiles Visa Card [1.2 mpd (local) and 2 mpd (overseas)]


This is a very popular card among travellers who wish to kick start their journey in earning miles. In my opinion, a 1.2 mpd and 2 mpd earn rate for local and overseas general spend respectively is the bare minimum one should accept.

DBS Altitude Card [1.2 mpd (local) and 2 mpd (overseas)]


Together with the Citi Premiermiles Visa, this card is really an entry level card for beginners who wish to experiment with earning miles.

Standard Chartered X [1.2 mpd (local) and 2 mpd (overseas)]


This card offered the best sign up bonus for 2019, with 100000 bonus miles for a minimum eligible spend of S$6000. Now that this is over, the card only offers a modest 1.2 mpd for local spend and 2 mpd for overseas spend.

OCBC Voyage Card [1.2 mpd (local) and 2.4 mpd (overseas)]


2.4 mpd for overseas spend is very decent, especially since there is no minimum spend required. Plus, Visa is so widely accepted that you should have no problem swiping your metal card at overseas merchants with pride.

Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card [2 mpd (overseas)]


Bear in mind that the earn rate of 2 mpd for overseas spend is subject to a minimum spend of S$300.00 per month as per my previous post. All local non-specialised spend will only earn you 0.4 mpd, so be careful!

HSBC Visa Infinite Card [1 mpd (local) and 2 mpd (overseas)]


Not the most attractive of cards, but you can stand to earn up to 1.25 mpd (local) and 2.25 mpd (overseas) from the second year onwards, subject to a minimum spend of S$50000.00 the previous year.


I have to confess that when I first started the miles game over 10 years ago, I had the mentality that I would only need general spending cards for me to accumulate my miles, largely because I was unfamiliar with specialised spending cards. But thanks to prominent writers out there such as Milelion, I am better equipped with the knowledge on how to better manage my credit card spending.

You should also note that all the cards above may be used for some sort of specialised spending as well. Hence, not being discerning enough with your credit card expenditure could mean that you are not maximising the full potential of your credit cards. Therefore, always consider if any particular transaction qualifies as a specialised spend first, before committing to the general spending means of earning your miles.

I mentioned previously that there’s more to credit cards than expenditure alone. Which brings me to my next post: Sign-up and renewal bonuses.