Best air miles credit cards in Hong Kong to use on CardUp

The CardUp Team Jul 19, 2021 10:45:00 AM
Best air miles credit card in Hong Kong to use on CardUp

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Hongkongers love getting perks and benefits, with 61% of cardholders owning three or more credit cards. To get the most out of your card rewards, it is important to understand your needs and expenses! If you’re savvy with your cards, you’re most of the time either on team cashback or team air miles - and oftentimes on the lookout for the best cards in the market.

For mile chasers, the credit card rewards you get with every dollar spent might not be as immediately visible as cashback, but the value of your miles can be worth up to thousands of dollars each year if you use your cards wisely. You can also easily rack up miles on your everyday spend - dining, transportation, groceries - by comparing between the best cards in these categories.

For expenses that are not payable by cards such as rent, education fees and more, CardUp allows you to do so, earning you precious miles that would otherwise be missed out on. Spend on CardUp typically falls under the general spend category, earning the base rate on all miles cards.

Fly business class for less than half the price

 

“But which miles card should I be using to maximise my rewards on my CardUp spend?”

This is a question we get a lot, and while earn rate is typically the metric most of us look at to maximise our miles, there are also a number of different factors that should be considered - such as:

  • Expiry period - most miles cards earn points (e.g. HSBC RewardCash, Citi Points, DBS$, which have varying expiry periods to be converted into miles, which then has varying validity periods to be redeemed
  • Card bonuses - some banks run promotions that give you welcome miles, sign up bonuses, or bonus miles when you spend a certain amount within a period
  • Transferability of miles - different banks partner with different frequent flyer programmes for the redemption of miles
  • Additional travel benefits - lounge access, hotel stays, travel insurance

In no specific order, here are some of the most popular cards our users use when they make their payments on our platform, be it rent, insurance, education fees, or more!

  1. Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard
  2. DBS Black World Mastercard
  3. Citi PremierMiles Card
  4. BEA Flyer World Mastercard

 

1. Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard

Artboard 7

Card Mile Earn Rate Minimum Income (Annually) Suitable for
Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard HK$6 = 1 mile HK$96,000 Young professionals who often dine out and shop online

 

Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard has been one of the best air miles credit cards in Hong Kong since its launch. This card serves as the only Asia Miles co-branded credit card that offers no miles conversion fee or minimum conversion amount, all miles earned will be automatically transferred to your Asia Miles account without worrying of expiration. What’s more about Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard is that it provides an extraordinary earn rate of 1 mile per 4 dollars spent on dining, online shopping and overseas, cardholders can also get 1 mile per 6 dollars spent for another eligible spending as well, imagine the number of miles you can earn using this card for recurring payments through CardUp!  

With a minimum income requirement of HK$96,000, Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard allows more individuals to enjoy the fun of earning Asia Miles. New applicants of Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard can enjoy up to 40,000 welcoming Asia Miles, with an earn rate of as low as 1 Asia Mile per HK$0.2 spent. Get an extra HK$100 cash rebate for those who apply for online banking and complete the first login within the first two months of card issuance! This card also offers a first-year annual fee waiver of HK$2,000, which can be waived upon next year if they are Priority/Premium banking customers meeting designated requirements. 

Good for:

  • Young professionals who consistently dine out and shop online every month, and need to make regular payments like education fees, dormitory rent through CardUp

2. DBS Black World Mastercard

DBS Black

Card Mile Earn Rate Minimum Income (Annually) Suitable for
DBS Black World Mastercard HK$6 = 1 mile HK$240,000 Luxury travellers who spend more on travel-related expenses 

 

DBS Black World Mastercard is a must-have credit card for travelers who love earning miles through overseas spending at the earn rate of 1 mile per every 4 dollars spent, and 1 mile per every 6 dollars spent for other eligible spending. DBS dollars can be transferred to mileage points of your choice, including popular options like Asia Miles, Avios, KrisFlyer and more. Cardholders can also get an exclusive 45% DBS iGO Rewards redemption discount, and use DBS$ to redeem flights, hotels, travel packages and more directly, to get a better value of your rewards!

If you are looking for a new suitcase for your next trip, the welcome offer of DBS Black World Mastercard will be your best match! New customers fulfilling the spending requirement of HK$6,800 or above within two months of card issuance, can get the Rollink Flex 21 Foldable Suitcase with 2,000 miles for free. For miles lovers, you can also earn up to 50,000 miles with an earn rate of as low as 1 miles per HK$0.5 spent.

One thing to keep in mind is that although there is no expiry date applicable to DBS$ earned under DBS Black World Mastercard, a handling fee of HK$100 will be charged for every 5,000 miles redeemed with no maximum charge per redemption. However, cardholders of the DBS Black Card can enjoy a handling fee waiver for redeeming Avios, KrisFlyer, or PhoenixMiles.

Good for:

  • Luxury travelers who spend on high-end travel-related expenses

3. Citi PremierMiles Card / Citi Prestige Card

Citi Premier

Card Mile Earn Rate Minimum Income (Annually) Suitable for
Citi PremierMiles Card HK$8 = 1 mile HK$120,000 Young professionals with relatively lower monthly expenses since miles earned do not expire
Citi Prestige Card HK$6 = 1 mile HK$600,000 Affluent professionals interested in flying luxuriously since miles earned do not expire

 

While the Citi PremierMiles Mastercard has a lower earn rate at 1 mile per HK$8 , compared to some of the other cards, it still remains a card that many swear by. The strength of this card lies in its miles earned - they never expire, and can be flexibly redeemed at 13 different miles transfer partners, the most of any bank in Hong Kong.

The card also comes with free travel insurance provided by Zurich, as well as up to 12 complimentary free access to Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide per year

Another card worth checking out from Citibank is its Citi Prestige Card, which earns you 1 mile per HK$6 spent - if you’re able to hit the minimum HK$600,000 income required.

Good for:

  • Young professionals with relatively lower monthly expenses (e.g. car loans or insurance through CardUp, dining or groceries), since miles earned have no expiry date and have great flexibility

4.  BEA Flyer World Mastercard

BEA Flyer

Card Mile Earn Rate Minimum Income (Annually) Suitable for
BEA Flyer World Mastercard HK$5 = 1 mile HK$240,000 Cardholders with regular monthly spend since there are no conversion fees

 

Last but definitely not least, we have the BEA Flyer World Mastercard. It offers an excellent earn rate of 1 mile per HK$5 spent locally, with no minimum spending requirement and no conversion fee from credit card points to miles. 

BEA Flyer World Mastercard is not the best when it comes to designated spending categories, but if you are looking for one credit card to handle all payments, especially to earn miles for recurring payments such as rent, insurance and tax via CardUp, this card would be the perfect fit!

Good for:

  • Cardholders with regular monthly spendings (e.g. rent, helpers salary through CardUp)

Enjoy 0% CardUp fee when you pay with a BEA credit card. Find out more

How are the miles earned worth it?

At the end of the day, you will be wondering how much your miles earned are worth - is it going to be worthwhile paying the CardUp fee to earn this amount of miles? Truth is, there are many factors that determine how much a mile is worth, based on your preferences. 

Here’s a quick example calculation:

Use BEA Flyer World Mastercard (HK$5 = 1 mile)
Spend HK$250,000 each year on CardUp + HK$6,500 CardUp fee
Earn 51,300 miles
Redeem 1x Business Class return ticket to Tokyo, Japan
Worth HK$16,000
Save HK$9,500, or 59%!

 

With an annual spend of HK$250,000 on CardUp, you will incur a HK$6,500 CardUp fee. This total spend will earn you 51,300 Miles with an earn rate of HK$5=1 mile, which allows you to redeem 1 business return ticket to Tokyo, Japan worth HK$16,000! Not too bad for just HK$6,500 in CardUp fees for payments you're already making anyway!

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