As we reported on Tuesday night, the exceptionally generous 100,000 miles sign-up bonus for the new Standard Chartered X card was abruptly pulled one month early, with only around 24 hours notice given of the new deadline – 31st July 2019. That presumably led to a bit of an application rush on Wednesday as those who had sat on the fence decided to take the plunge before it was too late.
The offer was obviously starting to look like it was going to cost Standard Chartered a lot of money if they ran it until the end of August, so our worst fear was that as the 100,000 mile offer ended, the new sign-up bonus for the X card would effectively be just 30,000 miles (the upfront bonus for annual fee payment).
That would be an unattractive proposition – ‘buying’ miles at 2.3 cents each, especially for a poor earning rate card like this one, with few other perks to speak of. Thankfully that hasn’t happened and instead Standard Chartered has instead come up with a…
New 60,000 miles sign-up bonus
The new sign-up offer for the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X card for those applying from 1st August 2019 is 60,000 miles if you spend S$6,000 in the first 60 days of card membership.
As with the previous 100,000 miles offer, this new 60,000 miles one remains subject to payment of the (non-waivable) annual fee of S$695.50.
The structure is as follows:
- 30,000 KrisFlyer miles “Upfront Gift Promotion”: for activating your card within 30 days and paying the annual fee of S$695.50, and provided your card is approved by 31st December 2019; and
- 30,000 KrisFlyer miles “Sign-up Gift Promotion”: for spending S$6,000 on eligible retail transactions in the first 60 days from card approval date, and provided your card is approved by 30th September 2019.
Your total earning (including the sign-up bonus) during this promotion will be at least 67,200 miles, assuming local spend:
- Upfront bonus = 30,000 miles
- S$6,000 x 1.2 mpd = 7,200 miles
- Sign-up bonus = 30,000 miles
- Total earning = 67,200 miles
For details of the minimum spend criteria and exclusion categories, see our original article for the 100,000 miles offer.
Cost per mile
The new cost per mile calculation is the annual fee divided by 60,000 miles (the bonus).
Cost per KrisFlyer mile
S$695.50 / 60,000
That’s not nearly as competitive as the 0.7 cents per mile rate you would have achieved under the 100,000 miles bonus, but it still comes in comfortably lower than our upper threshold to buy of 1.9 cents. We aim to achieve at least 2.4 cents per mile when we redeem.
A 1.9 cents per mile the 60,000-mile bonus is worth at least S$1,140 against future Singapore Airlines redemptions, and you’re getting it here for S$695.50.
We’ve updated our Top Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses page with the details. It’s worth bookmarking for future reference as you’ll find all the Singapore miles-earning cards compared on the same page.
Are you taking a hit?
There is a likely trade off here if you use this card for S$6,000 of spend in 60 days, because you probably have (or at least should have) a better miles-earning credit card for your day to day spend.
For example Eddie is using the BOC Elite Miles card for general spend in Singapore. Since that earns 1.5 miles per dollar on local spend, moving his transactions to this card would lose him 0.3 miles per dollar x 6,000 = 1,800 miles under this 60k bonus offer.
It would reduce his ‘effective bonus’ from 60,000 miles to 58,200 miles, which drives up the cost per mile to 1.20 cents each.
I got a new DBS Altitude Amex card last month to take advantage of the 50% more miles promo, so for S$6,000 of local spend I’m taking a hit from 1.8 mpd to 1.2 mpd to use the X card. That’s a 3,600-mile opportunity cost, which would make my cost per mile 1.23 cents each if I applied under the 60k bonus offer.
Worse still, if you would otherwise channel S$6,000 of spend through credit cards at 4 miles per dollar rates, which you could manage in two months with a DBS Woman’s World card and two Citi Rewards cards (Visa and Mastercard), the cost per mile effectively increases further.
In that case you’re looking at a ‘hit’ of 16,800 miles (2.8 x 6,000). That reduces your ‘effective bonus’ from 60,000 miles to 43,200 miles, increasing the cost per mile taking account of the annual fee to a far less attractive 1.61 cents each.
If the best you have in your wallet is a Citi PremierMiles, AMEX Ascend or DBS Altitude card for example, you’re not taking a hit here as these all earn 1.2 miles per dollar for local spend. You should be doing better than that though, even in the general spend category.
Key features (updated)
Here are the new key features of the card from today:
Annual fee: $695.50/yr
Sign-up bonus: 60,000 miles*
Local earn rate: 1.2 miles per $1
Overseas earn rate: 2.0 miles per $1
Foreign transaction fee: 3.5%
Minimum Age: 21
Minimum income: S$80,000/yr**
* Minimum S$6,000 spend applies in first 60 days
** Priority/Private Banking customers: S$30,000/yr (Singaporean/PR) or S$60,000/yr (Foreigner)
Which bonus will you get?
There was some confusion at the end of July over who would be eligible for the 100,000 miles bonus, those who applied by 31st July 2019 (and were approved later) or those whose cards had been approved by that date.
Standard Chartered CSOs gave different answers to the same question, but that’s nothing new.
The new terms and conditions document has now been published, confirming:
- If you applied for the card on or before 31st July 2019, and are approved by 31st August 2019, you’ll get the 100,000 miles sign-up bonus. Nothing about that has changed, and you’ll still need to meet the S$6,000 eligible spend in the first 60 days from your original card approval.
- If you applied for the card on or after 1st August 2019, and are approved by 31st September 2019, you’ll get the 60,000 miles sign-up bonus (subject to the minimum spend criteria within the first 60 days).
When will you get your bonus?
No change here for those in the 100,000 mile bonus category, with the bonus paying out approximately a month after your 60-day qualifying transaction period ends. For those approved on the last eligible day, 31st August 2019, you’ll see the bonus by 30th November 2019. Remember you’ll still have to have applied before 31st July 2019 for the 100,000 miles bonus to be effective.
If you take part in this new 60,000 miles promotion, which is for applications from 1st August 2019 and approvals by 30th September 2019, it’s a similar timescale. Expect to receive the bonus miles a month after your 60-day qualifying transaction period ends. For those approved on the last eligible day, 30th September 2019 in that case, you’ll see the bonus by 31st December 2019.
After the sudden bad news that the 100,000 miles sign up bonus was ending early, we were expecting the sign-up bonus for the X card to drop from 100,000 miles to 30,000 miles overnight.
The good news is that’s not what’s happening, but of course the new 60,000 miles bonus is far less attractive.
Nonetheless the cost per mile under this new promotion is still competitive, provided you have S$6,000 of spend to make in the next couple of months and you aren’t diverting too much of that away from high earning rate cards, like the 4 miles per dollar options.
(Cover Image: Standard Chartered)