Here’s our review of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X credit card issued in Singapore. It forms part of our series of credit card reviews, which are all summarised on our dedicated Credit Cards page.
Dollar amounts refer to SGD, and ‘miles’ refer to KrisFlyer miles, except where stated. This review was updated on 2nd January 2020.
Key features
Annual fee: $695.50/yr
EIR/APR: 26.9%
Sign-up bonus: 30,000 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: $80,000/yr*
* Priority/Private Banking customers: S$30,000/yr (Singaporean/PR) or S$60,000/yr (Foreigner)
Annual fee
One of the more expensive cards on the market – the X card will set you back $695.50 each year (including the first year). Since the annual fee is not optional in year one, we expect this will most likely be the case in subsequent years too.
Sign-up bonus
When it launched, this card had one of the most generous sign-up bonuses ever seen of 100,000 miles. However that has since ended and the ongoing bonus Standard Chartered is offering is:
- 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.
That’s equivalent to ‘buying’ miles at 2.32 cents each, significantly above our upper limit to buy of 1.9 cents each.
The upfront gift of 30,000 miles will be awarded within 30 days of your X card activation date. For example if your card is activated on 31st January 2020 you’ll see this first bonus in your account by 1st March 2020.
Is there an annual renewal bonus?
Contractually no, but we have both always received 20,000 miles each year for renewing our Standard Chartered Visa Infinite cards.
It will be interesting to see whether any similar carrot is dangled for X card holders to spend another $700 in year two, since as you’ll see there are currently no other benefits that make the card worth keeping at that price.
Earning rates
The X card earns miles at the following rates:
- 1.2 miles per $1 spent locally (i.e. transacted in SGD), and
- 2 miles per $1 spent overseas (i.e. transacted in foreign currency)
These are towards the low end for a card with such a high annual fee, only matching the Citi PremierMiles and DBS Altitude rates – much more accessible cards in terms of income requirement and both fee-free in year one.
You’ll achieve higher earn rates with other widely available cards like the BOC Elite Miles (1.5 mpd locally, 3 mpd overseas) or the UOB PRVI Miles (1.4 mpd locally, 2.4 mpd overseas).
Even the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite boasts a better earn rate of 1.4 mpd locally and 3 mpd overseas, though both those rates require that you spend at least $2,000 per statement cycle on the card.
Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?
No, in fact rather than being credited miles directly you’ll accrue ‘360^{o} Rewards Points’ for your regular spending on this card. These transfer to KrisFlyer miles at a 2.5:1 ratio.
What is the transfer cost to KrisFlyer miles?
It’ll cost you $25+GST (i.e. $26.75) each time you transfer each ‘block’ of your points to KrisFlyer miles.
Is there a minimum transfer amount?
The minimum number of rewards points you can transfer into KrisFlyer is 2,500 (converting to 1,000 KrisFlyer miles). You can structure your points transfer in larger blocks instead, or add multiple smaller blocks but you should be aiming to accrue a decent rewards points balance before transferring as each rewards block code transferred attracts the $26.75 transfer fee.
Reward blocks available are:
- 2,500 points > 1,000 miles
- 25,000 points > 10,000 miles
- 75,000 points > 30,000 miles
- 125,000 points > 50,000 miles
- 250,000 points > 100,000 miles
You can add up to 99 of each ‘rewards block’ per transfer (e.g. 99 x 2,500 points blocks will give you 99,000 KrisFlyer miles).
Since you will attract the $26.75 transfer fee charge for each of the blocks used, it’s better to add multiple numbers of the same block size. For example if you have accrued 325,000 points that should give you 130,000 miles.
Looking at the options you might think you’ll have to transfer 1 x 250,000 points block and 1 x 75,000 points block to do this, but that will result in you being charged the $26.75 fee twice!
The better strategy in this example is to add 13 x 25,000 points blocks. This will mean only being charged the $26.75 fee once, but you’ll still get 130,000 miles credited.
It’s a stupid system, but it’s just the way it works.
Remember the golden rule – if you combine more than one block size (‘rewards code’) in a rewards to points conversion you’ll be charged $26.75 for each one!
How long do miles take to credit to KrisFlyer?
The official line from Standard Chartered is “5 to 7 working days”.
The last four times we converted from Standard Chartered reward points to KrisFlyer, it took:
- Almost exactly a week (5 working days) the first two times (2018).
- 3 working days (early July 2019).
- 2 working days the most recent time (late July 2019).
It does seem like the transfer time has improved lately, but to be safe we would still transfer to KrisFlyer at least a week before needing the miles in your account.
Note that Standard Chartered does not store or remember your KrisFlyer account details, even for subsequent transfers if you’ve moved your points into miles before, so you’ll have to have your account number to hand each time you do it.
Other loyalty schemes
Apart from KrisFlyer, there are 11 other loyalty programmes you can transfer into from the X card.
These don’t all transfer at the same 2.5:1 ratio, in many cases it’s a higher ratio meaning fewer points or miles in your loyalty account, so do beware if you’re going down this route that in many cases you may be losing out.
X card Airline Partner Conversion | |
FFP | Conversion Ratio |
2.5:1 | |
2.5:1 | |
2.5:1 | |
2.5:1 | |
3:1 | |
3:1 | |
3:1 | |
3.5:1 | |
3.5:1 | |
3.5:1 | |
X card Hotel Partner Conversion | |
Loyalty scheme | Conversion Ratio |
2.5:1 | |
5:1 |
As you can see in some cases the transfer ratio is double that to KrisFlyer, giving you half as many points / miles in the loyalty scheme for the same number of rewards points transferred.
Do reward points pool with other Standard Chartered cards?
Yes, since November 2019 you can use points from all your Standard Chartered credit cards to redeem for KrisFlyer miles or any of the 11 other partner programs, like Qantas, United or IHG.
Be careful if you’re sitting on a large SCVI points balance
As we mentioned in this article, when redeeming points into KrisFlyer miles the credit card account with the highest points balance is used first.
That means if you have a significant SCVI points balance, it won’t be possible to transfer your X card points to KrisFlyer unless you also deplete the SCVI ones either first or at the same time in one big transfer.
The article linked above goes into full detail but effectively you have three options in this case, assuming you want to protect your SCVI points since they never expire but at the same time empty the X card balance so you can cancel the card:
- Transfer the minimum number of your points to KrisFlyer as necessary to reduce the remaining SCVI points total just below the X card total, then make a separate transfer of all the X card points (now the highest balance) into KrisFlyer. This will involve paying the S$26.75 transfer fee twice, and may significantly reduce your SCVI points balance.
- Transfer your SCVI card points to a nominee, either permanently or temporarily (they can move them back for you, if you are one of their nominees), then redeem your X card points.
How long do miles take to credit to other FFPs?
We don’t have any data points yet on actual transfer times to other FFPs (e.g. Qantas or United). These are likely to differ from programme to programme, so do allow ample time and don’t assume it will be the same as for KrisFlyer miles.
If you have any data points to share for these kinds of transfers, do let us know in the comments section below and we’ll update this section.
Points top up
Standard Chartered also offers the option to top up your points to meet a higher redemption threshold – applicable to KrisFlyer miles only (not the other loyalty schemes). The cost is 0.8 cents per point, which equates to 2 cents per mile (since 2.5 points = 1 mile).
Apart from the relatively high cost (we value KrisFlyer miles at 1.9 cents each), the other consideration with this method is that you must have at least 30% of the desired points transfer total in order to pay to top up (though you likely won’t want to be paying to more than triple your balance at this purchase rate!).
Here’s an example:
In this case you are paying S$141.46 to top up by 17,682 points in order to meet the next redemption threshold. Our full article about this feature explains it in detail.
Points rounding
Local (SGD) transactions are multiplied by 3 reward points down to the cent, and then rounded to the nearest whole number of reward points.
For example:
- $113.58 x 3 = 340.74 reward points, rounds to 341 reward points
- $227.15 x 3 = 681.45 reward points, rounds to 681 reward points
Overseas (non-SGD) transactions are first multiplied by 3 reward points, as though they are local transactions, and then in a separate calculation they are multiplied by a further 2 reward points.
In both cases the total transaction amount when converted to SGD is accounted for, including the cents, then the reward points total is rounded to the nearest whole number of reward points.
For example:
- $69.28 x 3 = 207.84 reward points, rounds to 208 reward points
- $69.28 x 2 = 138.56 reward points, rounds to 139 reward points
- 208 + 139 = 347 reward points credited
That’s subtly different to the total you might expect if the base amount was multiplied by 5 reward points in one go (346 reward points would be the result in that case).
Note that for non-SGD payments you will see these two points totals shown separately for each transaction.
‘Merchant Promo Rewards’ in this case is the foreign currency transaction ‘bonus’ points.
Minimum spend to earn points
A very fair card, $0.17 (SGD) is the minimum transaction amount to earn any reward points (0.17 x 3 = 0.51, which rounds to 1 reward point).
$0.17 is also the minimum transaction amount for a foreign currency transaction to earn any reward points.
That’s because as mentioned above amounts spent overseas don’t actually earn 5 reward points (2 miles per dollar), b