The Standard Chartered X Card has had something of a chequered history. First offering a jaw-dropping 100,000 miles sign-up bonus when it launched, the bank quickly cut that to 60,000 miles before suspending new applications for the card completely.
Today card applications are back up and running, and the lower 60,000 miles sign-up bonus is back for new X Card approvals between now and 31st December 2019.
60,000 miles sign-up bonus
The new sign-up offer for the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X card for those applying from 16th October 2019, whose cards are approved by 31st December 2019, is 60,000 miles if you spend S$6,000 on eligible retail transactions in the first 60 days of card membership.
The miles bonus is structured in two halves; an upfront 30,000 miles for payment of the first year annual card fee and the remaining 30,000 miles for the S$6,000 spend.
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 31st December 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
The following spend categories do not count towards the S$6,000 minimum spend in the first 60 days of card membership to be eligible for the sign-up bonus, so make sure you either avoid them or disregard them in your calculations.
(a) Insurance premiums, including premiums for investment-linked policies, charged to the X Card;
(b) Bill payments (Examples of bill payment merchants include but are not limited to Telecommunications and utilities providers such as Starhub, Singtel and M1, Singapore Power);
(c) Any payment via AXS network;
(d) Any payment via SAM network;
(e) Any bill payment made using SC EasyBill programme;
(f) Payments to government agencies which include but is not limited to Land Transport Authority, Housing Development Board, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Public Utilities Board, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and the Ministry of Manpower;
(g) Income tax payments;
(h) Tax refunds credited to the X Card;
(i) EZ-Link cards transactions;
(j) CardUp transactions
(k) ipaymy transactions;
(l) RentHero transactions;
(m) Transit Link transactions;
(n) Any top-ups or payment of funds to any prepaid cards (with exception of EZ-Reload charged to your X Card) and any prepaid accounts, payment platforms, digital wallets including but not limited to Grab, Singtel, Dash, WorldRemit Singapore, YouTrip or any other accounts as the Bank may specific from time to time, including without limitation to the following accounts or any other accounts as we may specific from time to time;
(o) Any transactions pertaining to Merchant Category Codes 6211 (Security Brokers/Dealers), 7995 (Gambling/Lotto), 4829, 6536, 6537, 6538 (Money Transfer) and 6050, 6051 (cryptocurrency/Quasi Cash);
(p) Credit Card Funds Transfers to the X Card, cash advances from the X Card, purchases via NETS and ongoing instalment payments;
(q) Any fees and charges (including but not limited to annual fees, service fees, interest charges, cheque processing fees, administrative fees, cash advance fees, finance charges and/or late payment charges and other miscellaneous fees and charges) charged to the X Card;
(r) Any amount charged to the X Card during the Promotion Period that is subsequently cancelled, voided or reversed;
(s) Any charges incurred by the X Card but not submitted or posted to the X Card during the X Card Sign Up Promotion Period;
(t) Any fraudulent transaction; and
(u) Balance owing on the X Card account from other months.
Note especially that CardUp, ipaymy and RentHero transactions are specifically excluded, which will make reaching the minimum spend more difficult for some.
See the card terms and conditions for full details.
This does not prevent CardUp, ipaymy and RentHero transactions from earning miles with this card at the usual 1.2 mpd local earn rate, they will simply not be taken into account for the S$6,000 minimum spend in the first 60 days to trigger the 30,000 miles spend bonus.
Cost per mile
The 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 as competitive as the 0.7 cents per mile rate originally on offer for the X Card under the 100,000 miles bonus, but it still comes in comfortably lower than our upper threshold to buy of 1.9 cents. We tend 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.
Worse still, if you would otherwise channel S$6,000 of spend through credit cards at 4 miles per dollar rates, which you could just about manage in two months with a DBS Woman’s World card and a Citi Rewards card, 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.
Here are the key features of the X Card:
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)
When will you get your bonus?
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 1st November 2019 you’ll see this first bonus in your account by 30th November 2019.
The additional 30,000 bonus miles will be awarded approximately a month after your 60-day qualifying transaction period ends. For those approved on the last eligible day, 31st December 2019, you’ll see the bonus by 29th February 2020.
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|
|X card Hotel Partner Conversion|
|Loyalty scheme||Conversion Ratio|
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.
This 60,000 miles sign-up bonus is one of the cheaper ways to accrue a large KrisFlyer balance, at 1.16 cents per mile, provided you have S$6,000 spend to make in your first 60 days with this card.
The upcoming festive season spending may assist with that, but do make sure you’ll hit the threshold and avoid the exclusion categories since you’ll otherwise only get the 30,000 miles upfront bonus, which isn’t worth paying the card fee for in its own right.
Also note that if you’re diverting significant spending away from high earning rate cards, like the 4 miles per dollar options, that does adversely affect the cost per mile.
(Cover Image: Singapore Airlines)