Back in July Standard Chartered launched a new sign-up bonus for its Visa Infinite card, the first ‘bump’ above the regular year-round 35,000 miles deal we had seen since the product was resurrected in early 2021, following a 10-month hiatus for new applications
A new 45,000 miles deal, including an additional 10,000 miles for new-to-bank credit card applicants who have at least S$5,000 to spend in the first 30 days of card membership, was then launched running until the end of August 2022, but this has been extended and is now valid for applications through to the end of 2022.
45,000 miles sign-up bonus
The year-round offer for those applying for a new Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card as a principal cardholder is 35,000 miles upon payment of the S$588.50 annual fee, whether you are an existing Standard Chartered credit card holder or not.
Terms and conditions for the 35,000 miles sign-up bonus can be found here.
If you apply for a Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card between 18th July 2022 and 31st December 2022, you’ll also be eligible for an additional 10,000 bonus miles, for a total of 45,000 miles, provided:
- you are a new-to-bank principal credit card holder; and
- you make a minimum spend of S$5,000 in qualifying transactions within 30 days of card approval.
The bonus miles structure for new-to-bank applicants is outlined in the following table.
|Bonus||Cost per mile|
|Payment of Annual Fee
|35,000 miles||1.68 cents|
|Meet S$5,000 Spend Criteria||10,000 miles|
|Total award||45,000 miles||1.31 cents|
Cost per mile is based on payment of the (non-waivable) first year annual fee of S$588.50.
Standard Chartered defines ‘new-to-bank’ customers as those who:
- do not currently hold any principal Standard Chartered credit card; and
- have not cancelled any principal Standard Chartered credit card(s) within the last 12 months prior to the card application date.
If you are a supplementary Standard Chartered cardholder, but not a primary cardholder on any such account, you will qualify as a new customer.
If you cancelled your last primary Standard Chartered credit card on or before 30th December 2021, you’ll be eligible to participate in this promotion, provided you apply at least 12 months following your cancellation date.
Regular earn rates are in addition
These bonus miles will be awarded in addition to the regular miles you will accrue anyway to meet the S$5,000 spend as part of the sign-up bonus.
Your total earning (including the sign-up bonus) during this promotion, as a new-to-bank customer, will be at least 52,000 miles, assuming local spend.
Total promotion earning
|New to SCB|
|Annual Fee bonus||35,000 miles|
|Spend bonus||10,000 miles|
|Miles for S$5,000 local spend
That’s enough for a Business Class saver award redemption from Singapore to Tokyo or Seoul.
You’ll do even better than this by tapping into the card’s overseas 3 mpd earn rate during the first 30 days of card membership.
If you could channel all your S$5,000 spend in FCY to unlock the bonus miles, total earning would be 60,000 miles.
When does the bonus credit?
The 35,000 miles bonus for payment of the annual fee is credited in your first statement cycle.
The additional 10,000 miles bonus will be credited to your card by 28th February 2023, subject to your account being valid and in good standing at the time of crediting, and you meeting the spend criteria.
That means you may be waiting up to four months for the bonus element, so this isn’t a quick way to accrue those extra miles if you’re looking to use them for an upcoming redemption.
Standard Chartered is excluding transactions which fall under its usual list of excluded spend categories when it comes to qualifying spend for the S$5,000 minimum within 30 days to trigger the bonus miles, as shown below (click to expand).
Note that CardUp and ipaymy spend is not excluded, so you can potentially settle large payments like property rental, insurance premiums and education fees to help you along your way to the S$5,000 threshold.
Terms and conditions
Full terms and conditions for the 10,000 bonus miles promotion are available here.
The sign-up bonus is actually one of the few things about the SCVI card worth having, with 45,000 miles credited for payment of the first year annual fee of S$588.50 you’re effectively buying miles at 1.31 cents each, assuming you have at least S$5,000 to spend in the first 30 days.
This opportunity is only good in the first year, since there is no formal miles bonus on annual renewal with this card.
Standard Chartered usually offers 50,000 Reward Points on renewal (equivalent to 20,000 KrisFlyer miles), but this is not an attractive proposition at 2.94 cents per mile, so you’d have to value the card’s other benefits (which are minimal) to continue to commit beyond year one.
There isn’t much else to the card
For a S$150k income high annual fee credit card, the SCVI is pretty light on benefits.
Once you’ve received the 45,000 miles sign-up bonus (for a “reasonable” cost), its main advantage is competitive earn rates provided you spend at least S$2,000 per statement cycle:
- Local Spend: 1.4 mpd
- FCY Spend: 3 mpd
In statement months where you don’t hit the S$2,000 spend however, it’s far less attractive:
- Local Spend: 1 mpd
- FCY Spend: 2 mpd
Even the complimentary yacht hire benefit for spending at least S$75,000 on the card in a calendar year was discontinued in 2019, leaving six complimentary Priority Pass visits per year as the only other major benefit.
Income tax payment
If you’re on the fence about buying 45,000 miles for 1.31 cents each, there’s another useful benefit of the SCVI card – generating cheap miles when paying your income tax bill.
That’s because of the card’s competitive 1.6% fee for income tax payments.
The SCVI gives you 1.4 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent locally, assuming you have at least S$2,000 of spend on the card in the same statement month (including the income tax payment), which is a condition of the higher earning rate.
For a S$10,000 tax bill (example to keep the maths easy), the fee will set you back S$160, for 14,000 miles awarded. That means paying 1.14 cents per KrisFlyer mile, which is a great deal.
Better still, Standard Chartered will pay your income tax Notice of Assessment amount directly into your bank account, for you to then arrange payment to IRAS yourself. You are under no obligation to do this, and can continue with a monthly GIRO payment instead if you prefer.
The Visa Infinite X Card
The SCVI’s extended sign-up bonus doesn’t change one aspect – the card still sits awkwardly alongside the bank’s X Card, launched in 2019 with a great sign-up bonus but far inferior perks for its higher annual fee.
It always looked like the two products could not both exist in perpetuity, and the apparent withdrawal of the SCVI card to new applicants in 2020 was beginning to look like the start of that process, though strangely that’s not what’s happened.
Here’s a look at how the main benefits of the SCVI and X Card sit (rather uncomfortably) alongside one another.
|Sign-up bonus||45,000 miles||30,000 miles|
|Local earn rate||1.4 mpd*||1.2 mpd|
|FCY earn rate||3 mpd**||2 mpd|
|Miles transfer fee||S$26.75||S$26.75|
|Lounge visits per year||6||2|
|Income tax payment facility||1.14 cpm||1.58 cpm|
* 1 mpd if < S$2,000 spent in a statement cycle
** 2 mpd if < S$2,000 spent in a statement cycle
The best thing about the X Card? The bank has waived the annual renewal fee for the second membership year, and will almost inevitably do so this year too, while the SCVI’s fee remains strictly non-waivable.
Standard Chartered has extended its 45,000 miles sign-up bonus through to the end of 2022, for a first year annual fee of S$588.50, if you’re new-to-bank and have S$5,000 spend to make in the first 30 days.
That’s not a bad deal, equivalent to buying miles at 1.31 cents each, even if you place no value on the card’s other perks like lounge access.
You may also want to use the card to tap into the opportunity to buy miles at 1.14 cents each through your next income tax payment, the other major SCVI benefit worth considering.
(Cover Photo: Jodi Nelson)