Project Miles: Understanding Our Spending Habits

Follow us in our Project Miles series as we embark our journey to take a first class/suite flight!

It’s Mayyyyyyy!!!!! Time flies faster than we climb the stairs!!

Last month we wrote our first post on Project Miles. We kind of promised ourselves to give a progress update every month. So here we are!

For the past few months we have been diligently tracking our expenses for two reasons:

  1. Cut down unnecessary expenses
  2. Maximise the miles collected from mandatory spendings

Honestly, it is quite tedious to track every single transaction. Humans procrastinate. We are humans. Therefore we procrastinate. There are times where we forgot to jot down our expenses and we have to dig out our receipts. It gets better now as we are used to such routine.

Anyway, this enables us to understand our spending habits (or patterns) better as we look the the past records. Basically, we have three main mandatory spendings (probably the same for any other working adults with minimal liabilities):

  • Food
  • Transport
  • Recurring Payments

Then we realized we are also spending our money on some miscellaneous purchases mainly from the following places:

  • Lazada (Online)
  • Qoo10 (Online)
  • Taobao(Online)
  • Hotel Websites (Online)
  • Flight Websites (Online)
  • Clothing Stores (Offline)

Occasionally we spent in stores like Muji and Challenger. But that is actually very rare. Let’s get into more details, shall we?

Use What on What?

Food

Food is mandatory but the amount you spent on it solely depends on your lifestyle and maybe your daily mood. Based on our past records, the amount we spent on food differs quite a lot every month. Hence, we felt that it is important to get a credit card with the given traits:

  1. The credit card must awards reward points for dining (duh).
  2. There is no minimum spend required (come on, you hate this too right?)

After reading around, we found that HSBC Revolution totally fits our criteria. On top of this, you can actually transfer in blocks of 5000 points or 2000 miles (stares at other banks).

Transport

Actually… we have nothing much for our transportation expenses. We do take taxi, Grab and Uber but it’s not so frequent that it affects our points. To be honest, we should probably cut down the number of rides we take per month to save more concrete money. But put that aside, we will still use our credit card to earn some points from these spendings.

As for our ez-link cards, there is not much incentive for us to switch from our current credit card (Citibank SMRT). Hence, we will leave it as it is.

Recurring Payments

Ah.. recurring payments. We can forget about earning any points from insurance payments and taxes. On the other hand, we hope we are still able to get additional points for payments through online platforms. Honestly, we are not sure. So we are going to trial (and research) before we decide something good for each payment. We are hoping at we can get 5x from HSBC Revolution. *cross fingers*

Lazada & Qoo10 & Taobao

Now, who doesn’t like to shop online? There are a few reward cards that are pretty useful in online shopping. Specifically, we own OCBC Titanium, Citibank Rewards and DBS Woman’s World.

Since most of our reward points are now in OCBC and DBS, we usually prefer to use Titanium or Woman’s World to pay our online shopping bills. Well, it’s cheaper technically and easier to manage points in fewer credit cards.

But of course you have to be rational lah… If we shop on Amazon, we will probably use Citibank Rewards to earn 20 points or 8 miles for every dollar spend. We earned like 5000 worth of points when we used Citibank Rewards for our Qoo10 purchase (until end of April 2017) in February. We kind of regretted that we didn’t use our Citibank Rewards card to purchase a $600 housewarming gift for our friend on Qoo10. Sob.

Hotel & Flights Websites

We don’t have much choices when it comes to booking hotels and purchasing flight tickets online. Yup, DBS Altitude that is. Initially, we are pretty interested in signing up Citibank PremierMiles for its signup bonus and bonus points for Expedia/Kaligo. Then we realised the signup bonus is only for new Citibank members and DBS Altitude has now offered more miles for Expedia/Kaligo. So yup, DBS Altitude that is.

Clothing Stores

So we realised recently that we spent at least one transaction per month in clothing stores (e.g. Uniqlo). We also noticed that you will be awarded 10x if you use OCBC Titanium. We have to hit 25, 000 OCBC$ anyway so we are going to keep using OCBC Titanium when we shop offline until we are able to do a block transfer for our points.

What’s Next?

Take first class seats to Europe!!!

Okay, we are just kidding. There are a lot more to do: continue monitoring our expenses, ensure HSBC Revolution gave us 5x reward points for some online payments and continue to find the best cards for our respective spendings.

The next step is to make a deeper analysis in the places we want to go to maximise the value of our points!

Status Update

  • Miles in Krisflyer:Β 13,364 miles
  • Miles in DBS:Β 90,632 miles (45,316 DBS Points)
  • Miles in OCBC: 7,452 miles (18,631 OCBC$)
  • Miles in Citibank: 279 milesΒ (6,978 Citi $)

Total Miles: 111, 727Β miles

We are aiming to hit 25,000 OCBC$ so that we can hit the minimal block to transfer our points to KF miles. This is the same for Citibank and we are not very comfortable in disseminating our spending into so many credit cards (hah!). The good thing is we have managed to hit the minimal blocks to transfer our DBS points.

We will update our status monthly. Do check out our Project page!

8 thoughts on “Project Miles: Understanding Our Spending Habits

  1. Hihi, i love your blog!! i am a newbie to credit cards. Will all taobao purchases earn me 10x rewards on citi rewards card and 10x ocbc$? Or should i stick to dbs altitude for the safer guaranteed 2 miles per overseas dollar?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! Thanks! We are flattered!

      The last time we used Citibank Rewards, we received 10x when the statement was printed as “Ali*www.taobao.com”. That was at least a few years back. Not sure if it’s the same now. Unfortunately, we have not tried to use our Titanium card for Taobao yet but we will be trying for our next purchase.

      We are trying to see if we can receive 10x DBS points on DBS Woman’s World. Unfortunately, it usually takes quite more than one month for DBS to adjust and credit the remaining 9x DBS points.

      Will update again when we get results from our trials!

      Like

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