With a generous 35,000 miles as a welcome gift, the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card seems enticing enough.
From its “Visa Infinite” title, we can already tell that this is a top tier card tailored towards high net worth cardholders. You’ll find benefits such as travel protection and access to the best rates on experiences and luxury hotels, among many others.
But how does this card compare with other Visa Infinite cards? Is this the best card for frequent flyers – or are there better options?
Today, we’ll review the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card and give our verdict based on:
|Residential Status||Singaporean Citizens & Permanent ResidentsForeigners|
|Age||21-65 years old|
|Income||Minimum S$150,000 per year|
For Priority/Private Banking customers: S$30,000 and above for Singapore Citizens and PRs; S$60,000 and above for foreigners
Right off the bat, we can already tell that this card is designed for affluent consumers. Qualifying as a Priority or Private Banking customer means you’ve deposited, invested, or taken loans of a large sum with the bank.
Alternatively, you can qualify if you earn the requisite minimum income but do most of your banking elsewhere.
Fees and Charges
|Annual Fees||S$588.50 including GST (strictly non-waivable!)|
|Effective Interest Rate||26.9%|
|Late Payment Charges||S$100|
|Minimum Monthly Payment||1% or S$50, whichever is higher|
|Cash Advance Fee||6% per transaction, subject to a minimum fee of S$15.|
|Cash Advance Interest Rate||29.9%|
|Foreign Currency Transaction Fee||3.5%|
Standard Chartered is strict about not giving out fee waivers for their Visa Infinite card, but this doesn’t seem to be standard policy for all the banks.
OCBC, for example, doesn’t charge an annual fee for their Premier Visa Infinite card (available only to Premier Banking customers). HSBC allows you to waive the annual fee for their Visa Infinite card with Reward points, though whether it’s worth it to do so is a different question.
The rest of the fees are on par with those of other cards, with one exception: the 3.5% in foreign currency transaction fees are on the high end.
Miles, Discounts, and Other Perks
Miles Earning Rate
Assuming you met the minimum spend requirement, 1.4 local and 3 overseas MPD are among the best rates you’ll see in the market. Even better: these miles don’t expire (they’re awarded in the form of points that you can redeem at your leisure).
Compare this to the UOB PRVI Miles Card (1.4 local and 2.4 overseas MPD) and we’d say the StanChart Visa Infinite isn’t a bad deal if miles are what you’re after.
Of course, there are cards like the HSBC Revolution with better MPD rates (10X Reward Points per dollar, or 4 MPD). But in the case of the HSBC Revolution Credit Card, you’ll only get the boosted rates for the first S$1,000 in eligible spending – which means you’ll need to keep track of how much you charge to each card if you’re a high spender.
Bonus Miles Upon Sign-up
Standard Chartered gives you a cool 35,000 miles as a new Visa Infinite cardmember, though you’ll pay an annual fee of S$588.50 to get it. Compare this to the Visa Infinite card offerings from other banks:
- HSBC Visa Infinite: 35,000 welcome miles with annual fee of S$650, or S$488 for HSBC Premier customers
- UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card: 25,000 welcome miles OR complimentary two-night hotel stays with Accor Plus Membership, for an annual fee of S$642
- OCBC Premier Visa Infinite: None for the card (only for the Premier Banking relationship that you’ll need to get this card), but this card also has no annual fees.
If you’re only going for miles, StanChart and HSBC are your two best choices. The main question is which bank you would trust more with upwards of S$200K in assets.
Paying Taxes With SC Visa Infinite To Maximise Points
With most other credit cards, taxes aren’t considered eligible transactions and therefore do not entitle you to any rewards.
Standard Chartered, however, allows you to convert these expenses into reward points with their SC EasyBill facility. You can earn on transactions like property and income tax bills, school fees, insurance premium payments, and rental payments – though you’ll pay up to 1.9% in non-refundable processing fees for the service.
Participating Airlines In This Miles Program
As of the time of writing, you can redeem your Standard Chartered 360° Rewards Points with these airline and hotel partners:
- Air France KLM
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Eva Air – Infinite MileageLands
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways – Privilege Club
- United Airlines MileagePlus
- IHG One Rewards
- ALL – Accor Live Limitless
You’ll find the most updated list of partners here.
Downsides of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card
1. No Renewal Bonus and Non-waivable Annual Fees
The non-waivable annual fees seem overpriced compared with those of other high-tier travel cards. After the 35,000 welcome miles you get in the first year (worth about S$350), you won’t get any bonus miles for renewing your card.
2. Lack of Premium Travel Benefits
Aside from complimentary travel insurance and 6 Priority Pass lounge visits per year, this card doesn’t offer much in the way of travel benefits. That seems odd considering the more affluent clientele it’s supposed to be catering to.
How Does The SC Visa Infinite Card Fare In The Market?
Compared to other travel-focused cards in the same tier, how does the SC Visa Infinite’s MPD earn rate fare?
We’ll compare this card with:
- UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
- Citi Prestige MasterCard
- HSBC Revolution Credit Card
|SC Visa Infinite Credit Card||UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card||Citi Prestige Mastercard||HSBC Visa Infinite Card|
|Minimum Spending Required||S$2,000||S$1,000||None||None|
|Miles Awarded||1.4 miles/S$1 spent locally.|
3 miles/S$1 spent overseas.
|1.4 miles/S$1 spent locally.|
2.4 miles/S$1 spent overseas.
4.4 miles/S$1 spent on local online spending for selected categories.
6 miles/S$1 spent on major airlines & hotels
|5 ThankYou Points (2 miles) for every S$1 spent overseas|
3.25 ThankYou Points (1.3 miles) for every S$1 spent locally
|1.25 miles/S$1 spent locally.|
2.25 miles/S$1 spent overseas.
|Welcome Bonus||35,000 miles (worth S$350)||12,000 miles||100,000 bonus Citi ThankYouSM Points (40,000 Miles)||35,000 miles (worth S$350)|
|Renewal Bonus||None||20,000 miles (worth S$200) per year after S$50,000 annual spending||25,000 miles (worth S$250) per year||None|
|Points-to-Miles Conversion Ratio||1 mile = 2.5 Reward Points||1 mile = 0.5 UNI$||1 mile = 2.5 ThankYou Points||1 mile = 2.5 HSBC Reward Points|
|Redemption/ Transfer of Miles Fees||S$26.75 per conversion||S$50 per conversion||S$25 per conversion||S$42.80 annually|
As you can see, the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is still the market leader in terms of MPD rates both locally and overseas.
Still, given the lower annual fees for the UOB PRVI Miles Card, we’d say its MPD rates are competitive. The UOB PRVI’s overseas MPD rate is slightly lower, but the higher rates for selected local categories and airline/hotel spending make up for that.
Unlike the UOB PRVI Miles Card and Citi Prestige Card, you also won’t get a renewal bonus with the SC Visa Infinite Card. So if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the SC Visa Infinite, then the UOB PRVI Miles Card is a great option.
Until the SC Visa Infinite Card revamps its benefits, we don’t see it as a great option past the first year.
Who This Card is Best For
- More affluent working professionals who want to maximise miles earned on their spending, especially within the next year
- Those expecting a large tax, insurance, education, or rental payment and want to be able to earn reward points on the transactions
- High spenders who want to earn miles for their transactions without having to split spending across multiple cards