A “Frequent Flyer Miles” Card For The Masses – The Amex IMAGINE Card and Travel Smart Rewards
In the unending quest to save money on as many expenses as possible, I stumbled upon Travel Smart Rewards a few years back, a “points for miles” (technically it’s “points for kilometers”, since we use the metric system here) scheme where you clock points with your ez-link card by travelling during designated decongesting times in the morning, in order to reduce passenger load on the train. Do take note that this only applies for commutes by train, though.
With the points, you can use it to play a “spin the wheel” game to convert the points to cash to be credited to your bank account, or your ez-link card.
I’ve been on the Travel Smart Rewards system for a while now, and I didn’t pay attention much to co-branded ez-link cards, as they were an unnecessary addition to my wallet with minimal benefits for me, until I realized I was somewhat late to the party.
The American Express IMAGINE card offers a 5% rebate on spending in the prepaid Amex wallet (with a cap of $5 each month after spending at least $50), and a 2% rebate on bus and train fares (with a cap of $2 each month with at least $50 worth of fares paid) with the ez-link purse. Do take note that this is a promotion, and will end on the 31st of March 2015, which I hope Amex doesn’t end it there and then.
On a whim to try out new things, I signed up for this card, and realized how useful it was in saving money on travelling. By simply linking the Amex wallet to automatically top-up the ez-link purse with EZ-Reload, I will be able to clock spending in the Amex wallet for the 5% rebate! There is a fee of 25 cents per top-up for this, but thankfully it is wavied off if you link both wallets on the same card, since it wouldn’t make much sense at all for this card to exist and not give a waiver for the auto-reload feature.
So far it has been good, as I got the full $5.00 rebate for topping up my ez-link purse twice last month. I also got my EZ-Reload fees refunded, and a 2% rebate for my travelling fares as well.
I’ve also linked my Travel Smart Rewards account to the IMAGINE card, which effectively “converted” this prepaid card into a “daily commute miles” card. Additionally, I’ve set the Travel Smart Rewards account to credit my bank account rather than the ez-link wallet, as I can top up my ez-link wallet by cash if my Amex wallet runs low.
Dear readers, I hope that by sharing this post, you can manage your expenses better – after all, a penny saved, is a penny earned.