Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cards and Such

I've been a loyal subscriber of the Feed at Raffles card for donkey years.

When I initially took up membership, it seemed like a dream come true- 50% off the bill (for a table of 2 diners) at various fine restaurants like Bar and Billard Room, Plaza Market Cafe, Inagiku, Pregos and Ellenborough Market Cafe.

Unfortunately, 5 years, 10 kilos and hundreds of discounted meals later, the novelty seems to have died off. Prices have progressively increased at most of the restaurants and some dining discounts have been significantly reduced (e.g at Plaza Market Cafe, you no longer enjoy 50% off for 2 diners). The food selection and quality also seem to have somewhat deteriorated in restaurants like Bar and Billard Room.

The hunt has thus begun for other dining card alternatives. Several interesting ones have sprung up over the years and I've shortlisted the below few for serious consideration...

1) The White Card. Quite pricey at SGD535 per annum. However there is a current tie up with UOB where you can enjoy the card and accompanying privileges for an annual fee of SGD180. A discount structure similar to the Feed at Raffles Card applies. i.e. 50% food discount for 2 diners, 33% discount for 3 pax and 25% for 4. Restaurants covered are mid to upper tier (includes places like Cafe Iguana, Wild Rocket, Man Fu Yuan, Il Lido and Ko).

2) The iWish Card. Reasonably priced at SG98 per annum and fully transferable. Proceeds will be used to further charitable causes (e.g. job creation for the physically challenged). Most of the discounts offered are only applicable for weekday lunches. Participating restaurants include The Rice Table at International Building (1 for 1 set lunch and set dinner), Original Sin and Michelangelo's at Holland Village (1 for 1 weekday set lunch) and Zambuca at Pan Pacific (1 for 1 weekday set lunch).

3) eat @ Meritus Membership Card. You can get this card free when you apply for OCBC Platinum Mastercard, Titanium Mastercard or Artscard (first year annual fee is waived) Excludes co-branded cards like Robinsons, Best Denki and Ikea card. For existing OCBC Card Members holding OCBC Platinum Mastercard, Titanium Mastercard and Artscard, you can also get the card free by calling 62212340 and follow the instructions. A discount structure similar to the Feed at Raffles Card applies (i.e. 50% off for 2 diners, 33% off for 3 and 25% off for 4)

Participating restaurants are Chatterbox, Lobby Bar, Observation Lounge, Pine Court Triple Three (Meritus Mandarin @ Orchard), AquaMarine, Atrium Lounge, Peach Blossoms, Pool Garden, Restaurant Bologna (Marine Mandarin), Horizon and Cascade Pool Bar, Niyom Thai Restaurant, Pelangi Lounge, Spice Market Restaurant, Tepang Cenang Beach Bar, The Boat House BBQ Restaurant and Pub (Meritus Pelangi). On top of dining discounts, a host of other discounts ranging from a discounted weekend hotel stay (SGD120 nett inclusve of breakfast for 2) apply.

My advice- its a win-win situation- there's nothing to lose! Quickly grab the card before the offer expires on 31Dec09. After 1 year, if you find the card useless, cancel it!

4) Bakerzin Membership Card. Bakerzin is the next best thing to home cooked food on weekday evenings where we are too lazy to think of what to eat. The food is reasonably priced with a wholesome selection of western and asian favorites. At SGD20, this card entitles you to 10% off all meals (20% on your birthday month). You also get a whole stash of welcome treats valued at over SGD60. (these include a box of 6 assorted macrons, a free dessert, tea, soup of the day as well as a free snack). What's there not to like about Bakerzin?

5) The Hyatt Membership Card.
Benefits include a dining card with a discount structure similar to the Raffles Card at all participating restaurants in Hyatt (e.g. Pete's Place, Straits Kitchen, Mezza9), free carpark coupons valued at SGD72 and a SGD120 dining voucher.

From now till 31Dec09, sign up for this card at a discounted rate of SGD348 (usual price SGD408). Prices exclude GST.

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