Everyone deserves a break. But when it comes to planning your dream vacation, it’s important to think about how you will pay for it. Squirrelling away a bit each month into a dedicated savings account is ideal when planning a big trip abroad. But what if the perfect opportunity present itself when you are not the most financially prepared?
Let’s say you’ve always dreamed of going to Osaka, and then out of nowhere, there’s a 50% discount on AirAsia flights to Japan. What’s crazier, there’s an AirAsiaGo promotion on hotels all over Japan including one near Osaka Castle. And, most important of all, everyone in your “Mass Comm Alumni” Whatsapp group has all their schedules opened up for that particular date.
Everything seems to fall into place, except that you’re cash-strapped for the next few months. Are you going to let your dream vacation slip out of your hands just like that?
Paying for Your Dream Vacation
When you can’t really fork out the money to book your trip in one lump sum, using a credit card might be your solution. But you’re not sure if you want to spend your vacation worrying about the hefty interest waiting for you at home. After all, you still need to pay for Netflix and Spotify on top of your other expenses.
We get it, you want to have your carrot cake and eat it, too. And you still want to have kuih ketayap and gulab jamun on the side.
It’s a familiar situation for many, not limited to some broke millennials burdened with student loans. People with limited annual leave days or families with children who are tied to school holidays also need to plan their vacations way ahead of time.
Fortunately, some credit cards allow cardholders have the option to spread the cost of their dream vacations on a 0% interest payment plan. But what does it mean? It means that you can use your credit card to make transactions and then repay them in instalments with no interest charges whatsoever.
For example, holders of AirAsia Credit Card (powered by Hong Leong Bank) are eligible for a 12-month 0% Flexi Payment Plan (FPP) for a minimum cumulative spending of MYR500. The extended repayment period is truly a blessing, as it eases the pressure of monthly expenses.
How to Finance Your Dream Getaway with AirAsia Credit Card’s 12-month 0% Flexi Payment Plan
We asked our colleague Chris, who makes everyone in the office green with envy with his annual getaway to Japan, to help us plan a 10-day trip in Osaka. Bearing in mind that all prices are rounded off, here’s what he came up with:
Airfare: MYR1,000 for AirAsia flights Kuala Lumpur – Osaka (return)
Transportation: JPY9,000 (approx. MYR333) for JR Kansai Wide Area Pass for getting around Osaka and Kyoto
Accommodation: JPY2,000 (approx. MYR74) per night, or JPY 20,000 (approx. MYR740) for 10 nights in capsule hotels.
F&B: JPY20,000 (approx. MYR740) because you don’t want to limit yourself to Family Mart food
Activities: JPY10,000 (approx. MYR370) because a visit to Universal Studios is simply a must
Shopping: JPY20,000 (approx. MYR740) because souvenirs from 100-yen stores are good enough for your office mates
The cost in total is MYR3,923. If we remove flights, accommodation and activities which we can book in advance: it’ll cost just MYR2,073.
Let’s round that off to MYR2,100, which is not that bad, but still a little too steep to pay in one go for regular fresh graduates in Malaysia.
You are eligible for AirAsia Credit Card’s 12-month 0% Flexi Payment Plan, once your cumulative retail spending surpasses MYR500. Eligible cardholders may apply via Hong Leong Connect Internet Banking to convert their retail transactions into Flexi Payment Plan subject to a current outstanding due and owing to Hong Leong Bank.
Let’s say you choose to commit to the 12-month tenure, you will only need to pay that MYR2,100 over 12 months = MYR175 per month! Honestly, that’s roughly the same amount of money we spend for frozen yoghurt and bubble tea in a month!
The Benefit of Paying in Instalments
“I’m ballin’, why should I be strechin’ my payment period?” We hear you, Chamillionaire. For most of us, the best thing about the 0% interest payment plan is that it gives us the chance to avoid the hefty interest charges. But even if you have the ability to put in the lump sum, you’re better off having that amount of money sitting around in your fixed deposit account and enjoying the interests.
AirAsia Credit Card’s Exclusive Perks
As AirAsia Credit Card positions itself as the Ideal Travel Credit Card, it also rewards cardholders with plenty travel-related perks alongside the 0% Flexi Payment Plan. These include welcome gift of BIG Points (from AirAsia BIG, the airlines’ loyalty programme), instant upgrade to BIG Platinum Membership Status, which gives you privileges such as Priority Check-in, Boarding and Xpress Baggage, as well as free introductory onboard Wi-Fi, all of which allow you to travel like a VIP. Don’t forget to give out a beauty queen wave as you skip to the front of the line for immediate boarding while your friends are stuck at the back. So satisfying!
And with AirAsia Credit Card’s low spend, high earn rate of BIG Points, you’ll be collecting your free flights in no time. Use your credit card for your vacation spending, and you’ll be rewarded with points that can be redeemed for future travels. Did you know that you also get points for everyday spending? Read here on how to make the best out of this.
Let’s Talk About Missed Payments
This is an uncomfortable topic but let’s face it, not everyone has the discipline (or memory, in the case of yours truly, who has the memory of a goldfish) with their money. What happens if you fail to service your Flexi Payment Plan instalment? Some banks with similar schemes will immediately terminate your plan and you will be forced to settle the outstanding amount. But if you miss a payment for your 0% Flexi Payment Plan, AirAsia Credit Card won’t terminate your 12-month tenure. However, your 0% interest benefit will be revoked and you have to pay the standard credit card interest rates for the rest of your tenure. Fair enough!
Book Your Next Holiday with AirAsia BIG App
Now that you know planning for your next trip can be as easy as 123, what are you waiting for? Sign up for your very own AirAsia Credit Card here and download AirAsia BIG app on Google Play or on the App Store. Book your flights, hotels and activities via the app. What’s great about the app is that you also earn BIG Points when you book through it, which will basically fast-track you to free flights to over 140 destinations with AirAsia. When you reach a total spending of MYR500, the next step is to apply for the 0% Flexi Payment Plan on Hong Leong Connect . After that, the only thing left for you is to thank yourself for booking a worry-free getaway!