It’s my favourite time of the year – the season of shopping and giving. The shopping process can be fun yet exhausting, but what’s worse is the credit card bill which comes after. Very often, I lose track of how much I’ve spent while I pick up last minute gifts for family members, friends, colleagues, and you know, the list goes on.

Every Christmas, I repeatedly remind myself to keep to the budget, but fail terribly year after year.
How do I strike a balance between being labelled”cheap-skate” and not spending more than what I have set aside? So, forget it, no more goals. This year, I have tricks up my sleeves to appear generous, without actually spending as much. You should try it too!

uob_delight_credit_card uob_one_cardcards

Image taken from UOB & Citibank website

1) Credit card rewards & promotions
If you’re one of those frequent credit card users, your card should be bursting with reward points this year end. Look through the bank redemption list and redeem vouchers from a store you would most likely shop at. Depending on the amount of points you have accumulated, you can most likely save yourself $30-$80 on gifts by using vouchers.

The major reason why we hold multiple credit cards is to take advantage of the privileges they offer. So why not now? Study the various promotions offered by merchants and plan your gift shopping around the stores which are offering discounts.

2) Find cheaper alternative for the same item

For majority of foreign brands which have established their presence in Singapore, prices are typically marked up from the cost in their home country. Our strong currency also means that it is now cheaper for us to shop overseas.

Did you know that Pandora jewelry & Jo Malone cost much lower in Australia & UK? This means that you can save 15-30% off the retail price in Singapore, yet your friends will think that you’ve paid the original price!

Here are some suggestions:


Jo Malone Pomegranate noir Price Comparison
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Price Comparison

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Image taken from Royce chocolate website

Royce Nama Chocolate x 2 boxes
You pay (Buy in Japan): Yen $1600 (S$18.20)
Perceived Value (Buy in Singapore): $30
Cheat Score (Savings): $11.80
(Get travellers to help buy it here)

Other items which can help you in your cheat score include:

For the collectors: Nanoblocks from Japan 

For the foodie: Tokyo Banana from Japan

For the sportswomen: Lululemon from Australia

3) Get items which can’t be found in Singapore 

If you’re sensitive about the value of your item, get something from overseas! This way, your friends will most likely not know how much it costs exactly, and you can boast that you’ve got them when you travel (Score!). Here are some novelty gifts so innovative and pretty that your receiver won’t even think about the value!

Left: From H&M UKApron with “Always leave room for dessert!” print
Top row: From H&M Hong KongCandle & Glass Carafe
Bottom row: From H&M UK – Porcelain MugScented candle in an antiqued glass holder


From Primark UK: Star Wars Logo t-shirt gift box, “I Woke up like this” PJ set. “I’m not weird, I’m limited edition” Wall Plaque


From Franc Franc Japan: Teapot set, coffee maker, rabbit rice spoon 

Other items which you cant find in Singapore includes:

For the Foodie: Tim Tam Red Velvet & Salted Caramel Flavors from Australia

For the makeup junkie: Hourglass make up from United States

By now you must be thinking, this sounds great but it doesn’t make sense if I’m not travelling before Christmas!

Fret not, Airfrov is here to help.
At Airfrov, we have a community of travellers going to all over the world and they can help you purchase your Christmas gifts. Here’s how it works:

Still have no idea what to buy? Get inspirations from what others are buying from overseas!