Should You Convert Your Bank Points And Earn 15% Bonus Miles?
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Should You Convert Your Bank Points And Earn 15% Bonus Miles?

profileKenneth Lou
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Do you feel that Wanderlust feeling again as we approach the end of year season?

If you are like me and have been collecting miles via various Miles cards for the last few years, you might want to sit up and take notice!

Just yesterday, Singapore Airlines launched a promotion that will last till 27 December 2020, Sunday, which will allow users to convert their bank points to miles at a 15% bonus. Which is actually a sizeable amount and never seen before for a SQ KrisFlyer conversion as far as I’ve been collecting miles.

This could be due to a few reasons, probably due to the start of a few travel bubbles which is signalling some excitement in the air travel space again.

In this piece, I will share my own experience on whether I would want to convert and some considerations you should be aware of.

New-Regional-Business-Class (1)
Source: Singapore Airlines Business Class

TL;DR: I Will Convert What I Plan To Use In The Next 3 Years

  • International travel is expected to return in the next 3 years according to IATA
  • If you convert your miles now, there is a 3 year expiry on those miles converted which will have to be used
  • I would personally do it for my DBS Points which will allow me up to 10,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles which I definitely plan to use in the coming 3 years
  • However what I forgo is the flexibility to convert the points to other airline schemes and also points which never expire with DBS

How Long Will International Travel Take To Recover?

  • Based on the IATA (travel body), it is expected that international travel recovery will take up to the next 3 years to reach 2019 levels
  • There is also positive news from Pfizer and Moderna which came out in the recent weeks about a Vaccine which is on the way
  • With more travel bubbles forming, it is also a good sign that more people will be allowed to travel although to a restricted list of countries
Source: IATA Travel

What Are Bank Points?

You’d probably have been either spending on your cards such as the AMEX KrisFlyer or UOB KrisFlyer cards which automatically accumulates miles from your spending, or the other way which would be to collect bank points to exchange them for miles at a later date.

These bank points are the reward schemes which the banks offer to customers when they spend on their cards, they own the points and allow for conversion to other things like cash back or miles.

In the case of Singapore based cards, here are some of the points schemes available:

  • CITI ThankYou points
  • DBS Points
  • OCBC Travel$ and OCBC$
  • UOB UNI$
  • SCB 360 points
  • HSBC Reward points
  • and more!
Source: The MileLion

I won’t go into the specifics as there are pros and cons to the various schemes. You can read more about these from a Miles expert – The MileLion here.

My Own Experience With DBS Points

I have been collecting a ton of points via various bank cards, one of which is via the DBS Altitude cards which have been earning me between 1.2mpd and up to 3 mpd (miles per dollar) depending on the spend category and occasional promotions.

DBS Points actually never expire, so it is something to consider as well.

There are also various ways to convert your miles to other things as well, for example use it to offset purchases or buy movie tickets, but I will never do that.

Source: DBS Miles Cards

The current conversion rate is at 5,000 DBS points for 10,000 KrisFlyer Miles

  • Normal Redemption: 70,000 KrisFlyer Miles
  • Bonus Redemption: 80,500 KrisFlyer Miles (because of the 15% bonus conversion)

As you can see from the above, you actually get a total of 10,500 miles extra which is not a small sum if you are converting that value of miles as well.

How To Convert Bank Points Using This Promotion?

  1. Log in to your bank rewards account.
  2. Convert your bank reward points to KrisFlyer miles, with a minimum of 10,000 KrisFlyer miles in a single transaction to qualify for bonus miles.
  3. Receive 15% more miles on your base KrisFlyer miles converted in your KrisFlyer account.

 

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About Kenneth Lou
Co-founder of Seedly. Passionate about helping people make smarter financial decisions.
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