I’ve covered cashback and milesback portals before, but for some reason I’ve not covered SQ’s valiant attempt at doing a shopping site till now.
Krisflyer Spree is something of a “me too” move by SQ. Other airlines have long had shopping portals which let you earn miles simply by buying through their links. The business model is simple- online merchants pay commissions every time someone clicks through and buys a product from them. The link owner receives the commission. So if I click through to Hotels.com from Website A’s link and make a purchase, Hotels.com pays Website A a commission, which is usually some % of the amount I spend on Hotels.com
Krisflyer Spree here pockets that commission and gives you a kickback in the form of miles. The question then is- does the math work out in your favour?
Short answer: No
Long answer: No, with some exceptions
Let’s crunch some numbers, comparing Krisflyer Spree to Shopback, a Singapore-focused cashback portal you could use.
Remember, the value of a mile depends on how you use it. Let’s use the “ideal” value of a mile here to be generous to KF Spree- 4 Singapore cents, which is what I’d get if i I redeemed for business class travel.
Amounts refer to per S$1 spent.
|Rakuten||23 KF per US$10 or 6.6% rebate||5%||KF Spree|
|Muji||32 KF per US$10 or 9% rebate||5%||KF Spree|
|Courts||7 KF per US$10 or 2% rebate||3%||ShopBack|
|Zalora||23 KF per US$10 or 6.6% rebate||12%||ShopBack|
|FoodPanda||46KF per US$10 or 13.2% rebate||19%||ShopBack|
Observations: KF Spree’s selection is much more limited than ShopBack. In part this is because KF Spree is younger, but also because SQ obviously doesn’t want you using KF Spree to book flights on competitor airlines, therefore sites like Agoda or other airlines aren’t available via KF Spree
KF Spree can be generous in certain cases eg with Rakuten, so it would be unfair to say KF Spree is always worse. But my gut sense is that dedicated cashback portals are more generous with the payouts. Remember that Citibank Rewards cardholders get $10 bonus cashback with their first transaction with Shopback, making the deal even more sweet.
I think if nothing else, this calculation should remind you how valuable your miles are if you redeem for premium class travel. If we used economy class redemption rates of 1-2 cents per mile, KF Spree would be the loser by far