Ho ho ho! It’s that time of the year again, and sounds of festive cheer are in the air. Or maybe that’s just the sound of holiday tunes being piped in stores. Whatever the case, hopefully this post can help put you in the holiday mood.
I’ve been trying out this mode of payment recently and have been successfully gaining 4 miles per dollar on it for some time now. Didn’t think to write about it earlier because I was pretty late to the party myself, it’s pretty troublesome, and I only see it as useful for Singtel users, but if there’s anything recent news has taught me, it’s there there are plenty of Singtel users in Singapore.
Also, what are MileLion readers if not brave folk ready to jump through hoops in order to maximise mileage gain?
What is (Singtel) Dash?
Dash can be a rather confusing product, mainly because it includes multiple services like a bank account, personal loans and insurance. What’s immediately relevant here is Singtel Dash, a mobile app [Android | iOS] that acts as a mobile wallet. Think of it like an EZ-Link card on your phone that you can use to make payments (though somewhat more limited).
The website states that it is accepted at “20,000 stores and counting”, so if you happen to see Dash being accepted where you buy stuff, you’re all set!
(Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that – coverage can still pretty limited; I was disappointed to find out that FairPrice Finest outlets are excluded, for instance!)
If you’re a Singtel user and have an NFC-enabled phone (for most people – the more advanced Android phones), you can even get a Singtel Transit NFC SIM to use Dash to tap for public transport. You can also tap to pay at Dash merchants (regardless of telco), though iPhone users have to manually input a counter code, which slows down the process noticeably.
How do I get 4 miles per dollar via Dash?
Singtel Dash is essentially a prepaid account that you need to top up before use. Most people would do so directly from their bank accounts, but Singtel users also get the option of topping up via Singtel bill (edit: this is capped at $200 per monthly billing cycle).
This allows you to effectively channel a chunk of your spending to your Singtel bill, and since Singtel allows you to make payments via their website (or through their app), which codes as online spend…
Now, if only there were some way to get 4mpd on online spend… Hmm…
(You might also want to take a look at the crowdsourced Google Spreadsheet to check which cards have been successfully clocking miles on online payments to Singtel.)
Isn’t this a whole lot of trouble?
Yes, it is. This is especially so for me since I’m on an iPhone, and payments can be painfully slow when there’s a line behind me at the cashier. Still, we’ve gotta do what we gotta do, right?
I also prefer not to leave extra funds in the mobile wallet, so I have to top it up every time I make a Dash purchase. It’s not that difficult, but the extra steps can get annoying.
(To be frank, I’m still evaluating if I want to continue doing this in the long run. Still, it seems to be a more painless procedure for Android users, especially if you’re willing to leave funds in the mobile wallet.)
Other deals on Dash
One thing that’s kept me coming back to Dash is the abundance of promotional deals it’s been running. For instance, they’re currently offering 5% cashback on a number of merchants (e.g. FairPrice, taxis) – coupled with the 4 miles per dollar (which I value at about 2¢ each) I currently get about a 13% return of value on my Dash purchases.
This particular offer is set to last until 31 Dec 2016, though, so I’m not sure if that’ll still be the case come 2017.
If you happen to spend a fair bit of money at merchants that accept Dash as payment (e.g. FairPrice), this could be one way to gain 4mpd on that expenditure, if you’re a Singtel user (edit: up to $200 per month). The additional promotional deals don’t hurt, either.
Admittedly, it’s rather troublesome, especially if you’re an iPhone user. However, there’s no set up cost, so maybe you’d like to get the app [Android | iOS] and see if you think it’s worth the effort?