Well, that was fast. DBS has updated the T&C of its Woman’s card to state explicitly that payments made to Mileslife will not qualify for 10X points earning.
In some ways, this is a moot point because the Mileslife MCC is currently coded as professional services, which were always excluded under point i) of the Woman’s card T&C anyway. In fact, I’ve been saying from the start that you should not expect 10X spending bonuses on Mileslife, at least not just yet.
But I know from my discussions with the Mileslife team that they were working to get their MCC changed to a different category in order to enable users to leverage 10X card bonuses, so this definitely throws a spanner into the works.
I find this decision by DBS curious for 2 reasons. First, this has to be a new record in terms of time taken to change their T&C. iPayMy and Cardup were on the market for almost a year before DBS modified its T&C. Mileslife, on the other hand, has been around for just one month. So for DBS to take a pre-emptive move so quickly to shut it down, when Mileslife isn’t currently earning 10X with the woman’s card anyway, is certainly an aggressive step.
Second, it’s strange because of my whole discretionary spending argument, that I laid out here. It is not logically consistent to lump Mileslife together with iPayMy and Cardup, when iPayMy and Cardup are explicitly designed to facilitate non-discretionary spending on things like rent and insurance payments, whereas Mileslife is in the decidedly discretionary area of dining and lifestyle spend.
The recent changes by DBS to restrict your opportunities to earn bonus points on the Woman’s card are definitely concerning, and may point to an overall revamp of DBS’s strategy in light of the demise of the HSBC Advance. DBS has traditionally been very generous in its interpretation of what counts as online spend, but with one less competitor on the market there may be less of a need to compete in this space. The Citibank Rewards and UOB PPV both have a hefty list of exclusion categories, and the Titanium Rewards card is yet to gain significant traction.
I remain hopeful that there will be 10X opportunities with other banks, because those stacked with the ongoing Mileslife promotions make the proposition extremely attractive for dining out.