Tag Archives: points

DBS announces points conversion, mapping for ANZ credit cards

DBS’s acquisition of ANZ’s consumer banking arm has led to a lot of questions for ANZ credit card holders. What will happen to my existing ANZ cards? My ANZ points? Do I need to cash out my ANZ points? If so, when?

There’s been some speculation about this, with ANZ cardholders recently getting a notice that their points and cards will transfer over to DBS equivalents, but we finally have some concrete word from DBS as to what will happen.

Points Conversion

I mentioned that the fair ratio to convert ANZ Travel $ to DBS points would be 2:1, because 1 DBS point is worth 2 miles with Krisflyer and Asiamiles. That’s exactly what has happened.

Similarly, ANZ Rewards Points are valued the same as DBS points with 1 point getting 2/5th of a mile. The conversion ratio DBS is offering is equivalent.

Although your ANZ Travel card’s Travel $ had a maximum validity of 5 years, once they’re transferred over to DBS they will have no expiry, in line with the no expiry policy for points earned through DBS’s Altitude cards.

However, if you’re a holder of ANZ’s Platinum or Switch Platinum cards you’re going to lose out. These points were valid for 5 years, but when they transfer to DBS they’ll only be valid for a further 1 year after the date of transfer, in line with DBS’s points expiry policy for its non-Altitude cards.

Card Mapping

There’s a mapping tool on the DBS FAQ page that shows you what ANZ cards map to what.

  • ANZ Travel Visa Signature= DBS Altitude
  • ANZ Platinum Mastercard = DBS Mastercard Platinum
  • ANZ Platinum Visa= DBS Black Visa
  • ANZ Switch Platinum= DBS Mastercard Platinum
  • ANZ Optimum World Mastercard= POSB Everyday Card
  • ANZ Signature Priority Banking Visa Infinite= DBS Altitude Visa Signature

It’s unsurprising that the Travel Visa maps onto the Altitude, but I am surprised that DBS is converting ANZ Signature Priority VI cards to DBS Altitude cards, given that the Signature Priority VI is for ANZ’s top earners and the DBS Altitude is an entry-level credit card. That said, given how crappy the earn rate is on the ANZ Signature Priority VI, I doubt many will mind.

If you already own the DBS card that your ANZ card will be mapped onto, DBS will transfer your outstanding card balance to a new DBS card account opened exclusively for the payment of your outstanding balance. This account is transitory and is not for further transactions. Whatever rewards points you have will be transferred to your DBS account.

Conclusion

ANZ’s departure from the credit card market in Singapore is unfortunate insofar as it means less competition, but we all know that ANZ’s cards were dying a slow, undignified death in recent times, with the devaluation of several key benefits. So I don’t think too many tears will be shed about that.

DBS updates rewards program T&C with new exclusion categories

I got a tip off from a reader that DBS will be changing its overall rewards program T&C with effect from 2nd July.

Download (PDF, 248KB)

Here’s the relevant portion

One might be confused when seeing this because of the impression that such payments never earned points in the first place. That’s not strictly speaking correct. These transactions do earn base points, but don’t qualify for bonus points earning on category spend cards like the DBS Woman’s card.  You would be able to earn regular points on things like insurance payments with other cards like the DBS Altitude.

Why has DBS done this? It all goes back to encouraging discretionary spend. Most of the categories they’ve explicitly mentioned are non-discretionary spend that consumers would have to make regardless, so DBS doesn’t feel the need to incentivize that sort of spending with points. Where donations/payment to non-profits are concerned, I believe that DBS charges such parties a lower merchant fee and therefore doesn’t want to award points on such transactions.

The other LOL-worthy amendment is that DBS points will not be awarded for spending on your DBS Taka card at Taka. I’m trying to see the logic in that and failing, but I never owned a DBS Taka card anyway so I’m not too bothered.

It’s also interesting that there is some internal inconsistency among the various DBS credit card T&Cs. For example, the T&Cs for the DBS Woman’s card explicitly exclude iPayMy and Cardup from earning any DBS points at all, but the overall rewards program T&C is silent about this. Here’s the equivalent section in the DBS Woman’s card T&C.

My interpretation of this is that if you use your Altitude card to pay iPayMy you should still earn regular points as per your cardholder agreement (i.e. $1= 1.2 miles). Whether or not it’s worth paying the processing fee to earn 1.2 mpd is of course another question.

We’ve recently seen banks starting to tighten their T&C regarding points earning. UOB recently updated its T&C for the UOB PPV, which will take effect from 1 July. The new T&C explicitly provides the MCCs that qualify for 10X points earning on the UOB PPV to the excvlusion of other categories. That said, I wouldn’t get too worried about it. T&Cs change all the time, and although it’s annoying to have to change your gameplan when they do, there’s no reason why you can’t still beat the system if you plan enough.

Thanks to Putera for the tip.

Should you jump on any of these daily getaway deals?

The US Travel Association runs an annual promotion called Daily Getaways that is meant to encourage US tourism. This year, they need it more than ever.

Despite who the organizer is, not all deals have to be used in the US. In the past they’ve had sales on US-based hotels, theme parks and car rentals. But they’ve also sold things like loyalty program points and gift cards, which can be redeemed at any property worldwide.

I was looking at this year’s offerings and saw a few items that I’m really tempted to pull the trigger on. You can see the full calendar of deals here, but here are some that caught my eye.

May 2nd- 250,000 Hilton points for $1,200 (236 available)

This is an opportunity to pay 0.48 cents per Hilton point. I know it is possible to buy Hilton points at 0.5 cents each when they run a 100% bonus sale, but the problem is you’re limited to buying a maximum of 80,000 points (pre-bonus) per account per calendar year. So you’d max out at 160,000 points, bought at 0.5 cents each.

This lets you get 250,000 points into your account at 0.48 cents each. To put things in perspective, you need 80,000/95,000 points per night at dream destinations like the Conrad Koh Samui or the Conrad Maldives (although recently I’ve only ever seen 95K point availability). I haven’t fully understood the ins and outs of the new Hilton redemption scheme, but my understanding is when you use the pay with points and cash option you can really maximise your value.

So if you’ve got an upcoming luxury vacation planned, you might want to consider crunching the numbers and seeing if buying points lets you enjoy a nice hotel for much less than what you’d be paying.

Image result for conrad maldives
Conrad Maldives

There is a maximum purchase of 1 set of 250,000 points per customer. You can buy a total of 5 sets of points in this promotion- the other sets come in different denominations as seen below. I find these less attractive though, given that you could get this amount or more during one of the 100% points sales, but it might be a way of circumventing the annual points purchase limit.

  • $144 for 30,000 points (450 available, 0.48 cpp)- maximum 3 per customer
  • $480 for 100,000 points (275 available, 0.48 cpp)- maximum 1 per customer

There is a line in the fine print that says “Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia and must be a Hilton Honors member to participate.” , but I’m pretty sure that’s just in there for legal reasons. After all, this is a site meant to promote US tourism. What sense would it make if they didn’t let a non-resident claim a purchase?

Furthermore, other points buying offers (eg IHG, Hyatt) don’t have any such restriction. So I’m guessing this is a Hilton-side additional line of text, and I have doubts as to whether it really matters or not.

May 4th- $500 Marriott gift card for $400 (200 available)

Locking in a 20% discount on a future Marriott stay might also be an interesting idea. Marriott gift cards do not expire and can be used at any Marriott brand including the Ritz Carlton.

Ritz Carlton Tokyo

Marriott gift cards are not yet accepted at any of the Starwood brands, but it remains to be seen if that changes when the two companies are merged into one sometime around 2018.

It’s very hard to see how you can lose by buying some of these, if you’d be staying at a Marriott property sometime down the road anyway and seeing how the value doesn’t expire.

You can buy a maximum of 1 such gift card. Other denominations available include

  • $80 for a $100 Marriott gift card (1,070 available)- max purchase 3 per customer
  • $200 for a $250 Marriott gift card (252 available)- max purchase 2 per customer

May 5th- $1,000 Orbitz promo code for $650 (55 available)

This code is for use on hotels only, and can be used for stays any time before 31 Dec 2018.

I’m tempted to see this as a sort of omni discount code for any hotel you might fancy. It could be one of the better ways of getting a good deal at a place like the Conrad Koh Samui, or perhaps a Maldives overwater villa. Or it could help to offset hotel costs in expensive cities like London and Tokyo.

I think the concern is that if you buy this you’ll end up having to pay inflated OTA prices. But that doesn’t have to be the case- take the Conrad Koh Samui, where Orbitz is throwing up rates that are more or less similar to Hilton’s official site (US$663 vs US$647, the best rate I could find on Orbitz vs Hilton.com)

Orbitz site
Hilton site

There is a maximum purchase limit of 1 per customer.

May 10th- 72,000 Hyatt Points for $775 (25 available)

Buying 72,000 Hyatt points at $775 means paying 1.08 cents per point. Lucky over at OMAAT believes that Hyatt points are worth 1.5 cents each, so you’re actually getting a very good deal. It’s no wonder the Hyatt packages always sell out the first every time they appear on the Daily Getaways site.

Image result for park hyatt milan
Park Hyatt Milan

You could get a top tier property like the Park Hyatt Milan that costs 30,000 points a night, or US$324. Considering paid rates here start at US$650, you’d be getting substantial savings. Provided you’re the type of person who would have stayed at such a property in the first place, of course.

There are 3 other packages you can choose from

  • 24,000 Hyatt points for $260 (54 available, 1.10 cpp)
  • 30,000 Hyatt points for $330 (120 available, 1.08 cpp)
  • 40,000 Hyatt points for $415 (30 available, 1.04 cpp)

Conclusion

I think it’s well worth taking a look at the other deals on offer and deciding whether you can fit them into your travel plans.

I’m currently leaning towards the Orbitz travel voucher simply for its flexibility, but I’m guessing it will get snapped up rather quickly. I’ve set a calendar alert for when the deal goes on sale, and if you’re thinking of getting anything on offer I recommend you do the same.

PS- I know they’re selling IHG rewards points as well, but don’t take that deal. You can buy IHG rewards points cheaper when they go on sale.