DBS has always been a bit of an outlier when it came to conversion fees (i.e. the fees you pay when you want to convert your credit card points to airline miles). While most other banks charged fees on a per transfer basis, DBS would charge $42.80 on an annual basis, with unlimited transfers throughout the year. This fee was paid on a membership year basis, not calendar. In other words if you signed up in November 2015, your next payment would be due in November 2016.
This worked well for you if you were the kind who accumulated and used miles quickly and wanted the additional flexibility to transfer miles as frequently as necessary. It wasn’t so ideal if you preferred to build up miles over a couple of years before cashing out.
DBS has now changed their fees to come in line with other banks. With the revised structure, here’s how they stack up.
|American Express (non KF cards)||$20/ $40||per transfer (Amex Rewards)/ per year (Amex Platinum cards, waived)|
|Maybank||$26.75||per transfer (waived for World MC and Visa Infinite)|
It seems that most of the banks go for a $25 fee, but only some of them include GST in the $25 amount, hence leading to the $26.75 figures you see above.
I personally prefer the annual fee system because I tend to do more than 2 transfers in a year. Also, given that I accumulate miles with both Asiamiles and Krisflyer, it helps that I’m not hit with multiple fees when I transfer. Under the revised system you would pay $26.75 twice even if you redeemed both Krisflyer and Asiamiles in the same transaction.
For those of you who have already paid your $42.80 for the year, you will still enjoy unlimited transfers until your membership year is up. After that, you’ll be levied $26.75 per transfer.
It is possible to get the transfer fee waived by paying 1,700 DBS points, but that’s just dumb. 1,700 DBS points are 3,400 miles, so you’re really accepting a <0.8 cent per mile value if you do that.
There is a proper FAQ here that you can refer to.