The Milelion’s 2016 year in review

Ah, 2016. The year that many people will look at and say, “let us never speak of that again”.

I thought it’d be fun to do a quick review of The Milelion’s 2016, linking you back to some of the material you may have missed and giving you some of my favourite articles and stats.

Let’s start by looking at the year that was-

2016 Year in Review

In January

In February

  • Starwood announced their annual category changes, with 168 hotels moving up and 114 hotels moving down. The biggest loss here was Bangkok, with great properties like Four Points, Le Meridien and Westin Grande Sukhumvit moving up one category. Given Bangkok’s generally low hotel rates, the devaluation of awards made it less worthwhile to use points. The cheapest SPG property in Bangkok is now the Aloft, which I just stayed in and may write a report on if I feel less lazy

In March

  • DBS Altitude cut its income requirement from $50K to $30K, putting it on the same level as any other entry level credit card. This was a monumental moment, because until then, anyone earning at the entry level could only cobble together a hodgepodge strategy of using multiple category bonus cards like the basic DBS Woman’s Card or the UOB PP Amex, with no decent general spending card available. A $30K income requirement general spending miles card put the miles and points game squarely within the reach of anyone who could get a credit card.
  • We also bid a sad goodbye to the AMEX Imagine card, leaving FEVO as the main avenue for men to express their feminine sides.

In April

  • The Milelion rebranded as the Kilometiger in a move designed to bring enhanced value to readers. Nothing else of note happened this month, or at least nothing that could compare to the monumental importance of this rebranding.

In May

  • UOB enhanced away the 3 mpd earning on SQ/MI tickets, replacing it with 6mpd on Expedia and UOB Travel flight bookings on selected airlines.
  • Krisflyer announced a major shakeup of their cobranded cards, but they still remained hopelessly inadequate compared to what was already on the market. They called it “the new travel hack to fly Singapore Airlines”. I died a little bit inside.
  • The long rumored Krisflyer devaluation came in May. It wasn’t anywhere as bad as people were fearing- the main highlights were that in exchange for premium economy redemptions, we gave up full awards (don’t let the door hit you on the way out!) and the ability to upgrade directly from economy to business class. Award prices to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Rome also rose as Europe I and II were compressed into 1 zone. It looks like the Krisflyer program is safe for at least another year
  • May also marked the start of The Milelion’s RTW trip. If you’ve not read the trip report yet, please do because it is epic. You’ll get reviews for many different hotels and Star Alliance business class products, a visit to the Lufthansa First Class terminal and other goodness.

In June

In July

In August

In September

In October

In November

  • Citibank killed the opportunity to earn 10X rewards points (or 4mpd) on bill payments via AXS. This drove many people to drink, and others to prepay large balances on their income tax bills. IRAS thanks you for your contribution to nation building

In December

  • The Milelion conducted 2 webinar sessions in conjunction with iPayMy, the materials for which can be found here and here
  • Garuda Indonesia breaks the interweb with a 90% off award ticket sale.  Much chaos ensues. Americans complain at the audacity of an airline to offer a deal they can’t take part in (I’m not kidding, go read some of the comments on the blogs at Boarding Area. Some people are seriously suggesting Garuda apologise for how “poorly run” the promotion is, simply because they can’t book it from the USA)
  • Then they go and pull the sale early, but not before I get my award!

This isn’t a comprehensive listing of everything that The Milelion covered, of course, and for that you should always refer to The Milelion Directory which is updated monthly.

Most popular articles

Here are the top 5 most popular articles (by pageviews). This only includes articles that were published in 2016.

And here are my top 5 favourite articles from the year, at least the ones I had the most fun writing

New Products Reviewed

Premium cabin products reviewed for the first time this year include

United Airlines Business Class
Air India Business Class
Turkish Airlines Business Class
Croatian Airlines Business Class
South African Airways Business Class
Lufthansa First Class
Asiana Business Class
Asiana First Class (with Business Class service)
Thai First Class
Thai Business Class (A350 trip report coming soon!)

For 2017, I’m looking to add some airlines outside of Star Alliance. Garuda is already locked in,  and Qatar Airways has a mighty tempting BKK-DOH-LAX business class fare for less than US$1.5K round trip. I’m also looking to review some of SQ’s newest cabin products once they launch (if past history is any indication, they should announce the products within the first quarter and launch them in the third quarter, most probably on a route like London or Sydney.

Total Travel Stats

all the airports I’ve been to this year (transit or otherwise)

Total miles flown: 128,675 miles
Total hotel nights: 98
Airports visited: 23

Total Webpage Stats

Visitors: 303,711
Unique Visitors: 115,865
Articles Read: 703,302
Top 5 countries: Singapore (83%), USA (4%), HK (2%), Malaysia (2%), Australia (1%)
Gender mix: 46% female (woohoo!), 54% male

It’s been great having your company for 2016, and here’s hoping 2017 brings much more exciting developments in the world of miles and points.

Have a good one everyone!

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Happy new year milelion!

Louis Tan

I find myself somewhat bothered by the inconsistency of capitalisation in the Milelion/MileLion branding… =P

Candy Chng

hahahaha… okay… Happy New Year, The Milelion!


Happy new year. Looking forward to 2017, more from The Milelion.


Good stuff


Aaron. Are you going to do the 2017 miles card strategy article?



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