Airlines Credit Cards

DBS adds Qantas Frequent Flyer as a points transfer partner

DBS cardholders can now transfer points to a fourth partner- Qantas Frequent Flyer. What's the best use of these points?

At present, DBS allows you to transfer your DBS Points into miles to three frequent flyer partners at an administrative cost of S$26.75 per transfer (or $42.80/year for unlimited automatic conversations):

  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (5,000 DBS Points = 10,000 KrisFlyer miles)
  • Asia Miles (5,000 DBS Points = 10,000 Asia Miles)
  • AirAsia BIG Points (500 DBS Points = 1,500 BIG Points)

While poking around the DBS website this morning like the good intern that I am, I found that you can now transfer your DBS Points into Qantas Frequent Flyer miles. 

More variety of transfer partners available to DBS cardholders

I am not exactly sure when this was added to the DBS rewards catalog but this sure is a very welcome move for DBS cardholders. At present, the only other credit card/bank which offers points transfers to Qantas Frequent Flyer are the Citibank suite of cards.

Here’s the table which Aaron has done up showing the various transfer partners of credit cards in Singapore:

Alternatively, you can check out this page to read the whole article on airline transfer partners.

Photo Credits: Qantas

As with points transfers to KrisFlyer and Asia Miles, DBS credit card holders are able to transfer DBS Points to Qantas Frequent Flyer miles in blocks of 5,000 DBS Points to 10,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer miles with an administrative cost of each transfer costing S$26.75.

To transfer your DBS Points to Qantas Frequent Flyer miles, simply follow the instructions in the above screenshot. You can find the hard copy form to fill up your details here.

What can I use Qantas Frequent Flyer miles for?

Qantas prices out its awards based on the distance flown and has four different award charts for its various airline partners. For select partner airlines, here’s how many miles you will require for a one-way flight:

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For award redemptions on Jetstar (why though), here’s how many miles you will require:

Qantas also has another award chart for the rest of its partner airlines which includes the rest of the oneworld airline partners and other partners such as China Eastern and Alaska Airlines:

And lastly, here’s the award chart for when your award booking contains more than 2 oneworld airlines in the itinerary, which is similar to Asia Miles Multi-Carrier Award chart where the mileage required is computed based on the total miles flown for a return flight:

As you can already see, there are mileage differences to the number of miles required for all award types. Qantas Frequent Flyer passes on the fuel surcharges onto you when you redeem miles in their program. Frankly, you are better off redeeming oneworld flights using either British Airways Avios or through the Asia Miles program.

The main draw of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, in my opinion, is in redeeming flights on Emirates. Unless you have a huge bank of miles in Japan Airlines Mileage Bank or Alaska Airlines, going through the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is the next best alternative for Singapore based travelers who earn points solely through credit card expenditure.

Emirates operates its world-renowned First Class product with its famous shower suites on their flagship Airbus A380 aircraft which flies to many of its destinations worldwide. Although they do have a brand new First product on their new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, it’s more of a gimmick at this point in time as they have a grand total of 9 aircraft fitted with this spanking new product.

Emirates A380 First Class Cabin | Credits: Emirates

Sam has reviewed the Emirates First Class experience onboard the Boeing 777-300ER with the “old” First Class product and you can have a read of his review below:

Circuitous Curry Routings: Emirates 777-300ER First Class CMB-SIN Review

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Emirates does have a decent amount of award availability released to Qantas Frequent Flyer program and it is possible to snag a First Class award ticket from Singapore all the way through to London Gatwick. If you’re thinking of stretching that First Class experience and connecting through to Dubai all the way to San Francisco/Los Angeles, award space is a little harder to come by for that route given that it is only operated once daily now.

A one-way First Class ticket between Singapore – London Gatwick will set you back a whopping 144,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer miles. There is also the ridiculously high fuel surcharges that Emirates has on their tickets so be prepared to fork out cash upwards of S$500 on a one-way redemption. To estimate the amount of tax you must pay, you can use ITA Matrix to get a good estimate.

If heading to Seattle to grab a cup of original Starbucks coffee is your thing, you can do so on Emirates First Class for an eye-watering 192,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer miles on a one-way ticket (plus the extremely high taxes). Sadly, the Dubai to Seattle route is not operated by the Airbus A380 so you will not be able to do a full body rubdown at 40,000 feet.

The First Class lounges in Dubai are simply miles ahead of what other airlines are offering (well, maybe except Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal) with the lounge spanning the entire concourse. Plus, both Business and First Class passengers can board their flights directly from the lounge which is very cool.

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Tl;dr: be prepared to fork out tons of miles to enjoy the Emirates First Class experience.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s great to see more transfer partners being added to the DBS Rewards program and we can only hope that even more airline partners will be brought onboard. A reminder that DBS Points pool across all the cards that you hold (unlike Citibank) so you do not have to worry about orphan points if you have more than one DBS credit card in your portfolio.

Hopefully, we’ll see DBS adding even more transfer partners in the months (or maybe years) to come.


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