Apps

What’s going on with Mileslife?

There's a lot of speculation as to the future of Mileslife. Here's what we currently know.

So, last week was a pretty interesting one for Mileslife.

It all started on Tuesday, when a merchant in China posted the following:

The merchant claimed that they had not received payment from Mileslife since December 2018 and were owed more than 50,000 RMB. When they visited Mileslife’s office, they were told by a staff member that employees were being laid off and the company was closing down. These concerns were echoed in a WeChat group for merchants, where others reported that they couldn’t reach anyone at the company.

This story was picked up on Reddit and the whole thing quickly developed into a classic run on the bank as users rushed to cash out their Mileslife credit. It didn’t help that Avios transfers were suspended and Mileslife’s check-in feature stopped working on exactly the same day (the latter has since been restored).

Mileslife flatly denied the rumours it was closing down and assured merchants and customers it was still business-as-usual. Here’s the statement they issued in China:

Translation (courtesy of Jerry W in the Telegram Group):

“Dear respected customers and business partners:

Regarding the post on social media that Mileslife is delaying payment and the company has stopped operation, we would like to clarify that the rumour is false. We are still business as usual and all operations within Mileslife are going according to plan.

Mileslife (China) is our HQ and it’s very important to us. Although we sustain profit in 2018 in China, we are still operating at a loss due to our operations overseas (outside China). This caused a tremendous stress on our operations. We are working on various plans to make Mileslife profitable.

We are also aware that a Mileslife (China) employee has shared that the company is shrinking operations in China, and cutting down manpower. We apologise for the panic. We are sorry for not conveying this information in a more professional and matured way.

We promise not to give up on every Mileslife (China) customers, and won’t delay payment to our business partners.

1. We will communicate with the business partners for timely repayment.

2. We will rectify and ensure that the Mileslife app is working normally.

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PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT MILESLIFE WILL CONTINUE LIVING. WE STILL GOT A LONG WAY TO GO.”

Mileslife also released this statement in Singapore:

Two caveats before I weigh in on the matter. First, I worked for four months at Mileslife last year before going full-time with The Milelion. I don’t retain any financial interest or stake in the company, but I obviously want to see them do well because I think they’ve got a great product. Second, I’ve not had the chance to speak more than a few words with Troy (the CEO) since this all started, so when it comes to the future of the company, your guess is as good as mine. 

That said, I generally buy into the “no smoke without fire” argument. Mileslife seems to have acknowledged that merchants in China were indeed not getting paid- whether that was a process snafu or something more ominous is the question.

Moreover, apart from the statement on Facebook there hasn’t been a lot in the way of communication since last Wednesday. If I were Mileslife, I’d be going out of my way to over-communicate with customers and merchants to reassure them that everything’s ok, and as far as I can see from the customer side that hasn’t happened. It doesn’t help that Mileslife is a privately-held company, so it’s not like there’s a lot of information out there we can dig into.

Therefore, instead of speculating further, let’s perhaps lay out what we do know so far.

(1) Are miles from Mileslife still posting?

My last transaction with Mileslife was on 16 April at The Daily Cut, and those miles posted to my KrisFlyer account one day later.

A quick straw poll on the Telegram Group suggests that the last posting activity for Mileslife to KrisFlyer happened on 17 April, and those with transactions subsequent to that date have yet to receive their miles.

I wouldn’t panic just yet, because transfer delays can happen for perfectly innocuous reasons. However, it’s worth noting that historically, Mileslife transfers to KrisFlyer generally posted within one business day of the transaction.

For what it’s worth, there was a report of a successful Mileslife transfer to Qantas Frequent Flyer on 20 April.

Credit: – from Telegram Group

(2) Are merchants still accepting Mileslife?

Crystal Jade has disappeared from Mileslife, and visitors to their outlets are being told that the app is no longer accepted. Similarly, the entire shopping section (which used to feature RWS merchants) has also vanished, along with hotels, cruises and trains.

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The spa and travel insurance sections remain populated (although you can’t actually buy travel insurance now as the purchase button is greyed out), as do a few travel services options. It’s important to note that even where merchants do appear on Mileslife, some customers have reported being rejected when they tried to use the app to pay.

At this point, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who is and isn’t accepting Mileslife, and you might want to give the restaurant or merchant in question a call before heading down. I reckon merchants are just as spooked as customers, and are waiting to see what happens. I did visit Daily Cut at Raffles Place on Saturday and was told that Mileslife was still accepted, so at least some merchants are still taking it.

(3) Should you buy Mileslife credits?

Frequent users will know that Mileslife offers a chance to triple-dip on miles earning through Mileslife credits. When you buy credits, you earn miles from Mileslife (1) and your credit card (2), and when you spend credits, you earn miles from Mileslife (3) again.

Mileslife’s most recent top-up campaign (in March) gave up to 2.5 mpd on credit purchases (plus up to 4 mpd on your card), which when used at a 3 mpd dining merchant yielded a total of up to 9.5 mpd.

In light of what’s happened, I doubt people will be rushing out to top up their balances even if there’s a top-up campaign this month. In any case, my stance is that you should only buy prepaid balances if you have confidence in the future of the company. This same rule applies whether you’re buying NTUC Vouchers, IKEA Gift Cards, Kopitiam top-ups or any other form of stored value.

It’s worth noting that Mileslife credits are not classified as a widely-accepted Stored Value Facility (WA SVF) by the MAS. This is relevant because approved WASVFs must appoint a bank to guarantee the total outstanding stored value, so there’s no such protection here.

(4) How does this affect other ongoing Mileslife joint promotions?

OCBC VOYAGE has an ongoing promotion offering 5 mpd on all Mileslife transactions, and Mileslife is giving an additional 3,000 miles when you sign up for a VOYAGE card through the app. My contact at OCBC tells me that they’ve not received any adverse news from Mileslife about ceasing this promotion so it’s still business-as-usual, and your Mileslife transactions continue to earn 5 mpd. Should there be any issues, the bank will follow through with Mileslife to ensure members who have participated in the offer will get their 5 mpd + 3,000 miles as promised.

I’m also aware that you can get some bonus Mileslife credits when you sign up for a Club Wyndham vacation package. To my knowledge that offer hasn’t changed either, at least from the Club Wyndham side.

I think the bigger question is whether Mileslife will be able to fulfill their end of the offer. So if that’s what’s drawing you into these promotions, you might want to consider reaching out to the company or waiting until there’s further clarity.

Conclusion

When Mileslife first launched in Singapore, I was really excited at the prospect of an app for miles geeks, by miles geeks. Mileslife introduced new ways of earning hard-to-get mileage currencies like Lufthansa Miles & More and United Mileageplus in Singapore. They ran some amazing 5X miles promotions, which let you earn a whopping 15 mpd on dining just from the app alone. They did fun things like offering free miles for just checking into the app or syncing your step tracker, a really useful way to keep alive balances in activity-based FFPs. But more than that- it really felt like they understood exactly what miles chasers wanted, and how to deliver it.

So while I really hope that all this turns out to be a big load of nothing, you can’t say there aren’t already some red flags. I’m also hoping the company will take a more proactive approach towards communication because if they don’t, well, rumors and speculation love a void.

The next couple of weeks are going to be very, very interesting.


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No Brainer
Guest
No Brainer

Honest assessment. +1

Cappy Hamper
Guest
Cappy Hamper

My last credit to KF miles was on the 17th. I suspect they have run out of KF miles while they still have QF’s FF points to giveaway. Unfortunately, the loss of confidence is going to grow the longer they take to resolve the issues.

It’s going to be a disaster for them if everyone takes a wait and see attitude.

MM
Guest
MM

No more Krisflyer miles have been credited after 17th April.

Forum and authority have confirmed that Mileslife is being bankrupted in mainland China

Sam
Guest
Sam

I have about $1k worth of credits with Mileslife.. if I want them refunded because I have no confidence in them, would I be able to refund them? Help!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Provided you still can contact them.
They have not answering my email for more than a week.
All the luck!

UOBsucks
Guest
UOBsucks

Did they learn the communication bit from UOB?

GiveMeBackMyMiles
Guest
GiveMeBackMyMiles

A quick search on LinkedIn shows that at least 3 employees have indicated their end of employment with Mileslife in Apr 2019. Another oBike in the brew?

Happy Camper
Guest
Happy Camper

I too cashed out at with a nice lunch today.. I’d personally not bother with asking for a refund because there is a pretty real risk of not getting one cent back..

Something to Chew On
Guest
Something to Chew On

Any idea where to cash it out? Seems like more places are not accepting Mileslife or suspending / paused it.

Irena
Guest
Irena

I just used up all the credit at Azur last night for a buffet for 3 persons.

GiveMeBackMyMiles
Guest
GiveMeBackMyMiles

Called up Found8. the coworking space that Mileslife uses as their office and found out that they’re no longer there “since last week”. PACK YOUR BAGS

Xman
Guest
Xman

SQ has suspended co-operations with Mileslife wef 22 Apr. Doesn’t look too good.

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/sg/ppsclub-krisflyer/earn-miles/earn-on-the-ground/others/#

Ck
Guest
Ck

Looks bad, it was fun while it lasted and I’ve earned 39k miles from the app since it started, excluding cc miles. I managed to cash out $60 on a lunch yesterday and still left with $200 credits. Guess I’ll be prepared to write it off then.

Unhappy Merchant
Guest
Unhappy Merchant

I went to Mileslife at 100 Amoy street. The company no longer there . Was told by a staff from Found. ( Found. Sharing the same address with Mileslife) Mileslife shifted out 20th April 2019.

Miles Newb
Guest
Miles Newb

Tried to finish my remaining credits following all the warning signs.

The end is coming for sure. Peach Garden @ Changi T2 stopped accepting mileslife and even Wheeler’s Yard have taken them off when I visited them today.

Despite so, the merchants are still being reflected in the app as active. Noticed Tan Yu @ Somerset is no longer listed in the mileslife app too.

No email response from them for the past 4 days.

AnArmedAttorney
Guest
AnArmedAttorney

I got a response in ~2 hours and have requested a refund. Whether I see it or not, anyone’s guess…

Wil
Guest
Wil

Last used it on 20 April. SQ suspended working relationships on 22 April. Guess my miles earned will not be credited in then 🙁

James
Guest
James

The last Krisflyer award that I received from Check-In Bonus was 5th April. There were 3 subsequent “Check-In Bonus” (22 miles) that I have not received and I don’t think I will ever get it.

And it said Krisflyer does not work for check-in bonus today…. I guess this is the end.

Drakka
Guest
Drakka

WARNING: Don’t try to go for an expensive meal to cash out!!
The app has officially died as of today, 29April. If you are thinking of going to have a good meal to cash out all your credits, think twice about it! When trying to pay merchant, it will come up with an error message “Krisflyer earning is temporarily unavailable.” and the app will not enable payment.
This is THE END…. Count your credits that are lost, and go mourn about it.

Happy Camper
Guest
Happy Camper

@Drakka.. I think you’re not completely correct.. It won’t work with SQ KF and BA Avios.. but I think it still works with the others.. Haven’t used it today tho.. my last use was on 24 Apr.. and a friend just had check in bonus miles uploaded on 27 Apr.. I’ll try it later, just for fun..

SL
Guest
SL

I used it today at daily cut Raffles Place and it worked. Although the cashier did mention to me crediting the miles to KrisFlyer is suspended and I had to credit to other FFP (I used Qatar in this case)

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

I only use krisflyer. Seems like in my case, my best move is to suffer 15% loss and get credits refund. I’m left with $500+ in wallet

AnArmedAttorney
Guest
AnArmedAttorney

Used today (Emirates Skywards) at Baja Fresh Marina Blvd for lunch. Used Tues night (also Emirates) at Bistro @ Duo . Have been able to do my daily check-ins once I added my Skywards number in and switched it to my primary.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

I also opened an Eva air account to change my miles crediting since my daughter wants to fly hello kitty plane. Found a few places that I called to ask if they accept mileslife. Burned through almost $300 yesterday. Now my wallet left with $200+. I don’t feel so bad now

AnArmedAttorney
Guest
AnArmedAttorney

Same. Gonna be a fat boy by the end of this week. Ordering top shelf drinks too!

AnArmedAttorney
Guest
AnArmedAttorney

FYSA. Mileslife no longer appears on the Krisflyer Promotions page (https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/sg/plan-travel/promotions/kf-promotions/).

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Still appears here with a BIG suspended sign lol

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/sg/ppsclub-krisflyer/earn-miles/earn-on-the-ground/others/

I emailed krisflyer to ask but expectedly, no reason was given.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

By the way after I wrote to krisflyer to ask about the mileslife suspension, they did ask me to send them screenshots of my mileslife orders where the KrisFlyer Miles have not been credited. They claim they will check for mileage claim request.

Creditsgonesoon
Guest
Creditsgonesoon

I have 6k+ of credits. Searching for ways to spend it now. Sigh.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

6k??? 😱😱😱

MilesDeath
Guest
MilesDeath

tough mate, try to get rid of them asap, good luck!

AnArmedAttorney
Guest
AnArmedAttorney

Throw a medium stakes card game, charge cover plus take rake and get it catered w/ the credits. Problem (mostly) solved : )

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Public service announcement: places that I’ve gone to and still accept mileslife are

Full of luck club
Dancing fish
Chef icon

Now I’m left with $78 from a previous $598 credits In my wallet

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Only these 3. Keep the PSA coming. Thanks guys as I have credits in wallet too.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Daily Cut
Beast and butterflies

HilfiSQ
Guest
HilfiSQ

Today, I received Mileslife credit in my M&M account for the last 3 days. Suprisingly only miles from checkin and Health redemption were credited. The payment miles are not there.

MilesDeath
Guest
MilesDeath

It feels like they up and left everyone stranded, get ready for this to be in the Straits Times.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

At this moment, I think the greater concern is for those with credits left in wallet to spend it all. No miles also nvm. At least the money is not stuck in there. Although if they are really leaving everyone in the lurch, I guess our spending is just shifting the $$ problem to the merchants lol

Zezima
Guest
Zezima

If this happens, assuming if all the options to recover your credits are exhausted (e.g Their customer support no longer exist), as a last resort, with all the supported evidence (e.g balance activity / transaction history), is it possible to do a chargeback via your bank?

There are cases where companies (ofo, obike, california fitness) went bankrupt, leaving consumers in the lurch, especially those who have credits in their account.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Latest info from mileslife:

I wrote to them earlier about miles tht have not been credited into my krisflyer. They claim that they will manually post the miles into my krisflyer after KrisFlyer Miles accrual service is resumed, apparently end of May. We shall see.

As of now, the app really looks stark and dead. No updates on the main page. Travel page is also empty. Even if you somehow want to top up credits in your wallet, the options are empty as well.

Senghang
Guest
Senghang

Another partner that are ending their partnership with Mileslife, received below text message today. OCBC Premier VOYAGE: We regret to inform you that our partnership with Mileslife will end on 15 May 2019. This means that you will no longer earn 5 VOYAGE Miles (VM) for every S$1 spent via the Mileslife app after this date. Of the 5 VM, the 3.4 VM you earned or will earn for every S$1 spent via the app from 28 February to 15 May will be credited to your account on 31 May 2019. The usual 1.6 VM awarded for every dollar spent… Read more »

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

GG. Even if they were not going bust, the impression they are sending out is not helping. Being dropped like a hot potato

Kim
Guest
Kim

They replied you? They never replied me since last month. Did they say they will still resume the business? Now there is really no way to use up the credit…

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Very sporadically they will reply. Sometimes takes 2 days. Some questions no answer

Kim
Guest
Kim

I tried to use the credit on one merchant that is still showing accepting mileslife payment, the cashier just said that they don’t accept mileslife anymore, claiming mileslife already bankrupt…

Any more places can use the credit?

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Safest now is to call restaurant ahead to ask if they accept mileslife. And then splurge when they say can. One of my meals I just open a bottle of wine as well, that adds a chunk to the bill. Apart from those I listed above, don’t know of any others yet.

Happy Camper
Guest
Happy Camper

Great advice from @bananaboy.. there are a number.. no idea which and how many.. of merchants that are still listed as being onboard but have stopped accepting Mileslife.. I suspect it’s because it’s Mileslife themselves that have not updated the listing either because they can’t be bothered or maybe if they did, they’d have a lot less merchants to list.. Do find out before spending/consuming a bunch of things and then find out that the merchant is no longer accepting.. also.. to be fair (or kind) to smaller merchants who are clueless (I know it does fall on themselves, but…)… Read more »

Nash
Guest
Nash

I had been denied a few times from restaurants stating they don’t use Mileslife. I email them till now no responds. Recently I called up a restaurant and the manager said it still uses Mileslife, hence I went over and had my meal. When the bill came and I tried to pay using Mileslife, it will denied, error message stating no miles Point. The restaurant couldn’t use credit card too. I didn’t have cash with me. It’s really annoying and frustrating as I’m being held up at the cashier for more than 20mins. In the end I left leaving my… Read more »

Kim
Guest
Kim

ANA suspended. Mileslife HK also suspended operations.

Lana
Guest
Lana

Emirates too.

MilesDeath
Guest
MilesDeath

The end is nigh.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Phew. Managed to spend abit more over the weekend. $13 left in my wallet.

bananaboy
Guest
bananaboy

Singapore also just suspended. Go into your app and look for the notice

MilesDeath
Guest
MilesDeath

Just saw it, I call bullshit on the restructuring. They’re just buying time to ward off the debt chasers.