KrisPay, the blockchain wallet of the future*, has launched a new feature allowing DBS Points to be instantly converted into KrisPay miles. You’ll need to update your KrisPay app to the latest version to see this option.
*not really, but I’m sure that’s how the idea got pitched down at Airline House
The transfer ratio is 100 DBS Points to 170 KrisPay miles, with no transfer fee. Those KrisPay miles can subsequently be used at any of KrisPay’s merchants at a paltry 0.66 cents each, or transferred into your KrisFlyer account at a 1:1 ratio.
If you wish to transfer your KrisPay miles into KrisFlyer, you’ll need to do so within seven days, and transfer them in full. In other words, if you convert 100 DBS Points to 170 KrisPay miles and spend 90 of those on bubble tea, you can’t transfer the remaining 80 to KrisFlyer.
Why would you do this?
On the surface, this makes no sense at all. 100 DBS Points should get you 200 KrisFlyer miles, if you converted through the regular DBS Rewards portal. Why would anyone take a 15% haircut?
DBS Points take an average of 3-4 working days to be transferred to your KrisFlyer account, while transfers to KrisPay (and onwards to KrisFlyer) are instant.
Suppose you find award space that matches all your requirements. The problem is: you don’t have sufficient miles in your account. You worry that by the time a transfer is completed, the award space will have disappeared. Depending on how many miles you’re short of, the ability to instantaneously transfer DBS Points may be worth a 15% penalty. It’d certainly be cheaper than buying miles from Singapore Airlines at US$40/1,000 miles.
It helps you deal with orphan points
If you decide to cancel your DBS cards, you may run into the problem of orphan points. This happens when you’re just shy of the minimum 5,000 DBS Points required to transfer to KrisFlyer. Unless you’re able to quickly put some additional spend on your card, you’ll most likely have to burn your points on poor value options like shopping vouchers, and let the rest go to waste.
That’s where KrisPay’s smaller, 100 point transfer blocks can come in useful. Even after you take into account the 15% “wastage”, there are still scenarios where you’d come out on top by transferring orphan points here.
It’s meant for small top ups
To be clear, KrisPay should not be your default method of transferring DBS Points to KrisFlyer. It’s not meant for bulk transfers, as the 15% haircut becomes more significant the more DBS Points you transfer.
However, KrisPay is useful for small top ups when you’re just shy of a redemption. When transferring DBS points to miles, most people typically try to transfer as many as they can to spread out the fixed $26.75 transfer fee. But DBS Points earned on the DBS Altitude, DBS Treasures AMEX and DBS Insignia do not expire. From a strategy point of view, it makes more sense to keep them on the DBS side, rather than transferring them to KrisFlyer and starting the three year expiry countdown.
So instead of dumping my entire stash of DBS points into KrisFlyer, I could transfer just enough to reach the redemption threshold and keep the rest on the DBS side. This also retains my ability to transfer them to Asia Miles or Qantas Frequent Flyer if I so choose.
A 15% haircut on your hard-earned miles is no doubt painful, but at least I can see some legitimate use cases for this option. The question really comes down to how immediate your need for KrisFlyer miles is, and whether that’s worth the 15% penalty.
One thing’s for sure though, you should absolutely not be transferring your DBS Points to KrisPay for the purposes of spending your miles like cash. If that sounds like something you’d do, save your points for shopping vouchers.