DBS has launched the beta version of the DBS Travel Marketplace, a platform where travelers can book flights, hotels, and travel insurance all in one place. This marks the next step of their partnership with Singapore Airlines, after last month’s announcement that DBS Points can now be converted instantly into KrisFlyer miles via KrisPay.
The biggest takeaway for miles chasers is that DBS is running a promotion for Singapore Airlines tickets booked through DBS Travel Marketplace. DBS Altitude credit cardholders can earn 4 mpd on these tickets from now till 31 December 2019.
The 4 mpd consists of
- The usual 3 mpd earned on online flight and hotel bookings
- A bonus 1 mpd for booking Singapore Airlines tickets on the DBS Travel Marketplace
The bonus 1 mpd is capped at the first S$5,000 spent per calendar month, the same cap as the 3 mpd component. You can read the full T&C of this promotion here– the main thing to point out is that the bonus 1 mpd is credited 90 days after 31 December 2019. It’s not quite the KrisFlyer UOB’s up to 14 month waiting period for bonus miles, but it’s not instant either.
Your miles are earned in the form of DBS Points, so you have the option of converting them to Asia Miles or Qantas Frequent Flyer points if you so prefer.
I’ve played around with the DBS Travel Marketplace interface and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from any standard OTA, albeit one with only a single airline.
The revenue fares you find here will be the same as on the Singapore Airlines website, but the key difference is that the interface only shows the cheapest ticket class. That’s to say, you’ll only see Lite fares most of the time…
…but there are instances where you’ll see Standard fares if Lite is sold out.
Whether this is a bug or feature, I don’t know, but it seems strange to constrain customers to the cheapest fare class when some would be willing to pay more for flexibility.
Use DBS Points to pay for revenue flights
The other interesting feature of the DBS Travel Marketplace is that you can use your DBS Points to pay for revenue fares, in blocks of 100 DBS Points.
The rate offered is 100 DBS Point: S$2. That’s an implicit valuation of about 1 cent per mile, given those 100 DBS Points would get you 200 KrisFlyer miles. This is ever-so-slightly below the 1.02 cent value you’d get by paying with miles on the Singaporeair.com website.
That said, paying with DBS Points on the DBS Travel Marketplace portal helps you avoid transfer fees, plus you only need a minimum of 100 DBS Points. You’d normally need to pay a transfer fee of S$25 and convert DBS Points in blocks of 5,000 to KrisFlyer, so I suppose that’s the key use case of this feature.
Most miles chasers shouldn’t take this option, given you can get much higher value out of your DBS Points by converting them to miles.
Free travel insurance when booking flights or hotels
Booking hotels or flights through the DBS Travel Marketplace will give you free travel insurance, underwritten by Chubb. This policy also covers any accompanying travelers. The coverage is as basic as it comes, however, and my advice would be to get a more comprehensive policy.
You could get 4 mpd by booking Singapore Airlines tickets with the DBS Woman’s World Mastercard, but remember the monthly cap on that card is S$2,000. Getting an additional S$5,000 cap on 4 mpd through the DBS Altitude will suit those who travel more (or more expensively). Remember, the cap is per card, so those with the DBS Altitude Visa and DBS Altitude AMEX will effectively double their cap to S$10,000.