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DBS Altitude selling miles at 2 cents each, but you can do better

DBS has lowered the admin fee on its "more miles to fly in style" promo from 2.2 to 2%, but it's really not something to jump on.
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Back in October 2018, DBS launched a “More miles to fly in style” promotion on the DBS Altitude card. Cardholders could pay an admin fee of 2.2% to earn a bonus 1 mpd on their DBS Altitude spending, which meant

  • 1.2 2.2 mpd on local spending
  • 2 3 mpd on overseas spending
  • 3 4 mpd on online flight and hotel transactions

Under this scheme, you were basically buying miles at 2.2 cents each- a terrible price, given the myriad of ways to generate them at lower prices.

DBS has lowered the admin fee to 2%

“More miles to fly in style” has been extended till 31 December 2019, and this time round the admin fee has been reduced to 2%. The full T&Cs can be found here.

Here’s an illustration of how the math works with the reduced 2% fee:

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The effective cost per mile is now 2 cents (7,000 bonus miles for S$140)- it’s better than before, but still way too steep given what we know about the value of a mile and the other ways of generating them.

Registration is required, and open to the first 10,000 registered card members. I wouldn’t sweat it though, because it’s not exactly something you should be clamoring to participate in.

How to buy miles for less than 2 cents each

Here’s a rundown of all the ways you can buy miles in Singapore.

MethodIncome RequiredCPMAnnual Miles Limit
SCB Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend >$2K p.m)$150K1.14Tax bill
UOB Reserve/DBS Insignia with RentHeroInvitation1.14Rental amount
HSBC Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend >$50K p.a in prev year)$120K1.2Tax bill
BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard with RentHero$30K1.21Rental amount
HSBC Premier MC Tax PaymentAUM: $200K1.25Tax bill
Citi PayAll with Citi UltimaInvitation1.25Bill amount
UOB PRVI Miles/SCB Visa Infinite (>$2K p.m)/UOB Visa Infinite Metal with RentHeroUOB PRVI Miles: $30K
SCB Visa Infinite/ UOB Reserve: $150K
1.30Bill amount
HSBC Visa Infinite Welcome Gift- Premier customer$120K + AUM $200K1.3935K
SC EasyBill with SCB Visa Infinite (Spend >$2K p.m)$150K1.43Bill amount
HSBC Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend <$50K p.a in prev year)$120K1.5Tax bill
DBS Altitude with RentHero$30K1.51Rental amount
Citi PayAll with Citi Prestige/Citi PremierMiles AMEXCiti Prestige: $120K
Citi PremierMiles AMEX: $80K
1.54Bill amount
SCB Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend <$2K p.m)$150K1.6Tax bill
Citi PayAll with Citi PremierMiles Visa$30K1.67Bill amount
SCB Visa Infinite Welcome Gift$150K1.6835K
CardUp with BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard$30K1.69Bill amount
HSBC Visa Plat/Revolution Tax Payment$30K1.75Tax bill
Citibank PremierMiles AMEX Annual Fee$80K1.7815K
Cardup with UOB PRVI Miles$30K1.81Bill amount
HSBC Visa Infinite Welcome Gift- Regular Customer$120K1.8635K
OCBC VOYAGE Tax Payment$120K1.9Tax bill
UOB Reserve VI Payment FacilityInvitation1.9Unlimited
Citibank PremierMiles Visa, DBS Altitude, KrisFlyer UOB Card, OCBC 90N Annual Fee$30K1.9310K
OCBC VOYAGE Payment Facility$120K1.9 or 1.95Unlimited
UOB Metal VI Payment Facility$150K2.0Unlimited
UOB PRVI Pay Facility$30K2.0 (until 30 Sept 19)Unlimited
SC EasyBill with SCB Visa Infinite (Spend <$2K p.m)$150K2.0Bill amount
Cardup with DBS Altitude/Citibank PM Visa$30K2.11Bill amount
OCBC VOYAGE Annual Fee- Option 2$120K2.14150K
Citi Prestige Annual Fee$120K2.1425K
DBS Altitude Tax Payment$30K2.5Tax bill
OCBC VOYAGE Annual Fee- Option 1$120K3.2515K

If you wanted to buy miles, you could easily do so by paying your tax bill through CardUp with their TAX199 code (must be used by 24 July). Depending on what card you use, you’d effectively be buying miles between 1.22 and 1.63 cents each. 

First time CardUp users can also use the code MILELION to get $20 off their first payment of at least $1,000

Alternatively, if you have a rental bill to pay, you could take advantage of the ongoing RentHero 1.85% admin fee for Milelion readers. This allows you to buy miles for 1.14 to 1.51 cents each. 

Image result for citi payall

Otherwise, those with condo fees, electricity bills and education payments could use Citi’s PayAll service to buy miles from 1.25 to 1.67 cents each.

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Image result for uob prvi milesThere’s also UOB’s PRVI Pay, which until 31 July 2019 will sell you as many miles as you want for 1.8 cents each. 

And finally, there’s the OCBC VOYAGE payment facility, which lets you buy as many miles as you want from 1.9 to 1.95 cents each.

Conclusion

Given all the ways you could easily buy miles for less than 2 cents, there’s really no reason to take advantage of this promotion.

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I’d give this one a miss, unless you were really desperate for miles and couldn’t utilize any of the cheaper methods above.


Signing up for cards or making purchases through the links in this article may generate a referral commission that supports the running of The Milelion. Found this post useful? Subscribe to our Telegram Channel to get these posts pushed directly to your phone, or our newsletter (on the right of your screen) for the latest deals and hacks delivered to your inbox.

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Does spending on public transport quality for the bonus 1 mile?