Standard Chartered offering 45% transfer bonus to United MileagePlus

From now till 9 June, get a 45% bonus on all SCB points transfers to United MileagePlus.

After offering transfer bonuses to Emirates Skywards and Accor Live Limitless, Standard Chartered now has a new promotion for United MileagePlus.

SCB is offering a 45% bonus on transfers to United MileagePlus

From 13 May to 9 June 2020, SCB will award an additional 45% bonus for points transfers to United MileagePlus. Instead of the usual 3,500 points: 1,000 miles, you’ll receive 1,450 miles, with no cap on the bonus.

All transfers must be made by 11.59 p.m SGT on 9 June 2020 to be eligible for the bonus. Bonus miles will be credited to your account “according to standard transfer lead times”, which typically take 5-7 working days.

With this transfer bonus, you’re earning the equivalent of 1.24/2.07 mpd when you spend on the SCB X Card.

This offer is marketed to SCB X Card members, but just like the previous promotions, SCB Visa Infinite members can participate too. If you hold both cards, your points will be pooled together for the purposes of redemption.

⚠️Leap of Faith
Like the previous Emirates and Accor promotions, the bonus doesn’t actually reflect on the transfer portal. You’ll just have to make the transfer and trust that the bonus will be credited. Based on the past two promotions, there have been no issues. Remember, the easiest way to access SCB’s 11 new transfer partners is through the mobile app, not the desktop. 

Ghetto screenshot as SCB app doesn’t allow screenshots

Is this a good deal?

United now prices awards on its own metal dynamically, with partner metal soon to follow

United MileagePlus does not impose fuel surcharges on redemptions, but they’re also progressively moving towards fully dynamic award redemptions.

In November 2019, United started dynamically pricing flights on its own metal, and less than a month ago, they removed the Star Alliance award chart, setting the stage for a similar move. For good measure, they decided to raise all partner award prices by 10% too, without notice.

It’s important to note that partner awards are not priced dynamically yet. The award chart has just been removed, allowing United to change the pricing as they see fit. However, it appears that at least internally, pricing still follows an award chart, which the folks at Award Wallet have put together for travel departing from the USA.

Source: Award Wallet

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing how long this pricing will last. It could stay the same for months, it could change tomorrow, we don’t know. That means I can’t tell you whether United MileagePlus awards are a good deal, precisely because I don’t know how much they’ll cost by the time you book.

For what it’s worth, I did pull the following one-way award prices from Singapore:

Business Class
Bangkok 27,500
Tokyo 45,000
 London 110,000
Sydney 50,000
 San Francisco 99,000
New York 99,000

Given how award prices are generally more expensive than KrisFlyer redemptions rates on Singapore Airlines metal, I probably wouldn’t bother. United does have some unique redemption partners, but I don’t see enough use cases to justify transferring.

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMar
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Azul
  • Boutique Air
  • Cape Air
  • Edelweiss
  • Eurowings
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Juneyao Air
  • Olympic Air
  • Silver Airways
  • Vistara

United MileagePlus miles never expire (regardless of activity), but given how unpredictable award costs can be with dynamic pricing you wouldn’t want to hold on to them for too long anyway.

It costs up to US$75 to change or cancel an award 61 or more days before departure, and up to US$125 to change or cancel an award 60 or less days before departure. If you no-show for an award flight, a US$125 redeposit fee will be charged to recover your miles.

Conclusion

While I’m glad that SCB continues to roll out these bonuses, this is one that I’d probably pass on. I already transferred all my points out during the previous Accor promotion anyway.

Will you be transferring points to United MileagePlus?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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