Unlike cobrand cards which automatically convert your spending into miles with a particular airline, bank cards allow you to choose which airline or hotel’s loyalty program you’d like to transfer your points to.
But not all banks are equal. Although every bank in Singapore partners with KrisFlyer, and almost every bank partners with Asia Miles, some banks simply have a greater variety of partner programs. The table below summarizes who partners with whom in Singapore:
Here’s a few points to take note of for transfers to frequent flyer programs
Think alliance and non-alliance partners
With the exception of Etihad Guest and Emirates Skywards, all FFP transfer partners in Singapore are part of an alliance. As a reminder, here’s the full list of members in each of the big 3 airline alliances:
In addition to alliance partners, individual FFPs may have bilateral (or non-alliance) partnerships. For example, KrisFlyer miles can be redeemed on SilkAir, Vistara, Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic, despite none of them being in Star Alliance. In the same way, Asia Miles can be redeemed on Air China, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, Bangkok Airways and others despite these not being part of oneworld.
Think sweet spots
In some cases, the best use of a particular FFP’s miles may not be for flights on that particular airline. For example, Etihad Guest miles aren’t great value for redemptions on Etihad. However, they can be fantastic for trips to Koh Samui- a round-trip Business Class ticket would be only 20,000 miles!
Here are some links to articles about sweet spots in other programs:
- Etihad Guest
- Turkish Miles&Smiles
- British Airways Avios
- EVA Air Infinity Mileagelands
- Emirates Skywards
Think transfer times
If you transfer credit card points to KrisFlyer, it’s pretty safe to say that you can expect to see the miles show up in your account within 3 working days or so. I know most banks quote you a few weeks, but that’s more of a “cover backside” kind of thing. I’ve done transfers with DBS, UOB, OCBC, Citibank and HSBC and in all those cases the miles showed up very quickly. I’ve noticed similarly fast times for Asia Miles, although I’ve only ever transferred UOB and HSBC points to this program.
Outside of that, it’s a bit of a crapshoot. Budget at least 2 weeks for transfers to programs other than KrisFlyer or Asia Miles, and take it as a bonus if points show up faster.
Think transfer ratios
With the exception of Air Asia, which runs a very different type of FFP, all banks except SCB will transfer points at similar ratios to all their program partners. That’s to say: 1 DBS point is worth 2 miles with KrisFlyer and Asia Miles; 450 AMEX Rewards points are worth 250 miles with British Airways, China Airlines, Emirates Skywards or any of their other partners.