If you live in Singapore, and are not a complete recluse, you’ve certainly at least walked past one of the following stores:
In all likelihood, at least some of your regular spending is in one of these stores too. For many, it’s the weekly grocery shopping, and that’s good news if you have a Passion Card, because you can convert the points to KrisFlyer miles, and it’s quite a good deal.
What is a Passion Card?
In a nutshell, it’s the membership card of the People’s Association in Singapore, a network of grassroots organisations and Community Clubs that oversees neighbourhood communities and social organisations.
That doesn’t seem too relevant to miles earning, until you look at their loyalty scheme – Passion Card, and it’s rewards – known as TapForMore points. For every $1 you spend at Cold Storage, Marketplace, Jasons, Giant or Guardian, you’ll earn one TapForMore point. These can be converted into cashback against future purchases at these outlets, or into KrisFlyer miles.
How do I get a Passion Card?
You can apply for your Passion Card online using this link. The membership fee is $12, for a five year period. Provided you spend an average of just $7 a week across the five above outlets, the membership fee will pay for itself, and that’s at the basic cashback rate not assuming the (higher) value you will achieve by converting to KrisFlyer miles, so don’t be put off by the joining fee.
That’s not even accounting for the fact that the card also doubles as an EZ-Link card, and comes with a host of other discounts at some F&B outlets, and attractions like Gardens by the Bay, so the membership fee is really inconsequential.
Is converting TapForMore Points to KrisFlyer miles good value?
Basically, we say yes. If you use your TapForMore points as a rebate on your next purchase, you will receive 0.666 cents cashback per point redeemed. If you convert your points to KrisFlyer miles, you’ll get 1 mile for every 2.3 points converted, the equivalent of 0.435 miles per point.
We conservatively value KrisFlyer miles at about 2 cents each, so 0.435 KrisFlyer miles have a ‘value’, in our opinion, of around 0.87 cents. That’s about 30% better than redeeming for cashback at the checkout.
Take a look at my account today for example:
I can quickly tell from my shopping receipt at Giant earlier that I have 985 TapForMore points to redeem. Usefully, it also shows the rebate I would get if I chose to instantly redeem the points as money off my shopping at the checkout ($6.56).
On the TapForMore website, I can redeem these points for 428 KrisFlyer miles. That’s a value of $8.56 based on my valuation of 2 cents per KrisFlyer mile. Alternatively if you look at it the other way round, you are effectively ‘buying’ 428 KrisFlyer miles for $6.56, a rate of 1.53 cents per mile.
Note that the minimum number of TapForMore points you can transfer to KrisFlyer miles is 300 (converts to 130 miles).
The numbers seem small, is it really worth the effort?
You won’t be setting your miles balance on fire by converting your TapForMore points into KrisFlyer miles, but we think it’s still a good way of topping up your total.
If you do all your normal weekly grocery shopping in one of the four supermarkets in the scheme, plus some occasional items from Guardian, we think you could easily be spending $10,000 a year, which would net you an extra 4,350 KrisFlyer miles annually.
Assuming you are using a miles-earning credit card, such as the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite with 1.4 miles per $1 spent, that 4,350 miles is on top of the 14,000 you’ll already be receiving, increasing your effective earning rate to 1.835 miles per $1 spent at these outlets.
Personally, I earned about 2,000 miles over the last 12 months from TapForMore. Not amazing, but not to be sniffed at.
Do TapForMore points expire?
Yes, the points you collect within any calendar year (1 Jan-31 Dec) must be redeemed by 30 June the following year, or they will expire.
Keep an eye out for bonus promotions
Earlier this year, Passion Card offered a 20% bonus for TapForMore points conversions to KrisFlyer miles. The deal ran between 1 May and 30 June. There’s no guarantee they will repeat the offer, but just in case they do – we would recommend allowing your points to accumulate to as high a level as possible, then convert to KrisFlyer just before they expire (the redemption deadline is 30 June each year, for the points earned the previous year).
That’s to avoid my mistake! When the bonus was announced earlier this year, I had just converted my points into KrisFlyer miles the week before, which was rather foolish as I really had no good reason to, meaning I could then only take limited advantage of the bonus miles transfer period.
If such a promotion were to be repeated, that makes the case for conversion to KrisFlyer miles (instead of cashback at the checkout) even more compelling. Each TapForMore point would then be worth 0.565 KrisFlyer miles, about 1.13 cents in value, while you’ll still only get 0.666 cents of value back per point at the checkout, close to 70% better value as a KrisFlyer conversion.
Looking at it the other way round, that would be effectively ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles for 1.18 cents each.
Careful not to redeem your points at the checkout
If your intention is to accumulate your TapForMore points for conversion to KrisFlyer miles (which it should be), be careful if the checkout assistant asks whether you want to redeem your points when you pay. You definitely don’t want to do that.
It works both ways
Not only can you transfer TapForMore points to KrisFlyer miles, the reverse is also true. Problem is, the rate is pitiful, so you should never do it.
You will get a measly 1.1 TapForMore points for each KrisFlyer mile transferred, a value of about 0.733 cents per KrisFlyer mile, and once it’s done it can’t be reversed. As we explain here, the absolute minimum value you can always achieve from your KrisFlyer miles as a discount on any flight is 1.02 cents each, under the Singapore Airlines ‘part-pay with miles’
scam scheme, which we also do not recommend.
It would therefore be nonsensical to convert them to TapForMore at 0.733 cents each, so only do the conversion the correct way – to KrisFlyer.