Late last month, DBS added Qantas Frequent Flyer as a transfer partner for its DBS Points. There’s now a special offer for those moving points from DBS into Qantas with an unlimited 20% bonus when you transfer between 15th April 2019 and 30th June 2019.
Transfers are subject to the usual S$26.75 fee. Note that the offer is not applicable to DBS customers enrolled in the S$42.83 annual program for automatic points conversions from selected cards, which is only for transfers to the KrisFlyer program – see our review of the DBS Altitude card for full details.
The minimum transfer quantity is 5,000 DBS Points to 10,000 Qantas Points, with the 20% bonus (+2,000 Qantas Points in that example) credited by the 14th of the following calendar month.
The table below shows when you would receive the bonus points based on a few transfer examples.
It’s not just the DBS Altitude, points transfers from another popular miles earning option in Singapore, the DBS Woman’s World Mastercard, are also available (see our review of that one here).
Joining Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF)
If you don’t already have a QFF membership, it’s free to sign up if you live in Singapore (unlike in Australia where it will set you back AU$99.50).
Once you’re a member you can log in and search award availability for flights on Qantas, Emirates and oneworld airlines even if you don’t have sufficient miles in your account for the itinerary.
QFF redemption rates
Qantas has a distance based award chart for redemptions. Here’s the table for its own services, also including Emirates and a few other partners like American Airlines and Fiji Airways:
As you can seen you’re looking at the following rates for non-stop Qantas / Emirates flights from Singapore:
- Perth: 50,000 points in Business Class
- Brisbane / Dubai / Melbourne / Sydney: 60,000 points in Business Class, 90,000 points in First Class
- London: 84,000 points in Business Class, 126,000 points in First Class
Here’s the distance based award chart if you’re using QFF points to fly on a oneworld airline (except American), and some other partners too:
It’s useful for Emirates
As we mentioned above, QFF points are useful not only for Qantas and oneworld redemptions, but also for Emirates First and Business Class awards, with good availability generally made available to QFF members.
It’s difficult to earn Emirates miles directly in Singapore through credit card spending (Mileslife and the non-KrisFlyer Amex cards are the main options), so using Qantas points for Emirates redemptions is a good option as you can also convert from Citi into Qantas as well as DBS.
As an example, an Emirates Business Class award flight using Qantas points from Singapore to Dubai is 60,000 points. That means you’ll only have to transfer 25,000 DBS Points into QFF under the current promotion, which will award you 50,000 Qantas points as usual before a 10,000 point top-up will be automatically added the next month.
Likewise for Emirates First Class the 90,000 points rate from Singapore to Dubai (or Melbourne / Brisbane) now only requires you to transfer in 37,500 DBS Points (75,000 Qantas points), with the 20% top-up (15,000 points) following soon after.
Avios is better for Asia-Pacific redemptions
Even if you take 17% off the award rates in the QFF oneworld award chart (that’s what you’re effectively getting with a 20% transfer bonus), this still doesn’t come close to the excellent rates you can secure for short distance redemptions in Asia-Pacific using British Airways Avios points instead.
We have a whole article examining it in detail, but to take a couple of examples:
Cathay Pacific Business Singapore – Bangkok
- Avios: 15,000
- Asia Miles: 25,000
- Qantas: 26,000
Cathay Pacific Business Singapore – Hong Kong
- Avios: 20,000
- Asia Miles: 25,000
- Qantas: 38,000
Even 17% off the Qantas award rate still makes it an expensive option on these routings versus the Avios scheme.
The waiting game
If you do want to take advantage of the 20% transfer bonus from DBS Points to QFF Points, be aware that the bank is quoting a transfer time of “approximately 7 working days”.
After that you’ll be waiting until the 14th of the subsequent month for the 20% bonus to credit into your QFF account, so this isn’t great for a redemption you may be looking to jump on now. It’s more of a speculative / long-term strategy.
See the DBS landing page for this offer for full details including terms and conditions.
(Cover Photo: Qantas)