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DBS has launched the next stage of its partnership with Singapore Airlines this month, the DBS Travel Marketplace. The big news here is a special offer running from now until 31st December 2019 where DBS Altitude credit card holders can earn 4 miles per dollar on any Singapore Airlines cash ticket booked through the new portal.
You can read details at the DBS landing page for this offer.
The 4 miles per dollar is made up of:
- 3 miles per dollar spent in the online flights and hotels transaction category in accordance with the regular DBS Altitude credit card T&Cs.
- 1 bonus mile per dollar spent on Singapore Airlines ticket bookings made via the DBS Travel Marketplace.
As with the regular 3 miles per dollar rate for online flights and hotels transaction category, the 1 bonus mile per dollar is capped at the first S$5,000 spend per calendar month.
While the regular 3 miles per dollar earnings will be credited as DBS Points on the 16th day of the next calendar month (or next working day), the additional bonus mile per dollar spent will be credited 90 days after the end of the promotion, i.e. approximately 31st March 2020.
That means you’re waiting a long time for these bonus points to credit, the major downside of the offer in our view.
For example if you spend S$3,000 on Singapore Airlines tickets via the DBS Travel Marketplace on 10th August 2019 using your DBS Altitude credit card, you will receive:
- 3,600 miles immediately (3,000 x 1.2 miles per dollar)
- 5,400 miles on 16th September 2019 (3,000 x 1.8 miles per dollar)
- 3,000 miles by 31st March 2020 (3,000 x 1.0 miles per dollar)
Total 12,000 miles (4mpd), but you’ve waited a very long time for the last 3,000 of those! Note the 12,000 miles are credited as 6,000 DBS Points, which convert to 12,000 KrisFlyer miles, Asia Miles or Qantas points See our review of this card for details.
The full terms and conditions of the 4 miles per dollar offer with DBS Altitude credit cards can be found here.
What is DBS Travel Marketplace?
The next stage of the digital partnership between Singapore Airlines and DBS, first announced in March this year.
An initial element of the agreement, the ability for KrisFlyer members to instantly convert DBS points into KrisPay miles via the KrisPay app, already started a couple of weeks ago.
Currently in Beta, DBS Travel Marketplace has been launched as a tool to “allow one to purchase flights, book hotels and buy travel insurance on a single integrated platform.”
Here’s the information from DBS on making payment at the DBS Travel Marketplace.
We tried a few searches today and had no problem bringing up cash fares on Singapore Airlines flights at identical rates to those available through singaporeair.com. In fact, it’s quite a bit quicker than the Singapore Airlines site!
The portal uses API technology to display the flight results, so fares and conditions are identical to a search made on the Singapore Airlines site. Fare class and conditions are transparently presented as you go through the booking process.
Any ticket changes or cancellation will have to be done via the Singapore Airlines website after booking. You will still earn KrisFlyer miles and PPS Value as normal when you take flights booked through this portal.
Only the lowest available fare in the respective cabin class searched appears to be available to book through DBS, for example if ‘Economy Lite’ is available for your itinerary it will only offer you that, there is no option to pay more for the flexibility of ‘Economy Standard’ so you will still have to book through singaporeair.com in those cases.
Most people buying cash tickets will just want the cheapest available fare anyway.
Redeem DBS Points at the Travel Marketplace
One interesting function promised with the new DBS Travel Marketplace is the ability to redeem DBS Points (at least 100 at a time) or POSB Daily$ (any amount) against a flight or hotel booking.
This doesn’t seem to be up and running yet, at least we can’t get it to work but if you can please let us know!
The important thing here will be the value offered per DBS Point. It’s likely to be very low and of little interest to our readers, but may be a consideration if you are points rich given that you are accessing commercial availability, rather than needing to find award space to use your miles.
The wording also suggests you will still have to pay for the flight or hotel, then 3 working days later will receive a cash credit to your card for the points redeemed (which can be for the whole booking amount, including taxes).
We’ll keep an eye on how this option works out in value terms, but again don’t get too excited as options to use your points or miles as a cash equivalent are almost always terrible value (1 cent per KrisFlyer mile at the Singapore Airlines website, for example).
DBS Altitude sign-up offer
We just wrote last week about the latest extension to the 10,000-mile sign-up bonus for DBS Altitude Visa and American Express cards, with that offer now running until the end of September 2019.
You’ll need to spend S$6,000 or more on eligible transactions in the first three months to qualify, and if you go for the American Express version of the card that spend will also entitle you to a 50% bonus on the regular miles earning rates.
That ups your regular earn rate for flight and hotel transactions to 4.5 miles per dollar. We can’t see anything in the terms and conditions for this offer preventing it from ‘stacking’ with the Marketplace offer, so this this extra bonus mile per dollar spent on Singapore Airlines flight at DBS Travel Marketplace should net you 5.5 miles per dollar on those transactions.
We’re checking that with DBS. Bear in mind that the the 50% bonus is capped at S$10,000 in the first 3 months (S$6,666 spent online for flights and hotels), plus you have the regular monthly cap to consider, but you can still potentially get a good quantity of miles this way.
A very nice offer for those of you who regularly purchase cash tickets on Singapore Airlines, and all the more reason to consider the current DBS Altitude sign-up bonus.
Unfortunately you won’t see the “fourth” bonus mile per dollar earned over the next six months until the end of March next year, which is a long time to wait if you’re booking tickets in the near future.
(Cover Image: DBS)