Credit Cards KrisFlyer Other FFPs

Revealed: Conversion rates from your X Card to 11 new loyalty schemes

The Standard Chartered X Card brings with it 11 alternative transfer partners. That's where the good news ends.

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Yesterday we wrote about the 100,000 miles sign-up bonus for the new Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X card, a very generous offer requiring S$6,000 spend in the first 60 days of card membership, subject to payment of the S$695.50 annual fee. Even existing Standard Chartered credit card holders are eligible for the bonus.

One interesting change is that unlike previously, where Standard Chartered 360o Reward Points only transferred into KrisFlyer, we now have confirmation from the bank about the eight nine additional frequent flyer programmes (FFPs) and two hotel loyalty schemes supporting miles transfer from the X card.

Which FFPs?

To our surprise, eight additional frequent flyer programmes were revealed to be eligible for miles transfer from 360o Reward Points accrued on the X card (Air France and KLM Flying Blue really counts as just one scheme), for a total of nine including Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (the only one we were expecting).

On top of that, there were two hotel loyalty schemes.

New Partners.jpg

In fact Standard Chartered has confirmed to Mainly Miles that a ninth FFP should also be on the list. Don’t get too excited though, you’ll also be able to convert into Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles.

This is a significant expansion and includes some ‘firsts’ for credit card point transfers in Singapore, those being Lufthansa Miles & More and United MileagePlus.

UA 789 (Boeing).jpg
X card members will be able to transfer into United MileagePlus, a first from a Singapore credit card. (Image: Boeing)

Five other schemes are only currently available to transfer into from one of the banks in Singapore, those being Flying Blue (Citi), Etihad Guest (Citi), EVA Air (Citi), Qatar Privilege Club (Citi) and Emirates Skywards (American Express).

On the hotel loyalty side, 360o Reward Points will also transfer into Le Club AccorHotels and IHG Rewards Club points.

Transfer ratios

We couldn’t really comment yesterday on whether this was particularly good news or not without knowing the transfer ratios from 360o Reward Points into miles for X card customers.

We can now reveal those will be as follows, with an example of how many points or miles you will be able to transfer into these schemes with your 100,000 miles (250,000 Reward Points) sign-up bonus.

X card Airline Partner Conversion
FFP Conversion Ratio 250,000 Reward Points converts to:
KF Logo trans 2.5:1 100,000
AFKLtrans.png 2.5:1 100,000
EVtrans.png 2.5:1 100,000
QFF.png 2.5:1 100,000
EYtrans.png 3:1 83,333
QRtrans.png 3:1 83,333
MHtrans.png 3:1 83,333
EKtrans.png 3.5:1 71,429
MMtrans.png 3.5:1 71,429
UAtrans.png 3.5:1 71,429
X card Hotel Partner Conversion
Loyalty scheme Conversion Ratio 250,000 Reward Points converts to:
IHG.png 2.5:1 100,000
Accor 5:1 50,000

The good news to begin with is that for Air France / KLM, EVA Air and Qantas Frequent Flyer the regular transfer ratio of 2.5:1 will apply, giving you the same number of miles or points in those schemes as you’d get transferring to KrisFlyer.

For Etihad, Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines the 3:1 ratio means you’re taking a hit. You’ll only get 83% of the usual miles in those schemes compared to the total you would get in KrisFlyer. That’s a poor deal with all three of those programmes transferring from Citi at the same rate as KrisFlyer.

Finally Emirates, Lufthansa and United get the poorest ratio of 3.5:1, so you’ll end up with about 71% of the miles or points you would otherwise achieve with a KrisFlyer transfer.

On the hotel side you’ll be able to credit 100,000 IHG Rewards points instead of 100,000 KrisFlyer miles, but only 50,000 Le Club Accor points.

Value is not identical

We consider a KrisFlyer mile to be worth 1.9 cents against Singapore Airlines flight redemptions, but we don’t come to an exact figure for other FFPs and loyalty programmes. For one thing to do so in such detail would take far too long!

Like any programme, each has its own ‘sweet spots’ where you’ll get outsize value, but not all of those will be useful to readers based in Singapore.

To give you an idea, here is what One Mile at a Time and The Points Guy provide as approximate valuations of these miles or points, in Singapore cents (converted from US cents at US$1 to S$1.37 exchange rate at 26th July 2019).

  • Flying Blue: 1.60 / 1.78
  • EVA Air: Not valued
  • Qantas: 1.90 (Point Hacks)
  • Qatar: 1.23 / 1.23
  • Malaysia: 1.23 / Not valued
  • Emirates: 1.37 / 1.64
  • Lufthansa: 1.64 / 1.91
  • United: 1.91 / 1.78
  • IHG: 0.68 / 0.68
  • Accor: Not valued / 2.73

It’s worth mentioning that as with all miles valuations, these are subjective and you might personally use a different valuation, however they provide a reasonable benchmark.

As you can see, with the possible exception of Qantas, wherever the value is good (e.g. Accor, Lufthansa, United), it’s been well and truly accounted for by Standard Chartered in the transfer ratio. You just can’t make anything work at close to 1.9 cents, again with the possible exception of Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Transfer fee

This is the same as for KrisFlyer miles at S$26.75 (including GST) per transfer. That means if you want to transfer 50,000 miles (125,000 Rewards Points) into KrisFlyer and 50,000 miles (a separate 125,000 Rewards Points) into Qantas Frequent Flyer, you will have to pay the fee twice, as you would probably expect.

Transfer blocks

The minimum transfer block for all these partners is 1,000 miles or points in the partner scheme.

For example you’ll need at least 5,000 Reward Points to make the minimum transfer to Le Club AccorHotels (5:1 ratio).

Example Accor.jpg

If you’re transferring to a 3.5:1 partner the minimum transfer is 3,500 Reward Points, and so on.

Whether the transfer blocks increase at the same size as you transfer more points we don’t yet know, as I don’t have any points from the X card yet so the system does not allow me to increase the transfer quantity.

Standard Chartered told me the blocks are equally sized (so you can increase in steps of 1,000 miles or points in the partner scheme), and it looks like that should indeed be the case.

How to transfer

I swore blind to Standard Chartered over the phone yesterday that these options are simply not there on the rewards page. I was then told it would happen “soonest”, but eventually got them to tell me what the transfer ratios would be (this was not easy and occupied almost all of my afternoon!).

After all that effort someone called me back and advised that the transfer options are actually there, they are just not found in the same place!

This is a bit cryptic, so follow along carefully.

When you are logged on to your credit cards home page you should see your X Card there. I have a Visa Infinite too so I can see both. Now don’t click on the ‘Rewards’ button, which takes you to the usual place to transfer to KrisFlyer miles.

Instead just click on the card account itself.

Step 1

Your rewards points are shown at the bottom alongside the ‘Redeem Rewards Now’ link. Again don’t press this (like you might think was logical), instead click the ‘Card Details’ button.

Step 2

There are a few links to Rewards here but scroll down to the very last one ‘View My Rewards’ and click it.

Step 3

Nothing too interesting on the next page, it just summarises your points balances. Click ‘Transfer Rewards’ (‘Purchase with Rewards’ is the cashback thing).

Step 4

Read and accept the terms and conditions and voila!

Step 5

It is not possible to use reward points accrued with another Standard Chartered card, like the Visa Infinite, with these partners, so for now that’s all I can show you since I have no points on the X card yet.

If you want to transfer to KrisFlyer miles you simply use the ‘old’ system, and Standard Chartered told me that there your points from other cards will be combined with the points from the X card so you can make a single transfer from your entire points ‘pool’ to KrisFlyer and only pay the fee once.

I can’t verify that at this stage, but will update once I have some X card points in my account. If you have more than one card and are already seeing some X card points, do let us know if the two are being combined for KrisFlyer transfers.

Summary

Unless you have better information than us on the value of United MileagePlus miles or Lufthansa Miles & More miles, or perhaps even Accor points, there’s still no point in continuing to use this card beyond the sign-up promotion since you can transfer into all the other schemes listed above at the same or better transfer rates, using a Citi credit card for example.

16K Overhead.jpg
A KrisFlyer redemption remains the obvious transfer option from the Standard Chartered X card, in our opinion. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The smaller transfer blocks from Standard Chartered are useful, but we can’t see many people being willing to spend the S$26.75 transfer fee for 1,000 miles, or say 9,000 miles, even if it does give you enough to unlock a redemption in a particular scheme.

Do you see any good value options here that we’ve missed? Will you be transferring your sign-up bonus to a partner other than KrisFlyer? Let us know in the comments section below.

16 comments

  1. Dear Andrew,

    Thanks for the excellent article.

    You mentioned that if one has an existing SC card like the SCVI card, and if one wants to transfer to Krisflyer miles, the points will pool together. It was mentioned in yesterday’s article that SC does a FIFO policy when we redeem points for miles.

    My main concern is,
    After I get the 100k miles and want to cancel the X card before the next annual fee is charged, and I want to redeem Krisflyer miles and have an existing large pool of points earned under the SCVI card, is it possible to ensure the 100k miles are deducted from those earned from the X card and not from the SCVI card?

    Thanks.

    1. Interesting and understandable concern. I don’t know the answer unfortunately, it will become clearer what the process is once some of us have reward points accrued from both cards and then make a transfer.

      In the worst case it might be that you have to empty out your X card points (earned more recently) and SCVI points (earned longer ago) before cancelling, since the SCVI points would be ‘used’ first.

  2. Hi Andrew,

    As mentioned in your other thread too, when I look at the X card FAQ on transfer partners, KrisFlyer isn’t listed, just the new partners as per the list above. Have you confirmed with Standard Chartered that one can indeed transfer to KrisFlyer?

    1. Yes that is what they told me, but using the ‘old’ rewards system in that case. The entire T&C document refers to KrisFlyer miles so don’t worry, you will definitely be able to transfer them there. I agree it’s not well explained from their side.

  3. Dear Andrew,

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    If the worst case scenario is true, it will be the strongest reason for me not to apply for the X card. Because the SCVI points don’t expire but once transferred to Krisflyer, the 3-year clock starts ticking. And I’ve got a lot of points under the SCVI card.

    Thanks again for the 2 wonderful articles on the X card!

    1. Thanks. Yes I understand your concern. I will ask them (I think they are sick of me now, but it doesn’t matter!). Will let you know what they say.

      1. Thanks a lot, Andrew!

        Perhaps that should prompt them to think about how to make their X card be more attractive to people, otherwise they will lose almost all their X card customers one year on…. unless this FIFO policy is their ploy to keep people on the X card!

      2. They told me you can specify between the points accrued on the SCVI and the points accrued on the X card and choose which to transfer. I am sceptical though, will check how it works once I have a balance from both cards!

      3. No problem. Just to highlight how nonsensical all my conversations with the banks are, someone else at Standard Chartered has now told me you won’t be able to specify which card account the points come from, they will automatically come from the highest balance first.

        I asked them if that meant I had 50,000 points from SCVI and 60,000 points from X card and I then transferred 60,000 to KrisFlyer they would ALL be deducted from X card points balance they said “yes, that is correct”.

        I believe this about as much as I believe their previous statement.

      4. Yes, I’m quite sceptical about what different CSOs in the banks say. Even if I document their name down, whatever they tell me has no validity. Too bad there’s nothing in black-and-white or on their T&Cs about the mechanics of redeeming the points when one also has the SC Visa Infinite card.
        Only way would be to see what really happens when points are actually redeemed!

  4. Eva air is not a bad FFP isn’t it? Since we can redeem return biz class from Sg to Korea or Japan with only 50k Eva air miles.

  5. Even though I have decided not to pursue the X card (having read more about it and called SC etc), I want to thank Andrew for these great and clear write ups and also the very civil conversation on this board. I really like this blog. We learn from each other, and I appreciate your (Andrew) keeping focused on what all this sharing is for. If anyone wants to know, I have decided against getting the X card due to many uncertainties (and typos, and inconsistent information – including the annual fee which is still wrong in the TnCs), and to the hassle of moving refundable spends around. I am also personally not enamoured with collecting so many miles (1c apiece in my case, no doubt), in lieu of a better currency (aka $$).

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Happy that you like our work and of course fully appreciate your decision not to go for the X card, for all its benefits it’s the most chaotic and sloppy product launch we’ve seen in years!

  6. How is QFF 1.9c per point? Pointshacks is an Australian website, it looks like they give it in AUD as 1.4c per point – it looks like the 1.9c was derived from assuming they give their value in USD.
    A valuation of QFF around 1.3c per point in SGD sounds much more reasonable – QFF has high YQ, does not give great value on long haul premium cabins, and (unless you have QFF status) they have absolutely woeful availability on long haul international premium cabins which necessitates a significant valuation discount. No way they are comparable to SQ KF miles in valuation.

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