If you’re a BOC Elite Miles cardholder in Singapore, you’ll almost certainly (hopefully) have heard by now that the bank is soon taking a huge swipe at the value of your BOC Points balance, by altering the transfer ratio to both Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles and the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles programme.
In case you missed the news, we covered it in detail last week.
Here’s a quick recap on what’s happening. BOC isn’t changing the number of BOC Points you’ll accrue from your transactions with this card, which remain fixed at 4.5 Points per dollar spent locally and 9 Points per dollar spent overseas.
What’s changing is the transfer ratio to frequent flyer miles. This currently stands at 3:1, meaning your 4.5 Points per dollar spent locally is equivalent to 1.5 miles and your 9 Points per dollar in foreign currency is equivalent to 3 miles.
From 15th June 2020 any transfers you make from your BOC Points to frequent flyer miles will shift to a 4.5:1 ratio, devaluing not only any subsequent transactions you make with this card but all the BOC Points you currently have sitting in your account.
Here’s a summary of the changes.
|Now||From 15th June 2020|
|Local Earn Rate (S$)||1.5 mpd||1 mpd|
|Overseas Earn Rate (FCY)||3 mpd||2 mpd|
|Conversion Ratio||30,000 points
→ 10,000 miles
→ 10,000 miles
|Conversion Ratio||18,000 points
→ 6,000 miles
→ 6,000 miles
The key point to remember here is that it’s not the earn rate itself that is directly changing, but the transfer ratio to miles. That means you’ll have to cash out as many BOC Points as possible into one of the bank’s two frequent flyer programme partners before 15th June 2020.
What’s the latest you can transfer?
BOC confirmed to Mainly Miles yesterday that provided you send the redemption form to them by 14th June 2020, conversion of your BOC Points to KrisFlyer miles or Asia Miles will be at the existing rates, even though it will then be processed after this date.
If your form arrives with them on or after 15th June 2020, the new rates will apply (presumably, there will also be a new form reflecting the changes).
As you probably know, BOC has an archaic miles transfer process requiring you to print a PDF form, complete and sign it, then email it to them for the miles conversion to the processed.
When you do this, BOC will send a confirmation email letting you know that they have received your request. For our last four transfers from BOC Points to KrisFlyer, we’ve received the confirmation email from BOC after sending our form anywhere from the same day to 2 working days later.
Since you’ll obviously want to be sure that the form has safely reached them in time, and 13th/14th June 2020 is a weekend, we recommend emailing the form no later than 10th June 2020.
How to find your BOC Points balance
On the desktop site after logging in:
- Click ‘Credit Card’ from the menu on the left side
- Click ‘Account Information’, then select your BOC Elite Miles Card from the dropdown list and press the ‘Inquiry’ button.
- Your current BOC Points balance is shown on the fourth line down on the right side (‘Reward Points’)
On the mobile app after logging in:
- Click the menu button on the top left, then click ‘Credit Cards’
- Below your BOC Elite Miles Card account, click the ‘Account Information’ button
- Your current BOC Points balance is shown on the third from bottom line (‘Reward Points’)
There’s still time to spend
BOC Points are added to your account at transaction level, as soon as each transaction is posted to your account. That means you don’t have to wait for the next statement date to see the points reflected.
As soon as a transaction is posted, the BOC Points balance on your mobile app or through the online portal should be updated, and you can then transfer this displayed balance to miles at any time.
Local transactions tend to post within a day or two, but overseas (FCY) transactions can take up to five days to reflect (and therefore for the BOC Points balance to update).
We therefore recommend completing your additional spending to reach your desired points transfer threshold no later than 5th June 2020.
Here are the transfer blocks for Asia Miles and KrisFlyer.
|Air Miles Transfer ‘Blocks’|
Each transfer (i.e. one of the blue or yellow boxes in the table) costs S$30, so if you want to ‘mix and match’ with one Asia Miles transfer and one KrisFlyer miles transfer be aware it will set you back S$60 in total.
The maximum number of BOC Points you can convert for each S$30 transfer fee is 180,000 for Asia Miles and 300,000 for KrisFlyer miles.
If you have more than 300,000 BOC Points, you will probably need to do two transfers anyway, in which case you cannot avoid paying the S$30 fee twice.
Eddie was in this situation and did a 300,000 > 100,000 miles transfer to KrisFlyer then had a suitable remaining balance to complete one of the Asia Miles transfer blocks. Since he had to spend S$60 anyway to clear his points balance and we make use of both FFPs, this was a logical way to do it.
Let’s say you have exactly 72,000 BOC Points, the obvious option from the table above is to transfer those into 24,000 Asia Miles.
However let’s say you don’t use the Asia Miles programme and you only want to transfer to KrisFlyer.
In this case you’ll have to either:
- transfer 60,000 points into 20,000 miles, then have 12,000 BOC Points leftover, or
- make the additional spend required to reach 90,000 BOC Points, then transfer 30,000 miles across.