When Standard Chartered launched the X Card back in July 2019, it also added Qantas Frequent Flyer among a raft of new transfer partners for its 360° Rewards Points. Far from being exclusive, these new transfer partners were also then later made available to all Standard Chartered credit card holders, giving everyone the same 12 loyalty programmes to choose from.
That means while offers are often marketed as “exclusive” for Standard Chartered X cardholders, your points balance in Standard Chartered is aggregated across your X Card and other cards, and the system should allow you to transfer all the points earned into all partner programmes.
Today Standard Chartered has announced a new four-week promotion allowing customers to transfer into the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme with a 40% bonus, giving you 1,400 Qantas Points for every 2,500 Standard Chartered Points converted, instead of the usual 1,000.
If you’ve accumulated a significant number of Standard Chartered Rewards points, this could be a useful windfall for selected Emirates or oneworld redemptions.
Standard Chartered Rewards points usually transfer into Qantas Frequent Flyer at a 2.5 : 1 ratio.
|Normal Transfer Ratio
SC Rewards → Qantas Points
2,500 : 1,000
With this offer you’ll get 1,400 Qantas points for every 2,500 points converted instead (1.79 : 1).
|Bonus Transfer Ratio
SC Rewards → Qantas Points
2,500 : 1,400
Standard Chartered rewards points transfer into KrisFlyer miles at a 2.5 : 1 ratio.
Simply transfer your points between now and 25th October 2020 into the Qantas programme to take advantage of the bonus. Transfers are subject to the usual S$26.75 fee, regardless of the number of points converted.
Unfortunately, Standard Chartered has totally messed up its advertising of this promotion. Instead the bank is claiming that its points usually transfer into Qantas in 3,500 : 1,000 blocks (they don’t, they transfer in 2,500 : 1,000 blocks).
It isn’t even possible to transfer 3,500-sized blocks into Qantas, so this was an unfortunate typo, though sadly not unexpected from Standard Chartered, whose attention to detail is right up there with their customer service – non existent.
The bank made a similar mistake when it advertised its 100% bonus transfer rate to Accor ALL points earlier this year.
Update 1 Oct: Standard Chartered has realised its mistake and sent out a correction email, so don’t worry – you’ll definitely get 1,400 Qantas Points for every 2,500 SC Rewards Points transferred!
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.
Before you get too excited, Qantas Frequent Flyer points aren’t usually good value, and their reward tickets can come with significant fuel surcharges attached, but under this offer you can make a number of redemption options that may still make sense, including redeeming on Emirates flights.
Here’s the airline’s distance-based redemption chart for ‘Classic Flight Rewards’ (the only ones you should ever be booking) on its own services, plus those of selected partners, now including Emirates:
That means shelling out the following one-way miles rates on the airline’s Singapore to Australia flights:
- Economy: 25,200 (Perth: 20,300)
- Premium Economy: 51,300
- Business: 68,400 (Perth: 57,000)
- First: 102,600
While to or from London it’ll set you back:
- Economy: 37,600
- Premium Economy: 71,100
- Business: 94,900
- First: 142,300
These are uncompetitive rates if you compare to using KrisFlyer miles with Singapore Airlines, however under this offer however there are some good deals to be had.
Let’s say you want to book a Business Class flight from Singapore to Sydney in 2021. Normally you would have to transfer 155,000 Standard Chartered Points to achieve the 62,000 KrisFlyer miles required for a redemption on Singapore Airlines.
With a 40% bonus, you’ll only have to transfer 122,500 Standard Chartered Points to achieve 68,600 Qantas Points, more than 20% less.
That’s like flying from Singapore to Sydney for an equivalent of 49,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Singapore to London with Qantas is another good example. At 94,900 Qantas points in Business Class, an unattractive rate on the face of it, with the 40% bonus on offer from Standard Chartered you’d only need to transfer 170,000 points to achieve that.
That’s equivalent to flying Singapore – London in Business Class for 68,000 KrisFlyer miles.
In both cases you’ll actually have to fly on Qantas, not necessarily comparable in service standards with Singapore Airlines but with flat beds on board and an excellent Business Class lounge in Singapore nonetheless.
As a oneworld airline, you can also use Qantas Frequent Flyer points to redeem on a host of alliance partners (including Emirates), at the following rates:
Unfortunately, this doesn’t open up any good value options within Asia-Pacific, even with a 40% bonus on offer.
For example, to fly Cathay Pacific from Singapore to Hong Kong in Business Class costs 43,800 Qantas Points (over 78,000 Standard Chartered points), which could be converted to over 31,000 KrisFlyer miles. Singapore Airlines is charging 30,500 miles in Business Class on the same route.
A similar (unattractive) disparity exists when you look at Cathay’s Singapore to Bangkok route, even with the 40% bonus accounted for.
For longer oneworld options, such as Singapore to Europe, Qantas points are charged on a per sector basis, resulting in poor value for airlines with connecting itineraries like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific and JAL.
One exception is for British Airways’ non-stop London flights, at 104,500 Qantas points in Business Class and 149,800 in First Class, that’s the ‘KrisFlyer equivalent’ of:
- 74,700 miles in Business Class (KrisFlyer 92,000)
- 107,000 miles in First Class (KrisFlyer 125,000)
With the 40% bonus on offer.
Finally you might be interested to fly on Emirates using QFF, in Business Class to Melbourne or Dubai for 75,000 points each way.
That’s the equivalent of 53,500 KrisFlyer miles if you transfer under the 40% bonus offer, good for Melbourne (usually 62,000 KrisFlyer miles), but illogical for Dubai (usually 49,000 KrisFlyer miles).
Qantas Points don’t expire
With international travel largely suspended (in Asia at least) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one major concern when moving miles or points into lesser-known programmes is the expiry policy for your loyalty programme.
Luckily Qantas has an activity-based policy, unlike the fixed time-based miles expiry you get with KrisFlyer miles.
Your Qantas Frequent Flyer account remains active, and your Qantas Points will not expire, if you earn or use your Qantas Points (excluding transfer of points to or from an eligible family member or the conversion of points from Qantas Business rewards) at least once every 18 months.
The 18-month time period starts from the date of your last eligible activity. If your last activity was an eligible flight, it is the date the flight was taken.
That means you’ll get some breathing room, with an easy option for keeping your points balance alive in the Qantas programme simply to transfer more miles into it within an 18-month period, to buy yourself a fresh 18-month validity cycle.
How to convert
The easiest way to make a transfer from Standard Chartered to Qantas Points (and most of the ‘new’ Standard Chartered transfer partners) is using the SC Mobile app, under the ‘Credit Card Rewards’ section from the top left menu icon.
Otherwise using the desktop site you’ll have to navigate from your X Card account summary via the ‘Card Details’ tab and then the ‘View My Rewards’ link right at the bottom to access transfers to these new partners.
Note that the ‘Redeem Rewards Now’ link still takes you to the old rewards page – for KrisFlyer conversions only (no bonus there unfortunately). You must go through the new ‘View My Rewards’ link from the ‘Card Details’ page.
Your bonus miles under this offer will be credited to your QFF account at the same time as the usual miles you would receive at the standard rate, however the bonus unfortunately does not reflect at the confirmation stage.
Terms and conditions
Full terms and conditions for the Citi Rewards 10,800 miles sign-up bonus are available here:
Luckily, these don’t repeat the (erroneous) 3,500 Standard Chartered points > 1,000 Qantas Points mistake!
Transfers from Standard Chartered to QFF miles were never particularly great value, however with this new offer you’re netting 40% more miles than you would usually get transferring to KrisFlyer.
On many routes, including the airline’s own flights from Singapore to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, that beats equivalent KrisFlyer award rates by 20% (assuming you would instead transfer your Standard Chartered points into that scheme), so it’s worth considering depending on your travel patterns.
Even a British Airways flight from Singapore to London comes in close to a fifth cheaper in “equivalent KrisFlyer term”s if you transfer under this offer, though many will pay the extra for SIA’s seat and service in that case.
Unfortunately with Qantas International likely grounded until mid-2021, and the travel landscape uncertain even across other carriers like Emirates, this may be one to pass on despite the headline bonus appearing attractive.
Will you be transferring your Standard Chartered Rewards points into Qantas Points? Let us know which route gives you good value in the comments section below.
(Cover Photo: Qantas)