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Maybank increases minimum miles transfer thresholds and block sizes

You'll now need to use Maybank's TREATS SG app to get the best transfer rate to KrisFlyer miles, in larger 10,000-mile blocks.

Maybank has made some changes to its TREATS Points Rewards Programme transfers today, increasing the minimum number of points required to make a conversion into airline partner programmes, though thankfully retaining the same overall transfer ratios.

The bank is also offering its top transfer rates for many rewards, including for KrisFlyer miles transfers, exclusively available via its mobile app, with poorer transfer ratios applicable to online and manual conversions.

Transfer ratios

Until 31st March 2021, the following transfer blocks applied for Maybank TREATS to airline miles transfers.

Compared to many other banks, these block sizes allow slightly more ‘refined’ transfer quantities. For example if you need to transfer 65,000 miles into KrisFlyer from Citi Miles you would have to transfer in 70,000, since that bank imposes 10,000-mile transfer blocks.

With Maybank in that example you could transfer 65,000 miles exactly, with more flexible 5,000-mile transfer blocks.

Unfortunately today Maybank has increased its transfer block sizes for all airline partners to the following levels:

While for Asia Miles, AirAsia BIG Rewards and Enrich Miles (now actually renamed ‘Enrich Points’ from today) there is still decent flexibility for transfer volumes, unfortunately for KrisFlyer you’re now restricted to 10,000-mile blocks like many other banks impose, double the previous level.

Now if you need 65,000 miles credited to your KrisFlyer account for a redemption, unfortunately it’s a case of waiting until you have enough TREATS Points to transfer 70,000 across from Maybank.

Maybank charges a S$26.75 fee for each transfer from TREATS Points to airline miles, regardless of the number of transfer blocks, with the exception of transfers to AirAsia BIG Points, which are free.

Pro Tip: Transfers to KrisFlyer and Asia Miles are all you should really be looking at from Maybank, with the Malaysia Airlines Enrich programme operating on a dynamic pricing basis for flights on its own metal, and partner redemptions coming in at unattractive rates with no cancellation flexibility.

Air Asia BIG Points are also very poor value in comparison.

The most important thing of course is that overall transfer ratios remain unchanged (that’s 2.5:1 for KrisFlyer, Asia Miles and Enrich, and 2:1 for BIG Points), so the value of your TREATS Points remains intact (not like some BOC-style ‘tweak’ to devalue all your points).

A new complication – the transfer method

Maybank has made another change to its TREATS Points transfers today it pays to be aware of.

Previously, there were two simple categories for transferring your TREATS Points to airline miles (or cash alternatives like vouchers); Online and Manual.

Now there are three categories; TREATS SG app, Rewards Portal and Manual.

Since the bank is keen to get people using its app, that method gives the best transfer ratio (where it’s available), followed by the online Rewards Portal and the Manual methods.

Maybank wants its customers to use its mobile app for points transfers. (Image: Maybank)

Here’s how it used to work for airline miles transfers:

Here is the new system from 1st April 2021:

As you can see, aside from the transfer block size change we already mentioned, there’s no impact for Asia Miles, BIG Points or Enrich Miles, since these conversions must be done manually.

For KrisFlyer miles transfers however, you’ll need to use the TREATS SG app to get the best transfer ratio of 2.5:1.

Using the online rewards portal will bump up the transfer ratio to 2.56:1, while making your conversion over the phone will still be charged at the previous manual ratio of 2.62:1.

If you don’t have the app already, you can download it at the links below.

The new policy applies to most other reward categories too. For example a S$10 TREATS Voucher was previously redeemable for 3,200 Points online and 3,800 Points manually.

Now you’ll need to use the TREATS SG app to get the 3,200 > S$10 rate. Using the rewards portal picks up the old manual rate of 3,800 > S$10 and making the redemption manually now costs 4,400 Points.


 

 

Summary

It’s a shame Maybank has increased its transfer block sizes for airline miles transfers, as it was one of the few providers allowing more specific volumes to be shifted across from your credit card points with less potential wastage.

KrisFlyer bears the brunt of the change as you’ll now not only need a minimum of 25,000 TREATS Points for a transfer (into 10,000 miles), the subsequent blocks have to be the same size. Asia Miles transfers still get a more flexible 5,000-mile transfer block benefit, though that too was previously much better at 2,000 miles.

Another key point to note is that for the best transfer ratio, you’ll need to be using the TREATS SG mobile app to transfer your points into the KrisFlyer programme, since even the online rewards portal method has been devalued.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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