We never like writing about a bank in Singapore cutting back its list of frequent flyer programme conversion partner options, but it does occasionally happen and thankfully in recent times we’ve usually been spared any significant or popular losses.
No major concerns therefore with the latest news that Standard Chartered no longer supports transfers from its credit card reward points into the Lufthansa Miles & More scheme – rarely of interest for most of our readers given its poor transfer ratio at the bank side.
Unfortunately for those who did occasionally transfer or were planning to do so, it means there is no longer a local option available into Miles & More, because Standard Chartered was the only one offering it.
The bank also cut the (largely useless) Malaysia Enrich programme from its list of transfer options back in April 2020.
Miles & More
Miles & More is Lufthansa’s frequent flyer programme, also shared by other Lufthansa Group carriers including Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and SWISS.
Miles can also be redeemed on flights operated by Star Alliance carriers (like Singapore Airlines and United), plus some non-alliance partners including Air Astana and Air Malta.
The programme actually has some generous award rates, including the following examples flying one-way in Business Class:
|S. E. Asia
|S. E. Asia||Hawaii||56,000||SIN-HNL|
Good examples here include ANA Business Class from Hong Kong to Honolulu via Tokyo for 35,000 miles in Business Class (115,000 miles using KrisFlyer) and Air China Business Class from Beijing to Melbourne for 56,000 miles (94,500 miles using KrisFlyer).
Redemption in SIAs long-haul Business and First Class
Singapore Airlines usually restricts award space in its long-haul Business Class, First Class and Suites cabins to members of its own KrisFlyer programme, with Star Alliance FFP members only able to access to Regional Business Class products at best.
There were always exceptions, like long-haul aircraft being regularly used on Singapore to KL and Singapore to Jakarta flights, where these seats were accessible through programmes like LifeMiles, but for the most part SIA stuck by the rule.
Miles & More was always an exception.
Along with Virgin Australia Velocity members (before that partnership was paused), long-haul seats in these cabins were available for redemption, a rarity for non-KrisFlyer members.
With a range of good redemption options, and the ability to redeem Business Class and First Class award space on Singapore Airlines, why weren’t we shouting about Miles & More’s benefits?
In a nutshell – Standard Chartered was the only bank in Singapore supporting transfers to Miles & More… and the transfer rate was terrible.
SC Rewards Miles & More
3,500 : 1,000
With standard transfer rates of 2.5:1 for frequent flyer programmes like KrisFlyer, much of the benefit associated with Miles & More’s ‘sweet spot’ redemptions to and from this region were simply washed out by the requirement to spend 40% more on your credit card to achieve the equivalent miles total.
For example, a one-way SWISS flight from Singapore to New York in Business Class at 71,000 Miles & More miles would require 248,500 Standard Chartered points, which would otherwise convert to 99,400 KrisFlyer miles (enough to redeem the same route on Singapore Airlines).
When you consider that SWISS will also pass on a S$650+ fuel surcharge for your award ticket (zero on SIA), the maths simply doesn’t add up!
In essence, there were so few exceptions to make the 40% additional spend requirement worthwhile, Miles & More was simply never a good proposition for most of our readers (even when a 50% transfer bonus was briefly offered in August 2020).
Standard Chartered transfer partners
Here’s how the latest Standard Chartered rewards points to airline and hotel partner programmes looks, following the removal of Miles & More.
Airline Partner Conversion
|FFP||Conversion Ratio||Minimum Points to Convert|
Hotel Partner Conversion
|Loyalty scheme||Conversion Ratio||Minimum Points to Convert|
As you can see it’s not just Miles & More that had an inferior transfer ratio.
Any decent value that can be obtained from the likes of United MileagePlus, Emirates Skywards and Qatar Privilege Club, for example, has been well and truly taken care of by the higher transfer ratios!
All your transfer options
Here’s the latest updated list showing the Standard Chartered transfer partners against those of other banks and credit card points in Singapore.
Singapore credit card to FFP transfers
We keep this table continually up to date here, so do bookmark that page for future reference when considering where to transfer your hard-earned credit card points.
Remember many of these programmes allow redemption on their own non-alliance partners, giving you some (occasionally obscure) award options you may never have thought were possible!
It’s a shame there is no longer an option to transfer credit card points accrued in Singapore to the Lufthansa Group Miles & More programme, but for the most part our readers won’t really be shedding any tears over this one.
With the possible exception of some limited itineraries, like Hong Kong to Hawaii in Business Class, there was little value to the option – due to the unattractive transfer ratio Standard Chartered was offering.
Even with Singapore Airlines’ long-haul Business Class and First Class redemptions available, the 40% higher spend requirement on your credit card to achieve an equivalent number of miles in Lufthansa’s scheme (compared to KrisFlyer, for example) pretty much ‘washed out’ the benefit for popular routes like Singapore to Europe and the USA.
(Cover Photo: Lufthansa Group)