DBS has a year-round deal with Expedia for its Altitude cards and its Insignia cardholders, offering 6 mpd on flight tickets and hotel stays booked with eligible partners, including Finnair and Qatar Airways, through a dedicated microsite.
Strangely when the DBS Vantage Card was launched back in June this year, there was no bonus miles earning for Expedia transactions, meaning it was just the card’s local earn rate of 1.5 mpd you’d be picking up for these bookings.
Vantage Card added to Expedia deal
Effective from 1st October 2022, DBS Vantage cardholders can now earn 6 mpd on the first S$5,000 spend each calendar month on flight tickets or hotel stays booked on Expedia, at participating hotel and airline partners.
If you’re holding both the DBS Vantage and the DBS Altitude Card, you can potentially take advantage of the S$5,000 monthly cap on both cards for a combined spend of S$10,000 each month.
How it works
To benefit from the enhanced earn rate at Expedia using your DBS Vantage Card, you’ll have to book through the dedicated microsite at www.expedia.com.sg/dbsmiles.
Bookings can be made for any future travel date, but must be charged to your DBS Vantage Card between 1st October 2022 and 31st March 2023.
While that’s the current end date for the promotion, it’s also the same for the Altitude and Insignia cards, and is highly likely to be extended for another year.
Eligible hotel bookings are those where you make payment to Expedia at the time of booking (not applicable if you choose a rate to pay later at the hotel).
Eligible flight bookings are those made with one of the following airlines:
- Air Macau
- Air Mauritius
- Air Niugini
- Cambodia Angkor Air
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Hawaiian Air
- Korean Air
- Lao Airlines
- Myanmar International Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Sichuan Airlines
- Thai Airways International
- Turkish Airlines
- Xiamen Airlines
Obviously some popular carriers including Singapore Airlines are missing from the list, but there are still potentially some useful options including Thai Airways, Finnair (check out the new Business Class!), Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Package bookings comprising an eligible hotel and an eligible flight, as defined individually above, booked in a single transaction on the dedicated microsite, will also be eligible.
It probably goes without saying, but your booking(s) must be charged to your DBS Vantage Card for the bonus miles to apply – use of the microsite with payment by any other card will not count!
Initially your transactions will earn 1.5 mpd, with the bonus 4.5 mpd element credited within 45 days after the end of each defined “spend period”:
- 1st October 2022 to 31st December 2022
- 1st January 2023 to 31st March 2023
That means for bookings made this year you’ll receive the bonus miles by 14th February 2023, and for those made in the first three months of next year you’ll potentially be waiting till 15th May 2023.
Other Vantage Card benefits
The DBS Vantage Card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 miles, for applications made by 31st January 2023.
Aside from this new Expedia 6 mpd option, here’s a summary of the card’s other benefits, including 10 Priority Pass lounge visits and a free hotel night perk each year (click to expand).
DBS Vantage cardholders will earn 3.75 DBS Points (7.5 miles) for every S$5 in local currency spend, and 5.5 DBS Points (11 miles) for every S$5 equivalent on foreign currency transactions. That works out as:
With an FCY fee of 3.25%, earning 2.2 mpd on overseas transactions is the equivalent of buying miles for around 1.56 cents each, compared to using cash, including a 0.3% 'spread' over money changer rates.
Between now and 31st December 2022, DBS Vantage cardholders will earn an additional 6.25 DBS Points (12.5 miles) for every S$5 spend on local dining and petrol spend, or an additional 4.5 DBS Points (9 miles) for every S$5 equivalent on dining and petrol spend transacted in foreign currency.
That works out as:
This bonus is applicable only on the first S$2,000 aggregate spend across these two categories per calendar month, based on the transaction date (even if the charge is posted on your statement the following month).
Here are the eligible MCC categories.
Petrol Spend MCCs
The bonus DBS Points, making up the difference between the regular local or overseas earn rate (as applicable) and the total 4 mpd level, will be awarded on the 11th day of the next calendar month.
As an example, for bonus category spend in July, the bonus will post on 11th August (or the next working day).
DBS Vantage cardholders will benefit from a Priority Pass membership, entitling them to 10 free lounge visits per year. Access is then charged at US$32 (~S$45) per visit thereafter.
While this is a decent number of lounge visits, unfortunately it falls short of the unlimited Priority Pass benefit you get with cards like the Citi Prestige.
Nonetheless with travel very much back on the agenda there's some value to be had here, even if it does only cover a couple of trips when travelling with your partner.
DBS Vantage cardholders also get a complimentary Accor Plus Explorer membership, which usually costs S$408 per year.
The benefits include:
Perhaps best of all though, the membership also gives you one complimentary night at an Accor property in the Asia-Pacific region each year.
Before you get too excited, do note that there are specific property and whole brand exclusions (see here), so this isn’t a free night at Raffles or anything like that!
While the free night is the biggest draw here, Accor Silver status also gives you a complimentary welcome drink and late checkout benefits for all stays, which can come in handy if you frequent Accor properties.
As many of you will know, some DBS Points expire, and some don't.
For example, if you accrue points on the DBS Altitude card they never expire, but those you pick up on the DBS Woman's card expire on an annual basis.
The DBS Vantage Card has its own expiry policy:
* Up to 36 months from the date the card account is opened
Once you transfer DBS Points into KrisFlyer, miles are valid for 3 years from the month of deposit.
For DBS to Asia Miles or Qantas transfers, miles will then be valid for 18 months, but any earning or redemption activity keeps all your miles alive for a further 18 months.
Holding other cards? Consider Kaligo
Unfortunately DBS has not extended its Altitude card 10 mpd benefit when booking hotel stays through Kaligo to Vantage cardholders, but if you are holding one of the Altitude cards then this is worth checking before committing to Expedia.
You can also get 10 mpd on Kaligo bookings using Citi PremierMiles, Citi Prestige and Citi ULTIMA cards. Kaligo rates aren’t always too competitive, but surprisingly they sometimes can be, so do check them out if you’re holding an eligible 10 mpd card.
The additional 4 mpd over and above what you’ll earn through the Expedia microsite may even make a slightly more expensive rate on Kaligo worth paying.
One element of the DBS Vantage card that was somewhat lacking when it launched was any miles bonus for hotel and flight bookings. This has now been addressed with the card added to the bank’s Expedia 6 mpd programme, in common with the Altitude and Insignia products.
This isn’t always a useful benefit, since rates for hotels especially can be somewhat hiked using Expedia, but do check the rates in case you can net an attractive 6 mpd on your next travel booking.
Remember that hotel bookings must be prepaid directly to Expedia, while flights must be operated by an airline on the eligible list, which includes Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways (but alas, not SIA!).
Don’t forget there’s a S$5,000 monthly cap in play, and you’ll be waiting some time for the bonus miles to actually credit.
(Cover Photo: Aman)