What’s the Best Way to Redeem DBS Points?

So you’ve been using your DBS Woman’s World Mastercard or DBS Vantage for a bit and managed to amass a stash of DBS Points. What’s the best way to redeem these points?

The default: airline miles

1 DBS Point = 2 miles ≈ 2 to 2.5 cents per Point (good value)

“Point cards” are almost always called mile cards for good reason – most of the time you’d be redeeming your points for airline miles.

DBS Points can be transferred to 4 airline frequent flyer programmes:

ProgrammeTransfer RatioFee
Big Rewards500 DBS Points for 1,500 points
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer5,000 DBS Points for 10,000 milesS$27
Asia Miles5,000 DBS Points for 10,000 milesS$27
Qantas Frequent Flyer 5,000 DBS Points for 10,000 milesS$27

As mentioned multiple times, the value of miles vary according to how you utilise them and how much you value premium flights.

Generally, I feel that it is fairly easy to get around 1 to 1.25 cents of value per mile. Since 1 DBS Point = 2 miles, we can value each DBS Point to be worth around 2 to 2.5 cents. It’s therefore quite hard to beat mile redemptions due to the value it gives each DBS Point.

Of course, there are blocks of 5,000 DBS Points for 10,000 miles to be converted, and you may have some leftover points that can’t be converted to miles as a result. You may hence want to look at other redemption items to cash out leftover points.

(I’m ignoring Big Rewards here for a few reasons. One, it is a budget airline and I believe it is unlikely to present good value. Two, it’d take me a bit of time to analyse the programme, and details are scant on their website so I’ll leave it out for now. Do chime in if you know how much a Big Point is worth.)

Seth
Seth

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Best value: certain promotional items

1 DBS Point = 5 cents (great value)

Occasionally, DBS Rewards Portal will highlight promotional items that require much fewer points to redeem. Right now, for instance, there is a S$5 Gong cha voucher that you can redeem with 100 DBS Points.

That makes DBS Points worth 5 cents each (S$5 ÷ 100 DBS Points). It’s also the same as giving up 200 miles for S$5 (2.5 cents per mile) – a very good deal since each mile can be bought easily for under 2 cents each.

This is of course very seasonal and also highly situational. If you don’t like Gong cha, this isn’t a very useful redemption. Those already spending money at the bubble tea outlet, however, should redeem their DBS points for this.

There was also a recent promo of S$50 eCapitaVouchers going for 1,000 DBS Points. It’s the same excellent 5-cent per point valuation and eCapitaVouchers are infinitely more useful than Gong cha vouchers. It was quickly sold out, however, so subscribe to my Telegram and I’ll blast out updates for such deals in future.

Screenshot credit: Milelion

Not so good value: other promotional items

1 DBS Point = 1.5 cents (not that good value)

Not all promos are great, however, and DBS often has promos for using your DBS Points for cash offset. I wouldn’t say they’re terrible value, but they’re not exactly great. Such promos require you to redeem your DBS Points for cash rebate, and additional rebates will be given.

The usual rate is that 1 DBS Point can offset 1 cent of spending which means you would use 1,000 DBS Points to offset a spending of S$10. Typically, such promos give additional 50% cashback. This means that after you offset $10 with 1,000 DBS Points, you will get S$5 cashback.

Effectively, you would be trading 1,000 DBS Points for S$15, making each point worth 1.5 cents. Since each DBS Point is worth 2 miles, you are giving up 2 miles for 1.5 cents (0.75 cents per mile).

Some mile chasers may be horrified at such a redemption rate, but I imagine this can be useful if you have some expiring DBS Points that can’t make the minimum block of 5,000 points to be transferred out as miles. For people who are not into miles yet, this sort of promo essentially means that DBS Woman’s World Mastercard becomes a 3% cashback card for online transactions that can work for flight tickets and online hotel transactions. It’s not mind-blowingly good, but cashback cards struggle with travel transactions so this might be a worthy consideration.

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Poor value: redeeming for cash rebate

1 DBS Point = 1 cent (terrible)

Outside of offset promos, each DBS Point is typically worth 1 cent when you use them to offset your cash rebate. Pretty terrible value considering how you are giving up 2 miles for just 1 cent (0.5 cents per mile).

Shopping vouchers give less horrible value, with some offering better value than others. FairPrice vouchers are currently going at S$10 for 690 DBS Points (1 DBS Point = 1.45 cents) while Takashimaya vouchers are at S$10 for 800 DBS Points (1 DBS Point = 1.25 cents). It’s not fantastic value, but these are probably better than using it to offset your spending outside of offset spending promos.

Summary

ItemValue Per DBS PointValue Per MileVerdict
(Good) Promotional Items5 cents2.5 centsGreat value
Miles~2 to 2.5 centsN/AGood value
Offset Spending Promos1.5 cents0.75 centsNot that good
Other Items (cash offset, vouchers etc.)< 1.5 cent< 0.75 centsPoor

In short, you can do your own calculation: if an item costs 1,000 DBS Points and gives you S$50 of value, simply take S$50 ÷ 1,000 Points to get 1 DBS Point = 5 cents valuation. You could have used 1 DBS Point to trade for 2 miles, so you have to value whether you would rather have 5 cents or 2 miles (2.5 cents per mile).

Generally, miles can be bought at 1 to 1.5 cents each relatively easily, so giving up each mile for 2.5 cents of value is a great deal. You would hence choose to use 1,000 DBS Points to redeem for the S$50 value item.

If you can redeem an item which costs 1,000 DBS Points and gives you S$15 of value, you are using DBS Point at 1.5 cents each. This also means giving up 2 miles for 1.5 cents, or 0.75 cents per mile. This means it’s relatively poor value since 0.75 cents per mile is quite a low rate for you to give up miles for. You would hence rather use 1,000 DBS Points for 2,000 miles rather than to redeem something of just S$15 value.

Summary: redeem your DBS Points for at least 2.5 cents. Otherwise, pick miles instead.

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