Ouch: Standard Chartered removing all Airline/Hotel transfer partners, except for KrisFlyer and Asia Miles


Standard Chartered Singapore announced today that it is discontinuing all hotel and airline transfers on the SC EasyRewards programme next month.

Announcement by Standard Chartered Singapore

Removal of Airline and Hotel transfer partners

From 24 March 2024, Standard Chartered cardholders will no longer be able to convert their credit card points to the following loyalty programs:

❌ EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
❌ Qatar Airways Privilege Club
❌ KLM/Air France Flying Blue
❌ Qantas Frequent Flyer
❌ Etihad Guest
❌ Emirates Skywards
❌ United MileagePlus
❌ Accor Live Limitless
❌ IHG One Rewards

Moving forward, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles will be the only options for miles/points conversions from Standard Chartered cards, under the 360° Rewards programme.

Related: Singapore Bank Transfer Partners of Credit Card Miles and Points

In truth, most of the axed transfer partners above came with poor transfer ratios, except for Infinity MileageLands, Flying Blue and Qantas Frequent Flyer. So, those are the real losses, as miles in those frequent flyer programs are great for award redemptions to/from Europe and North Asia.

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Are there any good Standard Chartered cards in Singapore?

Whether you’re interested in miles or cashback, there are only 2 noteworthy SC cards in Singapore presently:

  1. SC Journey: Groceries, Food Delivery, Ride-hailing, General Spending
  2. SC Smart: Public Transport, Fast Food, Streaming Services

💡Click on the + Card Summary buttons below to instantly view the key details of each card!

Standard Chartered Journey

Earn 3 mpd on dining, groceries and ride-hailing

+ Card Summary

Standard Chartered Smart

Get 6% cashback (or 5.6 mpd) on public transport, fast food, streaming services

+ Card Summary

Should you cancel your Standard Chartered Journey card?

The Standard Chartered Journey card launched less than a year ago, with a good sign-up bonus and promising benefits.

By cutting out the transfer partners, this card lost its greatest feature, points flexibility.

There’s no longer a good reason to keep the Standard Chartered Journey card, so yes, I would start making plans to transfer out all remaining points, and cancel the card by 24 March 2024.

Sure, the points on this card do not expire, and cardholders can earn 3 mpd on groceries, food deliveries and ride-hailing (up to $1,000 per month). But there are other cards in Singapore offering similar or better earn rates on those spending categories!

Should you cancel your Standard Chartered Smart card?

Standard Chartered Smart cardholders enjoy a 5.6 mpd earn rate (or 6% cashback) on public transport, selected fast food restaurants and streaming services, up to $818 per statement month. All other transactions earn just 0.46 mpd (or 0.5% cashback).

While the 5.6 mpd earn rate is great, let’s be real, do you spend a meaningful amount on public transport, fast food and Netflix to earn enough miles to redeem for future travels?

Forget the miles earn rate. This is a cashback card.

This card does not come with any annual fee and is the best card for Public Transport spending with a 6% cashback and no minimum spending requirement. Keep it, if you use public transport in Singapore.

Bottom line

Looks like it’s back to square one. Just like CIMB, the only good reason to sign up for a Standard Chartered card is (once again) for its attractive year-round sign-up bonuses; and rinse, and repeat.

Perhaps we’ll see a specialized card with a 4 mpd earn rate in the future, or maybe a revival of the Manhattan card, which was great for large purchases.

But for now, the sensible thing for me to do is to transfer out all the remaining points on my card, cancel it before the first annual fee hits, and look out for another good SC sign-up bonus 12 months from now, as a new-to-bank customer.

Cover Photo: The Straits Times

H/T: Mainly Miles

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