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Offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 KrisFlyer miles is the BOC Elite Miles card


Bank of China has launched a new sign-up bonus promotion for its Elite Miles World Mastercard, and while this is a product that sadly had its competitive regular earn rates slashed by 33% back in June 2020, relegating it to one of the worst on the market, this particular offer may be of interest for those looking for a decent and cheap miles boost.

That’s because up to 60,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles are on offer when you apply and spend on the card at Singapore Airlines, Scoot, the KrisShop and Pelago between now and the end of 2023, which can allow you to buy miles for as little as 0.34 cents each.

Even just taking out the card and paying its first year annual fee of S$205.20 without any further spend at all will net you 20,000 bonus miles, the equivalent of paying 1.03 cents per mile, a strategy worth considering in its own right.

Up to 60,000 miles sign-up bonus

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Between 16th October 2023 and 31st December 2023, those who successfully apply for a new BOC Elite Miles card will be eligible to earn up to 60,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles, provided they use promo code BOCEM when applying.

  APPLY HERE

The bonus miles structure is outlined below, based on whether you are an existing Bank of China cardholder or not.

BOC defines ‘new-to-bank’ customers as those who:

  • do not currently hold any principal and/or supplementary BOC credit cards; and
  • have not cancelled any principal and/or supplementary BOC credit card(s) within the last 6 months.

If you hold another BOC credit card, either as a primary or supplementary cardholder, or have held one any time in the last six months, you will only qualify as an existing customer when applying for this card.

Meet S,000 SIA Group Spend

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  New to BOC
customer
Existing BOC
customer
Payment of Annual Fee 20,000 miles 10,000 miles
Meet S$1,000
SIA Group Spend
20,000 miles 10,000 miles
Total award 40,000 miles 20,000 miles

Meet S,000 SIA Group Spend

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  New to BOC
customer
Existing BOC
customer
Payment of Annual Fee 20,000 miles 10,000 miles
Meet S$2,000
SIA Group Spend
40,000 miles 20,000 miles
Total award 60,000 miles 30,000 miles

At the top end, 60,000 KrisFlyer miles is more than enough for a Saver Business Class award on SIA from Singapore to Japan, or a return Saver Economy Class award to Japan and back.

You can only qualify for either the S$1,000 minimum spend or the S$2,000 minimum spend bonus miles, not both.

Qualifying spend is restricted to SIA Group spend as follows:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Scoot
  • KrisShop
  • Pelago

That’s quite a restrictive list, but could be achievable if you’re booking flight tickets by the end of the year (including for 2024 travel), or perhaps looking at one of the more costly items at KrisShop, like a technology purchase.

In some cases a single KrisShop purchase is enough to unlock the maximum 60,000 miles bonus for new BOC Elite Miles cardholders

You’ll probably be taking a hit by diverting your spend away from a 4 mpd or even 6 mpd earning card for the above purchases, given that the BOC EM earns only a lacklustre 1 mpd (local) or 2 mpd (FCY) rate on top of the bonus miles shown above, but this is definitely worth it to unlock this promo.

Your minimum qualifying spend must be made by 31st December 2023, regardless of when your card is approved (approval can take a while with BOC, so do bear this in mind).

While BOC Points can usually be transferred to both Asia Miles and KrisFlyer miles, the welcome bonus for this sign-up deal can only be transferred to KrisFlyer miles.

There is no upper applicant cap for this sign-up promotion, unlike some previous BOC deals.

SMS registration also required

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To receive the bonus, you will also have to send an SMS to BOC on 75665 during the promotion period (i.e. by 31st December 2023), in the following format:

Card-2020-smaller

  BOCEM [space] Last 4 characters of your NRIC or Passport Number [space] KrisFlyer membership number

Example: If your NRIC is S1234567A and your KrisFlyer membership number is 1234567890, you will need to send “BOCEM 567A 1234567890” to 75665

Cost per mile

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Here’s how the cost per mile stacks up for simply signing up for the card (no spend requirement), or for meeting the S$1,000+ or S$2,000+ spend requirement by the end of 2023 as either an existing or new BOC credit card customer.

BOC Elite Miles
Cost per mile

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Singapore Airlines
  Total bonus Cost per mile
Annual fee only
(no spend requirement, existing BOC customer)
10,000 miles 2.05 cents
Annual fee only
(no spend requirement, new-to-bank)
20,000 miles 1.03 cents
With S$1,000 SIA Group spend
(existing BOC customer)
20,000 miles 1.03 cents
With S$1,000 SIA Group spend
(new-to-bank)
40,000 miles 0.51 cents
With S$2,000 SIA Group spend
(existing BOC customer)
30,000 miles 0.68 cents
With S$2,000 SIA Group spend
(new-to-bank)
60,000 miles 0.34 cents

This is based on payment of the (non-waivable) first year annual fee of S$205.20.

With the exception of only paying the annual fee as an existing BOC customer, all of these represent excellent rates to buy KrisFlyer miles.

I am personally going to sign up as a new cardholder just for the 20,000 miles annual fee bonus at 1.03 cents per mile, then if an opportunity arises to spend S$1,000+ or S$2,000+ in SIA Group spend between now and the end of the year, I’ll take the plunge with one of those for the additional bonus, but that’s not essential.

When will the bonus miles credit?

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The first tranche of 90,000 BOC Points, which transfer into 20,000 KrisFlyer miles (or 45,000 BOC Points which transfer into 10,000 KrisFlyer miles as an existing customer) will be credited as soon as your annual fee is charged.

The bonus BOC Points earned through this promotion will be credited to your rewards account within 60 days of the end of the promotion period, which is by 29th February 2024.

To transfer BOC Points into KrisFlyer miles means emailing a PDF form, then waiting up to three weeks for BOC to complete the transfer for you. You’ll also pay an admin fee of S$30 each time you convert BOC Points to miles.

There’s no reason to keep the card

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Max Miles Points

The BOC Elite Miles card is no longer a compelling proposition in Singapore since its earn rates were slashed to just 1 mpd (local) and 2 mpd (FCY).

That means you almost certainly won’t want to be holding on to it once the bonus has been credited to your KrisFlyer account, but do note that you will have to keep the card for at least six months following the end of the promotion period to avoid any bonus clawback.

That means you’ll have to hang on to this card until at least 30th June 2024, but that still gives you plenty time to cancel it before the second annual fee becomes payable.

Terms and conditions

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Here’s the full set of terms and conditions for the BOC Elite Miles card, and for the latest 60,000 miles sign-up bonus promotion:

Summary

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Max Miles Points

The BOC Elite Miles card has fallen off the radar somewhat since its earn rates were slashed by 33% back in 2020, making it a pretty useless miles earning option in Singapore.

Nonetheless, this sign-up bonus is quite a compelling one, worth up to 60,000 bonus miles for new-to-bank applicants who haven’t had a BOC card in the last six months, which represents ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles from as little as 0.34 cents each.

S$1,000 or S$2,000 of SIA Group spend between now and the end of 2023 may be a big ask for many, but even if you don’t foresee achieving that, picking up 20,000 miles at 1.03 cents each just for paying the first year annual fee isn’t too shabby, practically giving you a Business Class SIA flight to Bali for S$205!

Sources


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