Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer frequent flyer programme and United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) have launched a new Krisflyer UOB Account that allows consumers to earn miles for every dollar they save or spend.

The new account is the first in Singapore to enable earning Krisflyer miles and is particularly aimed at debit card users and those ineligible for a credit card, such as young professionals at the beginning of their career.

“We have seen spend on UOB debit cards grow 40 per cent over the past two years,” said Jacquelyn Tan, the bank’s head of personal financial services Singapore. “Travel spend on debit cards also increased 15 per cent in the corresponding period as our customers make more trips abroad.”

According to the bank, in 2016 travel accounted for 22 per cent of all spend made on UOB credit and debit cards, with 37 per cent of this spent on flights.

“From our credit card base, air miles are one of our most frequent reward redemption categories and Krisflyer miles in particular are very popular, accounting for more than half of all the UNI$ [UOB’s own loyalty programme currency] rewards redemptions made last year,” Tan added.

With the new account, miles accrual will be proportional to the account’s current balance:

  • Balance of S$3,000 (US$2,100)-S$100,000 (US$71,500) will earn 1.4 miles per dollar spent
  • Balance of S$100,000-S$350,000 (US$250,200) will earn 3.4 miles per dollar spent
  • Balance of S$350,000+ will earn 5.4 miles per dollar spent

Singapore Airlines claims the rates are among the highest in the market. Under these earning rates, a customer with a monthly average balance of S$100,000 and a S$1,500 (US$1,070) monthly spend can earn 60,000 miles in a year – the value of a business class return ticket from Singapore to Taipei.

Krisflyer miles earned by users can be redeemed for award flights and upgrades on Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary Silkair, in addition to travel vouchers on budget carriers Scoot and Tigerair.;