DBS acquires ANZ Retail & Wealth Units: What does it mean for ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card Holders?

DBS announced on 31st October 2016 that they will be acquiring ANZ’s wealth management and retail banking businesses across 5 markets in Asia. These markets include Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia. Having recommended ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card as one of the best travel credit cards in Singapore (less so now since limousine and airport lounge perks have since been removed), we decided to take a closer look at what this means for holders of this card.

ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card
ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card

What does DBS’s acquisition of ANZ mean for ANZ Travel Credit Card Holders?

Impact of DBS’s acquisition on ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card Holders

Since we do have some Travel$ accumulated through ANZ Travel Card, we decided to do a little investigation of our own. If you refer to the ANZ Media Centre, you’ll realise that

1.There are no immediate changes to your banking relationship with us; your existing terms and conditions, repayments, interest rates, fees and charges as well as benefits will continue to apply until further notice.

Meaning: The key word here is “immediate”. This means that as of now, you can still redeem your miles through the current rewards programme using ANZ Travel$.

2.No, you don’t need to do anything to move your bank account to DBS. All your bank accounts that are in place or outstanding with ANZ on the completion date will be transferred to DBS.

Meaning: There’s no action required from you until the backend process between ANZ and DBS has been worked out. Whether it is more beneficial or worse off for current users, that’s another question.

3.Your ANZ accounts will be mapped to corresponding products at DBS. You will be given more information on your new accounts with DBS, including the terms and conditions, closer to the date of transfer.

Meaning: The current ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card, as we know it, will cease to exist.

4.Yes, you will be given a new account number and DBS will advise you of your new account details as part of the transfer. Your ANZ account will be closed upon transfer to DBS.

Meaning: You will be issued a new credit card that is the closest DBS product to the ANZ Travel Card.

5.Upon transfer to DBS, ANZ Digital Banking will cease and you will no longer be able to log in. DBS will provide you with more information on how to access DBS’ suite of digital services closer to the date of transfer.

Meaning: Meaning you cannot redeem miles through ANZ Digital Banking in the near future.

What does all these mean for ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card Holders

The initial thoughts after reading the FAQ was that “everything’s under control” and that we will not lose any miles accumulated under ANZ Travel Visa Signature card. Everything was “lovey dovey” until we received this month’s statement that subtly mentioned,

“Important Notice: Your unused Rewards Points/Travel$/Optimum$ will be transferred to DBS for future usage if you choose not to redeem via the ANZ rewards programme before 6 June 2017.

WHAT?! That’s less than a month to decide whether to redeem the miles or to wait for the transfer!

That prompted a quick call to ANZ via (1800 269 2269) for further clarifications. Thanks to our professional CSO, Romeo, we gathered these crucial points

1. The timeline for transfer has been updated to 24th July 2017 instead of 6th June 2017 written on the statement. This gives us more time to decide what is the next step.

2. The transfer of accounts to DBS has been approved by the courts and will take effect on 5th August 2017 (which does not need consumer approvals for transfers by the way). This means that the current ANZ Travel Visa Signature programme will cease on 4th August 2017.

DBS Acquisition of ANZ – What does it REALLY mean?

Well, the truth is, no one really knows.

What we do know is that DBS has a rewards system based on DBS rewards points and it is at an exchange rate of 5000 DBS points for 10,000 Krisflyer miles. And they can only be done in blocks of 5000 DBS points.

Secondly, DBS points expire 1 year after the quarter they were earned. This is unlike the current system where ANZ Travel$ expires 5 years after account is opened (Citi miles do not expire).

Thirdly, a $25 administration fee (excluding GST) will be charged upon a transfer of DBS points to Krisflyer miles. This is similar to the current ANZ Travel$ rewards programme.

What should you do?

Well, it really depends if you’re an optimist, pessimist or that you’re calculating the odds…

If you’re an optimist…

You’ll think that the 40,000 Travel$ you have with ANZ will be transferred at a rate of 1:1 to DBS points. Meaning you’ll get 40,000 DBS points which translates to 80,000 KF miles! Though unlikely, it doesn’t mean it won’t occur. It could be a goodwill gesture by DBS to “grandfather” the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card holders. Furthermore, you’ll get another year of miles extension since DBS points expire a year after.

If you’re an pessimist…

You’ll think that the new programme will always be worse than the previous programme. Think about it, Aegean Airlines’ Miles+Bonus programme increased the Star Alliance Gold Qualification from 20,000 miles to 48,000 miles. Krisflyer also recently removed its 15% discount for redemptions done online. The list goes on…Reward programmes seldom get better.

If you’re calculating the odds…

You’ll see that if you have 45,000 Travel$, it should logically transfer to 22,500 DBS points (1 DBS point : 2 Krisflyer miles). However, since redemption can only be done in blocks of 5000 DBS points, you essentially “lose” 5000 miles unless you spend and top up the remaining 2,500 DBS points required to do the redemption at 25,000 DBS points.

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We hope this post has helped you in making a decision on what to do next, now that DBS has confirmed the acquisition of ANZ wealth and retail banking assets in Singapore. If you’re intending to do a transfer, do note the timelines stated in this post!

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