Influencers Get On Travel Blogger’s Nerves

Influencers play an important role in our lives. One that is sometimes trivialised due to the perception that their work is all play and no hardship.

However, one travel blogger has had enough. Specially, he’s had enough of the flood of Instagram posts he has seen that have just one thing in common. For some reason, they all had the same hashtag, #KrisFlyerUOB, and they were all plugging the similarly named new debit card and account that allows users to earn frequent flyer miles on Singapore Airlines when they spend.

So he fired back in a sarcastic long blog post, and it’s hilarious.


Open Letter

Aaron Wong of The MileLion, a blog on travel deals, styled his blog post as an open letter to the various influencers, slamming how none of the clearly sponsored posts had indicated that they were sponsored, so he “must assume that these are all impartial reviews based on your personal experiences with the product”.

However, he pointed out that since the Krisflyer UOB account was only launched last Tuesday (April 18), all these influencers must have spent some serious dough in less than a week to be able to accumulate enough miles to go to destinations like Tokyo, Sydney, Bangkok and Luang Prabang.

…it kind of makes it sound like you’ve already been able to travel with the miles you got from this account. Which is quite impressive given that it was only launched a few days ago, and… you’d have had to have spent ~S$56K to get the 25,000 miles you need for a round trip economy saver (you see your bonus 1 mpd is capped at 2,575 miles each month, meaning you’d have to earn the remainder 22,425 miles at 0.4 mpd)

The Posts

Take a look at some of the posts that he called out.

Miles Away

Existing Krisflyer members would know how much many miles one would need to earn to get a free trip even to not-very-far places like Hong Kong (hint: it’s more than you think it is), and it’s also not as easy to earn miles as one would think it is.

But if you aren’t aware of the intricacies of the frequent flyer system, Mr Wong’s the expert.

In his blog post, he deconstructs in the most precise way how much exactly one needs to do to earn that dream trip to, say, Sydney:

Now, it takes 56,000 Krisflyer miles for a round trip Economy saver award between Singapore and Sydney.

If you have $3K-$100K in your Krisflyer UOB account (let’s take $51.5K as the middle value), you’d be earning 1.4 mpd, the bonus component of which (1 mpd) is capped at 2,575 (5% of $51.5K) per month.

To earn those 56,000 miles, you’d need to spend $5,250 a month for a year on your Krisflyer UOB debit card (25,200 base miles, 30,900 bonus miles- remember, bonus is capped at 2,575 a month!) for a total outlay of $63,000

But assuming you spent an average of 30% on dining out, 30% on online shopping and 40% on everything else, with the right card strategy (HSBC Advance + DBS Woman’s World/Citibank Rewards + UOB PRVI Miles) you could get a weighted average of 0.3*4 +0.3*4 +0.4 *1.4= 2.96 mpd! This means you’d only have to spend <$19K in a year to get that Sydney trip!

Yup, we think spending a 5-figure sum just to get a free trip to Sydney might not be that worth it.

Having Baggage

Mr Wong then goes to very sarcastically point out what else isn’t accurate about the influencers’ posts. For example, while bellywellyjelly claimed the Krisflyer UOB account gets you complimentary additional baggage allowance and seat selection, he said:

You might like to know that your complimentary additional allowance  (5kg) only applies if you buy a minimum of 20kg luggage allowance. And you need to buy this 20kg at the time of booking, not after! If you buy after, hard luck.

Read The Fine Print

In other words, what Mr Wong is trying to warn us non-sponsored people who might read these influencers’ posts and get the wrong idea: Read the fine print first.

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

So influencers, be more careful with your phrasing, maybe?

Featured image from The MileLion and Instagram