Whine Wednesdays: Fake Promotions – Case Thai Airways Mastercard Discount Campaign

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This week our Whine Wednesday topic is about “fake promotions” that actually don’t offer any discount or benefit at all, in some cases even turn out to be more expensive than the original price.

We came across such a case when checking out fares on Thai Airways ex Singapore where the airline currently runs a promotion with Mastercard.

In the Asia Pacific region it’s very common to have such promotions of different credit cards and banks that offer a percentage discount off various flights and I was able to realize some decent savings in the past for business class flights ex Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

This time the Mastercard Promotion isn’t that attractive.

First of all, buried in the T&C it says that this time the Mastercard needs to be a “Business Card” and the discount will be credited as a cashback instead of a straight rebate as it often the case.

But not enough with that, the pricing was also different when comparing the purchase on the regular website vs the Mastercard promotional site.

The regular price for an Economy Return flight SIN-BKK is SGD 379,80

And SGD 386,80 (SGD 7.00 more) when purchased from the Mastercard promotional site:

In any case 5% off such a cheap ticket is SGD 19.00 but since the base price is $7 more all ones saves is SGD $12. Not really worthwhile bothering with this if you ask me and this example is representative with similar promotions for other carriers, hotels and car rentals.

Conclusion

As mentioned some of these promotions can make sense especially if you receive an outright rebate that is directly applied at the time of purchase. Of course cheap tickets never result in much of a noteworthy discount compared to more expensive Business Class tickets.

No matter which promotion it’s always recommended to double check the actual benefit before blindly trusting in the headline promises made by the provider. In this case with Thai Airways I rather use my Amex Platinum and collect extra points rather than receiving a mediocre discount through Mastercard.

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