Amex Platinum now gets you Star Alliance Silver, fast track Gold and Shangri-La points

American Express Platinum gained a new benefit yesterday, albeit indirectly – I doubt the people at American Express even knew it was coming!

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle announced a new partnership called Infinite Journeys.  Before I explain why this is interesting to UK residents, let me outline the key benefits:

Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Diamond members receive:

a one-year status match to Krisflyer Elite Silver

a fast-track path to Krisflyer Elite Gold if they take three Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights (Jade) or one Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flight (Diamond) within four months of registration

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer PPS Club and Elite Gold members receive:

a one-year status match to Golden Circle Gold status and promotion to Jade status after just one stay at a Shangri-La group property

All Shangri-La Golden Circle and Krisflyer members receive:

a 25% bonus (1:1.25) when converting points to Krisflyer miles

the ability to convert Krisflyer miles into Golden Circle points at 12:1

500 Krisflyer miles as well as Golden Circle points when staying at any Shangri-La group hotel

Shangri La Shard

So, why should this interest me?

Earlier this year, American Express Platinum added Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status to its list of permanent benefits.

The other hotel benefits of Amex Platinum are:

  • Gold in Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Gold in Club Carlson
  • Gold in Hilton HHonors
  • Gold in Melia Rewards

This means that you can use your free Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status to instantly match to Krisflyer Elite Silver.

Unfortunately, the benefits of Krisflyer Elite Silver are not huge:

  • 25% bonus KrisFlyer miles on actual miles flown
  • Priority reservation waitlist
  • Priority airport standby
  • Waived or discounted service fees

Star Alliance thumbnail

Is Star Alliance Silver status rubbish?

Yes.  Take a look at this fancy website which outlines the, erm, non-benefits of having Silver status.

The big difference between Star Alliance mid-tier status and oneworld mid-tier status is lounge access.   oneworld gives it, Star Alliance does not.  You won’t be getting in any lounges with Krisflyer Elite Silver.

You also need to remember that this is a one year, one-off match.  If you don’t have any plans to fly on Star Alliance in the near future, there is no point.

The real value is in getting Star Alliance Gold status for taking three Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights.  By coincidence, there is still an easy way of doing this.

Singapore Airlines – but only until 30th October – flies from Manchester to Munich and vice versa.  You could this trip twice (well, one and a half times is enough) and trigger your Star Alliance Gold status.

However, even that would cost you £250 in economy flights.  If you had a lot of Star Alliance flying planned it would be worth it but I doubt many people fall into that category.

If you had any Singapore Airlines flights planned anyway for the next year or so, however, it is worth trying to fit this match into your plans.  That means applying for American Express Platinum, getting your Shangri-La Jade status and then – within four months of your Singapore Airlines flight – triggering the match to Krisflyer Silver.

In reality, this benefit is not going to be worth a huge amount to most people but, for some, it will work out nicely.

Final question …. is it worth linking your Shangri-La Jade and Singapore Airlines accounts in order to get Shangri-La points?

This is a tricky one.  American Express points convert at 1:1 to Singapore Airlines.  This means that you can indirectly earn Golden Circle points at the rate of 12 American Express points to 1 Shangri-La point.

Is this worth it?  Not really.  Your average Shangri-La hotel (ie Dubai, Doha, Singapore) is 5,000 to 6,500 Golden Circle points per night.  That would requires (x 12) 60,000+ Membership Rewards points per night!  That doesn’t make sense unless rooms rates are well above £400.

On the other hand, a $100 dining voucher – which can be used at The Shard in London – is 1,000 Golden Circle points.  This isn’t totally terrible.  You are converting 12,000 American Express points into 1,000 Golden Circle points into $100 (£76) of food.  That is 0.6p per Membership Rewards points which is better than redeeming Amex points for gift cards (0.4p to 0.5p) if you don’t want airline or hotel points.

Of course, if you have any Singapore Airlines miles about to expire then this new partnership is a good way to salvage some value.

Full details of the new Infinite Journeys tie-up can be found here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY! 4500 Avios for a £30 subscription to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Amex Platinum now gets you Marriott Rewards Gold status and earns Marriott points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Morning raffles, any possibility of a status match to a one world partner? I stupidly got the email yesterday and linked the account unaware of the 4 month time restriction. I really need a cheap tier run from London or Manchester to gain gold.

  2. The thing is *S is not a really a mid-tier status, it is a low-tier status roughly equivalent to OWR, i.e. BA Bronze.

    *G is the mid-tier status which has comparable benefits to OWS. Most *A airlines have a higher elite status which doesn’t get recognised on any other airline.

    • Thanks John! Do you think I could even achieve a bottom tier with any one world partners? Sadly I used to be a gold BA member but the birth of my two kids has destroyed our personal travel and limited by work travel.

      • No point trying to do it the normal way, so look out for a mistake fare and grab a TP run (assuming your OH+kids will allow this)?

        AMS-ORD-CDG was £680 round-trip *in Business* a few days ago on an American Airlines (error) fare.

        Routed correctly that would have earned 600 TPs at BA = instant BA Silver. Minimum stay 1 (Sat) night, so a weekend trip to Chicago and you’re done.

        • Cheers Shd, looks like it might be the easiest way. Especially by the time I email AirBerlin and beg for bronze lol!

        • My challenge though is why you’d necessarily want or need status if you fly irregularly. Why spend £680 for up two years of Silver (assuming you wouldn’t make this trip anyway) when you could spend a lot less than that with the occasional lounge pass. Horses for courses.

          I also question the number of TPs earned. Would it not be circa 280 in J?

  3. I have an old dormant Krisflyer account (no miles, no flights).

    If I want to take advantage of the status match and *Gold challenge from Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade do I need to do this via a new Krisflyer account or can I use my dormant one?

    • Dormant should be ok as long as you can still log in.

      • There’s no “year end” for the purposes of collecting elite miles at KrisFlyer is there? Wondering when that would be for my dormant account.

        Thinking that if I do the match next week and fly the MAN MUC segments by the end of October I would likely earn Gold until (?) either October or November 2017.

        Does KrisFlyer offer soft landings from Gold to Silver if you fail to requalify?

  4. Silly newbie question time: how do you get the statuses?

    Is it something that is applied for automatically or do you inform the respective hotel chain you hold a particular card and then they do the necessary?


    • Doing it the hard way, sign up for the hotel chain’s respective loyalty programme then stay a shed load of times. Doing it an easier way, sign up for Amex Plat then do a few status matches. Or get IHG spire elite through virgin point transfers and then match from there.

      • Have a look also at StatusMatcher. There’s a link on the RHS of the HfP web pages

      • “Or get IHG spire elite through virgin point transfers and then match from there.”

        And you can use Tesco Clubcard points if needed, right?

        • Of course. I had some IHG points for this year and decided to get some virgin points in the recent Tesco bonus and transfer them across to IHG to trigger spire elite.

    • Assume you are talking about Amex Plat benefits, in which case you complete a form while logged into the Amex website. This casues Amex to notify the relevant partner.

      In some cases the partner will then contact you to finish off sorting it out.

      • … and you can do only the benefits you want, when you want. I.e. if you only want to claim a certain benefit at a certain partner thats fine. Come back and do them individually at any time.

        The only benefit that is autoenrolled at time of card creation is the Priority Pass.

  5. OT but my other half recently credited her Singapore Airlines business class flights to a Krisflyer account instead of her Lufthansa Miles & More account.

    Simple error which you would hope would be easily resolved but Singapore Airlines are playing real hardball to just reverse the posting and then let Miles and More take over to capture the recent flights.

    Any ideas ?

    • most airlines would also play hardball?

      • Indeed, it isn’t specific to SQ – none are keen to reverse transactions like this. The easiest way if you’re bouncing between different FF schemes is to not put any number on the booking and retroclaim.

      • Yes, very difficult to get this sort of thing reversed. Even if Singapore remove the miles, it would mean changing all the ticket data to show that no miles had been awarded (which they have) – Krisflyer may not even be able to do this.

        • I have twice managed to get BAEC to uncredit a flight where they have credited it in error (ie against the evidence of a different scheme’s FF# being on my BP), but it was a pain each time.

  6. Wow, the timing couldn’t be better (I think). I already have the Amex plat and jade status. I have a return trip to Australia starting in 2 weeks (4 flights). How quick is the process? Would my existing flights I have booked make this status match work?

  7. Jason Hindle says:

    The point of *A silver? Probably an easy way to get something like Flying Blue Silver*, but you could also try your luck with all the One World programmes. Because I’ve never really flown enough business class to achieve consistent status, when I do I make a point of trying my luck (have has Sky Team gold and *A gold, over the years, on this basis).

    * Yes, I know, Sky Team silver isn’t much either, but at least AF and KLM are consistent about providing me with the business class hand baggage allowance when flying at the back.

  8. Lewis Watson says:

    Do you still get Cathay status with Amex platinum?

  9. Got 500 Shangri-La points about to expire at the end of this year. I just don’t use those hotels often enough. Can I convert them into dining vouchers for use next year or do they have to be used this year? And do you have to actually be staying at the hotel where the restaurant is to be able to use them?

    • You definitely do NOT need to stay there.

      Most hotels do not need a voucher now (unsure about Shard) – you simply let them swipe your membership card. Shard required you to pick up a pre-ordered paper voucher at reception.

    • And vouchers last 6 months.. or at least the 1000 points I redeemed yesterday for $100 in food/beverage chitts do..

    • Glad I saw this – I’m exactly the same, 500 points due to expire 31/12.

      Looks like I’ll be converting too – I haven’t looked at how to do this, is it straightforward?

      • Ha this is good to know. Because I will have a trip to Abu Dhabi next year and I would prefer to use the voucher then.

  10. random question of the day….any reason i cant book 2 seat on miles for myself in economy so i get some extra room? no upperclass seats are going to open up now and i am fixed on dates? but economy seats still remain?

  11. Well I have SQ F flights LHR to SYD. This should count as four I hope? Oh, and is there any exclusion for redemption flights?

    • I wouldn’t have thought redemption flights would qualify given they would be non-points earning.

      Yep – confirmed in FAQs – “If you are a Golden Circle Jade member, you can enjoy an accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold simply by flying three times on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir in any booking class except ‘G’ (Group fares) within four months of registration. Award and codeshare flights are not eligible for thisaccelerated upgrade.”

  12. I am looking to book a return award flight for April 2017 with my krisflyer miles. Will this count as 2 “eligible flights” for the 3 required to get krisflyer gold?


    • No, see other answer – redemption flights aren’t eligible.

      • ah posted my question on the webpage that had been open for a good 15 minutes so didn’t see the previous question.
        thanks for that Alan, somehow missed it when looking through the T&Cs. Shame, that’s really annoying (but not surprising) that award flights don’t count

  13. Looking at the flight times it is 0635 x Munich into Manchester for 0750 and 0910 x Manchester into Munich for 1215.

    That gives 80min in Manchester. Would you need to enter the UK then go back through security or could you go through connections and go straight to the gate?


    • I tried to book a same day return on Singapore airlines and it wouldn’t accept it.
      One way Munich to Manchester was just €7 less expensive.

      Does anyone know if there are any other intra Europe sectors like Munich to Manchester?

    • Presumably not as UK is not in the Schengen area

  14. Charlie Stead says:

    Slightly OT, but still related to the Amex Platinum Card. I currently have the BAPP for personal use and the Gold Business Charge Card for my own one-person company. In order to get any sign up bonuses for the Platinum Card, I’ve been told by Amex that I have to cancel both the BAPP and the Gold Business Charge Card. I don’t mind canceling the BAPP as i’ve already earned the 2 4 1 voucher and my new collection year doesn’t start until April 2017. (i’ve got a 2-41 trip booked at Christmas, but I understand this would still be honoured even if the card is cancelled).

    Cancelling the Gold Business Charge Card is more of a problem as it’s the only card I have for my business. It also pays two Membership Reward points for every £ spent, which appears to be more than the current one point they currently advertise (am I right in thinking this?).

    I’d be grateful for any advice on the best strategy. In particular:

    If I cancel the Gold Business Card and then upgrade to the Platinum Card will I lose out on any important benefits that only come with the consumer card? Is there another business card that anyone can recommend to use in the interim? I cancelled my appalling HSBC business credit card as it charged a ridiculous amount on foreign transactions, came with with a miserly credit limit yet charged a £100 a year fee.

    If I take the opposite course of action and get a consumer Platinum Card, will Amex reduce the BAPP fee when I reapply next April? Spending £6,000 on the Business Platinum Card in 3 months to trigger the bonus may prove tricky, so this may be my only option in fact.

    When I signed up for the Gold Business Charge Card, Amex didn’t offer any sign-up bonus. Maybe that’s why it offers 2 points for every £ spent. I wonder if this would make an effective argument for being eligible to a sign up bonus even if I keep it?

    Finally, I’ve also just received a targeted mailing from Amex BAPP offering me 10,000 bonus Avios if I spend £10k in the next three months. That’s slightly more than my usual spend, which must be why they are making the offer. Not sure if that’s a good reason to keep it or not.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post but any answers greatly appreciated.

    • The BAPP card has NOTHING to do with it. This is the Amex call centre talking rubbish.

      However, they are right in that you won’t get a personal Plat bonus if you have Business Gold and a Membership Rewards account with it. You need to decide what to do. The fact that the Business Gold now comes with a £140 fee is a tricky one because you don’t necessarily want to give up a perk like that. I also wouldn’t want to give up 2 points per £1 to be honest.

      I would be tempted to stick with what you have. You can still apply for personal Platinum if you want the benefits, you just won’t get a bonus.

      Here is sneaky Plan B though. How about applying for Gold (you won’t get the bonus) and then upgrading your Gold charge card to Platinum? There is a (theoretically targetted but most people get it) 20,000 point bonus for upgrading to Platinum via a special link we can dig out. You WOULD get that bonus even if you didn’t get the Gold sign-up bonus.

      You don’t get a BAPP fee discount for having a charge card, that perk went in 2005ish!

      • Charlie Stead says:

        Thank you so much for your quick response Raffles – that was exactly the advice I was looking for. I shall follow your Plan B and hope for the best. As it’s free for the first year, I’ve got nothing to lose. And without a bonus to trigger I can at least concentrate on trying to trigger the 10,000 bonus on the BAPP. Perfect!

  15. As Amex Plat, is there any way I can “gift” my Shangri-la status to my partner? She travels on Singapore regularly (not enough for status) and I haven’t “cashed in” my shangri-la status with Amex Plat.

    • Issue her the free Platinum supplementary card you are allowed to give out and she can get all the hotel status cards (and thus the SQ match). I do this for my wife which is why she is now Marriott Gold.

      You don’t have to physically give her the card – it is posted to you anyway.

  16. yeah i’m happy to wait 6 months. Cant see it being worth the risk going early.

    • fair point.

      but the way I see it, the companion voucher itself is far more valuable to me than the (potential) loss of 26k avios, so would rather get on with earning my next one!

      each to their own!

      • I will have to change to harry1 as there are 2 harrys and at least 1 Harry

        harry above is not me! :)

      • If you were a GGL (and as such able to free up space on almost any BA flight), this little trick could be extremely useful if you wanted to book 4 people on each flight!

        You get to release up to 5 seats on 2 flights per membership year, so assuming you wanted to release 4 seats you’d need 2 companion tickets per membership year.

        • But don’t you need to be on each companion voucher. So cant use 2 in your name on one flight?? My wife and I earn one each per year. That’s the only way I have booked 4 seats for us and our kids.

          • nope….

            I can take 3 friends with me, if I use 2 vouchers, they can be anyone, no need for them to be in my HH account

            • Cool. good to know. On that note. Can I use my avios to book a redemption flight for someone not in my HH account??? (Ideally the answer is no, as its for my mother in law to join us in Miami!!)

            • You can buy a redemption for anyone.

            • That’s not true, if you have a HH account you can only buy a redemption for members of the HH account or people on your friends list.

              If you don’t have a HH account then you can book for anyone.

              I find the best way to operate BA as a household then operate avois as an individual, that way you can use the avois account to book for anyone.

              The benefit of operating a household account is that if any member is a gold you can use their account to book the additional economy seats that Golds can see, and as long as you zero all other balances of members (by transferrring their balance out to avois) you can be very specific on who’s avois balance gets deducted.

  17. Completely OT but may be of interest. Both myself and partner have just applied for HHplatinum CC and been accepted, Thought you couldn’t hold IHG CC’s and Barclaycards at the same time?

  18. Guesswho2000 says:

    Kind of on topic, how long does it actually take for Shangri La to upgrade to Jade after requesting? I’ve been waiting for months and it still hasn’t gone through, despite requesting twice.

    As for the others, for info – Melia and SPG worked fine (SPG quickly, Melia about a month), was already Carlson Gold/HH Diamond, so can’t comment on those.

  19. PlaneSimple says:

    Can you clarify that a return journey requiring a change in Singapore (i.e 4 legs) would be enough to meet the ‘three flights’ to gain *A Gold?

  20. Hmmmm. A little OT.

    The problem here is that the *G status on KrisFlyer only lasts 12 months.

    I am currently targetting *G on Asiana as it lasts up to 4 years.

    I am up to 25k miles on the way to 40k via an Etihad Australia trip and a couple of bits and bobs.

    My question is whether I miles transferred in from eg Starwood count towards Elite status on Asiana? It would be 10k MR points plus the 10k from the bonus on the SPG card?

    I may need to take this to FT, but thought I would try HFP first.

  21. OK just booked two trip round-trip tickets with SQ @ £102 each (MUC-MAN-MUC) so that’s the SQ sectors I need!