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.)

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Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

    • Think the rules may have changed for BC. But in any case the new IHG is not issued by BC. I have both that and the HH card no issues.

    • Thanks for that info. Was wondering if that was now the case.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

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