The little-known way that Amex Platinum gets you Star Alliance Silver and fast track Star Alliance Gold

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One of the quirks of American Express Platinum is that you get more benefits than Amex actually tells you about.  This is because some American Express partners have reciprocal deals with other companies.

For example, there is a partnership between Shangri-La Hotels and Taj Hotels.  You can match your free Shangri-La Hotels Jade status via Amex Platinum to the equivalent tier in the Taj Hotels programme as we explain here.

There is a second, lesser known arbitrage which gets you Star Alliance Silver airline status for a year.

Shangri La Shard

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle have a 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 hotel 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

So, why should this interest you as an Amex Platinum member?

In 2016, 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 Marriott Bonvoy
  • Gold in Radisson Rewards
  • Gold in Hilton Honors
  • Gold in Melia Rewards

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

Unfortunately, the benefits of Singapore Airlines Silver status are not huge:

  • 25% bonus KrisFlyer miles on actual miles flown
  • Free seat selection when flying economy on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir
  • Priority reservation waitlist
  • Priority airport standby
  • Waived or discounted service fees

Star Alliance thumbnail

Is Star Alliance Silver status rubbish?

Singapore Airlines Silver status also gets you Silver benefits across all other Star Alliance airlines.

Unfortunately, those benefits are not worth much.

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 into 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.  If you do have some Star Alliance flights coming up you might value free Star Alliance Silver status.

(One possible use of this free Star Alliance Silver card would be to try to match it to another airline that was running its own status match offer.  statusmatcher.com can show you who is currently matching what to where.)

But Star Alliance Gold status is NOT rubbish

The real value is in getting Star Alliance Gold status for a year for taking three Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights within four months of registering for the match.  This would get you lounge access on all Star Alliance carriers, amongst other benefits.

When Singapore Airlines flew from Manchester to Munich, it was possible to get your three Singapore Airlines flights fairly easily.  That is no longer the case, as the Manchester flight now routes Singapore – Manchester – Houston.

If you are going to Asia soon, however, this could work out.  If you can squeeze in three Singapore Airlines flights within four months of registration it would trigger your Star Alliance Gold upgrade.

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

The other thing worth mentioning about the Singapore Airlines / Shangri-La Hotels partnership is the ability to transfer miles out of Singapore Krisflyer.

American Express points convert at 1:1 to Singapore Airlines as you can see on the Membership Rewards site here.  This means that you can indirectly earn Shangri-La 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 (£77) 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 partnership is a good way to salvage some value.  The minimum transfer to Shangri-La Golden Circle is 20,000 Krisflyer miles and there is an annual transfer cap of 180,000 miles.

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

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons why you should consider the American Express Platinum card.

(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. Shoestring says:
    • Shoestring says:

      https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200208-sitrep-19-ncov.pdf?sfvrsn=6e091ce6_4

      latest WHO stats – 34886 confirmed/ 724 deaths

      so: 724/ 34886 chance of dying if you get it – 2.08%

      & 34886/ 8500000000 chance of contracting it – 0.00041%

      yet my wife is starting to get worried about flying to Malaga at half term

      • Shoestring says:

        Fancy that!

        [Secondly, it’s very hard to know what we’re actually dealing with. What is alarmism, or a manifestation of panic about a universal nightmare, and thus purely psychological, and what is epidemiological? The headlines are made to terrify, but the numbers aren’t that horrendous – yet.
        At this moment there have been 34,958 confirmed cases (possibly a few more by the time you read this) of coronavirus worldwide, affecting just 0.00037 per cent of the world’s population. The Spanish flu of 1918 affected a third of the world’s population within the space of a year. Obviously, a pandemic even a fraction of the size and devastation of the Spanish flu would be disastrous – but, none the less, the 1918 flu puts present hysteria into perspective.
        Indeed, the reported death toll from coronavirus so far is less than 750, around 2 per cent of confirmed cases. I’m probably safe. And so are you.]

        • Shoestring says:

          and here’s the good news!

          so the UK has been a [email protected] destination for Chinese tourists because we make it difficult and expensive for Chinese people to get visas to come to the UK – whereas visa for Schengen is 5 Euros and the Chinese come in their millions

          but now they won’t be coming anyway because of pussycat virus

          so we’ve lost out less than Europe! 🙂

  2. OT- Does BA Silver allow me to guest a colleague (1 + 1)at Madrid Airport flying MAD_LHR?
    This of course works at LHR

    • Yes for Iberia lounge access, if they are travelling on the same flight, and if that is your question?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you could guest them at LHR then you can guest them to into any Oneworld lounge that accepts sapphires (same rules apply as LHR)

  3. Alan Wan says:

    Assume the 3 Singapore Airlines flights are 3 sectors. E.g if I did LHR to HKG via SIN. Those 4 flights would qualify?

  4. I did the S-L Jade / SQ silver match when I first got Amex Platinum a few years ago without knowing about the quick route to gold deal. Can anybody tell me if, now that it hasdropped back down to SQ basic a couple of years ago, whether I can try and ask for it a second time? (when I am likely to take advantage of the gold deal and go over to Asia) Falling that, would my wife, who is an additional Amex Platinum cardholder, be able to do the match which she didn’t do?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Since it’s meant to be a one time deal you might not get it but I would always try. Your wife can try no problem as a proper platinum supp gets all benefits.

  5. Harry T says:

    OT, no bits:
    When I signed up for IC Ambassador, I accidentally made a separate IHG account. The Ambassador team kindly linked my two accounts into a new one. Prior to the formation of the new account, I had already redeemed my free Ambassador weekend night. However, my new account shows that I still have an Ambassador free weekend night voucher, which I can use to make another booking. Is it likely that this would work in practice i.e. have I received a second functioning free Ambassador weekend night certificate?

    • Harry T says:

      I should say that I haven’t yet completed the stay that I initially used my Ambassador weekend night for.

      • Voucher is used during your stay, so don’t think you got two.

      • Unlikely. The voucher isn’t redeemed until your actual stay. Nor do you pay for the first night until then, as Ambassador weekend bookings are refundable rates (up until a day or so ahead). So the free weekend night will continue to show as available until then.

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, meta and Lyn. It’s my first year of being Ambassador so I’m making all the roomie mistakes!

        • A diplomatic response from our New Man in Newcastle to what must have been hugely disappointing replies 🙂

        • TGLoyalty says:

          If you really were given two vouchers then you would’ve been able to use the second no problem on another stay.

          • Harry T says:

            I was able to book another stay but I assume that will become invalid after my stay in Sydney next month.

          • @Harry T you can make as many bookings as you want but need the voucher for the stay. In the old days you could pick up extra paper vouchers on eBay, etc. but they’re all electronic now so the only real benefit is if you’re not sure which stay you might use it on as they’re always flexible bookings.

          • Harry T says:

            @Alan
            Thanks, that makes sense.

  6. O/T
    I’ve got a longish wait in J’Berg next month. Flying in BA Club, then onto CPT Economy with Comair. Assuming I can’t use a BA lounge ? I have a Gold Card and could use it to access a lounge. Any recommendations? Also this is my second year Gold Card. . Do I get new passes sent or are the cards sent previously credited ?
    TIA

  7. BSI1978 says:

    OT – & unable to share the link, but reports overnight that a BA flight returned from NYC sub 5 hours, due in part to the storm/winds which must be touching Concorde records!

    … unsure how enjoyable the turbulence would have been however….

    • BSI1978 says:

      Apologies, just seen this referenced above/earlier! 🤦🏾‍♂️

    • “The record-breaking flight from New York to London occurred on 7 February, 1996, when it crossed the ocean in 2 hours 53 minutes, according to BA.”

    • “unsure how enjoyable the turbulence would have been however….”

      Gripping I suspect 🙂

    • BSI1978…… I don’t think so, even with today’s unprecedented winds, the record subsonic is still more than two hours more than Concordes record run.

  8. OT. My Curve card was used fraudulently, so I have been sent a replacement.
    But I can’t see how to change the card in the Curve app account. Sent a message to curve on Friday, but not heard back.
    Online says sign out of app and sign in, but no idea how to do that!
    If I delete the app and re-install with a new card number, will I have to re-enter the underlying cards (and will it let me, since it may think they are still linked to the old card!)
    Thanks

    • You delete the card by clicking on the ‘i’. If you cannot see it then it is because the font you are using is too large so adjust that in your device setting. To sign out click on tbe head in top left of your wallet page, scroll down to the bottom and you will see option to sign out in the centre.

    • the_real_a says:

      For android (actually no need to re-install):

      system – settings – apps – apps – curve – storage – clear data – clear cache

      Your underlying cards are stored on the cloud so no need to re-enter. You will be sent an email verification that you need to click through to get back onto your account.

    • Jovanna says:

      Similar thing happened to me a couple of months back. Thank goodness for instant notifications and the ability to freeze the card.

      I seem to recall that the card details updated automatically in my App but I could be wrong.

  9. O/T
    Need to change some Tesco points to Virgin in next few days. Noticed on net there has usually been a bonus offer around this time.
    Anyone heard whether there is an offer due this month?
    Thanks

    • Shoestring says:

      nothing

      some hope to be gleaned from the very generous +40% bonus —> BAEC last year end (Shell Club people only)

    • Hasn’t been a Tesco/Virgin transfer bonus for a good few years – other than the autoconvert ones.

      • Shoestring says:

        there were 2x +20% conversion bonuses —> Virgin in 2018 (March & Oct/ Nov)

  10. Annabelle says:

    OT- please can anyone tell me if Hsbc World elite card will charge for Revolut top ups? Thank you

  11. Shoestring says:

    O/T free 7 day Sky Cinema pass for everybody if you want to watch the Oscars – on NowTV, which if you don’t have it on your TV, you can get on PC etc – set up account then go to my passes

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