As we covered recently, American Express is ending its partnership with Shangri-La Hotels on 31st March.
After that date, American Express Platinum cardholders will no longer be able to claim Jade status in Shangri-La Golden Circle.
You will also lose the ability to match to Gold status in the Taj Hotels InnerCircle programme. We cover both of these opportunities here.
There is a second, lesser known arbitrage which gets you Star Alliance Silver airline status for a year.
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?
Until 31st March, American Express Platinum cardholders can claim free Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status.
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
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.
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 can squeeze in three Singapore Airlines flights within four months of registration it would trigger your Star Alliance Gold upgrade. Unfortunately, coronavirus means this is unlikely to happen if you do the Silver match now.
However …. you only need to apply for Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status by 31st March. The Shangri-La status should be valid for a year after that. This means that you would have until Spring 2022 to claim your free Star Alliance Silver status and do the four month Gold challenge.
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. It would require (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 ‘instant dining award’ – 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.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our August 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending: