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Get Star Alliance Gold and Virgin Clubhouse access by transferring your Amex points

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Singapore Airlines has launched a very interesting promotion – you can earn status, all the way up to Gold, by transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to its KrisFlyer programme.

In fact, it is broader than this.

As you can see here, until February 2022, all non-flying points earned in the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer scheme will also earn elite status miles.

This means that transfers from, say, hotel reward schemes will also count. For UK residents, transfers from Heathrow Rewards count. HSBC Premier credit card points will also count.

This is how it works:

  • you receive 1 elite status mile for every 5 redeemable miles you earn from non-flying methods
  • you need 25,000 elite miles for KrisFlyer Silver (Star Alliance Silver)
  • you need 50,000 elite miles for KrisFlyer Gold (Star Alliance Gold)

Ignore references to ‘PPS’ on the KrisFlyer website which is a separate spend-based loyalty programme. You are only interested in elite miles.

This means:

  • 250,000 HSBC Premier points gets you 125,000 Singapore Airlines miles and Silver status
  • 500,000 HSBC Premier points gets you 250,000 Singapore Airlines miles and Gold status
  • 187,500 UK American Express Membership Rewards points gets you 125,000 Singapore Airlines miles and Silver status
  • 375,000 UK American Express Membership Rewards points gets you 250,000 Singapore Airlines miles and Gold status

More interestingly (based on £1 to $1.37):

  • 91,250 UK American Express Membership Rewards points gets you 125,000 Interational Dollar Card Amex MR points which gets you 125,000 Singapore Airlines miles and Silver status
  • 182,500 UK American Express Membership Rewards points gets you 250,000 International Dollar Card Amex MR points which gets you 250,000 Singapore Airlines miles and Gold status

If you have no idea what I am talking about with the final two points above, read this article from last week about how you can arbitrage Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer by getting an International Dollar Card from American Express.

You should remember that Singapore Airlines runs occasional transfer bonuses when you move over credit card points. If it ran another one during 2021, you could reduce the requirements above by another 10% – 15%.

Is this a good deal?

The key benefit of Star Alliance Gold is lounge access across the alliance, for you and a guest. You also get the usual priority check-in etc.

The Star Alliance website lists the benefits here.

It is important to note that Star Alliance Silver does NOT get you lounge access across the alliance. You only receive it with the airline which issues your status, ie Singapore Airlines. This isn’t a lot of use if you live in the UK. You really need to aim for Gold if you are going to do this.

I wouldn’t do this purely for the status. One downside is that Singapore Airlines status only lasts for 12 months from the date you achieve it.

It isn’t like British Airways Executive Club, where you can get almost two years by earning it early in your membership year. It isn’t like Lufthansa Miles & More, where you get status for two years.

For most of us, there is a limit to the amount of value you would get from Star Alliance Gold within one year.

Of course, you would also have a lot of Singapore Airlines miles, and you can use those for some great value redemptions. This HfP article explains some of them.

You also get Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access

A little known benefit of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold status is that you can access the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3 – when it reopens. See the image below.

Our most recent review of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow is here.

You must be travelling on a Virgin Atlantic operated flight, not a codeshare or a Delta service, in order to do this. No guests are allowed.

You can confirm this on this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.

Get Virgin Clubhouse access with Singapore Airlines Gold

Don’t forget the TAP status match as an alternative

Remember that the TAP Portugal Star Alliance status match is still running. TAP will match British Airways Silver to Star Alliance Gold as long as you pay a €99 fee, as we explain here.

TAP status does not get you into the Virgin Clubhouse, for clarity. This is only available via Singapore Airlines Gold status.

I have Star Gold via TAP Portugal until September 2021. There is a chance I won’t be able to use it in that time. TAP may or may not extend it.

If they don’t, and if I see a big travel year ahead in 2022, I might be tempted to pull the trigger on KrisFlyer in early 2022. I have a lot of Amex points sitting in my International Dollar Card account and I wouldn’t have any trouble spending 250,000 KrisFlyer miles – perhaps the new First Class Suite, as pictured above, if the A380 fleet returns?

Even if you’re keen, don’t do this today

Because your 12 month clock starts counting down from the day you achieve Gold, this is not something you should be doing today.

You should also remember that you can reduce the credit card points you would need to transfer by crediting any upcoming Star Alliance flights to KrisFlyer. If I did decide that I was going to go for this in early 2022, I would be sending the points from any Star flights this year to KrisFlyer to reduce the Amex transfer required.

(Before you do this, always check that you are flying in a booking class which earns miles in the KrisFlyer programme.)

If this deal sounds interesting, you can find out more on the Singapore Airlines website here.

For clarity, I am not an expert on the KrisFlyer programme so there may be aspects of this offer which I have missed. I will amend this article if any interesting new information comes up.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (22)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • NC says:

    If you’re the kind of person with 250k miles to transfer in, wouldn’t you be likely to be flying Business Class anyway? In which case, I’m struggling to see the value of being Gold … unless you happen to plan on lots of Economy flying with other alliance members in the same year.

    • Rob says:

      Long haul, potentially yes. Short haul, potentially no. The real winners here are people in United hubs in the US, or German / SWISS / Scandi residents.

      Lufthansa also has superior lounges for Golds vs business class passengers, inc at Heathrow.

  • Waddle says:

    Will having Kris Gold allow entry into the T3 VS Clubhouse when flying VS econ?

  • AJA says:

    I think that TAP won’t extend Gold for those of us who did the status match. I got an email a few weeks ago where they announced extension of status but there was small print specifically excluding the status match. That said there are reports over on FT that if you have flown at least one mileage earning flight with TAP then you might get an extension.

  • Patrick C says:

    Beyond having Gold Status, it is important to remember the strict 3 year expiration rule for the miles…

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    The Shangri-La tie-up also comes into play. SQ Gold can get GC Jade status after one stay (which is more interesting now that the Amex Plat route is closed).

  • Jim Lovejoy says:

    I’d like to gently disagree on the PPS Club.
    Ordinarily probably not one reader will qualify. Who spends S$25,000 on Singapore Air Business and 1st class in one year?
    But during their promotion there’s a unique chance to qualify.
    From my reading, if you transfer 250,000 miles in to become Star Alliance gold, you also become a PPS member. That also only lasts for 12 months, but as the PPS webpage states, effectively extends your Singapore miles until 3 years after your PPS membership ends.
    Still too short considering no way to extend your miles.
    But what if you leverage this? Credit some Star Alliance/Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia flights to Singapore Air, early 2022 transfer enough Bank/Hotel points to Singapore Air to reach Star Alliance Gold, but not PPS Club, then late 2022 early 2023 spend enough on Singapore Air Business/First to put you over S$25,000 and get PPS Club for a year.
    Since PPS Club gives most of the Star Alliance Gold benefits, if you can pull it off you would get 2 years of Star Alliance Gold and 5 years of mileage validity.
    You’d want to be sure you could make it work though and be aware that not all of your ticket price will qualify.
    For me it’s marginal, even if I could do one year as Kris Flyer Gold and one as PPS Club. But I’m sure that there are some for whom it would absolutely make sense.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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