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.
- 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.
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.
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.