Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

NEW: Transfer Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Marriott Bonvoy points

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Back in the olden days, it was relatively common for airlines to allow you to transfer your miles into hotel programmes. American Airlines was particularly keen.

Then, slowly but surely, a pyramid developed:

  • car hire firms would allow transfers to hotels or airlines
  • hotels would allow transfers to airlines
  • airlines wouldn’t allow transfers to anyone
Transfer Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Marriott Bonvoy points

This is now unravelling. The leader has been Accor Live Limitless (Novotel, Ibis, Mercure, Fairmont etc) which has developed partnerships with huge numbers of airlines to convert their miles into hotel points.

Accor doesn’t work with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic but you CAN convert Avios to Accor points by moving them to Qatar Privilege Club and transferring from there.

(It’s a bad deal, of course, but you can do it.)

Other options include Virgin Atlantic (transfer to IHG and Hilton) and Finnair (transfer to various schemes including IHG). Again, none represent great value compared to redeeming your miles for a flight, but that is hardly surprising – buying hotel points costs the airline real money.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is now starting hotel transfers

In a surprising development, you can now transfer Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Marriott Bonvoy hotel points.

You have been able to transfer the other way for years at the standard ‘Marriott to airlines’ transfer rate of 3:1.

The transfer rate from KrisFlyer to Marriott Bonvoy is 2:1.

You need to transfer a minimum of 3,000 KrisFlyer miles to Marriott, getting you 1,500 Marriott Bonvoy points. The maximum number of Singapore Airlines miles you can transfer is 180,000 per calendar year.

The small print says that transfers could take up to EIGHT weeks to complete. This isn’t an option if you are desperate to book a hotel but you could take advantage of Marriott’s ‘Points Advance’ feature to book now and earn the points later.

Transfer Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Marriott Bonvoy points

This is, clearly, awful

Let’s assume that a KrisFlyer mile is worth 1p for the sake of argument. You are trading 2p of Singapore Airlines miles for 0.5p of Marriott Bonvoy points.

So why are we even mentioning this?

There are two reasons why this may be of some use.

First, KrisFlyer has a hard expiry policy. Irrespective of what you do, your miles will expire after three years. Clearly something is better than nothing and if you have a handful heading towards expiry then this is an option.

Secondly, if you have a Star Alliance flight coming up and no interest in collecting Star Alliance miles, this is an option. As long as the flight would earn 3,000 Singapore Airlines miles, you could credit it to KrisFlyer and send the miles to Marriott Bonvoy. Again, it’s better than nothing.

Is there any arbitrage?

There is no arbitrage here as far as I can tell versus any other scheme. The loss of value is so huge that there is no merit in, for example, moving American Express Membership Rewards points to KrisFlyer instead of moving them directly to Marriott Bonvoy.

In my case, I have 1,100 orphaned KrisFlyer miles. There is no value in topping that up with Amex points to get to 3,000 because I could send the same number of Amex points directly to Bonvoy and get more. My KrisFlyer miles will keep sitting there until they expire or I can pick up another 1,900 to allow a transfer to Marriott.

You can find out more about the new Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer / Marriott Bonvoy partnership on this page of the Singapore Airlines website.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (17)

  • 1958 says:

    I tried to use Virgin Atlantic miles for a Singapore Air flight – but the VS website says that the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) limits the routes available.
    Has any HFP reader tried to check this with the CAAS?

    • SamG says:

      I think this is old text from covid times

      • mnlbay says:

        It is old text from Covid times however VS are still using it as an excuse not to issue award tickets on SQ. I tried recently and I said that the policy is not live anymore but couldn’t get anywhere.
        There is not really a reason why VS can’t issue SQ, Alaska Airlines (a non-alliance partner) has access to awards without this limitation…

    • Jonathan says:

      I booked a reward seat on SQ193 using VS points, the flight is just two weeks away, but when I was on the phone to Virgin Atlantic, after dealing with initial query, I asked for availability, and the agent found me a seat, nothing for SQ191 though on my required date of travel…

  • BJ says:

    A bit OT but I’ll pop it in here as SQ and those with an interest in SQ will be reading this article. I was checking one way business class fares from BKK-UK in December and was astonished to find that Singapore Airlines at just £1145 was the cheapest, and by far compared to typical fares. I’ve been checking such fares on this roure for about two decades and don’t ever recall SQ being competitive never mind cheapest.

    • Axel Heyst says:

      I’ve not seen Business that low and I check fairly regularly from SIN and Jakarta. Saver Reward flights to London seem to be more available than in the past in SQ but I think that’s because most overseas students flying to UK /EDI from SE Asia have switched to Qatar Air because of their aggressive Student Burgundy programme.

      • BJ says:

        Saw it on skyscanner searches. Probably special fares exBKK as it is always a competitive destinstion. A blog also recently highlighted cheap desls between BKK and USA on SQ . I certainly would not expect to see anything cheap on direct flights from SIN.

  • Froggee says:

    This just makes me feel more sad about my 190,000 krisflyer miles that have at least been extended one more time but are expiring in July.

    • marks7389 says:

      I have to say I’m really unimpressed with Singapore Airlines over their miles expiration policy in the light of COVID. We earned around 14,000 miles each in February 2020 and added a further 35,000 Amex MR points for a specific SQ redemption which we had booked for early 2021 and then again in early 2022. On both occasions they cancelled the flight.

      Have since used most of them on partner airlines short haul, to get some value out of them ahead of expiry. In both cases those redemptions were a real pain to arrange. Neither could be booked online, and due to busy call centre both had to be sorted via chat/calls in the early hours of the morning. In the case of our Alaska redemptions it took a real push and spelling out to the agent that Alaska is not a Star Alliance member for them to work out how to book it, and even then they didn’t ticket it properly despite chasing from Alaska which resulted in my having to take time during the trip to sort it out.

      To add insult to injury they then devalued last year.

      The extension policy has resulted in some who had opportunity to use their miles in the 3 years prior to COVID now having later expiry dates than those of us who earned them on the cusp of the initial outbreak. We’ve been thrown a bone with the latest 6 month extension but its still a very poor show.

      We now have just over 11,000 miles left each. Those will probably go on a one-way short haul SQ redemption from Singapore (8,500 miles each), the rest will expire and we will make a point of closing our accounts.

      Lesson learnt in investing in any scheme that has such a hard expiry, especially one which is not UK based (and has no UK based partners).

    • Matt says:

      Why not use them, say, MAN-IAH, FRA-JFK?

      • Froggee says:

        Because I have a wife and two kids and these routes are of no interest. It would very much be the tail wagging the dog. I was so chuffed with myself scraping together these points from Marriott, Hyatt and HSBC which, at the time, was what we needed to fly one way from Singapore to Tokyo for the Olympics. One way flights would have been S$3,000 each so it seemed like a heroic redemption. Of course if I’d paid cash I would have got cash refunded but instead I get the points refunded with the original expiry date kept and no means of getting them back to source. Doh!

        So there is the double whammy that there was a loss of value from Hyatt and Marriott which was well worthwhile at the time but now is a real shame.

        Them’s the breaks. I live in hope that we might be able to use them at some point. I have SQ silver courtesy of Shangri-La infinite journeys so I will probably sacrifice some of the points to extend validity for a year.

        I actually think SQ’s policy is reasonably fair but it just doesn’t suit me this time.

        Sad face.

  • Aliks says:

    Well its good to find a way to redeem 8000 Krisflyer miles.

    A quick check online says it would cover a one way economy flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, but Asia is not on the cards in the next 8 months before they expire, so maybe £20 of Marriott points is good value.

    • marks7389 says:

      8,500 miles required now for Singapore to KL. That’s what we’re planning for most of the rest of ours. I believe you only have to book before they expire.

  • Patrick C says:

    It does make the hsbc credit card into a marriott credit card (not the best exchange rate, but can be extra value if you have excess avios etc.
    If there are bonus’es, i.e. more krisflyer plus a transfer in bonus, this can be reasonably interesting

    • Rob says:

      True, if KrisFlyer does more transfer bonuses it might – just – be worth a look. Remember that UK Amex to Kris is now 3:2 though so it would need to be a big bonus.

  • kjt says:

    My 8600 krisflyer miles have been transferred to Bonvoy in just over 24 hrs .
    They have been sitting there for 5 years and would probably expire in a few months
    I looked at using them for an ANA flight in Japan . It was 13000 one way . United was 5500 so I booked using mileage plus .
    Due to the expiration policy of Singapore Airlines my future star alliance flights will be credited to Mileage Plus .
    It was a nice surprise for the transfer opportunity though !

    • Jonathan says:

      Good idea. Lots of Star Alliance airlines have hard expiry policy on their own programs, which makes it frustrating not being able to get enough points together for a redemption, or lose the points when you’ve got no need to be using their flights in the near future, or there’s no reward seat availability. It further adds insult to injury when the booking systems are being needlessly awkward to book

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