Awesome Promo: Transfer 250K Bank Points To Singapore KrisFlyer, Earn Star Alliance Gold

Filed Under: Singapore

There’s an opportunity right now to earn Star Alliance Gold status through Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer by transferring 250,000 points to the program. This is potentially an incredible deal.

Singapore Airlines’ status without flying promo

With Singapore’s borders more or less closed, Singapore Airlines has launched a creative promotion that makes it easy to earn status without flying. Between April 7, 2021, and February 28, 2022, you can accrue activity towards Singapore KrisFlyer status for shopping, converting rewards points, and more.

Let’s assume you currently have no status with Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program. In that case you’re eligible to upgrade your status to either KrisFlyer Elite Silver or KrisFlyer Elite Gold.

For context:

  • KrisFlyer Elite Silver status requires 25,000 elite qualifying miles per year
  • KrisFlyer Elite Gold status requires 50,000 elite qualifying miles per year

Here’s a rundown of the different ways you can use this promotion to earn status:

The option to convert bank points to KrisFlyer miles should be most interesting here:

  • You’ll earn one elite mile for every five miles transferred, with no maximum on how many elite miles you can earn
  • Singapore KrisFlyer is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Brex, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou
  • Since KrisFlyer Elite Gold status requires 50,000 elite miles, transferring 250,000 points would be enough to get you the status
  • Note that you need to transfer the equivalent of at least 10,000 miles to take advantage of this offer, it will take seven days for elite miles to post, and these elite miles don’t count towards KrisFlyer Milestone Rewards

Singapore Airlines is offering an easy path to Star Alliance Gold status

What are the benefits of Star Alliance Gold status?

Realistically the biggest benefit of KrisFlyer Elite Gold status is that it earns you Star Alliance Gold status, which comes with valuable perks when traveling on any Star Alliance airline. Star Alliance Gold perks include the following when flying on a Star Alliance airline:

  • Access to Star Alliance Gold lounges, even if you’re traveling domestically on United
  • Priority check-in
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Priority boarding
  • Extra baggage allowance

This certainly comes in handy when traveling on a Star Alliance airline. And for those who may be frequent United flyers, getting United Club access on domestic itineraries is potentially quite valuable.

Access United Clubs with Star Alliance Gold status

Benefits for travel on Singapore Airlines are limited. That’s because there’s the separate PPS Club for the most loyal Singapore Airlines flyers, and that comes with a significant revenue requirement. So don’t expect that this status will get you much in the way of special treatment when flying Singapore Airlines.

Is this promotion worth it?

I’ve gotta say, I’m really tempted by this promotion, even though I’m not usually someone who goes for Star Alliance status. A few general thoughts:

  • Generally speaking I highly recommend against speculative points transfers, since you lose flexibility when you convert transferable points into specific airline miles
  • At the same time, this is a significant incentive, and having KrisFlyer miles is useful, since Singapore blocks most premium cabin award space for members of its own frequent flyer program
  • While I’m not a huge Star Alliance flyer, I do think there’s value in having Star Alliance Gold status, which is why I’m really tempted by this
  • My one thought is that I might wait to take advantage of this — the offer is valid through February 2022, and best I can tell, KrisFlyer Elite Gold status is valid for 12 months, so you might as well time this offer based on your travel patterns
  • A few months back Singapore KrisFlyer offered a 15% bonus on points transfers for the first time, so I suppose one should consider a minimum opportunity cost of 37,500 KrisFlyer miles here (not that there’s any guarantee such a promotion will return)
  • KrisFlyer miles do expire 36 months after they’re earned (regardless of any activity), so that’s something to keep in mind if making a transfer

I think I might bite and take advantage of this offer… eventually.

KrisFlyer miles are key for redeeming in Singapore Airlines premium cabins

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer has a lucrative promotion that makes it easy to earn Star Alliance Gold status.

While there are various opportunities here, the most interesting is the ability to convert 250,000 bank points into KrisFlyer miles, and to then earn 50,000 elite miles, which is enough for KrisFlyer Elite Gold status.

That’s an easy way to earn Star Alliance Gold status, which could prove useful for anyone who flies Star Alliance airlines with any frequency (including United Airlines domestically). And then on top of that you still have the 250,000 KrisFlyer miles to redeem however you’d like.

Kudos to Singapore Airlines for thinking outside the box with this promotion.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this Singapore Airlines promo? If so, are you doing so now, or waiting a bit?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. If I’m not mistaken, KrisFlyer miles expire after 36 months (no matter what subsequent activity posts). This should be taken into account when weighing up the promotion.

  2. Of all my points, the Krisflyer points are the HARDEST to use by far, so I try not to accrue many of them as I am then stuck with them and have to make unfavorable bookings to use them up.

  3. @Gavin It’s too bad they kept that policy in place despite COVID.
    But, if they haven’t changed it by now, it’s unlikely they’ll change it at all šŸ™

  4. If you have status with Shangri-La, you can match it to Krisflyer. My German AmEx offered this. So I could get Silver with SQ that way and would then only need another 125k Miles to get it to Gold. Not bad.

    That said, KrisFlyer Gold really is only good if you are not flying SQ, since they have geared their entire system towards PPS. When travelling on LH however it’s pretty great. Getting access to the SEN Lounges is a nice bonus (when they’re open) since they are often a lot more comfortable than the Business ones šŸ˜‰

  5. @ Izz — It wouldn’t get you any upgrades on United. And even on Singapore Airlines you’d likely have to redeem miles to get an upgrade. As a KrisFlyer Gold you do have some priority for operational upgrades, but there are still others ahead of you.

  6. The krisflyer program is, in my opinion, ruthless.
    They have been making last minute adjustments to miles cancelling based on the calendar but they remain very rigid.
    Kris flyer helped me reschedule an award flight as permitted and because of a major blizzard. They assured me that I could leave it to them and they would arrange everything. It never happened because as they cancelled the miles were swallowed by their computer. At first they ignored me, then they phoned me in the USA multiple times at 3 AM to explain what happened but never resolved the issue.

  7. Is there extra award availability for KrisFlyer Gold? Award waitlist priority? Or things like Companion awards (like with Miles & More)

  8. This is actually a pretty horrendous idea, considering that this requires you to transfer a massive amount of points to an airline whose country is one of the most restrictive in the world during this pandemic

  9. Not tempted. Lounge access is the only significant upside, and most lounges have really lost their appeal what with limited food, beverages and open status.

  10. @Lukas

    I’ve done the status offer from Shangri La but my KrisFlyer account is still showing the requirements as 25k EQM to requalify for silver or 50k EQM to upgrade to gold.

  11. I’d consider if it werent for the huge fuel surcharges they impose on many international business class awards, unlike a program like United or Avianca.

  12. Do note that Singapore Airlines miles expire 3 years after it is being transferred, better to transfer the 250k miles for status in February 2022 to maximize the miles validity if you are not in the hurry to travel.

  13. I have ~110K Singapore miles that have been sitting in my account for a few years due to a cancelled award. I’ve found them very hard to use. Planning my next year of (domestic) travel, United never seems to release space to them. I’m a few months away from buying an iPad with the points (they’re about to expire)…

    I would avoid unless I knew exactly how I would redeem the miles.

  14. Getting upgrades on SQ is extremely unlikely with Gold. I was based in Singapore for 3 years and speaking to my Krisflyer colleagues I only knew of 1 single upgrade on a flight BKK to SIN. Strangely it was after thr guy asked at check in if he could change from a middle seat.

    So basically you are getting loungr access and extra luggage (with priority tags). It is a small niche since many of us get those benefits via credit cards. Some airports it will be good as they have no Priority Pass lounges.

  15. To get United Club access, does your KrisFlyer account have to be on your reservation? I’m 1K on United so wouldn’t want to use KrisFlyer for anything except Club access.

  16. @ Ben — Talk about bad timing. I transferred 100k Brex to SQ on April 6. At first, I was upset, but then I realized SQ status is effectively worthless to us. We have *A Gold for life and only travel on SQ by redeeming miles. I guess an opportunity to credit a great SQ fare to SQ might arise, and we would lose the 25% bonus miles, but that seems very unlikely.

  17. @ Nate nate – No need to have it on your reservation. Just make sure you can present the digital or physical card with the boarding pass.

  18. Sorry Lucky but this is hardly deserving of an *awesome* promo track. The biggest benefit of star alliance gold is the ability to access United lounges when flying domestically which is worth less than 525$–it is simply a function of the annual fee on the chase United club card. The rest of the benefits like priority boarding etc are available with any chase credit card—even the ones costing less than 100 bucks.

    For that, you have to transfer a massive amount of 250 thousand bank points to an airline where they will expire after 36 months irrespective of any activity. That is a bad deal in my opinion except for maybe professional travelers like you who have a lot more flexibility in terms of travel destinations or can just travel to review a product for your blog.

    Maybe someone who frequently takes international flights in coach can benefit from star alliance lounge access but that probably is a very small part of your readership and even in that case, I don’t think the deal is quite worth.

  19. This will actually help retain PPS status so I will take advantage of it. In a normal world I fly SQ regularly so for me it might be worth it.

  20. Would have to agree with @R above. Why is this an awesome promo? 250k points is not exactly a small amount of points when the benefits is accessing lounges?

    During this time that benefit is especially abysmal.

  21. After United gutted their FF program by increasing 1K qualification requirements to what would have required someone with my travel pattern to shell out $24K a year, I was ready to dump MileagePlus once and for all. I’d already completely mapped out my travel plans for 2020 to earn SQ Gold by May, but then, COVID happened and the world changed, wiping out the best laid out plans.

    UA, of course, was the first to extend status for a year because of the pandemic. Then they made it even easier to earn status for ’21-’22 by decreasing the requirement for 1K to $15K while, at the same time, the giving every 1K a head start to re-qualification by dropping $3750 in their accounts, to decrease the requirement for the ’21-’22 re-qualification to just $11,250 — the lowest in years, making it impossible not to go for retaining the 1K status. So, just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back, and forced me to shelve the plan to become SQ Gold.

    Now, I have the opportunity to have my cake and eat it too! With over 1M in Chase UR+ AMEX MR points, this deal is a no-brainer. I already dipped my toe in the water and deposited 10K MR points in my SQ account, just, well, to test the waters. The future plan then is to just dump UA if they should return to their crazy pre-pandemic elite qualification requirements, by going for SQ Gold as already a Gold, which is much easier because SQ Golds get 25% tier bonus miles.

    It’s a done deal.

  22. Giving out free upgrades for elites is not common outside the US. Even operational upgrades are not necessarily given out based on your FFP level, and can be based on other factors like fare paid, time since last upgrade or luck. SQ are famously stingy with upgrades as well. The rule of thumb when travelling outside the US is pay for the cabin you want to be in. The upside is that premium tickets are often much cheaper as airlines want to fill their cabins with people who actually paid for it.

  23. This is not new.
    I have been transfering my HSBC Hong Kong Mastercard and Citibank Hong Kong Visa points to Asia Miles ( Cathay Pacific) for 20 years . I can also transfer to Star Alliance and Kris but I chose to transfer to Asia Miles .
    Seems Kris have just extended it to US based credit cards ?

  24. You would need a careful strategy with this one. Keep in mind Krisflyer points expiry, that you need to complete accrual of elite miles in one year, that Singapore airlines krisflyer charges quite a lot of cash fees for points reward redemptions.
    Interesting the company itself seems to be doing better. Share price tripled in a year. The company still gets government salary support. Big debts though. It is “too big to be allowed to fail”. Singapore government say they expect “gradual improvements” in their economy. So yeah, ok, I suppose.

  25. Do you have to transfer in 1 go? It seems not but just want to check.

    Say I transfer 50K worth of miles today, then another 200K in Feb 2022, will one then get SQ Gold from Feb 2022 + 1 year from then?

  26. @lukas did this actually work with the German Amex platinum. ƍĀ“ve read that you need 50k for the gold status regardless of a existing krisflyer silver elite status. That means 375000 Amex for krisflyer gold.

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