Hotel chain Shangri-La has boosted its conversion rates to and from KrisFlyer miles this month, and that actually makes it a good deal in the KrisFlyer to Golden Circle points direction if you have miles expiring or you wish to cash some of them out by using them for ‘Instant Dining Awards’.
As spotted by Mark at The Shutterwhale, the usual conversion rates from KrisFlyer miles and Shangri-La Golden Circle points and vice-versa have been doubled as part of a promotion celebrating 2 years of their ‘Infinite Journeys’ partnership.
The conversion rates applicable from 4th October 2018 to 31st October 2018 are now:
- 12 KrisFlyer miles to 2 Golden Circle points (previously 12:1)
- 1 Golden Circle point to 2.5 KrisFlyer miles (previously 1:1.25)
While the second option of the two remains very poor value, as you can typically get 8 to 13 Singapore cents of value out of a Golden Circle point against a Shangri-La hotel stay, you may recall we talked about conversion from KrisFlyer to Golden Circle as ‘not a terrible idea’ in our 12 ways to save your expiring points article in August.
It stems from the option to use your Golden Circle points, once converted from KrisFlyer miles, as ‘Instant Dining’ awards.
‘Instant Dining’ awards
Each Golden Circle point is worth 10 US cents against a bar / restaurant charge at a participating outlet. That means under the current promotional transfer rate you can convert KrisFlyer miles into 1.67 US cents of value – 2.3 Singapore cents each.
There are 23 participating bars and restaurants in Singapore alone and more than 500 worldwide where your points can be used under the ‘Instant Dining’ program.
Better still, if you hold ‘Jade’ or ‘Diamond’ status in the Shangri-La program each Golden Circle point can be redeemed for 12.5 US cents, improving the value of this method to cash out your KrisFlyer miles to 2.87 cents per mile. That’s the exact average value at which we historically redeemed our own KrisFlyer miles over the last few years (albeit against some fairly fierce criteria).
Note that Golden Circle points redemption is subject to blackout dates at some restaurants – see the dedicated microsite for full details.
Is it worth it?
If you have KrisFlyer miles expiring which you won’t otherwise use for a flight redemption this is a great option for you. Remember we’re talking about a cash value per mile here of at least 2.3 cents each. For comparison the rates you will usually achieve whenever you convert your KrisFlyer miles to some form of cash is woeful in comparison:
- 1.02 cents each for money off a SIA / SilkAir ticket
- 0.95 cents each for a Scoot ticket
- 0.80 cents each for a vRooms hotel stay
- 0.80 cents each for a purchase at the KrisShop
- 0.73 cents as Tap for More points
- 0.67 cents each for a KrisPay purchase
Another consideration of course is that the ‘value’ here assumes you would actually consider paying to dine at one of these Shangri-La outlets. Since these tend to be more expensive restaurants the quoted value is not necessarily ‘real’ if you’d never actually normally pay that much for dinner or drinks for example.
You can still consider a hotel stay
As we mentioned above the value of Golden Circle points isn’t usually best realised for hotel stays due to their generous dining program. In our experience you can achieve 8 to 13 Singapore cents of value per Golden Circle point when used in this way. Of course you may find valuations outside that range.
To be fair, that’s still 1.33 to 2.17 Singapore cents per KrisFlyer mile when converted under this promotion, not bad at all when you consider KrisFlyer’s vRooms hotel booking portal will generally give you just 0.8 cents per mile.
A big snag
One of the major issues with transferring miles from KrisFlyer into Shangri-La is that the minimum transfer amount is 20,000 miles. That’s quite a commitment, especially if your miles are not expiring or you are saving up for a flight redemption, in which case we’d recommend avoiding this temptation and continuing to work towards that.
If the option does suit you though those 20,000 miles should yield S$460 of value for dining, or potentially up to $430 against a hotel stay (though likely less for the latter).
Bear in mind that Golden Circle points are valid for 3 years, so if you do transfer be sure to use them in that time.
We would never normally recommend converting KrisFlyer miles into cash as the value achieved is almost always terrible, with the possible exception of expiring miles you have no use for.
This particular promotion is a generous one and changes the proposition significantly. If you have miles you won’t be able to use expiring soon it may well be a no-brainer. For those with large balances and no particular redemption to save up for, it’s a decent windfall whether you dine or stay using the points.
There’s no rush with this promotion as it runs until the end of this month (31st October 2018), so do the maths and calculate carefully whether it’s likely to be worthwhile for you.
Hat tip to The Shutterwhale for the heads-up on this offer.
(Cover Photo: Shangri-La International)