Credit Cards Deals KrisFlyer Singapore Airlines

Amex extends sign-up bonuses for the KrisFlyer co-brand cards

New applicants can earn a 12,500 miles bonus with the KrisFlyer Blue card or a 20,000 miles bonus with the KrisFlyer Ascend card until 31st January 2020

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American Express has extended the sign-up bonus for its Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer co-brand cards. The deal, worth 12,500 miles for the Blue card and 20,000 miles for the Ascend card, was originally due to expire on 30th September 2019 but is now good for approvals until 31st January 2020.

Unfortunately there is no return of the double spend bonus in months four to six of card membership, which we last saw offered in June 2019, so for both cards the deal remains structured as a one-off welcome bonus plus an additional bonus level subject to minimum spend in the first three months of card approval.

SIA KrisFlyer Amex (Blue) offer

The following deal is now offered effective from 1st October 2019 to 31st January 2020 for the Blue card.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express (Blue)

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  • 5,000 KrisFlyer miles welcome bonus on first spend with the card.*
  • 7,500 bonus KrisFlyer miles if you spend S$5,000 within three months of card approval.
  • Total: 12,500 KrisFlyer miles bonus.

* The 5,000 miles welcome bonus is only applicable to first time applicants for any co-branded American Express Singapore Airlines credit card.

Including the miles earned for spending S$5,000 in the first 3 months (5,000 x 1.1 = 5,500), you’ll net a total of 18,000 miles by fulfilling the offer, an equivalent earn rate of 3.6 miles per dollar spent.

SIA KrisFlyer Amex Ascend offer

The following deal is now offered effective from 1st October 2019 to 31st January 2020 for the Ascend card.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express Ascend

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  • 5,000 KrisFlyer miles welcome bonus on first spend with the card.*
  • 15,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles if you spend S$10,000 within three months of card approval.
  • Total: 20,000 KrisFlyer miles bonus.

* The 5,000 miles welcome bonus is only applicable to first time applicants for any co-branded American Express Singapore Airlines credit card.

Including the miles earned for spending S$10,000 in the first 3 months (10,000 x 1.2 = 12,000), you’ll net a total of 32,000 miles by fulfilling the offer, an equivalent earn rate of 3.2 miles per dollar spent.

The first year annual fee of S$337.05 is payable for the Ascend card.

Spend exclusions

Like most sign-up bonus offers, the qualifying spend excludes certain categories. In this case the exclusions cover the following:

  • Charges processed and billed prior to the enrolment date or charges prepaid on any card account prior to the first billing statement for that card account following the enrolment date
  • Cash advance and other cash services
  • Express cash
  • American Express Travellers Cheque purchases
  • Charges for dishonoured cheques
  • Finance charges – including line of credit charges and credit card interest charges
  • Late payment and collection charges
  • Tax refunds from overseas purchases
  • Balance transfer
  • Instalment plans
  • Annual card fees
  • Amount billed for purchase of KrisFlyer miles to top-up your miles balance
  • Purchase and top-up charges for EZ-Link cards using your card

Spend on any supplementary card(s) will combine with that of the main cardholder in respect of the promotion.

When will the miles be credited?

The welcome bonus (5,000 miles in the case of both cards) will be credited as soon as you make your first transaction.

The spend bonus (7,500 miles for the Blue card or 15,000 miles for the Ascend card) will be credited approximately six weeks from the date you meet the spend threshold.

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Remember as this is a co-brand product linked to your KrisFlyer account, both the bonuses and the miles accrued from your general spend will be transferred directly into your KrisFlyer account. They are then valid for three years.

Don’t believe the headline figures

American Express is sticking with the ‘Citi policy’ of making their sign-up bonuses sound far better than they are, by including things that are not part of the bonus at all. For example they are advertising a “Welcome bonus of up to 42,500 KrisFlyer miles when you spend in your first 3 months.” for the Ascend card.

So, how does a 20,000 miles bonus become 42,500 miles?

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Highly misleading

This actually includes the 1.2 miles per dollar you would earn anyway on the spend of S$10k, in other words an extra 12,000 miles. Thing is you don’t need a bonus to be in force to earn that, and you should be earning at least that for general spend with another card anyway.

Arguably some cards, like the BOC Elite Miles, earn an even higher rate for local transactions (1.5 miles per dollar), so in fact by diverting your spend from that card to this one is actually costing you miles.

That’s particularly true for the Amex Blue card, which earns at only 1.1 miles per dollar locally.

The 42,500 miles calculation also assumes you will take out two supplementary cards (+3,000 miles) and that you will successfully refer a friend (+7,500 miles). Again, a bonus is unnecessary to earn extra miles doing either of those things.

A similar ‘calculation’ is used to reach an advertised headline rate of 26,000 miles for the Blue card.

Top sign-up bonuses

The Citi PremierMiles card offer, running until 31st January, looks good with a 26,500 miles sign-up bonus at a cost of 0.73 cents per mile (despite their dubious advertising of a 40,000 miles offer) though remember you’ll have to spend S$9,000 in the first 3 months for that one.

We’ve amended our top sign-up bonuses page today for miles earning credit cards in Singapore.

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Click here for our full list of the top sign-up bonuses currently on offer

Summary

It’s a shame not to see a repeat of the ‘double bonus’ on these cards, offered earlier this year and allowing you to replicate the spend bonus element by repeating it in months four to six of card membership. It may be worth holding off applying in the hope of this returning next year, especially with a good alternative offer from Citi also running for the PremierMiles card.

If you are interested though, then for the KrisFlyer Blue card the sign-up bonus is still worth 12,500 miles (around S$237, as we value KrisFlyer miles at 1.9 cents each). Remember though this card is fee-free in the first year so the total bonus miles remain technically ‘free’ assuming you have S$5,000 spend to make in the next 3 months.

For the KrisFlyer Ascend card there’s still a reasonable bonus – 20,000 miles for a S$10,000 spend in the first 3 months is worth S$380 off future flight redemptions.

The annual fee of S$337.05 remains payable for the Ascend card though, meaning you’re effectively ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles for 1.69 cents each with a S$10,000+ spend in three months. That’s rather close to our ‘upper limit to buy’ of 1.9 cents each, so it may be worth holding out for a future bonus.

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The 20,000 miles sign-up bonus on the Ascend card is enough to fly to Bali in Business Class, but you’re still effectively paying S$337.05 for the privilege, plus around S$50 in taxes. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

In the meantime, consider the DBS Altitude (10,000 miles free) and Citi PremierMiles (26,500 miles @ 0.73 cents each) sign-up bonuses as better alternatives if you don’t currently hold those cards.

If you’re really chasing the miles, the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite sign-up bonus gets you 35,000 miles for 1.68 cents each, slightly cheaper per mile than the current Amex Ascend offer, immediately credited and based on payment of the annual fee (S$588.50).

Amex is sticking to the strategy of trying to maximise how good their bonus sounds, continuing to include some rather strange categories to the advertised totals since July 2019. Rest assured we’ll always focus on the bonus itself, so you know what you’re actually getting without the ‘marketing fluff’.

Remember the welcome bonus element (5,000 KrisFlyer miles in each case) is only applicable to first time applicants for any co-branded American Express Singapore Airlines credit card, so if you’ve held one before you’ll only be eligible for the spend bonus element.

(Cover Photo: Masahiro Takagi)

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