Last month you may recall Singapore Airlines launching an ‘Earn more, experience more’ bonus conversion offer from partner credit card points into KrisFlyer miles, with a 15% or 20% hike on the usual transfer ratios. If you haven’t taken advantage yet, it’s now time to consider whether to do so before it’s too late.
While there are some drawbacks, these kind of bonuses are rare for the programme and we think many of you will want to take at least partial advantage, given some of the inevitably high points balances accrued while travel has been close to impossible over the last eight months.
How it works
Simply transfer points from any of the following banks in Singapore and any credited amount of 10,000 miles or more per individual transfer will then have a 15% bonus added.
Be careful to note that it is possible to make transfers smaller than 10,000 miles from Amex, Bank of China, Maybank, Standard Chartered and some OCBC cards. If you do this, you will not receive a bonus, so make sure each individual transfer will result in 10,000+ KrisFlyer miles landing into your account.
There is no upper cap on the number of bonus miles you can receive during the promotion.
Unfortunately the regular monthly automatic transfers from KrisFlyer co-brand cards including the KrisFlyer UOB credit card and Singapore Airlines American Express credit cards will not receive a bonus.
Where’s the 20% bonus?If your points are with selected banks in Brunei, Hong Kong or Indonesia, there’s a 20% bonus offer when you transfer:
Other popular participating banks for our overseas readers include:
For a full list of participating banks, click here.
The bonus is added by KrisFlyer (not your bank) and is usually credited concurrently with the main transfer, or within a day or two, as a separate credit amount.
If you don’t see the bonus added within a few days, contact KrisFlyer on +65 6789 8188 to check.
Transfer by 17th December
We’re strongly recommending to our readers that 17th December 2020 is the final date you should be initiating a transfer from credit card points to KrisFlyer miles.
Why? The answer is to take account of the transfer time to KrisFlyer, which can be up to five working days from some banks.
All bank reward points conversions must be successfully converted to KrisFlyer miles by 27 December 2020, 2359 hours (GMT+8) in order to qualify for the bonus miles.Singapore Airlines
Don’t forget, 25th December 2020 is a public holiday, and so by recommending 17th December 2020 as the last day to initiate a transfer to be sure of receiving the bonus, we’re accounting for five full working days, not including the date of transfer initiation.
Again as a reminder, the bonus miles for this promotion will be credited by KrisFlyer, not your bank, so it will be no use complaining to Singapore Airlines that any transfers credited on 28th December 2020 or later did not attract the bonus, even though you initiated them earlier at the bank side.
You won’t see a bonus for Kris+ transfers
Many of our readers have contacted us to say that they got their 15% bonus for direct credit card to KrisFlyer transfers, but not when they transferred KrisPay miles from DBS or UOB via the Kris+ app.
You won’t receive or see a separate bonus at your KrisFlyer account side when you transfer from these banks via Kris+ during this promotion.
That’s because you already got the 15% bonus “on the way in”, when you transferred from bank points to KrisPay miles in the first place. KrisPay to KrisFlyer miles transfers continue to be 1:1.
In the following example with 86,484 DBS Points I can already transfer 85,000 of those into KrisFlyer miles through the normal means with a better ratio (in 5,000 DBS Points blocks), but let’s say I want to ‘cash out’ of the DBS programme or simply need all the miles I can get.
In that case I’ll need to extract the additional 1,400 DBS Points balance through Kris+.
Notice how the 15% bonus is already applied, giving me 2,744 KrisPay miles (1:1.96) instead of the usual 2,380 KrisPay miles (1:1.7).
When I transfer these 2,744 miles to KrisFlyer (ideally immediately, but it must be within 7 days), I’ll get 2,744 KrisFlyer miles (no additional bonus).
This still isn’t a very good deal, coming in at a poorer ratio that the usual direct bank to miles conversion method, but it is both instant and fee-free, with much lower minimum transfer thresholds (100 DBS Points or 1,000 UNI$), handy if you want to ‘cash out’ completely from one of these credit card rewards programmes.
Minimum transfer volumes via Kris+
- DBS Points > KrisFlyer: 100 DBS Points >
- UOB UNI$ > KrisFlyer: 1,000 UNI$ >
Note how you aren’t quite outweighing the usual 15% hit on these transfers by using Kris+ with this promotion (a 15% bonus only brings you back to 97.8% of something that was initially 15% worse). You’d need a 17.6% bonus to overcome the original impact.
Can you push it closer?
With the exception of UOB/DBS transfers into KrisPay miles, which are instant and can be made with a 15% bonus right through to 23:59 Singapore Time on 27th December 2020, we don’t recommend making transfers directly from your credit card points after 17th December 2020, in case they don’t credit in time.
However, if you’re waiting to get your credit card points balance over a specific redemption ‘threshold’ before transferring, you might be looking to transfer after 17th December 2020, but still benefit from the bonus miles.
Some banks do reliably turnaround their KrisFlyer transfers more quickly, even on weekends (OCBC and Maybank are the best pair in our experience), though in their respective terms and conditions they don’t promise to do so.
Recent transfer times for our own Singapore credit card points and those of our readers (since late November 2020 right through to this week) have been:
- Amex Singapore: 48h
- Amex UK: 24h (weekends included)
- Citi: 24h – 48h
- DBS: 48h
- HSBC: 1-7 days (weekly batch transfer)
- Maybank: 24h
- OCBC: 24h (weekends included)
- Standard Chartered: 6-7 days
- UOB: 48h
Citi used to reliably credit to KrisFlyer within 24 hours whatever day you transferred, but based on our two transfers this month those initiated on Sunday morning (6th Dec) and Monday morning (7th Dec) both credited on Tuesday afternoon (8th Dec).
Citi seems to now take the weekend off when it comes to transfers, so bear that in mind!
For HSBC and Standard Chartered, we would definitely not recommend pushing your luck with a transfer after 17th December 2020, unless you are happy to go with or without the bonus miles.
You may lose flexibility
Transfers from bank points to miles are strictly one-way, so by taking advantage of this bonus you will be restricting yourself to the KrisFlyer programme for future redemptions using the miles transferred under this offer.
With some banks that’s less of a big deal than for others (OCBC, for example, only allows transfers into KrisFlyer, so why not right?).
If you’re a Citi customer for example, with a large volume of Citi Miles or ThankYou Points, it’s a different story. You can transfer those into 11 different frequent flyer programmes, with options across all three major alliances plus Etihad Guest, which has a good ‘mini-alliance’ of its own.
By transferring a large volume of your miles into KrisFlyer, you may also be exposing yourself to any potential future devaluations in the programme before you get chance to use them.
Keeping your miles at the bank side, especially with Citi, protects you against this since you can then opt to transfer into a range of other programmes instead if you wish (on the basis they won’t all devalue at the same time!).
That said, the vast majority of our readers still only earn and burn KrisFlyer miles given SIA’s extensive point-to-point flying network from Changi, and any future devaluation probably wouldn’t exceed 15-20% anyway (don’t hold us to that though!).
The expiry clock will start ticking
One major concern for many of our readers, especially during these uncertain times, will be the potential expiry of miles. Once you’ve transferred into KrisFlyer, the miles will be set to expire three years later.KrisFlyer Miles Expiry A member’s KrisFlyer miles will expire after three years at the end of the equivalent month in which they were earned. For example, miles credited to a member’s KrisFlyer account in December 2020 will expire on 31st December 2023.
Since you’ll now be crediting any miles into the programme with the transfer bonus during December 2020, they will expire as described above on 31st December 2023. If you already transferred in November and the miles were credited into your account that month, they will expire on 30th November 2023.
Note that PPS Club members don’t need to worry about KrisFlyer miles expiry, since their miles never expire as long as they retain PPS Club status.
Don’t take comfort in thinking you have practically all month to make a decision on how many credit card points you want to transfer into the KrisFlyer programme under this 15-20% bonus promotion.
Due to the transfer lead times, it’s time to decide now and act on or before 17th December 2020 to ensure you can take advantage if you wish to.
The worst thing would be to have the miles credit into KrisFlyer on the morning of 28th December, and hence receive no bonus. If you are going to cut it finer, then we recommend making sure you’re only doing do with bank points that are known to transfer quickly, including OCBC and Citi.
Be careful also to ensure that each individual transfer of credit card points you make is equivalent to at least 10,000 KrisFlyer miles, otherwise no bonus will be awarded.
(Cover Photo: Victor)