American Express has a great promotion for new or existing Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend credit card holders, with a generous fast track offer if you have S$5,000 of spending to make over the next month, unlocking KrisFlyer Elite Gold status for a year plus 3,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles.
Usually Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend credit card holders need to spend S$15,000 on eligible purchases at singaporeair.com within their first 12 months to achieve KrisFlyer Elite Gold status for a year, which is quite a big ask and only really applies to very regular travellers or those booking for their whole family.
Furthermore, this bar has been nearly impossible to attain lately, given the global travel restrictions due to COVID-19, so American Express and Singapore Airlines have come up with an alternative offer.
Fast track to Elite Gold status
For a one-month period, this KrisFlyer Elite Gold Upgrade Offer allows you to secure this popular frequent flyer status tier much more easily and far more quickly than usual.
From 28th January to 28th February 2021, new and existing American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card Members who charge a minimum of S$5,000 to their credit card will be upgraded to the KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership tier and earn 3,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles.
The general spend of S$5,000 must include a minimum spend of S$300 at SIA Group websites (yes, just S$300!).
This new offer, requiring only a third of the normal total spend and allowing the vast majority of it to be on non-SIA Group transactions, is a great improvement on the regular deal.
It’s also significantly better than the offer Amex and SIA ran back in 2019, requiring $3,000 of a reduced $12,000 spend over four months to be with Singapore Airlines to unlock Gold status, with no bonus miles thrown in.
Note that existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold members cannot use this promotion to extend their membership for another year (Singapore Airlines is doing that for you anyway at the moment), nor is the promotion applicable to PPS Club members.
S$300 in SIA Group spend
Unlike previous fast track offers, which required spending to be made at singaporeair.com, with this promotion you can also meet your S$300 spend at flyscoot.com or the KrisShop, which makes it significantly easier to achieve.
If you elect to make some or all of your S$300 SIA Group spend at at the Singapore Airlines or Scoot website, do be aware that eligible ticket purchases are for travel originating from Singapore only and must be purchased in Singapore Dollars.
For example, a SIN-HKG or SIN-HKG-SIN booking would be eligible, but a HKG-SIN booking would not.Don’t forget: Singapore Airlines has extended its complimentary rebooking for tickets issued by 28th February 2021, allowing you some flexibility for a future ticket.
Remaining general spend
For the remaining spend of up to S$4,700 to trigger this offer, you’ll be able to make any eligible general transaction using your Ascend card during the promotion period.
The Amex Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend card earns a relatively average 1.2 miles per dollar on general spend, so assuming you will make the minimum SIA Group purchase of S$300 at KrisShop, for example, and the rest on other spending, here’s how your total miles earning will look.
Inclusive of the 3,000 bonus miles, you’ve earned an equivalent of 1.85 mpd on your S$5,000 spend in this example, plus you’ve secured KrisFlyer Elite Gold status for a year!
This more than overcomes the ‘opportunity cost’ of diverting your spending away from cards earning more for general spend, even up to 1.6 mpd levels (e.g. Citi ULTIMA).
Eligible transactions on the Amex SIA KF Ascend card for this promotion are all retail purchases including recurring payments, with the exception of:
- 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 Transfers;
- 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 American Express Cards;
- Bill payments and all transactions via SingPost SAM kiosks and mobile app;
- Payments to insurance companies (except payments made for insurance products purchased through American Express authorized channels);
- Payments to Singapore Petroleum Company Limited (SPC) service stations;
- Payments for the purpose of GrabPay top-ups;
- Payments to utilities merchants (with effect from 12 February 2021);
- Charges at merchants or establishments that are excluded by American Express at its sole discretion and notified by American Express to you from time to time.
Important exclusions to remember here are bill payments, insurance payments, petrol at SPC stations and GrabPay top-ups. Payments to utilities merchants will also be excluded from 12th February 2021.
You can check the latest updated list of excluded transactions for KrisFlyer miles earning at amex.co/SGexclusions.
One useful eligible spend category for both miles earning and for the purposes of this fast track status offer is with CardUp, for payments like property rent, helper’s salary, insurance and education fees.
The card payments provider currently has a competitive deal for a one-time payment using an American Express card for a payment of S$500 to S$7,000.
At the 1.6% fee level for new customers, it’s the equivalent of ‘buying’ miles for 1.31 cents each using this card, or 1.55 cents each for an existing customer.
CardUp’s usual 2.6% fee for payments using American Express cards would result in an unattractive cost per mile of 2.11 cents each, in case your account is not targeted.
Full terms and conditions for these CardUp offers are available here.
What are the benefits?
It probably seems like a strange time to strive for KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership, while travel remains almost impossible, however with continued COVID-19 vaccine rollout around the world there is still hope for travel starting to progressively open up, especially in the second half of 2021.
Only today we’ve been reporting about Thailand’s plan to allow vaccinated travellers to visit quarantine-free from Q3 2021.
Here’s the full suite of applicable benefits for the ‘KFEG’ tier.
KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits
- 25% tier bonus on actual miles flown with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir
- Complimentary ‘Forward Zone’ and ‘Standard’ seat selection when you fly in Economy Class on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir
- 15% discount on other seat selection fees
- 10% discount on seat selection fees for travel companions on the same booking
- Priority reservation waitlist
- Airport lounge access (KrisFlyer Gold Lounge at Changi Airport, SilverKris lounges outside Singapore and Star Alliance Gold Lounges worldwide)
- Priority airport check-in
- Priority security and immigration at selected airports
- Priority baggage handling
- Priority airport standby
- Additional 20kg baggage allowance
- Priority boarding for Economy Class
- Waived or discounted KrisFlyer service fees
Here are our picks of the highlights.
Seat selection benefits
Before you’ve even stepped out of your home for your trip, Singapore Airlines will allow you to choose any available ‘Forward Zone’ and ‘Standard’ seats in Economy Class for free as a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, saving you up to US$35 per flight on the airline’s longest services.
You’ll also get a 15% discount on the selection fees for Extra Legroom Seats in both Economy and Premium Economy Class. This also applies to ‘Solo’ seats in Premium Economy on non-stop Airbus A350ULR flights to and from the USA.
Your travelling companions on the same booking will also get a 10% discount on seat fees, even if they are not KrisFlyer members.
Additional baggage allowance
An extra 20kg of baggage allowance, or an extra piece of luggage up to 23kg on USA flights, can be a very useful benefit of KrisFlyer Gold status.
This lifts your check-in limit to at least 50kg in Economy Class, 55kg in Premium Economy, 60kg in Business Class and 70kg in First Class or Suites.
You will also benefit from priority check-in across the SIA network, which in our experience varies from being a dedicated desk, or a shared KrisFlyer Gold / Premium Economy or Business Class desk, depending on the airport.
When flying on a Star Alliance carrier, you’ll also be eligible to use the dedicated Star Alliance Gold check-in desk, where available.
The primary benefit of KrisFlyer Elite Gold status, which is equivalent to the Star Alliance Gold tier, is lounge access when flying in Economy or Premium Economy Class with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or a Star Alliance carrier.
Note that the KrisFlyer Gold lounge at Changi Airport is currently closed due to COVID-19. Eligible KrisFlyer Elite Gold members are instead invited to the SilverKris Business Class lounge during this period.
Unfortunately the overseas SilverKris lounge network has already been trimmed from 13 to 10 due to COVID-19, with SIA’s lounges in Adelaide, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur now permanently closed.
Priority security and boarding
At several airports worldwide, Star Alliance Gold status entitles you to use the ‘Gold Track’ priority security clearance lanes.
You’ll also get priority boarding when travelling in Premium Economy or Economy Class, which can be useful for securing prime overhead locker space on busy flights.
Priority baggage handling
As your trip comes to an end, you should find your checked baggage is prioritised to reach the reclaim belt in one of the first batches as a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, though actual experience with this does vary!
- Shangri-La Golden Circle Gold status, with fast track to Jade membership when you stay for one night (on a qualifying rate) at any Shangri-La Hotel and Resort, Kerry Hotel, Traders Hotel or Hotel Jen worldwide.
- Complimentary upgrade from Standard Class to Business First Class on Heathrow Express trains.
- Waived or discounted service fees, including changing your redemption nominees for free.
When do the perks kick in?
If you meet the spend requirements for this offer, you will be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership tier 8-10 weeks after the campaign ends, which is between 25th April 2021 and 9th May 2021.
Your status tier will be valid for one year from the date of upgrade, which will take you through to the end of either April or May 2022.
The bonus 3,000 KrisFlyer miles will be credited to your account within 8-12 weeks from the end of the promotion, which is by 23rd May 2021.
About the card
Since this offer is available to new cardholders, here are the key facts about the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card for those interested in applying to take advantage of the fast track deal.