KrisFlyer News

You can now convert KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles points – but don’t!

No one should be 'cashing out' their KrisFlyer miles at 0.67 cents each, but if you really want to - here's a new way!

Esso has a long-established relationship with the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programme, since the retailer’s Smile points have already been transferable into KrisFlyer miles for some time, not to mention the ability to use KrisPay miles to pay for your petrol since mid-2018.

Now these transfers can work both ways, with Singapore Airlines revealing that you can also convert your KrisFlyer miles into Esso Smiles points.

If you’re an Esso Singapore Smiles Driver Rewards Programme member, you can convert between KrisFlyer miles and Smiles Points easily.

Singapore Airlines

The transfer ratio

You’ll receive 1 Esso Smiles point for every 6 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles you convert.

Transfer Ratio
KrisFlyer miles    Esso Smiles points
3,000 : 500

You’ll need to convert a minimum of 3,000 KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles points per transfer, with an upper cap of 80,000 KrisFlyer miles per calendar year (1 Jan – 31 Dec).

Transfer of KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles points is only available to KrisFlyer members who are residing in Singapore.

How to transfer

To transfer your KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles points, you’ll first have to link your KrisFlyer and Esso Smiles accounts by logging on via the desktop site, then going to Profile > Partner Programmes.

Similarly you may have linked your KrisFlyer account to the Shangri-La or Tap For More programmes in the past.

Once your accounts are linked go to Miles > How To Use and you’ll find the Esso transfer option there.

What’s an Esso Smiles point worth?

Like many rewards programmes, there are some truly awful rates offered when redeeming your Esso Smiles points for certain items.

For example, this S$59 Philips hair dryer will set you back 2,800 points, the equivalent of 2.1 cents per point of value.

This Philips hair dryer, which retails at S$59, would set you back 16,800 KrisFlyer miles with a transfer to Esso Smiles!

The best value from Esso Smiles points comes when using them to offset your fuel or mart purchases at the cashier, where you’ll get up to 4 cents per point in value, by redeeming in one of the following blocks.

Instant Redemption Points Required Value per point
S$5 250 2 cents
S$10 300 3.3 cents
S$30 750 4 cents

Even at the best rate here, you’d need to transfer 4,500 KrisFlyer Miles to achieve 750 Esso Smiles points, for a rebate of S$30, which is 0.67 cents per mile (S$30 ÷ 4500).

The rate is awful

Given that you’ve been able to use your KrisFlyer miles indirectly through the Kris+ (formerly KrisPay) app to offset your petrol spend at 0.67 cents per mile since 2018, it wasn’t going to be too logical for Singapore Airlines to make the KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles points conversion rate significantly better.

In fact they’ve made it no better at all!

Arguably, it’s actually worse…

Kris+ is currently an even better method

As if the flexibility of redeeming your KrisPay miles through the Kris+ app for an exact purchase amount (rather than in fixed blocks) wasn’t enough, there’s an offer when you redeem miles through the app at Esso running for the rest of 2021.

You’ll get 20% KrisPay miles back into your account on any fuel purchases until 31st December 2021.

That means regardless of your fuel purchase at Esso, you’ll actually achieve 0.8 cents per mile of value from your KrisPay miles for all of 2021.

  This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Esso.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is App-Logo.png
Esso Purchase S$50 S$100
KrisPay miles 7,500 15,000
20% miles-back -1,500 -3,000
Net miles spent 6,000 12,000
Value per mile 0.8 cents

For example if I purchase S$50 of fuel at an Esso station and pay using 7,500 KrisPay miles transferred from my KrisFlyer account using the Kris+ app, I’ll then be gifted 1,500 miles back into my account.

While I can’t transfer these back to KrisFlyer, they can be used to redeem a S$10 purchase at over 150 other Kris+ retailers.

That means I’ve obtained S$60 of total value from my original 7,500 miles transfer (0.8 cents per mile).

You could argue that using Esso Smiles points transferred from KrisFlyer miles is also possible for in-store mart items as well as for petrol, whereas KrisPay miles can only be redeemed against fuel at Esso, but seriously is anything in these petrol station shops ever good value anyway?

With 0.73 cents per mile on offer for KrisFlyer transfers to Tap For More points, redeemable at Cold Storage, Giant and Guardian, it’s an irrelevance in our book.

How does it compare?

Simple: There’s a new worst way to redeem your KrisFlyer miles, short of letting them expire. This is it.

Method Min. miles Value per mile
Transfer to Shangri-La points for ‘Instant Dining Awards’
Jade / Diamond SLGC status
20,000 1.40¢
Transfer to Shangri-La points for ‘Instant Dining Awards’
Gold SLGC status
20,000 1.12¢
Credit towards an SIA / SilkAir cash ticket 980 1.02¢
Credit towards a Scoot cash ticket 1,050 0.95¢
Kris+ at Esso (till 31 Dec 2021) 15 0.80¢
Redeem a KrisShop purchase 1,000 0.80¢
Redeem a vRooms hotel stay 1,200 0.80¢
Transfer to Tap for More points 3,000 0.73¢
Kris+ 15 0.67¢
Transfer to Esso Smiles points 3,000 0.67¢
(at best)

You can now transfer KrisFlyer miles to Asia Miles (but don’t!)

The ability to transfer KrisFlyer miles into Esso Smiles points opens up an interesting opportunity to effectively transfer from KrisFlyer into Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles programme.

That’s because Esso Smiles points can be transferred into Asia Miles at a 150:100 ratio.

For example, if you transfer 3,600 KrisFlyer miles into Esso Smiles, you’ll have 600 points in the programme. These can then be transferred into 400 Asia Miles.

That’s an awful 9:1 ratio, so of course it’s of absolutely no value, but it’s interesting that this is possible for (we think!) the first time.

Remember even though you can keep your complete Asia Miles balance earned after 1st January 2020 ‘alive’ with activity, including earning, this method would be an extremely poor way to do so compared to a simple transfer from credit card points or from NTUC LinkPoints, for example.

Earn KrisFlyer miles at Esso

While you shouldn’t be using your KrisFlyer miles to make payments at Esso, even with Kris+ which still offers a terrible 0.8 cents per mile value even with its special offer, one thing you should be doing if you purchase fuel there is to earn KrisFlyer miles.

You’ll earn 1 Esso Smiles point for every litre of Esso Synergy fuel purchased, which can then be converted at a 150:100 ratio into KrisFlyer miles on an ad-hoc basis.

If you opt for Auto-Conversion, where your Esso Smiles points will be transferred to your KrisFlyer account on a regular basis without you needing to do anything, you’ll get a much better 100:100 transfer ratio.

Esso also has an ongoing deal for those pumping its Synergy Supreme fuel (the more expensive one), who get an additional 1 KrisFlyer mile per litre transferred directly into their KrisFlyer account.

That’s a good deal if you buy that fuel grade anyway, but it’s certainly not if you are happy with the regular option, since it comes in about 20% more expensive!

Registration for this offer is required through your Smiles account, with full terms and conditions available here.

Remember these points and miles will be awarded in addition to the regular general spend earn rate for your credit card when making payment, typically adding 1.2-1.4 mpd, plus some credit cards offer discounts for fuel purchases at Esso stations, including:

  • Citi Credit Cards
    • Up to 20.88% fuel savings with Citibank Cash Back Card
    • Up to 14% fuel savings with other Citibank Credit Cards
  • DBS Credit Cards
    • Up to 18% fuel savings + 2.4% Smiles savings with DBS Esso Credit Card
  • OCBC Credit Cards
    • Up to 5% fuel savings + 2.4% Smiles savings with NTUC/OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card
    • Up to 5% fuel savings + 4.2% rebate with OCBC 365 credit card

(Source: Motorist.sg)

It’s also possible to convert Esso Smiles points into Asia Miles, as we mentioned earlier in the article, at a 150:100 ratio (whether you use a Flexi- or Auto-Conversion, the ratio is the same).

Summary

It’s the usual conclusion – earn but don’t spend KrisFlyer miles at Esso.

Converting your KrisFlyer miles to be used as a cash equivalent is never good value, with options like offsetting the cost of a Singapore Airlines cash ticket at 1 cent per mile and purchases from the KrisShop at 0.8 cents per mile.

The valuation reached a new low with the launch of KrisPay in July 2018, at a paltry 0.67 cents per mile, and, at best, this is the same valuation Singapore Airlines has decided on for Esso Smiles transfers.

(Photo: ExxonMobil)

Aside from the terrible value of 0.67 cents per mile when transferring from KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles points, it makes almost no sense to do this while an existing more flexible method to redeem (Kris+) already exists.

Furthermore, a 20% miles-back offer through the Kris+ app for the whole of 2021 makes it a better (though still very poor) value way to do so.

Mind boggling.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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