KrisFlyer has a new two-way transfer partner option for those looking to either accrue more miles from their daily spend, or cash out some of their miles for direct retail spend, though as always when we talk about miles vs. cash alternatives, this latest tie-up isn’t anything to get particularly excited about!
The new partner is CapitaLand, Singapore’s largest shopping mall operator, with its CapitaStar rewards scheme now linking in both directions to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programme.
The new partnership comes on the back of a recent ‘enhancement’ of the Esso / SIA relationship, allowing transfers to Smiles Points from KrisFlyer miles at a (best-case) 0.67 cents each, a new record ‘worst way’ to use your miles, given the lack of flexibility offered.
Thankfully this linkup does come at a slightly better rate, though it still won’t be of interest to the vast majority of our readers.
As part of this new deal, SIA and CapitaStar are also running a launch promotion, where you can stand a chance to win 100,000 KrisFlyer miles or 1,000,000 STAR$ (worth S$1,000) for making a transfer in either direction during the first month of the new partnership.
Transfer from STAR$ to KrisFlyer
The first element of this new partnership is the ability to transfer STAR$ reward points into KrisFlyer miles.
If you’re a CapitaStar Rewards Programme member, you can convert between KrisFlyer miles and STAR$ easily.Singapore Airlines
STAR$ KrisFlyer miles
9,880 : 380
How they came up with the minimum transfer block of 9,880 STAR$ we have no idea, but effectively this is a 26:1 ratio!
A maximum of 350,000 STAR$ can be transferred to KrisFlyer miles per calendar year.
Question is, what else can you do with 9,880 STAR$?
STAR$ can be redeemed against shopping and dining purchases at merchants within all 17 CapitaLand malls in Singapore, like Plaza Singapura, ION Orchard and Jewel Changi Airport.
That’s at a fixed rate of 10 STAR$ to 1 Singapore cent, so 9,880 STAR$ is good for S$9.88 worth of spending. That means your initial transfer to KrisFlyer miles has cost 2.6 cents per mile (S$9.88 ÷ 380), since you could otherwise have (easily) used those STAR$ to achieve this cash equivalent saving.
Our upper limit to buy is 1.9 cents each, and we actually achieve around 2.4 cents per mile when we redeem, based on well over 1 million miles burned over recent years, even assuming current redemption rates.
That means 2.6 cents per mile is way over the odds to be speculatively buying KrisFlyer miles, close to 40% above our upper limit. You would be much better off using your STAR$ for a retail or dining purchase, so unless CapitaStar runs a ~50% bonus for transfers to KrisFlyer miles, this isn’t something you should be considering.
A more flexible option – STAR$ to KrisPay miles
A better way to transfer your STAR$ to the KrisFlyer programme may be to convert to KrisPay miles, via the Kris+ app.
This transfer happens at the same 26:1 ratio, but in this case you can transfer as few as 26 STAR$ (into a single KrisPay mile), rather than having to accumulate 9,880 STAR$ for a transfer.
From the Kris+ app, you can then transfer your KrisPay miles instantly into the KrisFlyer programme, in 1-mile denominations.
Transfer from KrisFlyer to STAR$
KrisFlyer doesn’t allow transfer of its miles to very many other loyalty programmes, with the list currently comprising:
- Esso Smiles points
- PAssion TapforMore points
- Shangri-La Golden Circle points
- Virgin Australia Velocity points (suspended)
You can now easily convert your KrisFlyer miles to STAR$ (CapitaStar reward points) which can be used to redeem exclusive deals on the CapitaStar App or directly offset your shopping and dining at more than 2,700 retailers across 17 CapitaLand malls island-wide.
You’ll receive 7 STAR$ for every KrisFlyer mile you convert.Singapore Airlines
CapitaStar has therefore become only the fifth transfer partner from the programme, at the following rate.
KrisFlyer miles STAR$
3,000 : 21,000
Effectively, every KrisFlyer mile will net you 7 STAR$ (1:7 ratio), with a minimum transfer of 3,000 KrisFlyer miles enforced per conversion.
A maximum of 30,000 KrisFlyer miles can be transferred to STAR$ per calendar year.
As we mentioned earlier, 10 STAR$ are worth 1 Singapore cent, so the 21,000 STAR$ accrued for a minimum conversion from 3,000 KrisFlyer miles will be worth S$21.
That makes your transfers from KrisFlyer miles worth a pretty dismal 0.7 cents each (S$21.00 ÷ 3,000), putting a KrisFlyer to STAR$ conversion very much towards the bottom of our league table when ‘cashing out’ of the programme.
Cash alternatives for KrisFlyer miles
|Method||Min. miles||Value per mile|
|Transfer to Shangri-La points for ‘Instant Dining Awards’
Jade / Diamond SLGC status
|Transfer to Shangri-La points for ‘Instant Dining Awards’
Gold SLGC status
|Credit towards an SIA / SilkAir cash ticket||980||1.02¢|
|Credit towards a Scoot cash ticket||1,050||0.95¢|
|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¢|
|Transfer to CapitaStar||3,000||0.70¢|
|Transfer to Kris+||15||0.67¢|
|Transfer to Esso Smiles points||3,000||0.67¢
As you can see this new transfer option isn’t quite the worst thing you can do with your KrisFlyer miles, short of letting them expire, since it comes in at 5% better value than a transfer to Kris+ or Esso Smiles.
It is, however, 4% worse value than a transfer to Tap for More points (for use in Cold Storage, Giant, etc.) and 13% worse value than a KrisShop redemption, so there’s certainly no ‘shouting from the rooftops’ here.
Can STAR$ be worth more?
Yes, with specific merchant offers STAR$ can net you more than their usual 1 cent per 10 STAR$.
Better value deals are available on the CapitaStar app, for example right now you can get a S$10 ALDO eVoucher for 8,500 STAR$ (18% better value than usual per STAR$).
The downside is that these offers tend to be quite specific and even with the bonus they don’t fundamentally change the value proposition sufficiently to make a KrisFlyer > STAR$ conversion worth considering (18% better than 0.7 cents is still only 0.83 cents, and you’d want to buy some specific shoes from one of four ALDO stores in this case!).
Singapore Airlines and CapitaStar are running a launch promotion for their new partnership, giving you a chance to win one of two prizes every week over the next four weeks, for making at least one transfer in either direction.
- SIA Prize: 100,000 KrisFlyer miles
- CapitaStar Prize: 1,000,000 STAR$
We value KrisFlyer miles at 1.9 cents each, when used to redeem First Class or Business Class flights on SIA, giving that prize a (theoretical) value of S$1,900.
CapitaStar STAR$ have a fixed value of 0.1 cents each, giving that prize a S$1,000 value against future retail spend.
You’ll earn an entry for every transfer made, in either direction, regardless of the amount converted. A total of 8 winners will be selected, with both prizes being awarded for those transferring in each of the following periods:
- Week 1: 5th Apr – 11th Apr (7 days)
- Week 2: 12th Apr – 19th Apr (8 days)
- Week 3: 20th Apr – 26th Apr (7 days)
- Week 4: 27th Apr – 4th May (8 days)
The draw will be conducted on 18th May 2021, with the winners notified within seven working days (i.e. by 27th May 2021).
Full terms and conditions for the prize draw are available here.
How to transfer
To make a transfer from STAR$ to KrisFlyer miles, visit the CapitaStar Rewards Conversion page (you’ll need to be logged on to your account).
You can also do this using the mobile app, by navigating to the ‘ACCELERATE YOUR STAR$’ section from the main ‘Explore’ page and selecting the KrisFlyer option.
To transfer your STAR$ to KrisPay miles, log on to the Kris+ app, then press ‘Wallet’, followed by ‘Transfer’ and you’ll see the option there.
In the opposite direction, to transfer your KrisFlyer miles to STAR$, you’ll first have to link your KrisFlyer and CapitaStar accounts by logging on via the desktop site, then going to Profile > Partner Programmes.
Similarly you may have linked your KrisFlyer account to the Shangri-La, Esso or Tap For More programmes in the past.
Once your accounts are linked go to Miles > How To Use and you’ll find the CapitaStar transfer option there.
KrisFlyer to Ascott Star Rewards
A current CapitaStar STAR$ two-way transfer partner is ASR – Ascott Star Rewards (no big surprise – Ascott is owned by CapitaLand).
With this new KrisFlyer partnership that means you can now move miles from KrisFlyer through CapitaStar to ASR, as in the following example.
KrisFlyer STAR$ ASR
3,000 21,000 6,000 (S$15 value)
ASR points are worth a fixed 0.25 cents each against future hotel says, so as you can see your original 3,000 KrisFlyer miles transfer in this example is yielding you only S$15 value.
That’s 0.5 cents per mile, which obviously makes no sense, but the option does exist!
Transferring your CapitaStar STAR$ to KrisFlyer miles is poor value, costing you 2.6 cents per mile compared to offsetting or paying for retail purchases at thousands of retailers in one of 17 island-wide malls across Singapore.
Likewise, it’s very poor value to transfer KrisFlyer miles into STAR$, where you’ll get just 0.7 cents per mile in value, or slightly more at specific CapitaStar merchants with special offers running.
On the plus side, there is a launch promotion giving you the opportunity to pick up 100,000 KrisFlyer miles or 1,000,000 STAR$ (worth S$1,000) in four separate prize draws, no doubt designed to pick up some initial customer interaction around the new partnership.
Unfortunately, at these rates, there’s little incentive for anyone to make transfers in either direction after that.
(Cover Photo: CapitaLand)