Back in June 2019 KrisPay (now Kris+) introduced its first bank partner, allowing DBS customers to transfer their DBS Points instantly into KrisPay miles for use in that app, or better still for instant conversion to KrisFlyer miles to top up their frequent flyer balance without worrying about the usual transfer time.
More rewards conversion partners were promised and since then we’ve seen instant UOB UNI$ transfers (since September 2020) and CapitaStar STAR$ transfers (since April 2021) added to the list of options.
You can now convert Citi Rewards to KrisPay miles
The third bank loyalty points partnership for Kris+ with Citi is now live, the fourth KrisPay miles transfer partner when you also include the CapitaStar option.
Citi Rewards members can now seamlessly convert their Citi Miles or Citi Points to KrisPay miles instantly from as little as 4,000 Citi miles or 10,000 Citi ThankYou Points, via the Kris+ app!Singapore Airlines
KrisFlyer members can therefore now transfer their accrued Citi Miles or Citi ThankYou Points from their Citi Rewards accounts into the Kris+ app for free, then move them directly to KrisFlyer from there, effectively making it an instant conversion.
The process is exactly the same as for transferring DBS Points or UOB UNI$ into KrisPay miles. Simply tap ‘Wallet’ on the Kris+ app homepage, then ‘Transfer’.
You’ll then see the Citi ThankYou Rewards option (if you don’t, you may need to update to the latest version of the app).
Click on ‘Citi ThankYou Rewards’ and you will be redirected to log in to your Citi Rewards account on your mobile device to then proceed with a Citi Rewards to Kris+ transfer.
What is the rate?
Of course the most important aspect for miles earners with transfer options like this is always looking at whether it’s an attractive transfer rate.
Like when you transfer DBS Points and UOB UNI$ to Kris+ transfers, you take a 15% hit when transferring with Citi, so this shouldn’t become your regular method to transfer to KrisFlyer.
Let’s say you’ve accrued 10,000 Citi Miles on your Citi PremierMiles card. These would normally transfer to KrisFlyer miles (or a host of other frequent flyer programmes) at a 1:1 ratio, giving you 10,000 miles.
Transferring to KrisPay miles via Kris+, however, will give you a 15% poorer ratio of 1:0.85, so you’ll get just 8,500 KrisPay miles for the same transfer, which you then can (and should) transfer immediately to KrisFlyer.
If you’re transferring Citi ThankYou Points, accrued with cards like the Citi Rewards and Citi Prestige, it’s also a 15% poorer rate than you’d get converting to miles.
Citi Miles KrisPay miles
4,000 : 3,400
Citi Thank You Points KrisPay miles
10,000 : 3,400
The minimum transfer block is 4,000 Citi Miles or 10,000 Citi ThankYou Points, both of which give you 3,400 KrisPay or KrisFlyer miles, with equally-sized blocks thereafter.
If you’re using the Citi PremierMiles card you are earning 1.2 miles per S$1 spent locally. Those accrued Citi miles can be transferred to KrisFlyer Miles (or Asia Miles and a host of other programmes) at a 1:1 ratio, a process typically taking between 1 and 3 days.
Making the ‘instant’ transfer via KrisPay means you’ve effectively only earned 1.02 miles per dollar on the quantity transferred once you’ve taken that 15% sacrifice, a much more mundane rate for general spending.
A bonus is running
Do note that KrisFlyer is currently running a promotional campaign for transfers from credit card points into KrisFlyer miles with a 12% or 15% bonus.
Kris+ conversion ratios are also included, with a 15% hike for any transfers, but this still leaves you at the same deficit taking a 15% sacrifice compared to a direct bank to KrisFlyer miles conversion.
Despite the poor transfer ratio, there are some potential benefits to being able to transfer your Citi Rewards points in to KrisFlyer instantly via this new Kris+ method.
Insufficient points for a transfer
If you don’t have enough Citi Miles or Citi ThankYou Points (TYP) to make a regular transfer to KrisFlyer, but you need the miles in the near future, this is an option to circumvent the usual minimum transfer quantity of 10,000 Citi miles / 25,000 TYP (into 10,000 KrisFlyer or other miles).
For example if you have 6,000 Citi Miles, you’re still some way off the minimum transfer amount to KrisFlyer miles using the Citi Rewards system, so while these points should be worth 6,000 KrisFlyer miles they aren’t really worth anything until you at least reach the first 10,000 Citi Miles conversion threshold.
Now you can get some value from a small balance. While you’ll only get 5,100 KrisFlyer miles transferring them into KrisFlyer via Kris+ in this example (6,000 x 0.85), you can unlock those straight away if you need to, for example if it’s a sufficient top-up to enable you to make a redemption you have your eye on.
Each time you transfer Citi Miles or Citi TYP into KrisFlyer miles you’ll pay a S$26.75 fee once per card you’re transferring from, regardless of the number of ‘blocks’ you are transferring into the programme from that card.
That means you’re somewhat diluting the value of your points for smaller transfers.
For example transferring a single 10,000 Citi Miles block into 10,000 KrisFlyer miles is costing you 0.27 cents per mile (S$26.75 ÷ 10,000) to cover the transfer fee.
We value KrisFlyer miles at 1.9 cents each, so you’re taking an approximate 14% hit on that by paying the S$26.75 transfer fee in this case.
For the benefit of an instant transfer to KrisFlyer via KrisPay, it may be worth taking the 15% hit in this example, provided you’re comfortable with receiving 8,500 miles instead of 10,000 miles (but saving S$26.75).
Short of points for a redemption due to blocks
This situation might arise when you have enough Citi Miles / TYP for a redemption, but the normal Citi Rewards to KrisFlyer transfer ‘blocks’ leave you short.
For example, say your KrisFlyer account is currently empty (0 miles) but you have found the perfect saver redemption in Business Class to Sydney for 62,000 miles. You check your Citi Rewards account and it’s good news – you’re sitting on 64,000 Citi Miles so you have enough for 64,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Unfortunately as mentioned above Citi Miles to KrisFlyer conversions must be in 10,000-mile batches, so you can only transfer 60,000 miles this way, as you don’t have enough to transfer the next greater block of 70,000 miles.
That will leave you short by 2,000 miles and I’m sure you can see where we’re going with this. Once you’ve made the 60,000 Citi Miles to 60,000 KrisFlyer miles transfer in the regular way, leaving you with 4,000 Citi Miles in your account, just transfer the remaining Citi Miles via Kris+ (4,000 x 0.85 = 3,400 miles).
With Citi, much higher 4,000 Citi Miles / 10,000 Citi TYP block sizes are imposed (giving you 4,000 KrisPay miles).
Once you transfer those KrisPay miles straight into KrisFlyer you have the balance you need for your redemption (once the direct transfer from Citi Rewards also credits). Sure, you’ve taken a small hit in value on that final 4,000 Citi Miles, but it has made the difference between securing the redemption and not being able to.
It’s certainly a better option than buying the remaining miles needed from Singapore Airlines at US$40 per 1,000 miles (at an additional cost of around S$110 in this example).
If you no longer accrue Citi Miles or Citi TYP for one of the cards you hold with the bank, but have a small balance (less than 10,000 Citi Miles or less than 25,000 Citi TYP) remaining in your rewards account, which you won’t be adding to in future, you may as well cash out into KrisFlyer via the Kris+ app to recover something useful from the balance.
You’ll need at least 4,000 Citi Miles or 10,000 Citi TYP in your individual card account to make this work.Pro Tip: Don’t forget that Citi Miles / Citi TYP do not ‘pool’ with your other Citi credit cards, so if you are planning to cancel your card, any miles / points accrued will be forfeited unless you can persuade Citi to combine them with another card’s points balance.
Don’t spend using Kris+!
One thing you won’t be wanting to do with your Citi Rewards points is keep them in the Kris+ and using them for a cash discount off purchases with the merchants there. That’s because the value is diabolical (0.67 cents per mile).
That would give each of your Citi Miles a value of just 0.57 cents with the 1:0.85 transfer ratio, while we value KrisFlyer miles at 1.9 cents each (i.e. over three times the value you’ll get spending them with the Kris+ app).
On the other hand if you use your Citi Miles to offset purchases via the bank’s ‘Pay with Miles’ option, you’ll get 0.6 cents value per mile. Clearly you still shouldn’t do that while the KrisFlyer (and other partner) options exist, but it’s actually better than transferring to Kris+ and spending the miles there.
The catch is twofold. Firstly you’ll have to move any miles or points transferred from Citi to KrisPay into KrisFlyer miles within 7 days, otherwise they are stuck in KrisPay.
The second is just as important, you cannot use any of the KrisPay miles you have earned from your Citi Rewards transfer for any KrisPay purchase, no matter how small, as that automatically renders the entire transfer stuck in KrisPay until expiry.
The golden rule therefore is to transfer in to Kris+, then transfer straight out to KrisFlyer. Even with that 7-day window available, don’t even wait.
Earning is still good
While we’re certainly not fans of spending KrisPay miles via the Kris+ app, on the earning side it’s a different matter.
Earning miles through Kris+ is something you should definitely consider, especially with an ongoing offer for up to 9 mpd at 200+ merchants across Singapore running until 30th November 2021.
The app also shifted to a more seamless mobile payment method, now supporting seamless miles earning when you pay at a participating merchant using Apple Pay or Google Pay via the app using an Amex, Visa or Mastercard.
It’s great to have another Kris+ bank partner, allowing you to make instant miles or points transfers into KrisFlyer miles, however like the existing DBS and UOB arrangements this one is only good for smaller conversions in certain circumstances.
Not many of our readers are going to accept a 15% cut in their Citi Miles or ThankYou Points to KrisFlyer miles conversion just to take advantage of instant, fee-free transfers to KrisFlyer on a regular basis. Your usual method of transferring from Citi to KrisFlyer miles should remain via the bank’s own conversion process.
That said for a short-term need as we’ve outlined above there are some potential benefits. If you’re comfortable with the maths and your required top-up is small then this process could work well for you, just remember to leave the KrisPay miles fully intact in Kris+ (i.e. don’t spend at a KrisPay merchant), then immediately transfer them to your KrisFlyer account.
You have 7 days to do that, but why wait?
Remember you can also achieve slightly more flexible options (though with identical value) by transferring DBS Points into Kris+ from just 100 points, or UOB UNI$ into Kris+ from UNI$1,000.
(Cover Photo: Farshad Rezvanian)