Singapore Airlines has launched a ‘Give your miles a boost’ bonus conversion offer from partner credit card points into KrisFlyer miles, with a 12-15% hike on the usual transfer ratios, potentially making this a good time to shift some of your accumulated balance into miles.
While there are some drawbacks, this is only the second time a transfer bonus has come around for the programme (the last time was around a year ago), and we think many readers will want to take at least partial advantage, given some of the inevitably high points balances accrued lately.
That’s all the more true this time round, with light at the end of the tunnel due to quarantine-free travel reopening.
Simply make a transfer of at least 10,000 KrisFlyer miles (per individual conversion) between 26th October 2021 and 22nd November 2021 and KrisFlyer will add a 12% or 15% bonus to your usual transfer amount.
- Earn 12% bonus miles when you convert between 10,000 to 49,999 miles in a single qualifying transaction; or
- Earn 15% bonus miles when you convert 50,000 miles or more in a single qualifying transaction.
All members are eligible, even if you’re brand new to the KrisFlyer programme. There is no upper cap, and the offer applies to points transferred from the following banks in Singapore:
The exception is for automatic transfers from KrisFlyer co-brand cards including the KrisFlyer UOB credit card and Singapore Airlines American Express credit cards, which will not receive a bonus.
That’s a shame but it’s not a huge deal as these transfers are only for your month-by-month spend anyway, whereas you’re much more likely to have a large credit cards points stash accumulated with a card account in one of the above banks.
The bonus is applicable for all your eligible card transfers, so you could make several separate transfers (of at least 10,000 KrisFlyer miles each) from different card accounts and still receive the applicable bonus credit for all of them.
Remember to get the top 15% bonus each conversion will need to be a credit into KrisFlyer of at least 50,000 miles (before bonus miles).
Bonus miles will be credited at the same time as your regular miles deposit, which varies depending on the bank’s lead time. The bonus is shown as a separate credit from your main transfer bonus.
It probably goes without saying, but past transfers credited to your KrisFlyer account on or before 23:59 on 25th October 2021 won’t be eligible for the offer.
The bonus stacks with the “unlock status credits” campaign
Bonus KrisFlyer miles awarded under this campaign will also be eligible for the accrual of status credits (PPS Value or Elite miles as applicable) under the KrisFlyer “Unlock Status Credits without Flying” campaign.
Ways to earn status credits
|Convert bank points to KrisFlyer miles||1 Elite mile
per 5 miles
|1 PPS Value
per 10 miles
|Note: Min. 10,000 KF miles per transfer|
Convert Citi, DBS or UOB points to KrisPay miles
|1 Elite mile
per 5 miles
|1 PPS Value
per 10 miles
Those Elite miles / PPS Value will come through within 7 working days for the base miles and within 3 weeks of the end of the campaign (i.e. by 14th December 2021) for the bonus element, as two separate credits.
That’s great news for those looking to retain or upgrade their KrisFlyer Elite status with a miles transfer, since that campaign is ongoing until 28th February 2022.
For example, let’s say you’re a basic KrisFlyer member and you have 20,100 Elite miles. You are 29,900 Elite miles short of an upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status (50k requirement).
With a credit card points transfer of 130,000 miles (e.g. from 65,000 DBS Points), you’ll receive:
- 130,000 KrisFlyer miles
+ 19,500 bonus miles (15%)
= 149,500 KrisFlyer miles
- 26,000 Elite miles
+ 3,900 bonus Elite miles (15%) by 14 Dec
= 29,900 Elite miles
Once the Elite miles have credited by December, your account will be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold for a year, since you’ve now hit the 50,000 Elite miles threshold.
If you want to upgrade your tier as late as possible (e.g. in February 2022) then get a fresh membership year, leave yourself just short of the requirement using this method, then top up your Elite miles via one of the other methods outlined here in February itself to trigger the upgrade.
Kris+ is included
A 15% bonus also applies when transferring any valid number of miles instantly through Kris+ from its bank partners Citi (new), DBS or UOB.
Bear in mind, however, this method already came at a 15% disadvantage anyway. That means unless you need the miles instantly, or have a small level of ‘orphan’ points, it’s still better to make a regular transfer from these banks and pick up the 12% or 15% bonus.
Minimum transfer volumes via Kris+:
- Citi Miles > KrisFlyer: 4,000 Citi Miles >
- Citi TYP > KrisFlyer: 10,000 Citi TYP >
- 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.
The only other benefit of Kris+, apart from the instant nature of the transfer and no minimum, is that it’s fee-free, though that shouldn’t outweigh the poorer transfer ratio in the first place for a decent transfer quantity.
Overseas banks (some with 20% bonus)
For our overseas readers, do note that transfers from credit card points like Capital One in the USA and Westpac in Australia are also included in the offer. Click here for a full list of participating partner banks.
If you’re in Hong Kong or Indonesia, there’s a 17% or 20% bonus offer when you transfer from specific banks:
- Bank Danamon (Indonesia)
- Bank Central Asia (Indonesia)
- DBS Bank* (Hong Kong)
- Panin Bank (Indonesia)
* First 10,000 eligible conversions only, thereafter a 12-15% bonus applies.
Other popular participating banks for our overseas readers include:
Remember 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.
Here’s how it should look, based on when the campaign last ran in 2020.
If you don’t see the bonus added within a few days, contact KrisFlyer on +65 6789 8188 to check.
You won’t see a separate bonus for Kris+ transfers
You won’t receive or see a separate bonus at your KrisFlyer account side when you transfer from UOB or DBS 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).
Regular transfer example
Here’s an example of how it would work for some popularly held Citi credit cards in Singapore, with a 15% bonus applicable, per transfer block equal to or exceeding 50,000 miles converted into KrisFlyer:
Citi ThankYou Points
Transfers from each of your Citi credit cards to KrisFlyer cost S$26.75, regardless of the number of blocks you are converting.
Bear in mind though that if you are holding multiple cards, for example the PremierMiles and one of the Citi Rewards cards, you’ll be hit with the conversion fee for each one, as the points balances do not pool between your card accounts.
As we mentioned above, it’s important to factor in a comfortable lead time to ensure the bonus will credit before the promotion ends, especially when converting a significant quantity of points into miles.
Recent transfer times for our own Singapore credit card points and those of our readers have been:
- Amex SG: 48h
- Amex UK: 24h
- Citi Singapore: 24h – 48h
- DBS SG: 48h
- HSBC SG: 1-7 days (weekly batch transfer)
- HSBC UK: 24h
- 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 recent transfers initiated on Sunday morning and Monday morning both credited on the Tuesday afternoon.
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 around 8th November 2021.
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 10 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 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 November 2021 will expire on 30th November 2024.
Since this offer runs until 22nd November (23:59 Singapore Time), there’s almost no sense in converting your points now. Do so on or after 1st November and you’ll get an extra month of validity, which doesn’t sound much but could make all the difference three years from now.
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.
A nice offer for those of you who’ve been accumulating miles on credit cards but have been holding off making a frequent flyer programme transfer, with 12-15% (and for some readers up to 20%) more miles than usual when converting to KrisFlyer.
With quarantine-free travel options opening up, this offer is quite nicely timed compared to the uncertainty we still had when it ran last year.
This does commit you to the programme somewhat, with a potential risk of future devaluation and the 3-year fixed miles expiry window to consider before you commit.
Personally we’ll take this opportunity to move some of our credit card points into the KrisFlyer programme to benefit from the bonus, but we’ll split the risk by retaining some at the bank side too, so all is not lost in a domesday scenario.
If you’re participating in the “unlock status” campaign, this bonus could be a nice way to hit a tier renewal or upgrade by transferring fewer miles than you first thought you needed to.
Remember if you are going to transfer, do so on or after 1st November 2021 to give yourself an extra expiry month, but don’t leave it too late since you’ll have to account for the bank to KrisFlyer lead time (credit deadline 22nd November 2021).
Our personal recommendation is to allow a two-week buffer, initiating your transfers no later than 8th November 2021.
Full terms and conditions plus a list of frequently asked questions relating to this promotion are available at the offer page here.
(Cover Photo: Lucas Wunderlich)