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Stack KrisFlyer promos to score Elite Gold status by converting 220,000 credit card miles

With two stackable promotions running side-by-side, KrisFlyer members can unlock Elite Gold status with a transfer of 220,000 miles from credit card points between now and 22 November.

Earlier this year Singapore Airlines launched its “Unlock Status Credits without Flying” campaign, allowing KrisFlyer and PPS Club members to accrue Elite miles or PPS value to retain or upgrade their status level within each programme through a variety of on-ground accrual options.

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One of the interesting options for achieving this during that ongoing campaign, which runs until 28th February 2022, is the ability to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold status by transferring miles from credit card points, with a 250,000-mile transfer enough to go from zero Elite miles as a basic member to KFEG in one go.

(Image: Singapore Airlines)

That left many of our readers with a dilemma though.

Less than six months earlier, KrisFlyer had been offering a 15% transfer bonus for miles conversions, but that had ended by the time the unlock status campaign kicked off.

Should members transfer at the regular rate and achieve a status upgrade, or wait for another 15% bonus transfer offer to come around for the additional miles?

Travel options were also looking a lot less certain at the time than they do today, potentially limiting the value of a status upgrade.

Both campaigns are now running

The good news this week is that KrisFlyer is back with its 15% bonus offer when you transfer at least 50,000 miles per transaction from credit card points into the programme (or 12% bonus for individual conversions of 10,000-49,999 miles), with no upper cap.

(Image: Singapore Airlines)

Even better news with both promotions running side-by-side – they stack with each other!

That means the original route from zero Elite miles as a basic member to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status is now achievable with a transfer of 220,000 miles from credit card points, because you’ll earn Elite miles on both the main transfer and the bonus element.



 


 

KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits

Most of our readers interested in stacking these two campaigns will be doing so to obtain KrisFlyer Elite Gold tier status, equivalent to Star Alliance Gold membership.

Back in April it was probably a strange time to strive for this, with status only lasting one year and travel remaining very uncertain, however we’re now seeing many options opening up with the Vaccinated Travel Lanes, including quarantine-free trips to Europe and the USA.

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Additionally, many people will be able to defer the start of this status level to late 2021 or even early 2022, thanks to the generous timeframe for this campaign.

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

Don’t forget, the future KrisFlyer Gold lounge at Changi T3 is currently the temporary SilverKris facility, which will be a great upgrade for KFEG members going forward once it becomes their dedicated lounge, including its own restrooms and showers.

For those less familiar, here are our picks of the major KFEG highlights (click to expand).

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.

Advance selection of extra legroom seats in Premium Economy comes at a 15% discount for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

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
Priority check-in

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.

(Photo: MainlyMiles)

Lounge access

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.

(Photo: Singapore Airlines)

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!

Other benefits

  • 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.

What you’ll be able to achieve

First thing to note is that the retention and upgrade offers are only intra-programme.

That’s to say a KrisFlyer member cannot jump to PPS Club status under this promotion, since they cannot earn additional PPS Value with these new options (including bank points transfers). Promotion from KrisFlyer into the PPS Club will continue to be based on PPS Value earned from revenue flights.

Singapore Airlines is offering the following possibilities for members to renew or upgrade their status tiers.

Options for KrisFlyer members

Current Status Tier Your Options Elite Miles Required
KrisFlyer KrisFlyer Elite Silver
(upgrade)
25,000
KrisFlyer Elite Gold
(upgrade)
50,000
KrisFlyer Elite Silver KrisFlyer Elite Silver
(renew)
25,000
KrisFlyer Elite Gold
(upgrade)
50,000
KrisFlyer Elite Gold KrisFlyer Elite Gold
(renew)
50,000

As you can see, even if you don’t currently hold any status in the KrisFlyer programme you can upgrade to the Elite Silver or Elite Gold tier with 25,000 or 50,000 Elite miles via this promotion.

Unfortunately KrisFlyer Elite Silver (KFES) doesn’t really get you much, so it’s the upgrade to Gold most of our readers will be eyeing here.

KFES has no priority check-in, no complimentary lounge access, no priority boarding, not even an extra baggage allowance! It’s a complete waste of time.

Options for PPS Club members

Current Status Tier Your Options PPS Value Required

PPS Club

PPS Club
(renew)
25,000

PPS Club Solitaire
(upgrade)
50,000

PPS Club Solitaire

PPS Club Solitaire
(renew)
50,000

For those looking at stacking these two campaigns to upgrade from PPS Club to Solitaire status, that’s also possible if they can hit 50,000 PPS Value, but it will require a transfer of twice as many credit card points to achieve.

Bonus status credits with credit card points transfers

Between now and 22nd November 2021, any transfer of at least 10,000 KrisFlyer miles (per individual conversion) from credit card points into KrisFlyer miles will earn a 12% or 15% bonus on the 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.

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.

All major banks in Singapore support conversion into KrisFlyer, as shown below.

Banks supporting transfers to KrisFlyer in Singapore

When you convert your bank or credit card reward points into KrisFlyer miles, you’ll earn 1 Elite mile for every 5 KrisFlyer miles transferred as a KrisFlyer member or 1 PPS Value for every 10 KrisFlyer miles transferred as a PPS Club member.

Transfers are recognised from all of KrisFlyer’s global bank partners (see the full list here), so this is a great option for those based outside Singapore too.

You’ll have to transfer a minimum of 10,000 KrisFlyer miles per conversion for it to be counted, but you’ll receive status credits for all of them combined.

Status credits from credit card points transfers

Method KrisFlyer PPS Club
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 bonus Elite miles / PPS Value will come through as two separate credits:

  • within 7 working days for the base miles (typically they are instant), and
  • within 3 weeks of the end of the bonus miles campaign (i.e. by 14th December 2021) for the bonus element.

An example

For example, let’s say you’re a basic KrisFlyer member and you have 20,100 Elite miles already. 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 mid-December, your account will be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold for a year, since you’ve now hit the 50,000 Elite miles threshold.

The Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge in Seoul. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Of course the more Elite miles you need to hit the target, the larger your transfer will need to be, with 220,000 miles needed if you’re still at a zero Elite miles balance (220,000 x 1.15 = 253,000 ÷ 5 = 50,600 Elite miles).

Here are the miles volumes you’ll need to transfer to retain your status or earn a tier upgrade, using the credit card points conversion option in isolation while stacking these two campaigns, assuming you’re starting from a zero Elite miles / PPS Value position:

Conversion from bank points
New / Renewed
Status Tier
Transfer Needed
(stacked with bonus)
KFES 125,000 miles
110,000 miles
KFEG 250,000 miles
220,000 miles
PPS 250,000 miles
220,000 miles
PPS Solitaire 500,000 miles
440,000 miles

When calculating, remember you’ll only get a 15% bonus for all individual transfers of 50,000 miles or more, with a lower 12% bonus for all transfers of 10,000 – 49,999 miles. There’s no bonus or Elite miles accrual for individual transfers of less than 10,000 miles, except for conversions through Kris+ / KrisPay.

Transfer by 8th November 2021

Don’t forget there’s a lead time to consider when transferring points from your credit card rewards account into KrisFlyer to benefit from the 12% / 15% bonus.

Transfers must be successfully completed by 22nd November 2021 to be eligible, and some banks take around a week to complete the process from the request date (HSBC and Standard Chartered in particular).

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

Our personal recommendation is therefore to allow a two-week buffer, in case of any issues, initiating your transfers no later than 8th November 2021.

Upgrade in February 2022

If you want to upgrade your tier as late as possible (e.g. in February 2022), then get a fresh membership year through to February 2023, leave yourself just short of the KFEG requirement using the credit card points transfer method, then top up your Elite miles via one of the other methods outlined below in February itself to trigger the upgrade.

The SilverKris lounge in Sydney. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

For example, ensure you’ll hit 49,000 Elite miles by the time the bonus is credited in December, then accrue the rest in February.

You’ll initially be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Silver status in the meantime if you follow this method, but you won’t stop accruing in the same ‘pool’ of Elite miles, so don’t worry that’s only temporary.

You won’t need to use this method if you’re using the stacked campaigns to extend your existing status, since you can hit the 50,000 Elite miles at any time prior to your membership year end and get a fresh 12 months added on (e.g. expiring March 2022, a 50k Elite miles credit in November 2021 will still give you KFEG until March 2023).

Other methods to earn status credits

You don’t have to rely wholly on credit card points transfers to get you ‘over the line’ to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status, and in fact you may already find your account has accrued an Elite miles balance without flying.

That’s because there are several other earning methods currently available for on-ground activity between now and 28th February 2022.

Other ways to earn status credits

Method KrisFlyer PPS Club
KrisShop spend 3 Elite miles
per S$1
1 PPS Value
per S$1

Kris+ spend
3 Elite miles
per S$1
1 PPS Value
per S$1
Co-brand credit card spend 1 Elite mile
per 5 miles
1 PPS Value
per 10 miles

Spend / Convert with Non-Air Partners
1 Elite mile
per 5 miles
1 PPS Value
per 10 miles

You might therefore be able to combine a credit card points transfer during the bonus promotion (by 22nd November 2021) with some of these earning options, like a KrisShop purchase, to achieve the status upgrade.

That could come in handy if you don’t have quite enough credit card points to achieve the status upgrade, or the 10,000-mile transfer blocks from most credit cards don’t ‘fit’ very nicely to achieve 50,000 Elite miles.

How long will your status be valid?

This is where it gets a little confusing, so bear with us!

The one-year status extension for KrisFlyer and PPS Club members announced in January means that:

  • For KrisFlyer basic members, there was no impact.
  • For KrisFlyer Elite members, Elite miles were rolled over to count towards requalification in the subsequent year.
  • For PPS Club members, PPS Value was extended by one or two years, to count towards future requalification in the future.

What it effectively means is that if a KrisFlyer member without status uses this promotion to upgrade to the KrisFlyer Elite Gold tier by earning 50,000 Elite miles, the membership will be valid for 12 months from the date it was earned (e.g. earned in December 2021, valid until December 2022).

If an existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold status holder uses this promotion to retain the status by earning 50,000 Elite miles, the membership will be valid for two years from the end of the current membership year, provided this year’s extension hasn’t taken effect yet. That’s because at the end of the current membership year (March 2021 to February 2022), Singapore Airlines is already gifting a one-year extension.

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For example, an existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold status holder who just got a free status extension in September 2021, and now has an expiry of September 2022, will in fact hold KFEG until September 2023 by participating in this offer.

Even those picking up a ‘free’ status extension from SIA can benefit from this promotion, by earning an extra year on top of that. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

It’s a little confusing but it means those who have just received or have yet to receive their extension from SIA will still benefit, the additional year will just be tagged on to the end of the next ‘refreshed’ membership cycle.

Effectively:

  • If you are a basic KrisFlyer member or Silver member upgrading to KrisFlyer Elite Gold, your new status will be valid for 12 months after achieving 50,000 Elite miles.
  • If you are already a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, your existing status will then be valid for 2 years after achieving 50,000 Elite miles under this promo.

Any downsides?

You’ll probably lose flexibility by committing to the KrisFlyer programme (from Citi in Singapore, for example, you can transfer to 10 different FFPs, including oneworld programmes like Asia Miles and Qatar Privilege Club).

You’ll also be exposed to KrisFlyer’s fixed 36-month expiry policy for your miles, so if you are going to proceed with this, don’t do so until 1st November 2021, so have an extra month to use the miles themselves.

You may be waiting six months or more to start redeeming again at a decent rate, giving you perhaps only two years to then fully use the miles. For this reason, you may wish to pass on the offer, or try to upgrade in February 2022 by topping up from non-credit card transfer sources to ‘cross the line’ as late as possible (but before 28th February 2022).



 


 

Summary

Using a (potentially large) credit card points-to-miles transfer to obtain KrisFlyer Elite Gold status wasn’t a clear-cut decision six months ago when the option first appeared.

For one thing the return of international travel remained uncertain, and for another there had just been a generous bonus campaign for transfers, which had since ended.

The SilverKris lounge in Bangkok. (Photo: ONG&ONG)

Now both campaigns are running and stack with one another, while borders are gradually reopening for quarantine-free travel, it’s a much easier decision for most people to jump at this opportunity.

Given that you may have already accrued some Elite miles through the other on-ground earning options since the status campaign began, like via KrisShop and Kris+ activity, and potentially even from revenue flying either recently or in the coming months, you might not even need to transfer the full 220,000 miles needed to go from “zero to hero”.

Just remember – to stack both campaigns your miles transfer must be completed by 22nd November 2021, and we recommend building in a two-week safety buffer because things do sometimes go wrong (DBS once ‘lost’ my transfer and it took at least a week to sort out!).

Will you be transferring credit card points to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold status? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)

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24 comments

  1. Thanks for the detailed analysis! May I check I have earned my KEFG earlier in March 2021, what would be my gold elite status be valid till if I transferred 50K elite equivalent this coming Nov?

  2. If my husband is already a PPS member , do you think it will be worth it or needed for me to become a elite gold member ?? Seeking some advice thanks so much!!

    1. It would be useful if you are travelling in mixed cabin classes with another 2 pax, ie your parents, in laws or 2 children. IMO it won’t make much of a difference if you intend to fly only in J or F class and using the stopover trick.

  3. My KFEG was further extended to June 2022, it was supposed to due in May 2020. So if I were to transfer my points, my KFEG will be up till June 2023 right? It would be handy if we were to travel in mixed cabin next year.

  4. I currently have 0 elite miles (was waiting for January next year to pull the trigger and convert) and am thinking of transferring 100,000 elite miles to obtain 2 years of KFEG. Can I confirm that my understanding below is correct:

    – Transfer 500,000 KF miles (equivalent to 100,000 elite miles) at one go – this method won’t work because any elite miles at the point of KFEG qualification will not be “carried forward” for renewal purposes. I don’t think this position has changed since pre-COVID 19?

    – Transfer 250,000 KF miles (equivalent to 50,000 elite miles) on 1 November 2022. Hopefully the upgrade to KFEG happens as soon as possible and then thereafter transfer another 220,000 KF miles (which will be equivalent to 50,000 elite miles after the 15% bonus). If the second transfer goes through before 22 November 2021 (fingers crossed), my newly earned KFEG status should last me till November 2023? If the transfer doesn’t go through before 22 November 2021, I should still have 44,000 elite miles (since these were earned after I earned KFEG in early November 2021) and I will have to “top up” another 30,000 KF miles before February next year.

    Will be grateful for your advice!

    1. That’s an interesting question. It sounds like it should work. I’d also be curious to know other people’s opinions, especially Andrew’s.

    2. Yes there is no point in transferring 500,000 KF miles because as you rightly say the excess Elite miles will vanish once you upgrade to KFEG.

      You have to do this in two steps, as you have proposed:
      250k first time
      Wait for your KFEG Status to reflect in your account (expiry November 2022)

      If it happens in time and you can still transfer by 22 Nov:
      220k second time
      Wait for bonus on elite miles to credit in mid-Dec
      Your new expiry will be November 2023.

      1. Even tough you need to transfer full 250k in first transfer for first step the second transfer can even be reduced by bonus from first transfer, allowing to fully benefit from bonus period for this two step approach.

    1. “Those bonus Elite miles / PPS Value will come through as two separate credits:

      • within 7 working days for the base miles (typically they are instant), and
      • within 3 weeks of the end of the bonus miles campaign (i.e. by 14th December 2021) for the bonus element.”

      1. If I took advantage of the elite miles offer earlier in 2021 , can I transfer again and “re-qualify” for another year ? If my current Golf expires in May 2022 , will a transfer to elite miles extend my status 1 year from May 2022 or is it 1 year from the date of “re-qualifying” . Thanks

    2. It also didn’t stack for me. @Andrew should you correct the article? Or are there DPs for people getting elite miles on the bonus miles?

  5. hi Andrew, i did my transfer UOB credit card points Oct 29, its reflected today Oct 30. Both the Elite 56K & Krisflyer bonus 42K miles. Also states requalify for Elite Gold / will be renewed on….. HOORAY!

    Andrew, if i transfer another batch 50K sufficient, would i get another year of requalifying !

    happy!

  6. Hi Andrew, assuming I have 0 miles, just basic member, if I transferred 200,000 mile via Standchart points conversion before 8 Nov 21, I will get 46,000 miles towards Kris Flyer Elite miles (ie, achieved KFES member by Nov 21, expiring in Nov 22,

    So come Feb 22, I just need to transfer another 20,000 miles from my credit card and I will be able to top up the shortfall of 4000 KRE miles and will be upgraded to KREG in Feb 22, expiring in Feb 23?

    Is my understanding correct?

    Thanks !

    1. Yes correct. Your elite miles will be:

      40,000 in Nov
      + 6,000 bonus by mid Dec
      + 4,000 in Feb 22
      = 50,000

      You’ll then be KFEG until 28 Feb 2023 👍🏼

      1. HI Andrew, The transfer by SCB took only 2 days, now silver status. Will transfer again in Feb 2022 to reach gold. Thanks !

  7. Hi Andrew,

    I received KFEG via Amex KF Ascend spend 5K offer back in March 2021 and will last till 31 Mar 2022. I haven’t been able to utilise the perks. Do you think there’s a possibility for SIA to extend my status until 2023?

    My KFEG status will be extended to March 2023 if I were to transfer 50k worth of elite miles before 22 November. Since I received KFEG after 26 March 2021, would there be any point transferring another 50k elite miles for a further extension to March 2024? Thank you.

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