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New: Convert NTUC LinkPoints to and from KrisFlyer miles

Earning extra KrisFlyer miles with your grocery shopping is back, but will the fairly average transfer ratio tempt you to convert your NTUC LinkPoints across to Singapore Airlines?

Back in June 2021, KrisFlyer ended its longstanding partnership with the Dairy Farm Group’s TapForMore points programme, which sadly meant no more additional miles earning from your everyday grocery shopping at outlets like Giant and Cold Storage.

It’s taken a while, but the good news is there’s now a new option available in the form of a partnership with NTUC’s LinkPoints programme, allowing two-way transfers for KrisFlyer members.

(Image: Singapore Airlines)

This allows you to convert loyalty points accrued from your shopping at outlets including NTUC FairPrice, Unity Pharmacy and Caltex petrol stations into KrisFlyer miles.

You can earn LinkPoints at NTUC Link partners by presenting your Plus! card or your FairPrice app (iOS | Android) at the checkout (sign up here for free if you’re not a Plus member already, or do so via the app).

As part of the promotion, from now until 18th April 2022, four KrisFlyer members who convert their LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles, or vice versa, will win 100,000 KrisFlyer miles or 300,000 LinkPoints respectively. See here for full details.

Transfer from LinkPoints to KrisFlyer

The first element of this new partnership is the ability to transfer NTUC LinkPoints points into KrisFlyer miles.

You can accrue LinkPoints at FairPrice Xtra and Unity stores, among others. (Photo: FairPrice Group)

You’ll accrue LinkPoints by making purchases at any partner outlet, like NTUC FairPrice, FairPrice Online and Unity Pharmacy, at a rate of 1 LinkPoint for every S$2 spent in most cases.

You can then convert these points into KrisFlyer miles, provided you have accrued a minimum of 100 LinkPoints.

Transfer Ratio
LinkPoints    KrisFlyer miles
2 : 1
(min. 100 LinkPoints)

That 2 : 1 ratio is valid for transfers of up to 1,000 LinkPoints, but there’s a slightly better ratio if you’re able to convert in blocks of 2,000 or 5,000 LinkPoints, at around 1.87 : 1.

LinkPoints can be redeemed at 1 cent each against future purchases (e.g. 100 LinkPoints = S$1 rebate), in-store at NTUC FairPrice for example, so you’re effectively paying a cost per mile when transferring to KrisFlyer by losing out on this cashback opportunity.

Here’s how the effective cost per mile looks for the various denomination levels.

LinkPoints to KrisFlyer
Conversion denominations

LinkPoints KrisFlyer miles Effective
Cost per mile*
100 50 2.00¢
200 100
1,000 500
2,000 1,070 1.87¢
5,000 2,680

* Based on the cashback opportunity you are losing out on

At the very basic level, if you accrue just 100 LinkPoints from S$200 of spend, that can be converted to 50 KrisFlyer miles.

100 LinkPoints = S$1 rebate, so in this case you’d have to consider KrisFlyer miles worth 2 cents or more each to make the transfer, which isn’t very attractive unless you just need a small top-up.

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Once you move to the 2,000 and 5,000 LinkPoints conversion levels, however, the equation does shift slightly with a 7% bonus added, meaning you’d have to consider KrisFlyer miles to be worth 1.87 cents or more to make a transfer.

This still isn’t great (converting TapForMore points to KrisFlyer effectively was effectively costing you only 1.54 cents per mile), but it’s close to where we think you should still get good value from, assuming a Saver Business Class or First Class redemption at current award rates.

There is no limit on the number of LinkPoints you can transfer to KrisFlyer miles per year.

How to convert to KrisFlyer

To transfer your LinkPoints to KrisFlyer, just head across to the Link Rewards Exchange Page, log on to your account, then tap on the KrisFlyer ‘View More’ link.

You’ll then need to link your KrisFlyer account to your LinkPoints account. Both accounts must be in your name for the transfer to be successful.

You’ll then be able to make a transfer in one of the five transfer blocks, depending on your LinkPoints balance.

  Convert LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles

Transfer time

Many of our readers will recall that TapForMore points transfers to KrisFlyer miles were instant. Initially NTUC said it would take 10 working days for a transfer to be completed, but luckily we can confirm from our own test that transfers from LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles are indeed also instant.

We have not tested transfer times from krisFlyer miles to Linkpoints.



 


 

It’s better than Asia Miles

NTUC Link also has a conversion partnership with Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles programme.

This allows you to convert 290 LinkPoints to 110 Asia miles (around a 2.6:1 ratio).

You can also convert LinkPoints to Asia Miles. (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

With 290 LinkPoints worth S$2.90 against future in-store purchases, this ratio makes no sense unless you value Asia Miles at 2.6 cents each, though there is a case for using a small LinkPoints transfer as a way to keep your entire Asia Miles balance ‘alive’ for another 18 months, under the programme’s activity-based expiry system.

What’s the bonus earn rate?

If you’re not too worried about the relatively marginal benefit of a LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles transfer, given the cashback you’re forfeiting effectively means you are buying miles at 1.87 to 2 cents each, then you probably just want to know how many extra miles you can accrue each year through this partnership.

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Well if you are shopping at NTUC FairPrice, but spending less than S$400 per month at FairPrice, Cheers, FairPrice Xpress, Unity or Warehouse Club, the accrual rate is 1 LinkPoint for ever S$2 spend.

Since 1 LinkPoint is worth 0.5 KrisFlyer miles, you’re topping up your earning by only 0.25 miles per dollar spent.

A FairPrice Finest store

However, if you’re spending more than S$400 per month at FairPrice, Cheers, FairPrice Xpress, Unity or Warehouse Club, the accrual rate is 2.66 LinkPoints for every S$2 spend (with the bonus credited the following month).

Since 2.66 LinkPoints are worth 1.33 KrisFlyer miles, you’re topping up your earning by 0.67 miles per dollar spent.

In both cases, remember this will be in addition to any miles or points accrued from your payment card itself.

That means if you’re using a 4 mpd option for grocery shopping, like the HSBC Revolution, you’re looking at an effective net earn rate of 4.25 mpd or 4.67 mpd respectively in these examples, which isn’t to be sniffed at for spend in this category.

Don’t forget though, by transferring LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles even at the more attractive ratio, you’re sacrificing a decent amount of cashback in comparison, so not everyone will be comfortable doing this in the same way they perhaps were with TapForMore transfers.

Where else can you earn LinkPoints?

LinkPoints can be earned at a variety of partners across Singapore, including in-store and some online purchases.

FairPrice brands

Aside from the obvious NTUC FairPrice and Unity Pharmacy options, you can also consider:

Earning bonus LinkPoints

While S$2 spend at Link Rewards partners usually gets you 1 LinkPoint, there are some other bonus earning options to be aware of with specific NTUC-branded payment cards.

NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card

NTUC Plus! Visa Credit Card holders get an additional 5.67 LinkPoints per S$1 for all in-store FairPrice spend of S$20+ in a single receipt, provided they make a minimum $400 spend monthly anywhere outside of FairPrice.

There’s also an additional 1 LinkPoint per S$1 for all in-store FairPrice spend of S$20+ in a single receipt if you credit your salary into your NTUC-OCBC Starter Account.

OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card

OCBC Plus! Visa Credit Card holders get an additional 5.67 LinkPoints per S$1 for all in-store FairPrice spend of S$20+ in a single receipt, provided they make a minimum $500 spend monthly anywhere outside of FairPrice.

NTUC Plus! / OCBC Plus! Visa Debit Card

NTUC Plus! / OCBC Plus! Visa Debit Card holders get an additional 5.67 LinkPoints per S$1 for all in-store FairPrice spend of S$20+ in a single receipt, provided they make a minimum $400 spend monthly anywhere outside of FairPrice.

For those spending a bit less each month, there’s an alternative 2.67 LinkPoints per S$1 for all in-store FairPrice spend of S$20+ in a single receipt, provided they make a minimum $200 spend monthly anywhere outside of FairPrice.

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Downtown East

There are also some nice bonus LinkPoints earn rates available at several Downtown East merchants in Pasir Ris (up to 3.35 LinkPoints per S$1 spend).

Transfer from KrisFlyer miles to LinkPoints

This new partnership is a two-way arrangement, also allowing you to transfer your KrisFlyer miles into LinkPoints if you wish (but be warned, you won’t wish to!).

You can convert KrisFlyer miles into LinkPoints at a rate of 3,000 miles to 1,950 points.

Transfer Ratio
KrisFlyer miles    LinkPoints
3,000 : 1,950

Effectively, every KrisFlyer mile will net you 0.65 LinkPoints (3,000 : 1,950 ratio), with a minimum transfer of 3,000 KrisFlyer miles enforced per conversion.

A maximum of 80,000 KrisFlyer miles can be transferred to LinkPoints per calendar year.

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If you are a member of Link Rewards programme, your account will be linked to your KrisFlyer account automatically upon the first successful conversion of KrisFlyer miles to LinkPoints, through the ‘Miles > How To Use > Plus!’ section of your KrisFlyer account at singaporeair.com.

Cashing out your KrisFlyer miles into LinkPoints, then using those to offset spend at 1 cent per point at retailers like FairPrice, is very poor value. That’s in common with most cash alternatives for KrisFlyer miles, with only the recent Esso partnership coming out slightly worse than this new option in most cases.

It effectively means netting just 0.65 cents of value for every KrisFlyer mile converted.

Cash alternatives for KrisFlyer miles

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 or 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 Shangri-La points for hotel stays 20,000 0.75¢
Transer to Kris+ 15 0.67¢
Transfer to LinkPoints 3,000 0.65¢
Transfer to Esso Smiles points
3,000 0.33¢
to
0.67¢

As you can see this new transfer option is almost on a par with the worst thing you can do with your KrisFlyer miles, short of letting them expire, since it even comes in at 3% worse value than a transfer to Kris+ (KrisPay miles), which can be redeemed at around 300 merchants in Singapore.

Indeed you can actually redeem Kris+ miles for FairPrice Finest vouchers at the slightly better 0.67 cents per mile rate than you’ll get for a cash offset at the checkout using miles you transferred directly from KrisFlyer!



 


 

Summary

It’s great to have a new option to earn additional KrisFlyer miles with your everyday grocery shopping, following the demise of the TapForMore partnership in mid-2021.

Unfortunately this new conversion arrangement with NTUC LinkPoints isn’t quite as attractive, and many of you will prefer to use your accrued LinkPoints for future cashback in-store at places like NTUC FairPrice, rather than convert to KrisFlyer miles at an effective cost of 1.87 – 2 cents per mile.

Even if you’re happy to transfer to KrisFlyer, the net benefit is between 0.25 mpd and 0.67 mpd on your grocery shopping, depending on your monthly spend, which isn’t going to set your miles balance on fire.

In the opposite direction, it’s a very poor valuation when transferring from KrisFlyer miles into LinkPoints, which comes in at an even poorer rate than a transfer to KrisPay miles for redemption at around 300 stores in Singapore via the Kris+ app!

Only participate in the LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles transfer direction, if you’re going to take part at all!

Will you be transferring your LinkPoints to KrisFlyer miles? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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