KrisFlyer has introduced a new transfer partner this week, with local ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ merchant Atome supporting transfers from its Atome+ points across to KrisFlyer miles, though before you get too excited this one isn’t the most generous conversion option out there, nor does it promise to be a fast one.
That’s true even with a 9% promotional launch discount on the number of Atome+ points you’ll need to achieve the standard transfer blocks, so most Atome customers will likely stick to the scheme’s other reward options.
That said, it’s always nice to have a new way to accrue miles, which can certainly come in handy when you fall just short of a redemption threshold.
What is Atome?
Atome is a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) provider in Singapore, partnering with a wide range of online and offline retailers in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, fitness and homeware segments, including ALDO, ZALORA, KrisShop and Agoda.
This allows you to pay via the Atome app with selected merchants during the checkout process, either in-store or online, then spread the cost interest-free across three payments:
- 1/3 of the payment at the point of sale
- 1/3 of the payment 30 days after purchase
- 1/3 of the payment 60 days after purchase
Atome pays the merchant, then your payment card will be automatically charged both with the upfront payment and the two subsequent payments, allowing you to spread the cost of a purchase without paying interest.
This can be handy for large purchases, or when you’re using a credit card earning bonus points for Atome purchases (see below for the list), whose monthly 4 mpd spend caps exceed the total transaction cost by up to three times (i.e. you can still benefit this way).
Importantly for the purposes of this article, you’ll earn 1 Atome+ point in the merchant’s loyalty scheme for every S$1 spent, and you now have the option to transfer these points to KrisFlyer miles.
Transfer from Atome+ points to KrisFlyer
This new partnership allows you to transfer accrued Atome+ points into KrisFlyer miles as shown below.
Atome+ points KrisFlyer miles
2.2 : 1
(min. 110 Atome+ points)
Atome is offering four different transfer block sizes, but the 2.2 : 1 ratio remains valid regardless.
Transfer blocks are:
- 110 Atome+ points to 50 KrisFlyer miles
- 440 Atome+ points to 200 KrisFlyer miles
- 880 Atome+ points to 400 KrisFlyer miles
- 2,200 Atome+ points to 1,000 KrisFlyer miles
Miles will be credited into your KrisFlyer account within 14 working days upon successful redemption via the Atome app, though in our experience KrisFlyer usually under-promises and over-delivers in this respect.
Hopefully we’ll have some data points on actual transfer times soon – since 14 working days (3 weeks) seems totally unnecessary in this digital age.
Naturally, you must credit Atome+ points to your own individual KrisFlyer account, otherwise the transfer will be rejected, so do ensure your personal details in both rewards schemes match.
Is it good value?
Atome+ points can currently be redeemed at 1 cents each against future Atome purchases (e.g. 500 Atome+ points = S$5 rebate), so you’re effectively paying a cost per mile when transferring to KrisFlyer by losing out on this cashback opportunity.
It means any transfer to KrisFlyer miles will cost you 2.2 cents per mile (e.g. S$1.10 ÷ 50 for the smallest transfer), since you could otherwise have used your Atome+ points to achieve that cash equivalent saving.
Our upper limit to buy KrisFlyer miles 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, so buying miles at 2.2 cents is way over the odds, unless you wish to simply cash out of the Atome+ scheme.
With some more specific promotional Atome+ redemption options, like S$5 off at Paris Baguette for 450 Atome+ points, the cost per mile when transferring to KrisFlyer increases even further, assuming you would redeem the alternative benefit.
As part of this new partnership, Atome and KrisFlyer are making the transfer rates a little more attractive than the standard ratio outlined above.
From 18th August 2022 to 31st October 2022, you’ll get 9% off the points required when you convert Atome+ points across to KrisFlyer miles, as shown in the following graphic.
This shifts the cost per mile equation, but only slightly.
Under this deal, you’re effectively ‘buying’ KrisFlyer miles at exactly 2 cents each, assuming Atome’s standard cashback redemption option, which is still above our upper threshold.
How to redeem
If you’re an Atome customer, simply go to the Atome app homepage and click on Atome+ Rewards ‘Reward Your Shopping’ link at the top of the screen.
You’ll then see the new KrisFlyer partnership advertised.
Alternatively, just hit the ‘Travel’ redemption category and the options will be included there.
Once you’ve selected your preferred redemption amount, which as you can see includes the current promotional discount, complete the listed steps to initiate the transfer.
This includes copying the transfer reference code on the form and providing your KrisFlyer account details.
Just as a reminder, the KrisFlyer account must be in your name, and transfers can take up to 14 working days.
Unfortunately I do not have an Atome+ balance to be able to test the transfer time, but hopefully (as I suspect) it’s actually quicker than 14 working days – which is effectively 3 weeks!
Which credit card to use for Atome purchases
Remember you’ll be transacting with Atome, not the store you purchase from, when making these three payments through the platform.
Atome falls under Merchant Category Code (MCC) 5399: Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Shops.
That means you should earn bonus points (4 mpd) for the three equal interest-free payments themselves using the following credit cards:
per calendar month
per calendar month
per calendar month
Of course, the Atome transactions will need to fall within the monthly cap to benefit fully from bonus miles in these cases, but here the BNPL model can work quite well – allowing you to split the cost of more expensive items and still achieve 4mpd (e.g. with S$3,000 / 3 months, all payments can fall within the S$1,000 per month bonus limit on the HSBC Revo card).
In some sense this conversion option of Atome+ points to KrisFlyer allows you to ‘double dip’ miles, though it’s still probably a better value proposition to redeem the Atome+ points themselves for other options, unless you’re really short.
It’s great to have a new option to earn additional KrisFlyer miles, even if Atome is a bit niche and the transfer ratio itself isn’t worth writing home about, given the other redemption options available.
The launch promotion with a 9% discount helps a bit, but still probably doesn’t make this the best value proposition, while a 14 working day transfer time is a pretty hopeless promise in 2022 – fingers crossed it’s not really that slow, for those who are participating!
(Cover Photo: Alan Wilson)