Singapore Airlines has been progressively extending the validity of KrisFlyer miles due to expire since April 2020, in view of the difficulty for members making travel plans during the COVID-19 pandemic amidst strict and regularly changing border measures across the world.
With most travel options now available again, including to Japan and Taiwan, and SIA’s passenger capacity restored to 76% of pre-COVID levels in August 2022, the airline has now confirmed that there will be no further complimentary extensions once the latest reprieve expires in January 2023.
In the most recent extension of miles, the fifth during the pandemic, all KrisFlyer miles are currently valid until at least 31st January 2023, depending on their original expiry date.
A return to the regular expiry policy means that you may have to start making plans to redeem any miles you hold that are expiring from early next year.
This follows the news that Singapore Airlines ended its other primary COVID-19 customer support measure – the complimentary rebooking policy – back in July 2022.
KrisFlyer miles validity
As most of our readers know, KrisFlyer miles don’t remain valid in your account forever, even if you interact with the programme by earning or redeeming on a regular basis.
That’s unlike some other frequent flyer programmes, like Qantas Frequent Flyer where points never expire provided you earn or redeem at least one point every 18 months.
In late 2019 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles announced a similar policy. For miles earned from 1st January 2020 the former 3-year validity window was replaced by a better rule that all of your miles would remain intact provided you earn or redeem at least one mile every 18 months.
Unfortunately over the years Singapore Airlines has retained its fixed validity period for KrisFlyer miles.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 July 2021 will expire on 31st July 2024.
The ‘oldest’ miles in your account are used up first when you make any kind of redemption. For most of us that means there’s no need to worry about miles expiry. We churn through what we earn more frequently than once every three years, in ‘normal times’ at least.
There’s one bit of good news – if you’re a PPS Club or Solitaire PPS Club member, your KrisFlyer miles never expire. Any KrisFlyer miles in your account stop having an expiration countdown once you become a PPS Club member.
If you fail to requalify for PPS Club in future, all the KrisFlyer miles in your account are reset with a full three-year validity period from the month you drop back into a KrisFlyer tier.
For example if you drop from PPS Club to being a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member on 1st June 2023, all the KrisFlyer miles in your account at that time will now expire at 23:59 hours Singapore time on 30th June 2026, regardless of when they were first earned.
Last miles extension
Based on the most recent extension, here’s a summary of when any expiring KrisFlyer miles during the January 2022 to December 2022 period will now expire, under the most recent extension to the policy, even if they were extended once or more before, during the pandemic.
Latest miles expiry table
In the worst case, miles you earned in January 2020 (just before the pandemic) never got any extension and will expire on 31st January 2023, regardless of the fact you basically couldn’t use them for at least two years!
Do note that any extension to your miles validity will only reflect in your KrisFlyer account at the end of their original (or previously extended) expiry month. For example, if you have miles expiring on 30th November 2022, you will only be able to see that the miles have been extended and are valid until 30th May 2023 in December 2022.
Presumably due to some systems limitations, the miles extension will reflect as a debit of the originally expiring miles, plus a subsequent credit of the same number of miles.
You can see your expiring miles via the Singapore Airlines website when logged on to your account, or via the mobile app, by clicking Miles > Miles Validity.
Your monthly email statement should also show you how many of your miles are expiring in the next six months.
For more information about complimentary KrisFlyer miles validity extension, including a list of FAQs, see the Singapore Airlines website here.
Book redemption flights up to a year ahead
What many people don’t know is how far in advance you can lock in an SIA award ticket using KrisFlyer miles, and both Star Alliance and partner airline award options, which should help you extract good value from them prior to expiry.
Fresh availability of KrisFlyer award seats in 355 days time on Singapore Airlines, for example, is loaded at 8am SGT each morning (GMT+8), and this is often a good time to jump on a pair of Business Saver redemptions a year out.
We’ve also spoken to people who think you must redeem and have travelled on an award flight before your miles expire – that’s not the case.
You must have booked the award ticket, but it can be locked in close to a year in advance. The fact you’ll be sitting on a flight using miles which would have expired up to a year before actually doesn’t matter.
Options include redemptions and upgrades (where permitted) on:
- a Singapore Airlines flight,
- a Star Alliance member airline flight (most are searchable and bookable online through KrisFlyer),
- a partner airline flight, like Alaska Airlines or Virgin Australia.
Since these options by far represent the best value you can extract from KrisFlyer miles, you should absolutely try to use them in our opinion, before considering cashing out your expiring miles.
Cancelling award flights booked with expiring miles
You may want to have firm travel plans for award bookings made using expiring miles, since there’s an issue if you wish to cancel those tickets after the miles would have expired.
Every KrisFlyer mile in your account has a ‘memory’ – it knows exactly when it was earned, including miles redeemed for a flight you haven’t taken yet.
If any of the miles you used for a flight redemption would have expired at the time of cancellation / redeposit request you won’t get those miles back.
Basically, if you thought you could circumvent the miles expiry issue by making a flight redemption several months into the future with miles that are just about to expire, then later cancel the ticket and redeposit the miles, that unfortunately won’t work.
Alternatives for your expiring miles
If you don’t have any upcoming travel plans or you have insufficient miles to make a flight award work, unfortunately you may be left having to ‘cash out’ your KrisFlyer miles, and this almost always comes at very poor value in comparison to a flight redemption.
Here’s a summary of the latest options, including the minimum number of miles you’ll need in each case.
Cash alternatives for KrisFlyer miles
|Method||Min. miles||Value per mile|
|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||1,500||0.80¢|
|Transfer to Shangri-La points for hotel stays||20,000||0.75¢|
|Transfer to CapitaStar||3,000||0.70¢|
|Transer to Kris+||15||0.67¢|
|Transfer to LinkPoints||3,000||0.65¢|
|Transfer to Esso Smiles points
As you can see these are really poor returns for your miles, with First and Business Class redemptions on Singapore Airlines usually netting you a value of at least 2.4 cents per mile, or more in some cases.
Extend your miles for a fee
KrisFlyer’s other alternative for expiring miles is to extend them yourself by paying a fee, to extend their validity by six months.
You can choose to pay US$12 (around S$17) per block of 10,000 expiring miles, or sacrifice 1,200 miles per 10,000-mile block to achieve the same extension. Miles must be expiring in the next six months to be eligible for the paid extension option.
KrisFlyer Elite Silver and Gold members get 12 months additional miles validity for the same fee or miles cost (and remember, miles never expire for PPS Club members).
You can find the option to extend your miles for a fee when logged on to your KrisFlyer account and viewing your expiring miles month-by-month. You can then select the “Extend Miles” button to do so.Note: Don’t be confused if you see the “eligible for extension” note alongside your miles expiring from 31st January 2023 onwards. That refers to paid extension (by you), not the complimentary extension we’ve been enjoying from SIA during the pandemic!
Before you go ahead with this though, remember that paying to extend your KrisFlyer miles is only useful if you are fairly certain it will help you use them before they expire again.
It’s also a one-time offer – you can only extend expiring miles once.
It’s not too surprising that with travel restrictions largely scrapped around the world, and Singapore Airlines restoring the vast majority of its passenger capacity in most markets, that the complimentary extension of KrisFlyer miles is now set to end.
For some readers, this will mean miles previously extended will be expiring as soon as 31st January 2023, so it’s a good time to start making plans to redeem these in the coming months.
Remember you can lock in awards up to one year in advance, even with miles that would have expired by the time you take the flight, though if you subsequently cancel the booking there will be no refund of miles in those cases.
While there are some ways to “cash out” your expiring KrisFlyer miles, this is almost always at poor value and you should definitely be exploring an SIA or partner flight redemption, where possible.
Singapore Airlines also offers a paid extension option, with your miles given a new six-month or 12-month extension depending on your tier status, but this is only worth considering if you will definitely go on to use the miles for a flight award prior to the next expiry.
(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)