Back in December 2022, it became possible to earn KrisFlyer miles for taxi rides in Singapore through a partnership between the Kris+ app and ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator.
To celebrate the launch, a promotional rate of 3 mpd was offered for all bookings until 31st March 2023, after which the rate was set to drop by a whopping 89% to a measly 0.33 mpd (1 mile earned per S$3 spent).
However, last month the promotional rate was extended, with no specified end date in sight.
The 3 mpd rate has now ended
Unfortunately the promotional 3 mpd rate wasn’t set to last, despite our hopes that it might become year-round, with Kris+ now offering only 1 mile per S$3 spent on taxi rides booked via the app – a 0.33 mpd earn rate, effective from today (1st May 2023).
KrisPay miles are credited at the end of the trip, and you can then transfer them across to KrisFlyer miles instantly, or within seven days.
The platform fee now kills it
We never complain about ‘free’ miles, but there’s a problem with the Kris+ taxi portal – the miles aren’t free.
That’s because Kris+ adds a fixed platform fee of S$0.30 per booking, compared to simply booking directly using the CDG Zig app, which is fee-free.
Effectively, you are paying 30 cents to earn the additional miles, compared to a ‘standard’ CDG Zig booking.
That was a no-brainer while the earn rate of 3 mpd was in effect. For a S$10 taxi ride earning 30 miles the additional S$0.30 meant you were ‘buying’ miles at 1 cent each, and the cost per mile diluted even further for more expensive trips, with more miles earned but the same fixed platform fee added.
With the earn rate now slashed by 89% to just 0.33 mpd, the equation shifts significantly, with that same S$10 taxi ride only getting you only 3 miles – an eye-watering cost of 10 cents per mile when you pay this non-optional charge for bookings via Kris+!
In fact it’s now simply not worth using the Kris+ app to make your taxi booking until the fare is upwards of S$50-60, as shown in the following table.
Cost per mile for Kris+ taxi bookings
|CDG Zig Cost||Booking via Kris+||Cost per Mile
|Service Fee||Miles Awarded|
Even a taxi from Changi Airport to Tuas Checkpoint costs around S$43 – a trip that will now net you a measly 14 miles when booked via the Kris+ app, at an additional cost of 30 cents – 2.14 cents per mile.
That’s still buying miles way over the odds.
Effectively, there is now simply no reason to use the Kris+ taxi booking function, since it means buying miles significantly above the rate you can realistically redeem them at.
One exception might be in order to top up your KrisFlyer account instantly by only a few miles, if you’re just short of a redemption threshold for example, but we would suggest it’s easier (and better value) to do so by making a purchase at one of over 400 Kris+ merchants island-wide, like a bubble tea purchase at Gong Cha, for example!
Do note that Kris+ will also hold an S$8 surcharge in addition to the quoted fare on your payment card to cover things like ERP charges (even for routes that clearly won’t incur them).
Actual payment of the final amount will be collected on completion of your trip, with the S$8 refunded if no additional charges were incurred.
Earn rates at 70+ merchants were also cut today
As we reported in late March this year, Kris+ is also cutting the regular earn rate at over 70 of its 400+ merchants across Singapore, by up to 67% in some cases.
This has also taken effect from today, 1st May 2023, and now sees merchants split across six different earn rates, instead of the previous three.
Kris+ Earning Rates
|Till 30th April 2023||From 1st May 2023|
The good news is that the majority of merchants – 82% of them in fact, aren’t seeing any change to their earn rate. In some cases, the adjustment is also relatively minor (like those moving from 6 mpd to 5 mpd).
Overall, the average earn rate across all 401 Kris+ merchants has dropped from 7.2 mpd to 6.8 mpd on 1st May 2023.
Here’s an up-to-date full rundown of all Kris+ merchants by category and earn rate (click to expand).
Use the right credit card for up to 6.33 mpd
ComfortDelGro transactions made via the Kris+ app will code under MCC 4789: Transportation Services Not Elsewhere Classified, and that means if you are going to use the service (which you probably shouldn’t anymore), you can tap into some 3 mpd, 4 mpd and 6 mpd earn rates with a variety of credit cards.
Those miles are issued by your bank, so they come on top of up to 0.33 mpd Kris+ is offering, and that means up to 6.33 mpd total effective earning on these taxi rides.
Here’s an example of the cards which should give you upwards of 6 mpd for Comfort taxi rides booked through Kris+ with in-app payment.
|Card||Earn rate||Spend Cap
per calendar month
|6 mpd||S$1,000 (Lady’s)
S$3,000 (Lady’s Solitaire)
Subject to Transport being chosen as one of your bonus categories
|DBS WWMC||4 mpd||S$2,000
|Maybank Horizon Visa Signature||3.2 mpd||S$4,285
(min. S$300 spend per month in any category)
|UOB KF||3 mpd||No minimum spend
Be careful not to use Citi Rewards cards to make in-app payments on Kris+, since mobile wallet payments are specifically excluded from that card’s bonus miles earning, regardless of the merchant MCC.
Similarly the HSBC Revolution card will not offer 4 mpd on MCC 4789.
Remember there is now no cap on 3 mpd earning for Kris+ transactions made using the UOB KrisFlyer credit card – so that’s a nice hassle-free unlimited 3.33 mpd option.
These cards also earn bonus rates on Grab and GoJek
It’s worth pointing out that the credit cards mentioned above will also earn their bonus rate for ride-hailing bookings on platforms like Grab and GoJek (as do the Citi Rewards cards in this case), so the true benefit of using CDG Zip via Kris+ until now has only been the differential 3 mpd on offer.
That’s much more stark now that the promotion period has ended, with the incremental earn rate now slashed to 0.33 mpd – basically not bothering with when CDG Zip bookings are S$0.30 cheaper, or indeed when Grab and GoJek rides come in at a similar rate or cheaper than through CDG.
You can also use KrisPay miles to book
The taxi booking function via Kris+ also still gives you the option to use KrisPay miles in your Kris+ wallet to pay for your ride.
Unfortunately this remains at the regular value of 0.67 cents per mile when redeeming miles for Kris+ transactions, which is quite terrible.
It’s therefore not something you’ll want to be doing unless you have KrisPay miles stuck in the Kris+ app, which cannot be transferred to your KrisFlyer account. Even then, bonus redemption offers do occasionally come up, so provided your KrisPay miles are not expiring in this example it can still be better to hold off for one of these.
Kris+ has slashed the earn rate on taxi bookings made through its app by 89% from 3 mpd to just 0.33 mpd, and there are now almost no rides we can conceive of where paying the additional S$0.30 platform fee over and above a direct CDG Zig booking makes sense – since you would be buying miles at a rate way over the odds.
That kills this earning method for us – and it should for you too.
If you do insist on still earning miles this way, be sure to pair with the right credit card when you pay via Kris+ since you can also net an additional 6 mpd, meaning you can earn up to 6.33 mpd in total.
However, the best thing you do now is use the CDG Zig app directly, or a ride-hailing service, and just stick with the credit card points alone.
This development comes on the same day that Kris+ cut earn rates at over 70 merchants island-wide. While most partners retain their former earning rates, let’s hope we’ve seen the last of this decimation from Kris+ for now.
(Cover Photo: ComfortDelGro)