What to Do With Expiring KrisFlyer Miles?

Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong

Last updated 22 November, 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore Airlines did something it had never done before, not even during SARS in 2003: it extended the validity of KrisFlyer miles.

Instead of expiring at the end of three years, KrisFlyer miles were granted numerous reprieves as it became increasingly clear that COVID was here to stay. In fact, the extensions lasted all the way till 30 June 2023, well after borders had fully reopened and travel restrictions dropped. 

Fast forward to today, and we’re back to pre-COVID conditions where KrisFlyer miles which aren’t redeemed within three years of accrual will disappear forever (unless you’re a PPS Club member, in which case miles never expire). 

No one wants that to happen to them, so here are some ideas of what you should do with expiring KrisFlyer miles!

Table of contents



How do I check my expiring KrisFlyer miles?

To check if you have expiring KrisFlyer miles, login to your KrisFlyer account and click on Miles Validity.

You’ll see a summary of all miles due to expire in the next 12 months, miles previously extended, and miles eligible for extension.

“Miles eligible for extension”? Yes, KrisFlyer offers a one-time option of extending miles for a further 6-12 months by paying a fee. 

 
KrisFlyer
KrisFlyer Elite Silver
KrisFlyer Elite Gold
Fee per 10,000 miles
1,200 miles or US$12
Extension period
6 months
12 months
12 months

But not only is this pricey, it’s not so much a solution as it is kicking the can down the road. Rather than pay a 12% haircut, I reckon you’d be much better off taking one of the following options instead. 

Read more:
6 Best Ways to Redeem Your Miles Without Travelling
7 Common Mistakes People Make When Redeeming Miles


What to redeem your expiring KrisFlyer miles for?

Redeem an award flight

The best use of miles is always to redeem them for flights, whether on Singapore Airlines or one of its partners. Depending on the cabin and route, you could get as much as 5 cents per mile*.

*This value does assume that you’d have been willing to pay cash for the tickets otherwise, but that’s another topic for another time. 

But what if you can’t travel before your miles expire? Not a problem. Just because your miles are expiring in a few months’ time doesn’t mean you need to fly by then. 

Miles can be used to book an award flight up to 355 days in advance on Singapore Airlines (fresh award availability is loaded at 8 a.m SGT each morning).

For example, if today is 10 November 2023 and I have 50,000 miles expiring on 30 November 2023, I can use these miles to book a flight departing up till 30 October 2024 (+355 days from 10 November 2023). In other words, the expiry date of your miles refers to when they need to be redeemed by, not necessarily when you need to fly by. 

Just in case you were thinking of using this as a way of extending the validity of your miles, however, think again. Miles have a “memory”, and cancelling an award ticket does not give them fresh validity. Going back to our previous example; suppose on 31 March 2024 I decide to cancel my award ticket. I will not be able to get any miles refunded, because they expired on 30 November 2023!


Cash + Miles

If you’re looking for a flight but can’t find award space, you do have the option to spend KrisFlyer miles like cash at a fixed value of 0.95 cents per mile, on any seat available for sale on Singapore Airlines or Scoot.

A slider bar will appear during payment, allowing you to mix cash and miles. This means you can redeem just your expiring balance, and pay the rest with cash.

Cash + Miles has the obvious advantage of better availability, but it comes at a price since the value here is much lower than if you were to redeem an award flight. 

Here’s a simple example. Suppose you wanted to travel in Business Class from Singapore to San Francisco:

  • Redeeming KrisFlyer miles for a Business Saver award would cost 214,000 miles + S$84
  • Paying with Miles + Cash would cost upwards of 651,000 miles (based on a fare of S$6,200)

Of course, this assumes that you’re able to find Business Saver awards in the first place, but assuming you can, then a KrisFlyer redemption represents much better value. Therefore, I’d only advise you to use Cash + Miles to burn small amounts of expiring miles, if at all.


Spend on hotels or rental cars via KrisFlyer vRooms

Source: KrisFlyer vRooms

KrisFlyer vRooms allows members to book rental cars or hotels and pay with a mixture of KrisFlyer miles and cash. 

Here’s the important thing to note: the marginal value of a mile on KrisFlyer vRooms is 0.8 cents per mile, but the average value per mile is higher the fewer number of miles you pay with!

For example, a Grand Deluxe Room at The Peninsula Bangkok costs S$732 on the official website. On KrisFlyer vRooms, the starting option is S$450 + 16,600 miles, which gives you an average value of 1.7 cents per mile.

However, if you choose to pay with more miles and less cash, e.g. S$225.05 + 44,800 miles, your average value per mile drops to 1.13 cents per mile. That's because each additional mile you use to pay has a value of 0.8 cents, which drags down the average value.

Therefore, you should always opt for more cash, less miles when using vRooms.

Do note that vRooms may not always present the cheapest options for car rentals or hotels. If that's the case, and you could book the same car or room elsewhere for less, your value should be adjusted accordingly.

Read more:
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Spend on KrisShop

Source: KrisShop

KrisShop is Singapore Airlines’ omni-channel retailer, selling a wide range of alcohol, beauty, electronics, fashion and wellness products.

KrisFlyer miles can be used to pay for purchases at a rate of 0.8 cents per mile. However, KrisShop prices might be inflated, so this really represents the ceiling valuation. Be on the lookout for promo codes and sales, because if the same item can be found elsewhere for less, your actual value per mile is lower. 


Spend on Kris+

Source: Kris+

Kris+ allows you to spend KrisFlyer miles like cash at almost 500 dining, lifestyle, retail and wellness merchants across Singapore. This includes well-known places such as Aburi-EN, Bee Cheng Hiang, Bottles & Bottles, Chan Brothers, Challenger, and Harvey Norman.

But what you gain in flexibility, you lose in value. The rate on offer is 150 miles = S$1, or just 0.67 cents per mile.

In order to spend KrisFlyer miles on Kris+, you must first convert them into KrisPay miles. Once converted, KrisPay miles must be used within six months, and cannot be transferred back into KrisFlyer.

If you have a small number of expiring miles, then spending them this way would be an acceptable solution.

Read more:
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card Review
Kris+ Guide: How to Maximise KrisFlyer Miles With Credit Cards
6 Kris+ App Hacks For Even More Miles & Rewards
The Kris+ App is My Secret Travel Hack to Scoring Miles


KrisFlyerUOBCreditCard

UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card

KrisFlyer UOB Card Welcome Offer: Be one of the first 100 eligible new-to-UOB credit cardmembers to get up to 31,000 miles plus a first-year annual fee waiver when you apply and take the least days to make a min. spend of S$2,000 within 60 days from card approval date. Valid till 30 June 2024  T&Cs apply.


Spend on Pelago

Source: Pelago

Pelago is Singapore Airlines’ travel experiences portal, featuring attraction tickets, tours, experiences and more (think of it like Klook or KKday).

KrisFlyer members can use miles to pay for the cost of their bookings at a rate of 120 Krisflyer miles per S$1 (0.83 cents per mile), upsized from the usual 150 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 (0.67 cents per mile) until 31 December 2023.

Do note that Pelago requires you to pay for your entire booking in either miles or cash; there’s no option to mix the two together. Therefore, unless your expiring miles are less than or equal to the cost of the transaction, you'll be forced to use some of your non-expiring miles too. 


Convert them to another programme

KrisFlyer miles can be converted to points with several partner programmes:

  • Shangri-La Circle (0.74 cents per mile)
  • CapitaStar (0.7 cents per mile)
  • NTUC Linkpoints (0.65 cents per mile)
  • Marriott Bonvoy (0.5 cents per mile
  • Esso Smiles (0.33-0.67 cents per mile)

Once converted, the expiry will follow the usual rules of the partner programme.

While it’s still better than letting your miles expire, most conversions represent poor value. For example, there’s little point converting your KrisFlyer miles into Esso Smiles (0.33-0.67 cents per mile) when you could spend them via Kris+ with a perpetual 20% milesback offer, which increases the value from the usual 0.67 cents to 0.8 cents.


Read more:

6 Reasons Why The Trust Credit Card is a Game Changer For Frequent Travellers
Best Grocery Credit Cards in Singapore


Book a KrisFlyer Experience

Source: KrisFlyer Experiences

The KrisFlyer Experiences platform offers the opportunity to redeem miles for money-can’t-buy experiences, such as a special KrisFlyer-themed cruise, F1 tickets in the KrisFlyer hospitality suite and a chartered “points plane” to Langkawi. 

It’s hard to assign a specific value to these, unless the Experience in question is also available for public sale (sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t). But it’s still worth checking out, in case you spot something you like. 

KrisFlyer Experiences are strictly non-refundable, so make sure you confirm your availability before clicking redeem!


Conclusion

After numerous COVID-related reprieves, KrisFlyer miles are back to their usual three-year expiry. There’s nothing worse than letting your hard-earned miles disappear, so be sure to periodically check your account and make plans as needed (you’ll get an alert from KrisFlyer if you have soon-to-expire miles in your account).

In a best-case scenario, you’ll be able to redeem your miles for a flight, since this represents the highest value and you can book a ticket up to 355 days in advance. Otherwise, getting suboptimal value through KrisShop, Kris+, KrisFlyer vRooms or other on-ground redemptions is still better than no value at all!


Looking for the best credit cards to complement your spending patterns and expenditure in 2024? Check out our Ultimate Credit Card Guide that covers all things credit cards in Singapore – from choosing between a cashback, miles, or rewards credit card to planning your credit card strategy.

Aaron founded The Milelion to teach people how to travel better for less, with credit cards, airline and hotel loyalty programmes. With 500,000 miles flown and counting, he’s keen to debunk the myth that you can’t travel in style without breaking the bank.

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