Financial News and Advice in Singapore

Earn Elite Status Credits With KrisFlyer By Converting Credit Card Points (And More)

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Earn KrisFlyer Status Credits Without Flying

From now till 28 February 2022, KrisFlyer and PPS Club members can earn status credits without flying. Should you join the status chase?

On 15 March 2020, the MOH issued its blanket advisory against all overseas travel. More than a year later, little has changed. Borders remain closed, companies have swapped business trips for teleconferencing, and leisure travel remains a distant dream. 

All this means is that Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer members haven’t had many opportunities to earn KrisFlyer Elite or PPS Club status, much less requalify for it. Therefore it’s not surprising that the airline has rolled out a host of measures allowing members to earn Elite miles and PPS Value (collectively called “status credits”) on the ground, without the need to get on a plane. 

Earn status credits without flying

This campaign runs from now till 28 February 2022. During this period, KrisFlyer and PPS Club members can earn status credits by converting credit card rewards points, spending on co-brand cards, making purchases with KrisShop or Kris+, or transacting with other non-air partners like food delivery and hotels. 

Here’s a summary of the earning scheme.


KrisFlyerPPS Club
Convert KrisFlyer miles
(min. 10,000 miles)
1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles
Convert KrisPay miles1 Elite mile per 5 KrisPay miles1 PPS Value per 10 KrisPay miles
Spend on co-brand card
(min. 100 miles earned)
1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles
Spend on KrisShop or Kris+3 Elite miles per S$11 PPS Value per S$1
Earn with non-air partners
(min. 500 miles)
1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles earned1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles earned

There is no cap on the maximum status credits that can be earned, and these will count towards KrisFlyer Elite or PPS Club membership renewal that is due between March 2022 and February 2023, or to upgrade your existing membership status.

Existing KrisFlyer members will be able to move up to KrisFlyer Elite Silver/Gold, and existing PPS Club members will be able to move up to Solitaire PPS Club. However, no ‘crossing over’ is allowed—for example, a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member can’t make the jump to PPS Club. 

All status credits will be credited within seven working days of the qualifying transaction posting. 

Converting credit card points into KrisFlyer or KrisPay miles


KrisFlyerPPS Club
Convert KrisFlyer miles
(min. 10,000 miles)
1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles
Convert KrisPay miles1 Elite mile per 5 KrisPay miles1 PPS Value per 10 KrisPay miles

For most KrisFlyer members, this will be the easiest route to earning or upgrading status. Credit card point transfers from any bank in Singapore will be eligible for status credit earning, as long as at least 10,000 KrisFlyer miles are converted in a single transaction. 

To illustrate:

  • If you convert 9,000 miles from Bank X and 1,000 miles from Bank Y, both transactions will not qualify
  • If you convert 10,000 miles from Bank X and 9,999 miles from Bank Y, your Bank X transaction will qualify but not your Bank Y transaction
  • If you convert 10,000 miles from Bank X and 10,500 miles from Bank Y, both transactions will qualify and a total of 20,500 miles will be considered for the PPS Value or Elite miles award.

DBS and UOB cardmembers have the additional option of converting credit card points into KrisPay miles via the Kris+ app. While the minimum transfer amounts here are smaller (just 170 miles for DBS and 1,700 miles for UOB), do remember that you take a 15% cut by transferring them in this manner.

For example, 100 DBS points will get you 170 KrisPay miles, which can be converted instantly into 170 KrisFlyer miles. However, if you redeemed your DBS points via the bank’s rewards portal, you would receive 200 KrisFlyer miles (albeit slower, usually within three to four working days). I can’t imagine a pressing need to receive your miles quickly right now, so it’s advisable to take the slower route. 

KrisFlyer UOB

Spending on co-brand cards


KrisFlyerPPS Club
Spend on co-brand card
(min. 100 miles earned)
1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles

Those who hold any of the four AMEX KrisFlyer credit cards (AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card, AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend, AMEX PPS Card, AMEX Solitaire PPS Card) or the UOB KrisFlyer Credit/Debit Card will earn status credits whenever they accrue at least 100 KrisFlyer miles.

The reason for the lower threshold is because co-brand cards batch transactions and make transfers every month automatically (unlike non co-brand cards, where transfers are done on an ad-hoc basis at the cardmember’s request). To illustrate, if you hold an AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend which earns 1.2 miles per dollar, you’ll need to spend at least S$84 per month to earn status credits from your spending. 

SingSaver’s Offer: Score a S$150 Dairy Farm Group voucher upon annual fee payment. Valid till 7 June 2021. T&Cs apply.

Get up to 15,000 KrisFlyer miles when you make a min. spend of S$5,000 within 3 months of card approval and pay the annual fee. Valid till 30 June 2021. T&Cs apply.

Plus, get an extra S$20 Dairy Farm Group voucher when you sign up using SingPass MyInfo. Valid till 30 June 2021. T&Cs apply.

Spending with Kris+ or KrisShop


KrisFlyerPPS Club
Spend on KrisShop or Kris+3 Elite miles per S$11 PPS Value per S$1

If you’re keen on doing some shopping, buying items on KrisShop will allow you to earn status credits, as will accruing miles at merchants via Kris+. For users of the latter platform, do note that dollar spend refers to purchases paid for with credit/debit cards and cash (you’ll get your Kris+ QR code scanned to accrue the miles). 

Earning with non-air partners


KrisFlyerPPS Club
Earn with non-air partners
(min. 500 miles)
1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles earned1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles earned

As you may already be aware, it’s possible to earn KrisFlyer miles with a wide range of non-air partners, such as CapitaStar (a new partnership), Changi Rewards, Esso, foodpanda, Grab and TapForMore. 

These miles may either be automatically credited upon completing an eligible transaction (e.g foodpanda) or converting partner points to KrisFlyer (e.g from GrabRewards). If a minimum of 500 miles is transferred, you will earn status credits.

The different mechanisms mean it will be inherently easier to earn status credits with certain non-air partners rather than others. For example, foodpanda awards 1 mile per S$1 spent, but since miles are automatically credited, you’d need to spend S$500 in a single bill to earn any status credits.

In contrast, GrabRewards users have to manually transfer points to KrisFlyer, so they can carry out numerous smaller transactions before transferring. 

Is it worth having status?

Perhaps this would have been an apt question to start with, because there’s little point incurring all the effort above if the payoff isn’t worth it!

I’d say that if you’re only planning to earn enough status credits to get KrisFlyer Elite Silver, you’d be better off not participating at all. The benefits at Silver level are marginal, and the most you can expect is a bonus on mileage accruals (when you fly) and free seat selection.

It’s KrisFlyer Elite Gold where the benefits get serious. Members get lounge access, priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling, as well as extra baggage allowance. 


KrisFlyer Elite SilverKrisFlyer Elite Gold
Elite Miles Req.25,00050,000
Mileage Bonus25%25%
Priority Waitlist
Advance seat selection(Standard)(Forward and Standard)
20kg extra baggage 
Priority check-in 
Priority baggage handling 
Priority boarding 
Lounge access 

It’s certainly worth having, but the question is how long you’ll get to use it for. Assuming you qualified today, your status would be valid for 12 months (technically 13, because Singapore Airlines gives one month of grace for requalification). How much travel do you foresee yourself doing between now and then? 

It’s hard to say, even for the experts. So much depends on the pace of vaccination, the effectiveness it has at protecting against COVID-19 variants, and the willingness of countries to accept vaccinated tourists. 

Then again, there’s no rush to qualify for status now. The campaign runs all the way till February 2022, so you could have status valid till February 2023 if you play your cards right. 

There’s no easy answer here. I’d say that if you have a whole bunch of credit card points that are going to expire, then transferring them over to KrisFlyer and earning status in the process would be a good idea. Singapore Airlines is periodically extending the expiry of KrisFlyer miles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in any case your miles have a three year validity. Hopefully the world’s a bit more sane come 2024!

Conclusion

Prior to COVID-19, Singapore Airlines had never allowed members to earn status credits without flying. If you wanted that status, you had to park your butt in a seat. You could earn millions of miles through your credit cards, and still be treated like an Average Joe at the airport. 

So this is definitely an exciting opportunity, and having elite status isn’t just an ego thing—it comes with some very tangible benefits like lounge access and extra baggage. If you were already spending money on those, then this could be very useful indeed.

There’s no need to rush into a decision about transferring credit card points or spending within the KrisFlyer ecosystem, thanks to the duration of this campaign. I think it makes sense to watch the next few months and see how the COVID-19 situation evolves before deciding whether you want to join the status chase. 

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By Aaron Wong
Aaron started The MileLion to help people travel better for less and impress “chiobu”. He was 50% successful.