Star Alliance Earning with Singapore KrisFlyer

We have talked about airline alliances before, and we’ve shared how Asiana Club is a good Star Alliance loyalty program. Among many travel hackers, Singapore Airlines is one of the more well-known Star Alliance airlines, and for good reason. They are a 5-star airline based in Singapore with a far-reaching network, and incentivize loyalty under the KrisFlyer program.

Why is Singapore KrisFlyer a good frequent flyer program worth considering? Asian Miler has a detailed analysis for you.

 

KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Loyalty Program

Singapore Airlines manages the KrisFlyer frequent flyer loyalty program. Anyone with an email address can register for the program and start earning miles; it’s as simple as that.

Elite Status and Perks

As with all Star Alliance members, the Singapore Airlines loyalty program has a few membership tiers you climb to earn more privileges.

KrisFlyer

Every member starts at this bottom-most status tier, the namesake of the program. Anyone 12 years or older can register, or a child older than 2 can do the same with the consent of the parent or legal guardian.

The main thing to learn about the program, regardless of status level, is that miles are valid for 3 years from the date they are earned. For example, 500 miles earned in October 2017 and another 1000 miles earned in December 2017 expire by the end of October 2020 and December 2020, respectively.

Silver

Members move up to this next level after crediting 25,000 miles on Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance partners to the program. It’s as simple as that. You get promoted immediately upon reaching the requirement and lasts for 12 months.

Under KrisFlyer Elite Silver, members gain:

  • You earn 25% more miles on eligible booking classes on Singapore Airlines  or SilkAir flights.
  • Certain service fees are discounted or waived.
  • You earn Star Alliance Silver Status and its benefits.
Gold

You get to this KrisFlyer Elite level once you credit 50,000 miles from Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance partners to this program. You are promoted at once and enjoy the privilege for 12 months as well.

In order to extend elite status for another year, one needs to credit the same 50,000 miles within the 12 calendar months after gaining it. Any eligible miles earned beyond the requirement won’t count for any subsequent years.

As a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, one enjoys these perks:

  • You and one companion can use any Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic or Vistara lounges when you fly on the respective airline, or any lounge of Star Alliance members at airports all over the world, as long as you are boarding a Star Alliance flight.
  • You earn 25% more miles on eligible booking classes on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights.
  • When boarding any Star Alliance flight, you are allotted one extra bag allowance.
  • You can use the Star Alliance priority queue at check-in.
  • Your baggage gets priority handling both at check-in and pick-up.
  • You gain accelerated membership status with Golden Circle, the Shangri-La hotel chain’s loyalty program.
  • Certain service fees are discounted or waived.
  • You are awarded Star Alliance Gold Status and its benefits.
Exclusive Elite

In addition to the “standard” KrisFlyer miles loyalty program, Singapore Airlines also runs the PPS Club. It is the carrier’s way of honoring and rewarding its patrons using its premium cabin products. The amount paid for airfare and certain surcharges determine one’s PPS Value, which counts towards PPS Club membership.

PPS Club members are also KrisFlyer members and can earn KrisFlyer Elite status like any other.

PPS Club

Passengers who achieve S$25,000 in PPS Value within 12 months are welcomed immediately into the PPS Club, and lasts for 12 months. You extend your membership by earning the same PPS Value requirement in the same 12 months.

Once a part of PPS Club, any PPS Value exceeding S$25,000 is reserved to count towards future qualification, for up to three years.

PPS Club members get to enjoy the following:

  • You and one companion can use Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Vistara or Star Alliance lounges all over the world, as long as you are taking the corresponding flight.
  • Alternatively, both of you can use the business class area of SilverKris Lounges when flying on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir.
  • You earn 25% more miles on eligible booking classes on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Virgin Atlantic flights.
  • When boarding any Star Alliance flight, you are allotted one extra bag allowance.
  • When boarding Virgin Atlantic or Australia, you are allowed one or two extra bags depending on the seat class and destination.
  • Your miles do not expire. These miles, however, regain 3-year expiry upon losing PPS Club membership.
  • You enjoy complimentary Preferred Seating in Economy or Premium Economy on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights.
  • You can use the priority queue at check-in and get priority boarding ahead of other passengers.
  • Saver Award redemption rates are prioritized for you.
  • Your baggage gets priority handling both at check-in and pick-up.
  • You get special customer support on the phone, online or on-site.
  • You gain accelerated membership status with Golden Circle, the Shangri-La hotel chain’s loyalty program.
  • Certain service fees are discounted or waived.
  • You can apply for complimentary overseas medial emergency and travel accident insurance.
  • You enjoy Star Alliance Gold Status and its benefits.
Solitaire PPS Club

This is the most premier membership status with Singapore Airlines. Esteemed members achieve this highest premium tier either upon:

  • earning S$250,000 within 5 consecutive years of PPS Club membership until June 1, 2018; or
  • earning S$50,000 within one year in the PPS Club starting June 1, 2018 onwards

Once a part of Solitaire PPS Club, any PPS Value exceeding the target amount is reserved to count towards future qualification, for up to three years.

In addition to what’s provided for standard PPS Club members, all Solitaire PPS Club members can enjoy special benefits below:

  • A supplementary Solitaire PPS Club card for someone to enjoy the same benefits independently
  • Special attention at check-in, including access to First Class check-in
  • Full access to SilverKris Lounge
  • Access to Plaza Premium Lounge upon arrival on certain flights

 

Earning Opportunities

One of the greatest strengths of the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program is the variety of earning opportunities whether you’re flying in the sky or down on the ground.

Flying

Your first option to earn miles and gain status is by flying Singapore, Star Alliance or other airline partner aircraft. Among the interesting non-Star Alliance Singapore Airlines partners include Juneyao Airlines of China, Alaska Airlines from the USA and the Virgin group airlines.

When booking flights, ensure that the booking class earns miles and include your KrisFlyer membership number. Use the route mileage calculator and crediting tables from the planning tools to find out how much you can earn with every flight.

Staying

You can take advantage of various online travel agency point programs to earn more miles. Agoda PointsMAX, Rocketmiles and Kaligo are all OTA programs which give you additional KrisFlyer miles with each booking.

By booking with hotels directly, you can also earn more miles by staying with chains like:

  • Hilton: 1 point per $1
  • Intercontinental Hotel Group: up to 2 miles per $1
  • Marriott International: up to 2 miles per $1
  • Hyatt: 500 points per stay
  • Starwood Hotels: up to 3 miles per $1
  • Dusit Hotels & Resorts: 500 miles per stay
  • Millennium & Copthorne: 500 points per stay
  • Regent Hotels & Resorts: 500 miles per stay
  • YTL Hotels: 600 miles per stay
Buying Points

You can earn KrisFlyer miles by converting Starwood Preferred Guest points or using World of Hyatt rewards points (formerly Hyatt Gold Passport).

Registered members can also buy these points. Pay $35 for 1,000 SPG points or $24 for 1,000 World of Hyatt points. In a year, one can buy up to 30,000 SPG points and 55,000 World of Hyatt. Furthermore, by transferring a set number of miles you get bonus miles per transaction. Just remember that conversion may take a few days or weeks, and do NOT count towards KrisFlyer tiers.

Also, both programs offer discount or bonus promotions each year. Given that you can only buy a maximum number of miles each year, this could be a good deal to boost your miles towards the end of the year.

Spending

One of the best things about the KrisFlyer programs is that it has numerous credit card rewards partnerships. Just by spending money using particular bank cards, you are able to earn rewards points and later convert them into KrisFlyer miles.

You can convert from various Asian or major bank rewards points including:

  • Citi ThankYou
  • AMEX Membership Rewards
  • Diners Club Rewards
  • HSBC Rewards
  • Standard Chartered Points/Dollars
  • DBS Points
  • UOB UNI$
  • OCBC OCBC$
  • BPI Real Thrills Rewards
  • EastWest Visa Infinite/Platinum Rewards
  • Maybank TREATS
  • RHB Rewards
  • AmBank or AmIslamic AmBonus
  • BNI Rewards
  • Danamon Rewards
  • Mitsui Sumitomo World Present Points
  • MUFG Global Points
  • SPD Bank
  • SRCB Rewards

The earning rates, transfer fees and conditions vary per program, largely by country. Some countries have more loose credit rules, and subsequently their banks could be more generous than others. Then there are banks in a few countries that offer co-branded credit cards, some of which offer periodic and direct points transfers at no extra cost. It would be best to compare cards in your country of residence and of origin, and then decide which credit program works best for you.

 

Singapore Airlines First Class cabin. courtesy Singapore Airlines

Asian Miler says…

Why would it make sense to make the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program a part of your travel hacking strategy?

Value

KrisFlyer miles are one of the valuable airline currencies in the world. In fact, searching for “value of a KrisFlyer mile” would give you interesting results… and we mostly agree about its perceived value.

First of all, the KrisFlyer is one of the more exclusive frequent flyer programs, even among Star Alliance carriers. For one, Singapore Airlines does not release premium award seats to other partner loyalty programs. If you want to experience the much-envied Suites Class cabins on the A380, you have no choice but register for KrisFlyer and use their miles. Pundits have lauded both wonderful seat and customer service on their premium cabins (aka hard and soft products, respectively), and they are well-deserved.

Also, Singapore Airline fares are on the expensive side, and notoriously so on the premium cabin classes. Suites Class seats are known to sell for upwards of $10,000! If you were ever curious about what it means to be pampered in the sky then KrisFlyer miles are the better, often more realistic option. By redeeming awards in First or Business you are able to figuratively stretch those miles further.

Extensive Partnerships

The KrisFlyer program has a multitude of partnerships for earning and converting miles from. You have a lot of options to get rewarded with miles, whether it’s from Star Alliance or partner flights, travel lodging or ordinary spending.

People often overlook the limits of access to credit in Asian countries, especially with banks with tighter credit rules. Various banks in Asia have tie-ups with Singapore Airlines to convert points into KrisFlyer miles, and this makes the program more accessible to members across the continent (and other parts of the world).

Points to Note

There are a few things you have to know about KrisFlyer.

One of the program’s quirks is that miles earned expire after three years from the date of transaction. Miles earned in November 2017 are lost come December 2020, and those received in December 2017 are gone by January 2021. You can extend the miles only once for another twelve months, but for a price. You therefore need to monitor your account history more vigilantly or else you lose your hard-earned miles.

Much like other Star Alliance programs, the period for status re-qualification is 12 months. This means that if you want to keep your benefits for the following year you have to fly the required number of miles within the 12-month period. Having to credit 50,000 miles in only such a short time can be both demanding on your time and money (especially when compared to Asiana Club’s requirements).

 

Singapore Airlines plane

Final Word

Under the KrisFlyer program, Singapore Airlines has delivered satisfaction to many loyal flyers. Even now, flyers from Asia and even beyond see so much value in earning and spending miles under this membership program.

While KrisFlyer also allows redemption on partner airlines, Singapore Airlines does not release premium cabin space to anyone except its own members. That it has numerous  accumulation and transfer partners lowers the barriers to enjoying the airline’s special business, first and suites cabin products in the skies. It also helps that they have great service befitting a 5-star industry distinction.

Do you find KrisFlyer an interesting program? Have you redeemed an award with them before? Or are you still on the fence about joining and earning miles for their luxurious premium cabins? Make your voice heard down in the comments.