Krisflyer Spree- not necessarily miles better

I’ve covered cashback and milesback portals before, but for some reason I’ve not covered SQ’s valiant attempt at doing a shopping site till now.

Shopping is miles better. I see what you did there.
Shopping is miles better. I see what you did there.

Krisflyer Spree is something of a “me too” move by SQ. Other airlines have long had shopping portals which let you earn miles simply by buying through their links. The business model is simple- online merchants pay commissions every time someone clicks through and buys a product from them. The link owner receives the commission. So if I click through to Hotels.com from Website A’s link and make a purchase, Hotels.com pays Website A a commission, which is usually some % of the amount I spend on Hotels.com

kfspree3

Krisflyer Spree here pockets that commission and gives you a kickback in the form of miles. The question then is- does the math work out in your favour?

Short answer: No

Long answer: No, with some exceptions

Let’s crunch some numbers, comparing Krisflyer Spree to Shopback, a Singapore-focused cashback portal you could use.

Remember, the value of a mile depends on how you use it. Let’s use the “ideal” value of a mile here to be generous to KF Spree- 4 Singapore cents, which is what I’d get if i I redeemed for business class travel.

Amounts refer to per S$1 spent. 

Merchant KF Spree ShopBack Winner
Rakuten 23 KF per US$10 or 6.6% rebate 5%  KF Spree
Muji  32 KF per US$10 or 9% rebate 5%  KF Spree
Lazada Not offered 18%  N/A
 Courts  7 KF per US$10 or 2% rebate  3%  ShopBack
Zalora 23 KF per US$10 or 6.6% rebate 12% ShopBack
Taobao Not offered 10% N/A
FoodPanda 46KF per US$10 or 13.2% rebate 19% ShopBack
Deal.com.sg Not offered 14% ShopBack

Observations: KF Spree’s selection is much more limited than ShopBack. In part this is because KF Spree is younger, but also because SQ obviously doesn’t want you using KF Spree to book flights on competitor airlines, therefore sites like Agoda or other airlines aren’t available via KF Spree

KF Spree can be generous in certain cases eg with Rakuten, so it would be unfair to say KF Spree is always worse. But my gut sense is that dedicated cashback portals are more generous with the payouts. Remember that Citibank Rewards cardholders get $10 bonus cashback with their first transaction with Shopback, making the deal even more sweet.

shopback

I think if nothing else, this calculation should remind you how valuable your miles are if you redeem for premium class travel. If we used economy class redemption rates of 1-2 cents per mile, KF Spree would be the loser by far

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13 thoughts on “Krisflyer Spree- not necessarily miles better”

  1. Hi ,

    i dont get it the calculation since you said you value the miles is 1 miles = 4 cents (ideal for business class)

    means for rakuten purchasing via krisflyer spree :

    23 KF x 4 cents = 0.92 $ ; Total cashback per 10$ should be = 0.92/10 = 9.2% ??

    1. Ah, but remember that its US$10. so you get 92 singapore cents per US$10. US$10 is about $14 ish singapore dollars. so when you work it out to a per S$1 basis it’s less

  2. I see that KF miles is usually in blocks of USD10. Is there a way to ascertain precisely on the conversion rate? I’m gonna start to frequent the spree shop , checked the whole website but it seems that no subject on conversion rate was mentioned…

    1. i’m not sure what conversion rate they use but i honestly don’t think it will make a big difference, especially considering the likely quantum you’ll spend on such sites. suppose you spend S$100. The official exchange rate makes that US$72.25. Assume 30 miles per US$10, that’s 216 miles. Now assume SQ gives you a really shitty rate, maybe 5% worse than market. At worse you’ll get +/- 10 miles in this transaction. Unless you intend to spend thousands of dollars on this, I dont think exchange rate will be an issue

      1. Oh, your example shows that the usd 10 spending could be pro rated. I had the impression that the 30 miles will be credited per usd 10 only. Using the same xample, if after conversion it’s $72.25 , we get 210 miles. But if 100 sgd somehow converted as usd 69.90, the miles would be 180 miles (30 miles x 60 usd because the last $9.90 didn’t meet the block of usd 10). Did I understand wrong?

        1. right. on the KF spree site they publish in terms of US$10 blocks but when you use their mile calculator to calculate how many miles you earn from a purchase they pro-rate. so no blocks of US$10.

      1. sad but not unexpected. rumour has it that redmart is running super thin margins/still in the red. meaning they can’t afford to give away too much in commissions (although you could say it’s a chicken and egg problem)

  3. So it seems that the shopback discounts are getting lesser and lesser (especially so for existing customers)
    wouldnt it be better to use krisflyerspree?

    For example, citirewards have $20% off + 4mpd min spending $120 SGD, shopback dosent cater for this promo code but in terms of krisflyerspree, they only disallow brand ambassador codes(referrals) and its 10USD>19KF

    In terms of shopback, its 4% cashback.

    19KF * 4 cents = 76 cents
    76 / $15sgd *100 = 5.06%

    The above scenario even if excluding the citirewards promotion, seems like krisflyer is better? Given the fact for $120 min spending, theres a promocode from krisflyer at 13%

    Sorry, Im pretty new to this, please correct me if im wrong

  4. when will the KF spree miles get credited ah?
    my points show there for like 4months alr but still not transferred to KF account yet.
    Is there any contact us page or email to contact them? (their contact page is to dispute transaction only)

    Thanks!

    1. It takes forever but they’ll get there in the end. Just don’t rely on this if you need miles in a hurry (or in a few months).

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