Let the record show that I’m not the biggest fan of the Krisflyer Ascend, because of its substantial non-waivable first year fee (S$337.05- that’s about 2/3 the fee of an entry level prestige card), stingy MPD on overseas spend (2 mpd, only in June and December) and somewhat lackluster benefits.
However, I’m all for good sign up promotions and the Krisflyer Ascend has an interesting one going on now.
Receive 15,000 KrisFlyer miles on your first S$6,000 spend and a Samsonite Sigma 76cm Expandable Spinner on your next S$4,000 spend in the first 3 months upon Card approval. Apply and receive approval between 21st July and 30th September 2017 (both dates inclusive) to be eligible.
Let’s ignore the luggage and just focus on the miles offer. Assuming you’ve never held a co-brand AMEX SQ credit card before, you’ll be eligible for a 5,000 mile welcome bonus with your first spend of any amount. Therefore, you’re looking at potentially 20,000 Krisflyer miles with $6,000 of spend within the first 3 months of approval, plus the $337.05 annual fee.
How does that compare to the other sign up bonuses on the market now?
|Card||Spend Requirement||Time Period||Annual Fee||Bonus Miles||Miles: Spending Ratio|
|Krisflyer Ascend||$6,000||3 months||$337.05||20,000||3.2|
|Citibank Premiermiles||$10,000||3 months||$192.60||30,000||3|
|AMEX Rewards||$1,500 (min $500 each month)||3 months||$53.50||11,666||7.8|
|AMEX Platinum Reserve||$5,000||6 months||$535||27,777||5.0|
You should remember that sign up bonuses are binary- it’s all or nothing. In other words- you don’t realise the ratio until you hit that spending mark. Fortunately, the sweetest ratio is also the easiest one to get- the AMEX Rewards Card. So I’d definitely recommend people go for that before looking at other options. The offers are of course not mutually exclusive and if you have a banquet/renovation/other big ticket item coming up there’s no reason why you shouldn’t spread it over a few cards.
There’s also an additional offer with the Ascend that gives you 1,500 bonus miles for every approved supplementary card. The good thing is that supplementary cards have a first year fee waiver, and I don’t see anything in the T&C that limits the number of supplementary cards you can apply for (although how many they approve is, of course, up to them). Get cards for your kids, your wife, your parents, your secret other family.
This offer is only applicable to American Express Singapore Airlines Credit Card Members whose new Supplementary Card is applied and approved between 21 July 2017 and 30 September 2017 (both dates inclusive)
Other card benefits
To quickly recap some of the other benefits of the Ascend
- Complimentary one night at selected Millennium Hotels around the world (some hotels have minimum stay requirements- read the fine print!) and upgrade to My Millennium Premium membership
- 4 lounge vouchers for use at participating SATS and Plaza Premium lounges
- Double Krisflyer miles accrual voucher with $15K minimum spend on Singapore Air until 30 June 2018 (capped at 5,000 miles. Don’t ask, bad deal)
- Free upgrade to Krisflyer Gold status with $15K minimum spend on Singapore Air within 1 year of approval (much more intriguing offer…has anyone tried the good ol’ tie up $15K in working capital with SQ and get a refundable ticket strategy?)
I understand that second year fee waivers are available but you don’t get any of the renewal gifts (like the hotel voucher). I’m still unconvinced about the value prop of the Ascend as a general spending card, and this bonus certainly doesn’t change my baseline stance. However, the bonus means the Ascend should be a card you consider as part of your sign up bonus strategy.