From now till 31 August, AMEX is running a special sign up bonus for its Krisflyer Ascend and Krisflyer Blue cobrand cards. Although I’m not big fans of either for day to day use, the sign up offers are definitely worth taking note of and should be part of your sign up bonus strategy.
The regular sign up bonus for both cards gives you 5,000 Krisflyer miles with your first spend of any amount within 1 month of approval. That has been doubled to 10,000 for online sign ups done till 31 August (Your sign up must be by 31 August, your approval must be made by 30 Sept)
In addition to this, both cards are running separate offers that reward you with bonus miles based on your first 3 months spending. (You’re only eligible to get the 10,000 Krisflyer miles welcome gift once, even if you sign up for both the Blue and the Ascend card)
Which one is right for you? I’m going to break down both offers below.
Krisflyer Blue Sign Up Offer (Spend $2.5K, get 20,250 miles)
The Krisflyer Blue card offers 10,000 miles with your first spend of any amount, plus a further 7,500 miles when you spend S$2,500 within the first 3 months of card approval.
When you add on the base miles of 2,500 @ 1.1 mpd= 2,750, you could potentially get 20,250 miles for S$2.5K of spend.
That’s a very good sign up bonus, in my opinion. Just be sure to switch out to a different miles earning card like the DBS Altitude, Citibank Premiermiles or UOB PRVI once you’ve used your bonus. The Krisflyer Ascend earns 1.1 mpd on local spending and 2.0 mpd on overseas spending only during June and December. The Altitude, Premiermiles and PRVI will earn you 1.2/1.2/1.4 mpd locally and 2.0/2.0/2.4 mpd overseas year round.
Another important point: the AMEX Krisflyer Blue card normally has a S$176.55 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year. So there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t get onboard with this deal, even if you just intend to get the 10,000 miles by swiping $1 at Watsons.
The AMEX Krisflyer blue has an income requirement of S$30K p.a.
Krisflyer Ascend Sign Up Offer (Spend $6K, get 32,200 miles)
The Krisflyer Ascend offer consists of 10,000 miles with first spend, plus 15,000 bonus miles when you spend S$6,000 within 3 months of card approval.
Add the base miles of S$6K @ 1.2 mpd= 7,200 to this, and you’re looking at 32,200 miles after S$6K of spend.
The Krisflyer Ascend, however, has a non-waivable first year annual fee of S$337.05 (there are some benefits of paying the annual fee, as I’ve highlighted here, but it’s your call whether you value them at 300 bucks). Also, the income requirement is higher than the Blue card at S$50K p.a.
Remember that the Ascend earns 1.2 mpd locally and 2 mpd overseas in June and December. Let me emphasize again that it should not be your general spending card, even if you take advantage of the bonus.
Which offer is right for me?
Assuming your income allows you to qualify for both offers, I feel the Krisflyer Blue card has more bang for your buck. I like that you don’t need to pay the first year annual fee, and I think S$2,500 spend over 3 months is more achievable for most people than S$6,000. If you’re thinking about using Cardup to meet the minimum spend, remember their platform doesn’t accept AMEX at the moment.
If my reading of the T&C for the Ascend and Blue is right, there’s nothing stopping you from getting both cards. However, like I mentioned earlier, you can only get the 10,000 mile welcome bonus once. So if you had both cards and spent a total of $8,500, you’d have
- 10,000 welcome miles
- 15,000 + 7,500 bonus miles
- 2,750 + 7,200 base miles
For a grand total of 42,450 miles, with an outlay of $8500 + annual fee of $337.05. That’s pretty acceptable to me.
It’s interesting that AMEX has decided to up its game on these cards in recent months. Maybe we are seeing what I alluded to in the ST as a mid-cycle refresh. If you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on either card, now might be a good time.