Krisflyer Ascend devalues free night voucher

Compared to the rest, Dexter is still an infant in the miles game. choosing between saving money (read: going for cheap fares regardless of airlines) versus staying loyal to one carrier (or alliance) was tough, but who says you can’t have both? Dexter constantly looks out for ways to be able to do just that. Coupled with his insane, inadvertent need to read through every line of the included terms & conditions, Dexter vows to leave no stone unturned!

The Krisflyer Ascend card is/was one of the best cards to get and never use, because of the sign up gifts that came with it and the option of a first year fee waiver. I believe the first year fee waiver is no more, but there was still an argument to be made for keeping the card if you were sure you’d hit the initial targeted spending cap. A lot of the value in this card came from the free night voucher at Millennium Hotels- getting 1 free night of accommodation in an expensive city like NY/Paris/London could be worth the annual fee of the card alone.

But as Dexter has found out, all good things get devalued eventualy. Here’s Dexter-

so I was planning out my upcoming trip to LA, and intending to use my soon-to-expire AMEX Krisflyer Ascend complimentary night’s stay with participating Millennium hotels and resorts. there I was, searching for and pulling up the terms and conditions as I hardly like to be caught unknowing about some obscure clause or loop hole, when I found this:

BENEFITS TERMS & CONDITIONS  Information is correct as at 16 February 2016 and American Express reserves the right to change the benefits without notice.

ho ho! a recent change! I scrolled down to see if the changes concerned me and I noticed two different “Complimentary Night’s Stay” sections!
so apparently, AMEX decided to reduce the benefits as of 1 Feb 16, and segregated vouchers to those issued before and after1 Feb 16.
don’t know which you hold? check the colour.
BLUE! issued after 1 Feb 16.
BROWN? issued before 1 Feb 16 (you lucky bugger! 😉 )
now here comes the important (read: sad and unfortunate) part. so whats the change?

For redemption at Studio M Hotel Singapore, Card Member must book a minimum two (2) nights stay. The first night is chargeable at S$175 nett to enjoy the second night complimentary. Prepayment of Full Stay Duration is required at time of booking. Reservation is Non-cancellable & Non-refundable.

For redemption at the following hotels, Card Member must book a minimum three (3) nights stay. The first two (2) nights are chargeable at the below rates to enjoy the third night complimentary:

a. Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles   – S$ 260 nett per night

b. Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago   – S$ 260 nett per night

c. Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston   – S$ 360 nett per night

d. Millennium Broadway Hotel New York   – S$ 360 nett per night

e. ONE UN New York     – S$ 360 nett per night

f. The Premier Hotel New York    – S$ 360 nett per night

 while the current TNC still have a section for the previous brown vouchers, very soon, it will disappear too. for the sake of comparison, previously, the complimentary night’s stay did not require any minimum nights stay. for the full terms and conditions, check it out here:
So, all in all, the voucher is worth a bit less now. Paying $360 a night for a hotel in NY sort of negates the value of a free night, because net net you’re still paying $240 a night for 3 nights. I think we can more or less write off staying at any of the hotels with this minimum paid stay requirement.
Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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I have a voucher issued BEFORE 1 Feb 16.. but when I try to utilize it, I was told that terms and conditions are subject to change and I’m not allowed to use without fulfilling 2 nights of paid stay then 1 night free…


Kenny Lau

The only good things I like of this card was free miles transfer to my KF account every month and the 4 lounge vouchers which can be used for entire family (most PP access is card member and maybe 1 guest free, any others are chargeable).
But 30% increase in fees……sorry, that’s a deal breaker. After 5 yrs, I am lapsing it in a few mths time or if I’m generous, keeping it for another yr. Ditto my buddy holding the Gold KF Amex too.



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