Have two weekends and S$1,400? Earn oneworld Sapphire status

Qualify for Elite status with Elite Sectors instead of Elite Miles to bring down the cost of earning status.

Yesterday, I wrote about the great promotion that Malaysia Airlines was having where you will receive 3X Elite Miles, 3X Enrich Miles and 3X Elite Sectors on all flights booked and flown with Malaysia Airlines.

I was harping over the fact that you could qualify for Enrich Elite Status with just over S$2,000 from getting 50,000 Elite Miles on a Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – New Delhi route. However, reader Jeff pointed out to me that qualifying by Elite Sectors is actually much, much cheaper.

Which is making me extremely tempted to take advantage of this great promotion.

Let me explain.

Qualify for Elite Status through Elite Sectors instead

Malaysia Airlines Enrich has two different forms of qualifications for attaining Elite Status:

  • Elite Miles
  • Elite Sectors

I’ve covered how many Elite Miles you’d require to qualify for status in yesterday’s post but didn’t really talk much about Elite Sectors.

Now, what are Elite Sectors? Basically, each flight segment you take with Malaysia Airlines will constitute as minimally one Elite Sector if you are booked into an eligible fare class.

Take for example a Singapore – Kuala Lumpur flight, if you are booked into an eligible Elite Sector fare class, you will earn a set number of Elite Sector credits.

Here’s a chart provided by Malaysia Airlines showing how many Elite Sectors you will earn per booking class:

In the 3X Elite Sector promotion, a Business Class ticket will earn you a whopping 6 Elite Sectors per flight. Here’s how many Elite Sectors you would normally require to qualify for Elite Status on Malaysia Airlines:

  • Enrich Silver (oneworld Ruby) – 30 Elite Sectors
  • Enrich Gold (oneworld Sapphire) – 50 Elite Sectors
  • Enrich Platinum (oneworld Emerald) – 130 Elite Sectors

While a deep discount Economy ticket would earn you 3 Elite Sectors per flight in the 3X Elite Sector promotion, the cost per sector accrued is lower if you are flying Business.

Here’s an example which Jeff provided, an itinerary of Singapore – Kuala Lumpur – Penang:

Whether you’re flying on a saver Business ticket or a Business Flex ticket, you will only accrue 2 Elite Sectors ordinarily in fare codes Z/C/D/J. However, in this 3X promotion, you will earn a whopping 6 Elite Sectors per flight. A return journey from Singapore to Penang through Kuala Lumpur would then net you a grand total of 24 sectors. Already close to halfway to Enrich Gold.

Here’s a breakdown in case you are still confused:

  1. Singapore – Kuala Lumpur – 6 Elite Sectors
  2. Kuala Lumpur – Penang – 6 Elite Sectors
  3. Penang – Kuala Lumpur – 6 Elite Sectors
  4. Kuala Lumpur – Singapore 6 Elite Sectors

Giving you a grand total of 24 Elite Sectors.

For Enrich Gold and hence oneworld Sapphire status, you would need to fly this itinerary twice which brings it to a cost of approximately S$1,200. Throw in a return Economy Class flight to Kuala Lumpur and you have just earned yourself oneworld Sapphire for an approximate cost of S$1,400 max.

Doing this status run in early 2019 would give you two whole years to enjoy the fruits of your labour as your status will be valid in the calendar year in which you earned it, as well as the following calendar year. So if you qualify in January 2019, your status will hold until December 2020.

Concluding Thoughts

While some might argue that they find no use for elite status since they always do award redemptions on Business or First, having oneworld Elite status can be useful in situations where you do a lot of traveling in Economy Class or really need that excess baggage which is provided courtesy of oneworld Sapphire.

If anyone finds a lower cost per sector itinerary, do give it a shout in the comments section!

Matthew Chong
Matthew Chong
Addicted to luxury travel while trying not to go broke, Matthew is always on the prowl for the best deals in the travel industry. When he's not busy studying, he can be found trawling the internet and reading up on credit cards, airlines and hotels. He also wouldn't mind taking you out on a date.

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true but do you bring $1400 worth of excess baggage…?


Hi Matthew.. Thanks for this brilliant piece! As I’m completely clueless with OneWorld.. can I trouble you and ask… If I were to fly 2x Return SIN>PEN and 2x Return SIN>BKK.. would these four Return flights be enough to earn OW Platinum?



Hmmm… means 5.5 Return trips.. a bit much.. need possible alternative(s).. in terms of cost-to-Elite sectors ratio, have u you done any.. maybe.. 2-3 possibilities..? ????


Wouldn’t Citiprestige be better? $535 for unlimited PP access for you and one other person.


Most One World lounges are far superior to most PP lounges. Take Changi for example. The Qantas lounge is excellent and in my opinion even better than SQ’s SilverKris lounge. The BA lounge isn’t bad either. If we go a bit afield the Cathay lounges in Hong Kong are spectacular, JAL lounges in Tokyo are very good and the newly renovated MH lounge in KL is very nice. At all these airports these lounges are far better than the PP lounges. And btw, One World Sapphire members can have one guest accompany them as long as they too are flying… Read more »


Any thoughts on TPE – LHR in J to hit OWE in 1 go? Appreciate if any ideas on cheaper alternatives! Thanks so much

Asian Miler

That’s actually great for those into oneworld (especially frequenting Hong Kong and Tokyo).

Now only if there was such a deal for Star Alliance…


“While a deep discount Economy ticket would earn you 3 Elite Sectors per flight in the 3X Elite Sector promotion, the cost per sector accrued is lower if you are flying Business.”

I’m seeing $182.20 for economy promo fares SIN-KUL-PEN return. Which is less than half the cost of the business class example you gave, for exactly half of the number of elite sectors. So 4x return = $728.80, which will get you 48 sectors, close to OWS. Am I missing something?


I am mulling over something similar. Sin-Kul-Kno return in Y. Return costs about $200 n nets you 12 Elite sectors.

Book a 2 days trip AND to avoid spending a night at KNO, purchase another ticket Kno-Kul-Sin return for the same 2 days. Hence for an outlay of $400, u get 24 elite sectors.

Rinse and repeat till Platinum/OWE. Total cost should be $1.8k thereabouts.

KNO is a small airport so turnaround shouldn’t be a problem. Gotta plan 4 x 2 days to do this and another day or 2 to top up the remaining 8 elite sectors.


Can do langkawi, too. if penang twice is too boring.

But if you mainly do regional travel, oneworld status is almost useless.

Sam G

Interesting. I travel to HK for work on Cathay Pacific quite frequently and have been OWS thus far and the status is nice….not sure it is $1400 nice though!

Other Phill

$1400 plus all the time for equivalent of gold…. Usually mileage runners are doing it to top up their existing balance, not starting from scratch. There’s the saying, if you’re paying that much to get status, you’re probably not flying enough to make it valuable.


Just a thought. Can you earn the elite sectors yet deposit the miles in other programs?

Anthony Poppe

I’d love to find out the answer to this.


Probably not. You can only provide one FF number at the time of booking and if you give a non-Enrich number, you won’t earn the elite sectors.


Sigh, i just missed this offer by a month. Any more similar offers for oneworld Sapphire status?



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