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AMEX increases sign up bonuses for KrisFlyer Ascend and Blue cards

Spend $6,000 and get 26,600 miles with the KrisFlyer Blue, or $12,000 and get 49,400 miles with the KrisFlyer Ascend. Apply and get approved by 31 March 2019.

The AMEX KrisFlyer cobrand cards may not offer the best miles earning rates on general spend, but their sign up bonuses have always been among the best in the market. The last batch of sign up offers expired on 30 November, and AMEX has launched brand new offers for cards applied and approved between 1 December 2018 and 31 March 2019.
Can’t decide between the KrisFlyer Ascend and Blue cards? Check out our comparison article here.

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend: Spend $12,000, Get 49,400 miles

The AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend card carries a non-waivable annual fee of S$337.05. It earns 1.2 mpd on local spend and 2.0 mpd on overseas spend (in June & Dec only), and 3.2 mpd on the first $200 spent each month with Grab.

You’ll also receive complimentary Hilton Silver status, a free night’s stay at selected Hilton properties in Asia-Pacific and a four complimentary lounge access vouchers. Spending S$15,000 on SQ/MI tickets within the first 12 months gets you an upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold.

Get $150 when you apply for the AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend
Be sure to fill out this form afterwards!

Here’s how the old sign up offer and the new offer compares:

Old OfferNew Offer
First Spend5,000 miles5,000 miles
Bonus Miles26,000 miles with $10,000 spend in first 3 months15,000 miles with $6,000 spend in first 3 months, 15,000 miles with $6,000 spend in months 4-6
Base Miles12,000 miles14,400 miles
Total Miles43,000 miles49,400 miles
Total Spend$10,000$12,000
Spend: Miles1:4.3*1: 4.12*

*One could argue that since the KrisFlyer Ascend has a non-waivable first year fee of $337.05, that should be included into this calculation. If so, your spend:miles ratio decreases to 4.0 before and 4.16 after

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The new Ascend offer requires an incremental spending of $2,000 for an added bonus of 4,000 miles (remember: you’d have earned 2,400 base miles for that $2,000 spending anyway, so the correct figures to compare are 26,000 and 30,000, not 43,000 and 49,400).

It seems that AMEX wants to incentivize customers to keep using their cards past the third month, and is experimenting with extending the sign up bonus period beyond the usual three month period that most banks adopt.

Although the spending threshold has been increased to $12,000, you now need to spend an average of $2,000 per month instead of $3,333 before. This won’t help those of you who have a large one-time spend event coming up, but it should be fairly easy to trigger the spend condition if your big ticket expenditure allows for progressive payments (eg a wedding banquet).

KrisFlyer Blue: Spend $6,000, get 26,600 miles

The AMEX KrisFlyer Blue card carries an annual fee of S$176.55 which is waived for the first year. It earns 1.1 mpd on local spend and 2.0 mpd on overseas spend (in June & Dec only), and 3.1 mpd on the first $200 spent each month with Grab.

Get $150 when you apply for the AMEX KrisFlyer Blue
Be sure to fill out this form afterwards!

Old OfferNew Offer
First Spend5,000 miles5,000 miles
Bonus Offer7,500 miles with $3,000 spend in first 3 months7,500 miles with $3,000 spend in first 3 months, 7,500 miles with $3,000 spend in months 4-6
Base Miles3,300 miles6,600 miles
Total Miles15,800 miles26,600 miles
Total Spend$3,000$6,000
Spend: Miles1:5.271:4.43

The new Blue offer requires an incremental spending of $3,000 for an added bonus of 7,500 miles.

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I’d argue that the KrisFlyer Blue’s sign up bonus has improved this time round, because AMEX has basically tacked on an additional 7,500 miles for spending an additional $3,000 after the first 3 months. If you’re able to hit that, great, but if not you don’t lose anything compared to the old offer.

Your average spending requirement is still $1,000 per month. Assuming you’re focusing on one sign up offer at a time, this threshold should be fairly easy to hit for someone earning at least $30,000 a year.

How do these sign up bonuses compare to other offers?

Here are the other cards that currently have sign up bonuses. You can always check out the latest list here.

CardTotal SpendTotal MilesSpend:MilesAnnual Fee
AMEX Rewards Card$1,50013,3338.89$53.50
AMEX Platinum Reserve$5,00031,2506.25$535
AMEX KrisFlyer Blue$6,00026,6004.43$176.55 (FYF)
AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend$12,00049,4004.12 $337.05
Citibank PremierMiles Visa$7,50030,0004.00$192.60
AMEX Platinum Charge$20,00062,5003.13$1,712
DBS Altitude AMEX$6,00017,2002.87$192.60 (FYF)

As you can see, the AMEX cards do indeed have the best spending: miles ratios when it comes to the total miles yielded from hitting a sign up bonus. That’s all the more impressive when you consider the fact that their general spending rates aren’t all that great (because mathematically, their sign up bonuses must more than compensate).

Suppose you’ve got a big ticket expenditure coming up. How do you decide which cards to get? At our Miles for Beginners classes I use the analogy of Tetris- if you have an upcoming expenditure of, say, $10,000, you’re going to want to mix and match the sign up bonuses above so as to split your spending in a way that yields maximum miles.

Conclusion

These higher yielding sign up bonuses make both the KrisFlyer Ascend and Blue cards a crucial part of any miles collecting strategy. Again, it’s important to emphasize that they have lower general spending rates than most bank cards, so after you’ve hit your bonuses you may consider switching to other cards. That said, the KrisFlyer cobrand cards do have an important advantage over other bank cards in the sense that they have a fairly more liberal policy towards awarding points- even insurance and charity payments are eligible.

If you sign up for a card through any of the SingSaver links on this site, be sure to submit your particulars for the Mileslife 30,000 miles giveaway– a total of three prizes are up for grabs for anyone who applies for selected miles cards!


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desmondsphlifeonthego_kAaron WongElson Recent comment authors
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Elson
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Elson

Hi Aaron, I understand the cards will earn 3.1/3.2 miles, up to $200 per month. Is there any changes to this?

lifeonthego_k
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lifeonthego_k

I think it’s worth mentioning that although targeted, the promo for the supplementary card is also good for these Amex cards- 2000 miles for approval + 5000 when you spend 2k on it + base miles on spending the 2k. I think everyone is targeted for this promo after they sign up and log into their online Amex account.

desmondsph
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desmondsph

you mean Amex krisflyer can earn pts with insurance paymemn?