Ah, KrisPay. It’s kind of what happens when someone in upper management shouts “OMG BLOCKCHAIN” during a meeting and everyone around nods and says “yes OMG BLOCKCHAIN!”, and then he leaves the room and everyone looks at each other and says “so…what blockchain?”
KrisPay, Singapore Airlines’ dalliance with the blockchain, has thusfar not been particularly well-received by the market. The lack of merchants and overall poor value continues to plague adoption, and almost six months after its initial launch it’s hard to see what exactly the airline’s strategy for the product is.
The short-term balm appears to be offering more promotions in the hope of driving adoption, so the latest eDM shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone…
KrisPay’s Christmas & New Year promotion: up to 30% milesback
From now till 31 January 2019, KrisPay is offering up to 30% milesback on KrisPay transactions, with no cap. Note that it’s “up to” 30%- you’d have to spend at least 15,000 miles in order to trigger that threshold, as the chart below shows.
Your milesback will be credited to your KrisPay account within 8 days of your initial KrisPay transaction.
150 KrisPay miles get you $1 of value, so here’s your value per mile at each band:
|KrisPay Miles Used||Milesback||Effective value per mile|
Is that good value? Hardly. Think about it: Citibank has a Pay with Points program that lets you use your Thank You points and Citi Miles like cash. The current conversion rate is 120 Citi Miles= $1, and since 1 Citi Mile= 1 KrisFlyer mile, that’s getting a value of 0.83 cents per mile.
Getting 0.83 cents per mile isn’t great value, but it’s certainly better than getting significantly less at a restricted number of merchants. Remember that Citi Pay with Points is available for all your transactions, whereas KrisPay can only be used at 23 (+7 in the pipeline) merchants.
So if your goal were to monetize your miles, you’d be much better off accumulating Citi Miles and not transferring them to KrisFlyer in the first place (actually, you’d be better off using cashback).
The T&C’s of this promotion can be found at the bottom of this page. Random point: am I the only one who thinks it’s kind of funny that the KrisPay team hasn’t actually added KrisPay to their spellchecker software yet?
Wait, didn’t KrisPay just have a November promotion?
You may remember that last month, KrisPay was offering to match your first KrisPay top-up, up to a maximum of 50,000 miles. Now, there’s no reason why you should have transferred miles back then, but if you did your math might look something like this:
- In November, transfer 25,000 miles and get a total of 50,000 KrisPay miles
- In December, spend 50,000 KrisPay miles and get $333 of value, receive 30% or 15,000 milesback for a net outlay 35,000 miles
- Total miles from November spent= 17,500 miles (35,000/2), total value received= $333
- Value per mile= 1.9 cents
That’s actually pretty decent value, although you’ll need to take a haircut on that figure if you wouldn’t otherwise have spent at any of KrisPay’s merchants. And anyway, you shouldn’t feel bad about missing out on this “opportunity” because there was no way for you to know in November what promotions KrisPay had in the pipeline.
Besides, 25,000 miles would get you a round trip Economy Class ticket to Bangkok, or a one-way Business Class class ticket to Bali with Economy on the return leg. That’s surely a better use of those hard-earned miles.
As I’ve said before, KrisPay exists, and that’s just fine. I mean, Etihad Guest and various other FFPS allow you to redeem your miles for household appliances and a litany of other poor value options. Some US FFPs allow you to spend your miles on coffee and a bagel at the terminal. It’s a terrible use of your miles, but no one’s forcing you to take up the option if you don’t want to.
Still, I don’t need to tell you that if your aspirations swing more SQ Suites than bubble tea then KrisPay is something to steer clear of. Manage your balance carefully, and you shouldn’t find yourself in a situation where you need to cash out for sub-optimal value to save your miles from expiring.
But hey, at least now you know how many miles that Brazilian wax is really worth!