Airlines Credit Cards

AMEX offering Ascend cardholders fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold with $12K spend

Earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with $12K of spending over 3 months, with a minimum of $3K spent at singaporeair.com

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend members have historically been able to obtain KrisFlyer Elite Gold status when they spend a minimum of $15K on singaporeair.com within 12 months of card approval.

$15K is a hefty figure- it may be possible for someone who buys tickets on behalf of his/her entire family or colleagues, or who travels a lot for work, but otherwise most individuals would struggle to hit it.

That said, if you’re eyeing the benefits of KrisFlyer Elite Gold status, AMEX has just introduced an easier way to get it…

Spend $12K in 3 months to get KrisFlyer Elite Gold status

AMEX has a just launched a special offer for KrisFlyer Ascend cardmembers: spend $12K (of which ≥$3K must be on singaporeair.com ) between 1 March and 1 June 2019 (both dates included) and get an instant upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status for one year.

If you meet the spending threshold, you’ll receive an email between 4-6 weeks 8-10 weeks (updated) after 1 June 2019 informing you of your status upgrade. This offer is only valid for qualification in the first year- you’ll subsequently need to re-qualify by earning 50,000 elite miles as per normal.

Existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold members cannot use this offer to extend their current membership for another 12 months. In that sense, the timing of this promotion actually works out pretty well for me, given that I just lost my KrisFlyer Gold status. 

If you’ve previously qualified for KrisFlyer Elite Gold via the Ascend’s $15K route and didn’t re-qualify, you’re still eligible to upgrade again via this channel.

KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders who apply and are approved for a card after 1 March 2019 are still eligible to participate in this offer.

Breaking down the $12K spending requirement

This current offer is superior to the previous one in that

  1. Your total spending amount is reduced
  2. You only need to spend $3k on singaporeair.com

The flip side is that you have three months to do this, instead of 12. As usual, any spending on a supplementary card will be combined with that on the principle card to determine the total spending.

$9K on General Spend

$9K on general spending in three months is certainly no small sum, but the good thing about AMEX cards is that they’re fairly broad in terms of what transactions earn miles- so your Cardup/ipaymy transactions, government payments, utilities bills, insurance and charitable donations will count towards the spending threshold.

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Eligible spend does not include

  • Charges processed and billed prior to the Enrolment Date or charges prepaid on any Card Account prior to the first billing statement for that Card Account following the Enrolment Date;
  • Cash Advance and other cash services;
  • Express Cash;
  • American Express Travellers Cheque purchases;
  • Charges for dishonoured cheques;
  • Finance charges -including Line of Credit charges and Credit Card interest charges;
  • Late Payment and collection charges;
  • Tax refunds from overseas purchases;
  • Balance Transfer;
  • Annual Card fees;
  • Amount billed for purchase of KrisFlyer miles to top-up your miles balance;
  • Purchase and top-up charges for EZ-Link cards using your Card

At an earn rate of 1.2 mpd, you’ll earn a total of 10,800 miles on $9K of general spend.

≥$3K on singaporeair.com

How easy it is to hit this target depends on how many people you’re buying tickets for. Solo travelers and couples might find it a bit tricky, unless you’re planning multiple vacations or willing to pay for Business Class.

Here’s a list of Singapore Airlines’ current Economy fare deals out of Singapore. You’ll note that the most expensive Economy tickets cap out at $1,388, meaning that a couple would not be able to hit the $3,000 mark with a single trip.

If you and your partner are anyways planning both a long haul and a short getaway, however, this should be manageable.

As per the T&C, your ticket purchases from singaporeair.com must be for travel originating from Singapore and purchased in SGD. In other words, booking a round trip SIN-BKK-SIN ticket would count, but not a BKK-SIN ticket.

Existing KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders will unfortunately not be able to count their spending on singaporeair.com prior to 1 March 2019 towards this threshold.

At an earn rate of 2.0 mpd, you’ll earn a total of 6,000 miles on $3K of singaporeair.com spending.

KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits

KrisFlyer Elite Gold is the highest status you can obtain with Singapore Airlines without flying in Business or First Class (which unlocks the lofty tiers of the PPS Club).

I’ve never felt like I got particularly special treatment on board as an Elite Gold, but it’s definitely useful to have for frequent travelers. The following benefits apply whenever you fly with Singapore Airlines, Silk Air or other Star Alliance carriers, regardless of cabin class.

Priority check-in, luggage handling and additional baggage

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KrisFlyer Elite Gold members enjoy priority check-in whenever they fly. This can be a lifesaver in more chaotic airports, especially if it means bypassing the economy queue.

Gold members get an additional 20kg baggage check-in allowance where the weight concept is applied, or an additional piece where the piece concept applies (primarily on flights to/from North/South America).

Your luggage will also get priority tags, which means it should (in theory) be among the first to come off the carousel.

Lounge Access

Star Alliance Lounge, Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport

KrisFlyer Elite Gold members get access to Silver Kris and other Star Alliance lounges for themselves plus one guest.

Silver Kris Lounge Changi T3 | Photo Credit: The Shutterwhale

If you’re flying out of Singapore in economy class, however, you won’t get access to the flagship Silver Kris Lounges. Instead, you’ll be directed to the much more modest KrisFlyer Gold lounge (no showers or toilets, smaller food selection, no champagne).

KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, Changi T3

If you’re flying out of other airports, you’ll get access to Silver Kris Lounges where available.

Priority security and boarding

About 150 airports now offer what’s called “Gold Track Security” for Star Alliance Gold members. It’s basically an expedited security queue that all Star Gold members can access when they fly on Star Alliance carriers, regardless of cabin class.

You won’t find this in Singapore, but I have experienced it in Tokyo Narita, Barcelona and San Francisco. Given the large number of Star Gold passengers, the wait times can be a bit hit and miss, but it’s usually shorter than the general queue.

Star Gold members also enjoy priority boarding- for Singapore Airlines this is usually called after First, Business, PPS and Solitaire PPS members.

Priority waitlisting and standby

KrisFlyer Elite Gold members will enjoy priority waitlisting for both awards and revenue tickets. It’s difficult to quantify how much this helps, though, given the relative opacity of the process.

Conclusion

I haven’t decided whether I’m going to attempt to re-qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold just yet, for reasons I laid out in my previous post. But if you’ve been eyeing elite status and do have big ticket expenditure coming up, this is definitely one of the easier ways of getting it.


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JT
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JT

Honestly, KF Gold is not worth even half the effort if you ask me.
Why bother going through all that just to be a second-class citizen in the SQ hierarchy?

robinhood
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robinhood

Awesome. Coincidentally, my KFG also expires on 28 Feb (today!)

No Brainer
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No Brainer

If I’m willing to spend $12k or $15k on flights for KFEG, I might as well go the whole hog and spend $25k for PPS.

Bob
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Bob

Hi Aeron/ML team
If i take the plunge just wanted to check two things
1) the annual fee of 377 SGD is payable up front or only after 1st year ?
2) any link to use from your site so that you get some AMEX love/bit coin/nuggets for referring ? 🙂

All for now

Mileshedgehog
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Mileshedgehog

Transferring spends to this card from others incurs mileage losses too, as $3000 Singapore Air tickets can net up to 12.000 miles in other cases. Hmmm