In recent times, we’ve seen some loyalty programs launch “experiences” programs, which allow members to redeem points for exclusive events or money-can’t-buy experiences. Two such examples are Marriott Bonvoy Moments and Hilton Honors Experiences.
It looks like Singapore Airlines is going to get in on the action with the launch of KrisFlyer Experiences. This platform, run in conjunction with Mastercard, allows members to use their miles on specially curated activities and enjoy privileged access to events.
The site is empty for now, except for a teaser about the “Unbox a New Experience” launch campaign.
How it works
One KrisFlyer member (who must also be a Mastercard holder) will get a chance to win a pair of all-expenses paid tickets to a special KrisFlyer Experience valued at more than S$35,000.
The winner must guess the experience hidden within the mystery box, and share in 200 characters who he/she’d like to bring along and why. Clues will be shared from the week starting 13 January 2020, and it costs 100 KrisFlyer miles to make a guess. You can submit as many guesses as you want, for 100 miles apiece.
The experience will be unveiled at an event on 19 January 2020 from 4-5 p.m at Orchard Central, and the winner selected on 20 January 2020.
As per the FAQ, the prize “may” involve overseas travel (I’m 100% sure it will, and I’m 100% sure it’ll be in Suites- why miss a chance to market their product?), and the winner + companion must travel in mid-February 2020. The T&C of the contest can be found here.
What other events can we expect?
There are currently no events listed on the KrisFlyer Experiences website, but in the press release some examples are given like a Wine Tasting Walkabout in March 2020 and an outdoor movie screening in May 2020. The website says that KrisFlyer Experiences will include culinary, entertainment, arts, sports and travel related experiences.
If you asked me to guess, I’m quite certain we’ll see SIA leverage its F1 sponsorship to provide special packages during the Singapore night race. If they’re anywhere as fun as what Marriott did at the US Open, then I’m excited.
I think we’ll also see other events with an SIA flair, for example a wine tasting session featuring the pours that Singapore Airlines serves onboard, a pilot simulator experience, and perhaps tickets to other events the airline sponsors.
One question I have is whether KrisFlyer Experiences will have fixed prices, or use a bidding system. We’ve seen Marriott Bonvoy do both models, and each have their own advantages. Bids create the opportunity for outsized value (especially in the early days of the platform where few people have joined), but fixed priced events provide certainty of cost.
Is it worth it?
It’s almost impossible to answer this question, simply because the whole point of experience redemptions is to get something that money can’t buy. How do you place a price on getting to flip the coin at a major football match? How do you value a lunch appointment with a celebrity chef? How much would you pay to spend an afternoon with your favourite artist?
It really depends on what you like, but I could see myself redeeming an event or two if I see something that I really feel passionate about. If nothing else, it provides another avenue of spending your KrisFlyer miles.
I’ll be very interested to see what the mystery experience is, and what other events get posted on the site in the days to come. The problem with Marriott Bonvoy Moments and Hilton Honors Experiences is that so few of their events are relevant for Singapore-based members- let’s hope KrisFlyer Experiences changes that.
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