Ever since August this year, American Express has been offering a first year annual fee waiver for the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card. The latest iteration of this offer was set to expire on 30 November 2020, but it’s been extended once again to 31 March 2021.
Also extended is the sign-up bonus of 30,000 HighFlyer points (worth 15,000 KrisFlyer miles or S$300), yours when you spend at least S$5,000 in the first 6 months of approval (GrabPay top-ups included).
If you own a small or medium-sized business, this is a great way to get a free Accor Plus membership, with its complimentary one-night hotel stay, up to 50% off dining at more than 1,400 restaurants across Asia Pacific, special rates on hotel rooms and more.
For those who have already received their AMEX SIA Business Card, here’s how to go about activating your Accor Plus membership. You may also want to check out Accor’s Black Friday sales, where Accor Plus members get an extra 10% off on top of the existing 40%.
For everyone else, here’s the details.
Overview: AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card
|Income Req.||S$30,000 p.a||Points Validity||3 years|
(First Year Free)
|FCY Fee||2.95%||Transfer Fee||None|
|Local Earn||0.9 mpd||Points Pool?||N/A|
|FCY Earn||0.9 mpd||Lounge Access?||Yes|
|Special Earn||4.25 mpd on SIA Group||Airport Limo?||No|
|Cardholder Terms and Conditions|
AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card members earn 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot transactions (this includes the 5 base HighFlyer points that all HighFlyer companies already earn), and 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 on transactions elsewhere.
|✈️ What is HighFlyer?|
HighFlyer is Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program for SMEs. The program is free to join and does not require any minimum spend commitment; all you need to sign up is an ACRA business registration number.
HighFlyer is essentially a cash rebate scheme. Companies earn 5 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot, Lufthansa, and SWISS (excluding airport fees and government taxes), and can redeem them at a rate of 1,000 HighFlyer points= S$10. This is an effective rebate of 5%, which may not sound like a lot to consumers, but makes a world of difference for cash-strapped SMEs.
HighFlyer points are valid for 3 years, and cannot be earned on Q, N, V and K booking classes (i.e Economy Lite fares). They can be converted into KrisFlyer miles for nominated employees at a rate of 2 HighFlyer points= 1 KrisFlyer mile.
Based on the conversion rates, you could see this as a cashback card with 8.5% rebates on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot transactions and 1.8% elsewhere (keep in mind it’s restricted cashback, insofar as it can only be spent with the SIA Group), or a miles card with earn rates of 4.25 mpd and 0.9 mpd respectively.
Purchases of Singapore Airlines tickets will enjoy 0% interest for six months, and other purchases get 51 days of interest-free credit. Employees who purchase tickets with the card will still be entitled to accrue miles for personal use, based on the fare class purchased.
In terms of personal benefits, cardholders enjoy:
- Two complimentary visits to Priority Pass lounges
- A complimentary Accor Plus membership with one free stay every year and up to 50% off dining
- Hertz Gold status with 10% off best available rates and one class upgrades
- A fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with S$15,000 or more spent on Singapore Airlines group transactions in the first year of card membership
- Complimentary travel insurance when travel tickets are bought with the card
Complimentary Accor Plus Membership
Here’s what I see as the main draw at the moment: AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card members receive a free Accor Plus membership, which includes the “Stay Plus” benefit- one complimentary hotel night each year.
Even if you can’t go overseas now, the Stay Plus benefit can be redeemed at local hotels such as:
- Sofitel Singapore City Centre
- SO/ Sofitel Singapore
- Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa
- Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
- Novotel Singapore On Stevens
- Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen
- Ibis Singapore Novena
Needless to say, you’ll want to redeem your Stay Plus certificate at a Sofitel to maximise its value. Accor Plus members also get access to the periodic Red Hot Rooms sale, which may also be a good opportunity to book cheap staycation rates.
The other big draw of an Accor Plus membership is the dining discounts. The discount structure works like this:
- 25% off dining – 1 member only
- 50% off dining – 1 member and 1 guest
- 33% off dining – 1 member and 2 guests
- 25% off dining- 1 member and 3 guests
- 15% off drinks in Asia
Some examples of participating Accor Plus restaurants in Singapore include Prego, Mikuni, Asian Market Cafe and Szechuan Court at the Fairmont, SKAI, Bar Rouge, Cafe Swiss and Kopi Tiam at Swissotel and The Cliff, The Garden, Kwee Zeen at the Sofitel Sentosa Resort.
Members will also receive a set of group dining discount vouchers which offer up to 50% off for groups of 4-10 diners.
AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card Sign-up Bonus
AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card members can enjoy a bonus of up to 50,000 HighFlyer points, broken down into:
- 5,000 HighFlyer points with S$500 spent with the SIA group in the first year
- 30,000 HighFlyer points with S$5,000 spent in the first 6 months of membership
- 15,000 HighFlyer points with S$10,000 spent each year with the SIA group
In other words:
|HighFlyer Points||KrisFlyer Miles|
|Spend S$500 with SIA||5,000||2,500|
|Spend S$5,000 on anything||30,000||15,000|
|Spend S$10,000 with SIA||15,000||7,500|
If you run a company, or hold enough sway to decide what corporate card to use, this offer is absolutely worth looking at. You’re basically getting a free staycation and dining discounts for each principal cardholder who applies, not to mention the cashflow benefits.
Once again, the annual fee is waived for the first year. Should you enjoy the benefits of an Accor Plus membership, it’s still cheaper to pay the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card’s second year S$299 fee, instead of buying an Accor Plus membership elsewhere (S$408 for the version with one free hotel night).