Should you convert 250,000 credit card miles for KrisFlyer Elite Gold?

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For the first time ever, SIA is making it possible to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold just from credit card points conversions. Should you bite?

As I wrote about yesterday, Singapore Airlines has launched a new campaign enabling KrisFlyer and PPS Club members to earn status credits on the ground, without flying. This campaign runs all the way till February 2022, making it easier to achieve or requalify for status. 

The one thing that everyone’s getting excited over is the ability to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold by transferring the equivalent of 250,000 miles from credit card points. That’s no small figure, but thanks to the pandemic, you just might have that much lurking in your balance. 

I don’t know why I’m getting so many questions asking whether the double status credits promotion (running from 7-21 April) means they only need to transfer 125,000 miles. Guys, the double status credits promotion:

  • Only applies to existing KrisFlyer Elite Silver, Elite Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members
  • Only applies to status credits earned via KrisShop, Kris+ and KrisFlyer Spree

So the question before us: is it worth it?

What are the benefits of KrisFlyer Elite Gold?

KrisFlyer Elite Gold is the tier where benefits start getting serious. I mean, if you’re thinking of converting just enough points to earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver, you’re better off not doing anything at all. 

  KrisFlyer Elite Silver KrisFlyer Elite Gold
Elite Miles Req. 25,000 50,000
Mileage Bonus 25% 25%
Priority Waitlist
Advance seat selection
(Standard)

(Forward and Standard)
20kg extra baggage  
Priority check-in  
Priority baggage handling  
Priority boarding  
Lounge access  

KrisFlyer Elite Silver has virtually zero perks- trust me, I’m a member. KrisFlyer Elite Gold, on the other hand, comes with additional baggage, priority check-in lines, priority tags for your bags, priority boarding, and that all-important lounge access.

✈️ Which lounge do I get?
KrisFlyer Elite Gold members are banished from the SilverKris Lounge in Singapore (they can visit the outstation ones), but at least the old dingy KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is no more. Singapore Airlines is in the process of building a new-and-improved facility, which may or may not look like this.

KrisFlyer Elite Gold maps to Star Alliance Gold , which means you’ll enjoy similar perks when flying with any of its 26 member airlines. You can also enjoy a fast-track to Shangri-La Jade status with just one eligible night, thanks to the Infinite Journeys partnership. 

How long would my status be valid for?

Here’s where there’s a lot of confusion (and the FAQs don’t really help), so I’m going to do my best to explain it. Please let me know if your interpretation is different. 

Imagine two people: Jill, a regular KrisFlyer member, and Jack, a KrisFlyer Elite Gold. Both transfer 250,000 credit card points to KrisFlyer, and their points show up today (8 April). The 50,000 Elite miles will be credited within seven working days, so let’s assume it’s credited on 19 April. 

Jill has now qualified for KrisFlyer Elite Gold, and her membership will be valid for 12 months from the date she earned her 50,000th Elite mile, i.e April 2021 to March 2022 (technically it’s April 2022, because SIA gives an additional month of grace, but let’s ignore that). 

Jack’s existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership expires at the end of July 2021. Thanks to the 50,000 Elite miles, he has requalified in the current membership year, and his status will be valid till July 2022.

But wait, you say. Hasn’t Singapore Airlines already granted an extension to all members whose status expires from March 2021 to February 2022? So…why is Jack “wasting” his miles by requalifying when there’s no need to? 

Exactly. That’s why there’s a rollover. 

The rollover of Elite miles applies to members holding KrisFlyer Elite Silver or Elite Gold status with expiry between March 2021 and February 2022. These guys have already been granted a one-year extension, so any Elite miles earned during this membership year will roll over to count towards requalification in the following year (i.e March 2022 to February 2023).

Singapore Airlines has now made this explicit in their FAQs: Members who upgraded from KrisFlyer Elite Silver to KrisFlyer Elite Gold after 1 March 2021 from any status match programmes or accelerator campaigns will not be eligible for the rolling of Elite miles

Therefore, Jack will start his next membership year with 50,000 Elite miles already in the bag, which will see him requalifying all the way till July 2023. 

I realise that’s a lot to digest, so let me try to tl;dr it:

  • If you don’t have KrisFlyer Elite Gold now, your status will be valid up to 12 months from the date your 50,000 Elite miles post
  • If you do have KrisFlyer Elite Gold, your status will be valid for another 24 months (12 months from SIA, 12 months from the 50,000 Elite miles earned during this campaign) after its current expiry date

Any questions?

Is it worth converting points for Elite Gold status?

KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits are the most useful if Economy Class is your regular haunt

Well, this pretty much boils down to when you see yourself traveling again, and how. 

Regarding the when (and assuming you’re not already a KrisFlyer Elite Gold), you presumably want to maximize your Elite Gold status by delaying qualification until you know can enjoy the benefits.

For example, there’s little point converting 250,000 KrisFlyer miles now (April 2021) and earn status till March 2022, when you only see yourself flying again in January 2022 (because you’ve wasted 9 months of your perks).

But since the lead time for Elite mile crediting is relatively short at  7 working days, you can watch and see how things go with Singapore’s general population vaccine rollout, plus developments on the travel bubble front. If travel to Phuket really does open up in July, for instance, then by all means convert points and qualify for your status in June. 

Regarding the how, Elite Gold benefits will obviously not be that useful if you always redeem miles/buy Business Class tickets anyway, since the perks are duplicated. But the expectation is that travel will reopen on a regional level first, and some may not find it worthwhile redeeming miles for such short flights. If your plan is to buy Economy Class tickets on Singapore Airlines, then yes, Elite Gold will be very useful indeed. 

You also need to remember that KrisFlyer miles have a three-year expiry, and while Singapore Airlines has been periodically extending expiring miles, I just don’t see that policy stretching beyond the end of 2021. In contrast, certain bank points (e.g DBS Altitude, OCBC 90N, Citi PremierMiles) don’t expire, and keeping them on the bank side also allows you to maintain flexibility (by transferring them to another FFP).

Conclusion

For me, it’s pretty much a done deal. I plan to convert enough miles to earn myself KrisFlyer Elite Gold, and thanks to some Elite miles accrued through Inside SIA and Restaurant A380, I won’t actually need to do the full 250,000. Once quarantine-free travel is open to Singaporeans, I intend to do up a few reports on what it’s like flying in Economy and Business Class now, and the status will come in handy for the former. 

For everyone else, you don’t need to rush into the decision. The option is available right up till February 2022, so play your cards right and you could have status all the way till February 2023. The next few months will be crucial in determining whether travel in 2021 can actually happen, so all we can do is wait. 

Don’t expect VIP treatment as a KrisFlyer Elite Gold, but hey, if you want to say you’ve got something in common with Joseph Schooling…

Avatar
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Christ

I mean, if you’re thinking of converting just enough points to earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver, you’re better off doing anything at all. 

I think you mean:

I mean, if you’re thinking of converting just enough points to earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver, you’re better off NOT doing anything at all. 

Trevor

The new Elite Gold Card looks so pretty. Thats enough to sell me the idea that I should convert bank points closer to the end of 2021!

ZYX

I will go with IATA’s prediction that mass travel will only resume after 2024. Even SG’s vaccination plan is ambitious, I don’t see air travel coming anytime soon. Even Jan 2022 sounds too optimistic for me. And I guess you can’t expect all airlines will resume all routes at once. Air ticket will still be expensive. As for occupancy? I can’t tell. Back to SQ KF Gold benefits. Lounge yes, if you insist on eating, drinking and taking a shower before your 2h flight to Thailand, yes maybe it’s worth $30 the pay-per-use lounge price, providing you are flying out… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by ZYX
JW19

I am on your bandwagon as well, hence I rather kept elite with OW rather than *A. Qantas BA and CX lounges are superior to KF gold when they are open and for CX Marco polo Club or MPC for short, silver already grants you entry to CX lounges providing you are flying CX. That’s the same lounge as business and first class passengers in you are flying out of SIN.

Ryan

How about an article on whether its worth 250k for upgrading PPS to PPS solitaire?

A C

i second this!

Ben

Is it really only 250k? I suspect SQ will continue to apply the requirement that you accrue 50,000 PPS Value in your current membership year. And not just 25,000 PPS Value + the free 25,000 Reserve Value they have added to your account, as the latter is supposed to be meant to help you requalify for PPS only.

So what will probably be the case is if you transfer 250k, all that will become reserve value for another year.

Astrid

do it on feb 2022 then!

Darren

the hyperlink in the first sentence “As I wrote about yesterday” might be incorrect. It links to an article in 2020.

Andrew M

Any idea whether someone who holds Krisflyer Silver status obtained via Shangri la Jade would need to transfer 250,000 bank points or 125,000 to obtain Gold?

KNO

Isn’t this new campaign made the previous conversion rather unfavourable for existing Elite. Previously, 250K miles bank transfer gets 20K elite miles which will be carried forward to the new membership year after the extension. However, if an existing Elite does not respond to previous campaign, and do it for this campaign, 250K miles gets 50K elite miles, which yet qualify for another year of Elite Gold?

Mac&Cheese

Understand that for every 10 miles we transfer we earn 2 elite miles & 1 PPS value.

What if I transfer 250K miles from bank reward into my KF account (i am current just normal KF member only),

  1. Based on the 10 miles: 2 Elite miles ratio, I will get 50K Elite Miles and qualify KFEG;
  2. Based on the 10 miles : 1 PPS value ratio, I will get 25K PPS value and qualify for PPS

Is that means once I transfer 250K miles , I qualify both KFEG & PPS at once?

ZYX

While KrisFlyer members will not be able to make the leap over to PPS Club through this campaign”

Drakka

I’m surprised that there is even discussion by so many on this. You guys have so much credit card points in store, to even consider redeeming all, to obtain a KF Gold status? I had a lot of credit card points but didn’t many of us convert all our credit card points into KF at the turn of the year, to take advantage of “additional 10% more miles”? At least for me, I’ll be look for a repeat of the additional 10% miles offer to consider converting. Extra elite miles doesn’t interest me

Alian

Good point but do note that when you start to try to redeem those miles there will be thousands of folks waiting in line too so those elite status might come in handy.

SQ is going to have a huge mile deficit after this. 3 yr mile expiry is gonna save SQ and frustrate a lot of folks

ZYX

And you know, airlines can devalue miles anytime.

Too many points

SIA could do an Aeroplan with KF. But instead of buying it back just send in the receivers. The billions of unspent miles that have accrued during COVID must be a huge liability. Guess if there are no award seats then everyone will have to use their miles to buy overpriced toasters and other must haves from the Krisshop.

ZYX

You know, you always want to save your miles for airlines with best service and hardware…Unless you are stuck in Canada. I assume u refer to KF miles not Credit card miles. Credit card miles should have longer validity and more variety of FFP programmes. Huge liability, not sure if you mean to customers or SIA, but I don’t quite understand why SQ cannot be a bit more generous with miles expiry this time. I don’t hold SQ mile so I don’t know, if you book award and cancel after the expiry date of those miles you use on the… Read more »

value

Aaron has stated several times in response to posts that he thought devaluation due to COVID won’t happen. Whether his opinion is completely accurate or objective depends on the reader of course. I happen to think that Alian above is not wrong in that some form of booking scarcity or devaluation will occur when travel resumes given the combination of pent-up demand and the abundance of miles in the accounts of all the mile-credit-card holders in Singapore. Miles are meant to be earned and spent ASAP (Aaron’s standard advice if I’m not mistaken). Hoarding is a no-no since devaluations occur… Read more »

Jerry

If I transfer 500k bank points=100k Elite miles will the KFEG be rolled over for another year?
I.e. April 2021- April 2023

Jerry

Currently a KF basic

Dan

My current situation would be similar to “Jack” above but I believe as part of the existing Elite Gold, you do get credited half of the required elite miles for requalification. Plus with the other promotions, I managed to chip away a few more miles. Under such a scenario, I am still thinking if it is worthwhile to do the exchange.

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