Exciting: Singapore Airlines to double the value of HighFlyer points

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From 13 July, the AMEX SIA Business Card becomes one of the best on the market, with 8.5 mpd on SIA tickets and 1.8 mpd on everything else.

Singapore Airlines is making a major enhancement to its HighFlyer program, the loyalty scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Apply Here

From 13 July 2021, 1 HighFlyer point will be worth 1 KrisFlyer mile, double its current value. This means that AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card members will earn 1.8 mpd on general spending, and 8.5 mpd on Singapore Airlines ticket purchases- the highest on the market in their respective categories. 

However, there will be a slight devaluation of the value received when spending HighFlyer points on Singapore Airlines expenses. The number of HighFlyer points required to offset S$10 will increase from 980 to 1,050, a reduction in value of ~7%. 

If you don’t have an AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card yet, you can still get a first year fee waiver plus a free Accor Plus membership, complete with a complimentary night’s hotel stay and a nifty sign-up bonus. Read on for details. 

Enhanced HighFlyer conversion rate to KrisFlyer miles

 
1 HighFlyer point0.5 KrisFlyer Miles
1 KrisFlyer Mile
(from 13 July 2021)

A business participating in the Singapore Airlines HighFlyer scheme can currently opt to convert HighFlyer points to KrisFlyer miles for nominated employees at a rate of 1 HighFlyer point = 0.5 KrisFlyer miles.

From 13 July 2021, the rate will be doubled to 1 HighFlyer point = 1 KrisFlyer mile. This dramatically enhances the value proposition of the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card, as shown below: 

Apply Here
Income Req.S$30,000 p.a Points Validity3 years
Annual FeeS$299
(First Year Free)
Min. TransferN/A
Miles with
Annual Fee
NoneTransfer PartnersSingapore Airlines
FCY Fee2.95%Transfer FeeNone
Local Earn*1.8 mpdPoints Pool?N/A
FCY Earn*1.8 mpdLounge Access?Yes
Special Earn*8.5 mpd on SIA GroupAirport Limo?No
*Earn rates effective 13 July 2021
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 all other transactions.

With the revised 1:1 conversion ratio, that’s basically: 

  • 8.5 mpd on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot transactions
  • 1.8 mpd on all other local and foreign currency spend

For perspective, the highest general spending cards on the market right now earn 1.6 mpd, and what’s more, they’re only available to ultra high net worth individuals. To illustrate, the Citi ULTIMA, DBS insignia and UOB Reserve all earn 1.6 mpd, but require the cardholder to have a minimum annual income of at least S$500,000. 

If you’re talking about cards in the S$30,000 income requirement range (as is the case for the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card), the best earn rate you can find is 1.4 mpd. 

The implications are wider than this:

  • The AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card still earns rewards points for GrabPay top-ups, so come July, you’ll be able to earn 1.8 mpd here!
  • If you registered for the contactless payments offer in March, you’ll now be earning 500 KrisFlyer miles for every qualifying transaction made (up to 10 times, before 16 August 2021). That’s sensational stuff, but wait till 13 July to start converting, of course

As for Singapore Airlines tickets, the best you could do now would be 4 mpd with the DBS Woman’s World Card, so needless to say, 8.5 mpd blows it out of the water. 

Do note the following restrictions:

  • Each HighFlyer account shall only be linked to a maximum of five selected KrisFlyer accounts for the purpose of converting HighFlyer points to KrisFlyer miles
  • Each HighFlyer account Shall only be allowed to convert HighFlyer points to a maximum of 150,000 KrisFlyer miles per calendar year
  • Each selected KrisFlyer account may receive a maximum of 30,000 KrisFlyer miles converted from HighFlyer points per calendar year, regardless of which HighFlyer accounts the points are converted from

This puts a little dampener on things, because assuming you’re a one-man company, the maximum miles you can draw from the card each year is 30,000. That’s not to say the rest of your spending goes to waste, however; HighFlyer points can still be used to pay for tickets, excess baggage, seat selection or cabin upgrades on Singapore Airlines. 

Reduced rate for spending HighFlyer points on SIA

As it stands, 980 HighFlyer points can be used to offset S$10 of Singapore Airlines expenses. 

However, from 13 July 2021, the rate will change to 1,050 HighFlyer points per S$10 of Singapore Airlines expenses. 

 
980 HighFlyer points
1,050 HighFlyer points
(from 13 July 2021)
S$10

This amounts to a 6.7% devaluation, and worth taking note of should you have a big stash of HighFlyer points. 

HighFlyer points extended till 31 December 2021

HighFlyer points are normally valid for three years, but due to COVID-19 Singapore Airlines will be further extending them as follows:

In addition, we are pleased to share that HighFlyer members with points expiring between January and November 2021 will have the validity of these points automatically extended till 31 December 2021.

For example, HighFlyer points that have expired on 31 March 2021 will now be valid until 31 December 2021 instead. If your company’s HighFlyer points have previously received an extension of validity till 30 June 2021, the validity of these points will also be further extended to 31 December 2021. We hope this will offer more flexibility in using your HighFlyer points.

AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card Acquisition Offer

If you’re an SME owner (or in a position to influence the choice of corporate card), you’ll definitely want to get an AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card. It comes with a first year annual fee waiver, and you’ll get a free Accor Plus membership (with a free hotel night) just for signing up, with no spend required. 

Apply Here

AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card members who receive approval by 31 May 2021 and spend at least S$5,000 in the first 3 months will receive a free night stay at the Fairmont Singapore (this is on top of the free stay that comes with Accor Plus). 

AMEX defines “first 3 months” as the first partial calendar month plus subsequent three full calendar months, so by applying early in the month, you effectively have almost four months to spend.
Fairmont Room

AMEX is fairly liberal with what counts towards sign-up bonus spending, and even more so with the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card. With the exception of the following, everything else will count towards the S$5,000 requirement. 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Instalment plans, except where American Express determines otherwise.
  • Annual Card fees.
  • Amount billed for purchase of HighFlyer points to top-up your points balance.
  • Purchase and top-up charges for EZ-Link cards using American Express Cards.

This means GrabPay top-ups and insurance payments will earn points and count towards sign-up bonus spending (unlike with AMEX consumer cards). This makes it one of only three cards (the others being the AMEX True Cashback Card and UOB Absolute Card) that still award points for GrabPay top-ups. 

In addition to this, AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card members will also enjoy the following bonuses: 

  • 5,000 HighFlyer points with S$500 spent with the SIA Goup in the first year
  • 15,000 HighFlyer points with S$10,000 spent each year with the SIA Group

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

This deserves a little section of its own, because it’s one of the best perks. 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 right 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 On Stevens

Needless to say, you’ll want to redeem your Stay Plus certificate at a Sofitel to maximize its value. Accor Plus members also get access to the periodic Red Hot Rooms sale, which may be a good opportunity to book cheap staycation rates. I’ve seen the Fairmont Singapore going for S$143 nett!

Prego at Fairmont Singapore

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.

For those who have already received their card, here’s how to go about activating your Accor Plus membership

Conclusion

Singapore will have a new best general spending card come July, and who’d have thought it’d be this one? 

I get that the AMEX Singapore Airlines Business Card isn’t for everyone- you need to have an ACRA-registered business with a UEN to sign up. But assuming you’re willing to do the paperwork, you’ll find this a very rewarding card to hold, and even more so come July. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Adam

“This makes it one of only two cards (the other being the AMEX True Cashback Card) that still award points for GrabPay top-ups.”

Three cards; there’s UOB Absolute Card too.

Greg

Sorry to be pedantic but 1.6 mpd general spend cards are hardly only for “ultra high net worths” (generally defined as USD30 million plus) – the Premier Voyage for example is available to anyone with SGD200k deposited with OCBC. No need for a 500K annual income as the article suggests.

Ali

Yes the Premier Voyage seems to get neglected quite often. It is a fantastic card and I would argue in terms of miles earning, 1.6 voyage miles is superior to 1.6 kf miles that the other 3 hnw cards offer.

1.8 kf miles must be quite attractive for a lot of people, not for me because of the cap on 30k miles conversion per year, but I have my fingers crossed that it puts pressure on other cards to regain their right to say that their card has the highest MPD earn rate in the market.

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