When AIA unceremoniously nuked the Vitality program last year, one of the supposed silver linings was a new conversion partnership with KrisFlyer. Members were promised that their newly-minted Vitality coins could soon be exchanged for Singapore Airlines’ prized currency.
“Soon” turned out to be relative, as it took more than a year for the scheme to materialize. But it’s finally here, and man, how underwhelming it is.
Per an update on the AIA Vitality portal:
|“Wait no more! KrisFlyer is now officially onboard AIA Vitality as our new rewards partner and you can now start to redeem your Vitality coins for KrisFlyer miles from which you can reap the benefits of being in the pink of health!”|
|If you think this is awful phrasing, keep in mind it’s from the same team which came up with “Are You Ready For A Change Or Get Set To Stay The Same?”|
Redeem KrisFlyer miles with Vitality coins
|350 coins||⇒||500 miles
(1,000 miles for the first 1,000 redemptions by 30 Sept 21*)
|*500 miles will be credited initially, with the remaining 500 miles credited by 30 Nov 2021|
Effective immediately, 350 Vitality coins can be exchanged for 500 KrisFlyer miles via the AIA Marketplace. The first 1,000 redemptions made by 30 September 2021 will receive an additional 500 miles, or 1,000 KrisFlyer miles in total.
AIA uses a fixed value of 1 coin = 5 cents, and I value 1 KrisFlyer mile at approximately 1.8 cents. Therefore, trading 350 Vitality coins for 500 KrisFlyer miles is like exchanging S$17.50 for S$9.
It’s absolutely dismal, unless perhaps you happen to be among the first 1,000 redemptions- and remember that’s a limited-time promotion only. Simply put, outside of this limited-time transfer bonus, there’s absolutely no reason why you should ever exchange Vitality coins for KrisFlyer miles.
How do I earn Vitality coins?
AIA Vitality is now a confusing mess of points, spins and coins. Basically, you accumulate points to earn spins to earn coins to redeem vouchers.
Members earn spins by completing their Weekly Fitness Challenge. Each member has their own personalized goal that ranges from 200 to 400 points per week (by the way the goal increases as you get fitter, so you’re basically a victim of your own success).
A maximum of 100 points per day can be earned through exercise:
|≥10,000 steps per day||50 pts.|
|≥30 mins with average heart rate >60% of age-related max. heart rate||50 pts.|
|≥60 mins with average heart rate >60% of age-related max. heart rate||100 pts.|
|≥30 mins with average heart rate >70% of age-related max. heart rate||100 pts.|
|≥30 mins with min. average speed of 4 km/h||50 pts.|
|≥30 mins with min. average speed of 7.2 km/h||100 pts.|
|≥60 mins with min. average speed of 4 km/h||100 pts.|
|Visits to Fitness First or Virgin Active will earn 100 points per gym visit|
Met your Weekly Fitness Challenge goal? Great, you get a spin of the Vitality wheel. Yup, AIA changed the guaranteed S$5 reward into a lottery system, where the expected payout averages S$3.50.
|Mystery prize of at least 200 Vitality Coins*||5%|
|100 Vitality Coins||20%|
|80 Vitality Coins||15%|
|60 Vitality Coins||20%|
|40 Vitality Coins||40%|
|🏆 Expected Payoff= 70 Vitality Coins
|*It says at least 200 Vitality Coins, but I’ve checked the winners lists for 2021 and they’ve never given more than 200.|
Let’s do some quick math. 350 Vitality Coins= 500 miles, so 1 coin is worth about 1.4 miles. Your expected payoff per spin is 70 coins, or 100 miles. Is that a good return for a week of exercise?
Well, assuming your weekly target is 300 points, that works out to 60,000 steps. 60,000 steps is a distance of 30 miles. So you walk 30 miles to earn 100 miles. It’s certainly better than what Mileslife Health offered back in the day (10,000 steps= 8 miles), but you’d still be better off redeeming other rewards.
AIA Vitality Coins can now be converted to KrisFlyer miles, but the conversion rate is so dire (outside the limited-time launch promotion) the option might as well not exist.
Truth be told, Vitality as a rewards program has been living on life support ever since its July 2020 gutting, and I only sign up when I’m booking a Royal Caribbean cruise. Even as a Bronze member you can save 10% off the fare, and it’s well worth paying an S$8 fee for just one month.