KrisFlyer and Esso Smiles offering two-way 20% transfer bonus

Expired

For August and September, KrisFlyer and Esso Smiles members can transfer points in both directions with a 20% bonus.

From 1 August to 30 September 2021, Esso and KrisFlyer are running a 20% transfer bonus for conversions of Esso Smiles into KrisFlyer miles, or vice versa. 

This would be the first transfer bonus we’ve seen since the two programs partnered up in February 2021.

Convert KrisFlyer miles to Esso Smiles with a 20% bonus

The conversion rate between KrisFlyer and Esso is normally 6 KrisFlyer miles= 1 Esso Smiles point, with a minimum conversion of 3,000 miles. 

During the promotion period, the rate becomes 5 KrisFlyer miles= 1 Esso Smiles point, with the same minimum conversion. 

 
3,000 miles500 points
600 points

Here’s how much value you can get out of Esso Smiles points, when using them to offset the cost of petrol. 

⛽ Esso Smiles Petrol Redemption
PointsValueValue/Point
250 Smiles pointsS$52 cents
300 Smiles pointsS$103.3 cents
750 Smiles pointsS$304 cents

During this promotion, 3,750 KrisFlyer miles could be redeemed for 750 Smiles points (S$30 of petrol), which yields a value of 0.8 cents per mile. Keep in mind that’s a best case scenario; you’ll get less if you opt for one of the smaller denominations. 

0.8 cents is relatively mediocre, compared to your alternatives for redemption. 

Options for Spending KrisFlyer Miles
Redemption OptionValue per mile
✈️Award flights2-6 cents
🏨 Shangri-La Golden Circle conversion1.4 cents*
✈️Pay for flights with miles1.02 cents
🚘KrisFlyer vRooms0.8 cents
🛍️KrisShop0.8 cents
Esso Smiles conversionUp to 0.8 cents
0.33- 0.67 cents
🏬CapitaStar conversion0.7 cents
🎡Pelago0.67 cents
📱Kris+0.67 cents  
*Assumes you have GC Jade/Diamond status and use points for F&B at 10 GC points= US$1.25. If you’re a regular member, 10 GC points= US$1, i.e 1.1 cents/mile

Heck, if you really wanted to spend your KrisFlyer miles on petrol, a better way of doing it would be to use the Kris+ app.

Throughout 2021, Kris+ users automatically get 20% milesback on Esso transactions, which boosts the value per mile from 0.67 cents to 0.83 cents each. The minimum number of miles you need is just 150, so that’s much better than the Esso Smiles route (though still not recommended, mind you).

Convert Esso Smiles to KrisFlyer miles

The conversion rate between Esso and KrisFlyer is normally 150/100 Esso Smiles points= 100 KrisFlyer miles for those who opt for flexi/auto-conversions.

❓ Flexi -conversion refers to ad-hoc transfers; auto-conversion takes place every week once the minimum block has been reached.

During the promotion period, the rate becomes 150/100 Esso Smiles points= 120 KrisFlyer miles.

  
Flexi150 points100 miles
120 miles
Auto100 points100 miles
120 miles

Since 1 Esso Smiles point is worth up to 4 cents, those who opt for the auto-conversion option are effectively buying 120 miles for S$4. That works out to 3.33 cents per mile, way above what you should be paying. For context, it’s currently possible to buy miles for as little as 0.8 cents each, thanks to Citi PayAll’s excellent promotion.

The only situation where this might make sense is if you’re intending to switch petrol chains, and have a small number of Esso points to cash out before you do. 

Conclusion

You’ll get better value by using KrisFlyer miles for flights, and Esso Smiles points for petrol. This 20% promotion doesn’t really do much to change the equation. 

In case you’re wondering what credit cards to use at petrol stations, be sure to check out my guide here. 

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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