Back in April, Singapore Airlines launched an “Unlock Status Credits Without Flying” campaign, which allows KrisFlyer and PPS Club members to earn status credits on the ground without flying.
This campaign runs from 7 April 2021 to 28 February 2022, and members can earn uncapped Elite miles or PPS Value from the following activities:
|Campaign Landing Page|
|Convert KrisFlyer miles|
(min. 10,000 miles)
|1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles||1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles|
|Convert KrisPay miles|
(min. depends on bank)
|1 Elite mile per 5 KrisPay miles||1 PPS Value per 10 KrisPay miles|
|Spend on co-brand cards|
(min. 100 miles earned)
|1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles||1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles|
|Spend on KrisShop or Kris+||3 Elite miles per S$1||1 PPS Value per S$1|
|Earn with non-air partners|
(min. 500 miles)
|1 Elite mile per 5 KrisFlyer miles earned||1 PPS Value per 10 KrisFlyer miles earned|
|⚠️ Note: KrisFlyer members will not be able to earn PPS Value, and PPS Club members will not be able to earn Elite miles|
Status credits will count towards KrisFlyer Elite or PPS Club membership renewal due between March 2022 and February 2023, or to upgrade your existing membership status. Singapore Airlines has already granted an automatic extension for any KrisFlyer Elite or PPS Club membership expiring from March 2021 to February 2022
With the return of leisure travel and the just-launched KrisFlyer 15% transfer bonus, many people are asking: should I take this opportunity to upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold? That’s what I’m thinking about too, having lost my KrisFlyer Elite Gold status in 2019.
KrisFlyer Elite Gold: To qualify or not to qualify?
Here’s my current situation:
You’ll notice my account has two trackers: one for KrisFlyer Elite Silver, one for KrisFlyer Elite Gold.
- To requalify for Elite Silver, I need to earn 14,728 Elite miles by 31 March 2022
- To qualify for Elite Gold, I need to earn 20,539 Elite miles by 30 November 2021
What gives? Why are the two dates different?
I’m already a KrisFlyer Elite Silver, and my membership year runs from 1 April to 31 March. I need to rack up 25,000 Elite miles during this period to retain my membership.
However, I’m not yet a KrisFlyer Elite Gold, so I don’t have a membership year to speak of. KrisFlyer Elite Gold requires 50,000 Elite miles in a 12-month period, and over the past 12 months I’ve accrued 29,461 Elite miles from points transfers and events like Inside Singapore Airlines and Restaurant A380, broken down as follows:
|Month||Elite Miles Earned|
Therefore, as of today I need 20,539 more Elite miles (50,000 – 29,461) by 30 November 2021 to qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold. Why 30 November 2021? Because that’s when the 16,573 Elite miles earned in November 2020 drop off the radar.
But this is a moving target. To illustrate, suppose I earn no further Elite miles from now till 30 November 2021. On 1 December 2021, the Elite Gold tracker will read:
- Earned: 12,888 Elite miles
- Required: 37,112 Elite miles by 31 Dec 21
Follow me? The 16,573 Elite miles from November 2020 have dropped off, but I can still qualify by accruing 50,000 Elite miles from December 2020 to December 2021. I already have 12,888 Elite miles (2,616 + 1,719 + 7,877 + 358 +204 + 75 + 39), which leaves a deficit of 37,112 elite miles by 31 December 2021.
tl;dr: requalification has a fixed date, while qualification does not.
To requalify for KrisFlyer Elite Silver/Gold, you need to hit 25,000/50,000 elite miles by the end of your membership year. To qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Silver/Gold, you need to hit 25,000/50,000 elite miles within any given 12-month period.
|💡 If you want to be technical, it’s actually 13 months, because Elite miles earned on 1 December 2020 only drop off after 31 December 2021|
How many more Elite miles do I need?
KrisFlyer/PPS Club members can earn status credits on the ground till 28 February 2022, so here’s the range of possibilities on my hands:
|Qualify In||Elite Miles Req.||Qualify Till|
|Oct 2021||20,539||31 Oct 2022|
|Nov 2021||20,539||30 Nov 2022|
|Dec 2021||37,112||31 Dec 2022|
|Jan 2022||39,728||31 Jan 2023|
|Feb 2022||39,728||28 Feb 2023|
|The above working assumes I earn no further Elite miles between now and Feb 2022|
Notice how the incremental Elite miles required increases the longer I wait (since more Elite miles hit the 12-month mark and drop off my account), but on the plus side, delaying my qualification also allows me to stretch the horizon of my membership expiry.
Then there’s another variable at play: requalification for following membership year.
Once I qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold, I can subsequently earn an additional 50,000 Elite miles needed for requalification. This means I could enjoy status up till 28 February 2024, provided I time things right.
|Qualify In||Elite Miles Req.||Qualify Till|
|Oct 2021||20,539 (qual.) + 50,000 (requal.)||31 Oct 2023|
|Nov 2021||20,539 (qual.) + 50,000 (requal.)||30 Nov 2023|
|Dec 2021||37,112 (qual.) + 50,000 (requal.)||31 Dec 2023|
|Jan 2022||39,728 (qual.) + 50,000 (requal.)||31 Jan 2024|
|Feb 2022||39,728 (qual.) + 50,000 (requal.)||28 Feb 2024|
As an FYI, you cannot transfer the equivalent of 100,000 Elite miles at one go and get two years of KrisFlyer Elite Gold, There’s no rollover of Elite miles in excess of qualification for those who upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold after 1 March 2021, so the excess will be wasted.
Do it in two steps: accrue Elite miles and qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold first, wait for your account status to be updated, then accrue more Elite miles to requalify for another year.
|❓ How long is status valid for?|
How long status earned through this campaign is valid for depends on whether you’re qualifying or requalifying.
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 on 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 for existing members like Jack.
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 members 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).
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.
How many miles do I need to transfer?
Like most people, I’ll be relying on credit card points transfers to get me over the finish line. It helps that KrisFlyer is currently running a 15% transfer bonus from 26 October to 22 November 2021.
|KrisFlyer Transfer Bonus|
As a reminder of how this works:
- Convert 10,000 to 49,999 miles in a single transaction: 12% bonus
- Convert 50,000 miles or more in a single transaction: 15% bonus
Elite miles/PPS Value will be earned on both the base and bonus KrisFlyer miles:
- Elite miles/PPS Value for base miles will be credited within 7 working days after base miles have been credited
- Elite miles/PPS Value for bonus miles will be credited within by 14 December 2021
We need to be very careful about the delayed crediting of the Elite miles/PPS Value attributable to bonus miles.
In my situation, I need 20,539 Elite miles by 30 November 2021 to qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold. Suppose today I transfer credit card points equivalent to 89,300 miles (minimum transfer blocks mean this exact amount might not be possible, but just humour me for the purposes of illustration).
On paper, the math works out. 89,300 miles x 115%= 102,695 KrisFlyer miles. At a rate of 5 KrisFlyer miles= 1 Elite mile, that’s 20,539 Elite miles, exactly what I need.
But here’s how the crediting would actually work:
- 102,695 KrisFlyer miles (base + bonus) get credited to my account
- 17,860 Elite miles (attributable to the base miles) will be credited within 7 working days
- 2,679 Elite miles (attributable to the bonus miles) will be credited by 14 December 2021
See the problem? As of 30 November 2021, I’ll still be shy of 2,679 Elite miles to qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold. By the time those miles arrive on 14 December 2021, I’ll have lost the 16,573 Elite miles I earned in November 2020, which means I’ll still be shy of 13,894 Elite miles (16,573-2,679).
To put it another way, when calculating how many Elite miles you need to accrue, you’ll need to adjust for those expiring on 31 October/30 November 2021, since they will have “aged out” by the time the Elite miles attributable to the bonus are credited.
On a separate note, if you want to take advantage of the transfer bonus (which ends on 22 November 2021), but don’t want to start the clock on your KrisFlyer Elite Gold status just yet, consider transferring an amount just shy of 50,000 Elite miles, e.g 49,000 Elite miles. Closer to 28 February 2022, top up the balance through any of the “earn on the ground” methods.
Is KrisFlyer Elite Gold worth it?
While KrisFlyer Elite Silver has perfunctory benefits at best, KrisFlyer Elite Gold is where the perks start getting serious.
|KrisFlyer Elite Silver||KrisFlyer Elite Gold|
|Elite Miles Req.||25,000||50,000|
|Advance Seat Selection||✅|
(Forward and Standard)
|20kg Extra Baggage||✅|
KrisFlyer Elite Gold members enjoy priority check-in lines, additional baggage, priority luggage handling, and access to Star Alliance and SilverKris Lounges worldwide (except in Singapore, where they’ll be sent to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge- though the new iteration looks a lot more promising).
The question is how many of these perks you’ll actually need.
Prior to COVID, I found KrisFlyer Elite Gold most useful for my short-haul trips, like Singapore to Bangkok, or an intra-Japan ANA flight, or a domestic flight on United. On these routes, I tend to buy cheap Economy Class tickets rather than redeeming miles, and status helps with lounge access and priority baggage.
On my long haul trips, I’d typically redeem miles for Business or First Class, which negates the KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits (since I’d enjoy all those perks by virtue of my cabin class).
Regional travel isn’t on the cards right now; if anything, it’s the long haul destinations are popping up. And yet, I’ll still be taking a few Economy Class trips in the near future:
- For the South Korea VTL, I’ll be flying Economy Class to Seoul
- For my USA/Canada VTL, I’ll be flying Economy Class from San Francisco to Seattle (more details on this trip to come later)
So I would get some value out of status, be it priority baggage, lounge access, or just access to the Gold Track line for faster security where applicable. I’m also quite certain we’ll see at least a handful of regional destinations open up within the next 12 months, so there’ll be further opportunities should I fly Economy to review those destinations.
And I’m anyways intending to take advantage of the 15% transfer bonus, since I’m burning a lot of miles now on VTL reviews. In that sense, qualifying for Elite Gold is just the icing on the cake.
Transferring credit card points: rules of thumb
If you intend to qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold via credit card points transfers, here’s a few rules of thumb to follow:
- Transfer less flexible points before more flexible ones
- OCBC only partners with KrisFlyer, so its points are relatively less valuable than Citibank and its 11 transfer partners
- Transfer expiring points before non-expiring ones
- DBS Points earned on the DBS Woman’s World Card expire after 1 year, so they’re better candidates for transfer than Citi Miles which never expire
- Don’t transfer via Kris+
Singapore Airlines is allowing KrisFlyer/PPS Club members to earn status credits on the ground till 28 February 2022, so there’s still time left to decide if elite status makes sense for you.
Even if you don’t find KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits to be anything amazing, the presence of a 15% transfer bonus means it’s a great time to transfer credit card points anyway, and qualifying for status may simply be a byproduct.
So yes, it looks like I’ll be saying hello to KrisFlyer Elite Gold again. Hello Joseph Schooling!
Is anyone planning to qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold through points transfers?