AMEX HighFlyer Card offering 40,000 miles sign-up bonus

Expired

Apply by 3 April and get 40,000 bonus HighFlyer points with a min. spend of S$5,000, plus the usual perks like a free Accor Plus membership.

American Express has launched a new sign-up offer for the American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card (also known as the AMEX HighFlyer Card) that runs from now till 3 April 2023. 

New cardholders who spend S$5,000 in the first 3 months of approval will receive a total of 49,000 HighFlyer points, broken into:

  • 40,000 bonus HighFlyer points
  • 9,000 base HighFlyer points (at a rate of 1.8 points per S$1)
Apply Here
👍 No minimum business size required

While the AMEX HighFlyer Card is meant for businesses, there’s no minimum turnover or number of employees required to apply. If you’re running a home business, giving tuition or engaged in some other side hustle, setting up a sole proprietorship or LLC would qualify you to apply.

Do note that you must be earning at least S$30,000 per annum to qualify for a card, as per MAS regulations. This need not come from the business itself; for example, I could earn S$30,000 from my day job with Company A, and have a separate side hustle with my own Company B. I can then apply for a HighFlyer Card by virtue of Company B, using Company A’s payslips. 

All AMEX HighFlyer Cardmembers continue to enjoy a complimentary Accor Plus membership, which offers a free hotel night and up to 50% off dining, as well as two complimentary lounge visits each year. 

They will earn the equivalent of up to 8.5 mpd on Singapore Airlines fares (except Economy Lite), and 1.8 mpd on all other spending (including GrabPay top-ups), making this a must-have card for anyone who owns a small or medium-sized business. 

💳 Key Info: AMEX HighFlyer Card
  • 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 on all spend, including GrabPay top-ups, insurance premiums, charitable donations, and utilities bills
  • Up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 on eligible Singapore Airlines fares
    • Does not include paying taxes & surcharges on award flights
  • 1 HighFlyer point can be converted to 1 KrisFlyer mile with no fees (capped at 30,000 HighFlyer points per year per KrisFlyer account)
  • Complimentary Accor Plus membership with up to 50% off dining and 1 free hotel night each year
  • 2x complimentary Priority Pass visits
  • Up to 51 interest-free days

Some important changes have taken place since the previous offer in October 2022, so be sure to read on for the full details. 

AMEX HighFlyer Card Sign-Up Bonus

Apply Here
T&Cs
There is no requirement that you be new-to-AMEX. This offer is valid even if you already hold an existing AMEX consumer card. Applicants who have cancelled the AMEX HighFlyer Card previously for the same company are not eligible. 

New AMEX HighFlyer Cardholders who submit their applications between 1 February and 3 April 2023, and receive approval before 30 June 2023, will be eligible for 40,000 bonus HighFlyer points with S$5,000 spent in the first 3 months of approval.

On top of this, they’ll earn 9,000 HighFlyer points for spending S$5,000 (based on 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1).

The S$301.79 annual fee must be paid; unlike previous offers, there is no fee-waiver option this time round.

What counts towards eligible spending?

American Express is fairly liberal with what counts towards sign-up bonus spending. With the exception of the following, everything else will count towards the minimum spend 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
  • Charges at merchants or establishments that are excluded by American Express at its sole discretion and notified by American Express to you from time to time

For avoidance of doubt, CardUp spend, GrabPay top-ups and insurance payments will earn points and count towards sign-up bonus spending.

When will the bonus points be credited?

All bonus HighFlyer points will be credited “6 weeks or more” from the date of meeting the spend threshold.

Is it worth it?

There’s two important changes to highlight since the last sign-up offer was launched back in October 2022.

First, American Express no longer offers a first-year fee waiver option for the AMEX HighFlyer Card. Up till now, customers had the option of taking a smaller sign-up bonus in exchange for a waiver of the annual fee.

My understanding is that this is the “new normal” for the card; the first-year fee waiver was only intended to run for a limited time while the product gained traction (I always wondered whether that was sustainable, given that cardholders enjoy a free Accor Plus Explorer membership nonetheless; I guess we now have the answer).

For what it’s worth, the annual fee can be waived from the second year onwards, depending on various factors including how much you spent. Anecdotally, I’ve been putting about S$30,000 or more on this card (almost all of which are GrabPay top-ups) each year, and haven’t had issues getting a fee waiver. I still enjoy a renewal of the Accor Plus Explorer membership and two more lounge passes, even with the fee waiver. 

Second, GrabPay’s move to nerf AXS payments on 16 January 2023 has killed off one of the best use cases for the AMEX HighFlyer Card: paying tax bills. It used to be that you would use the AMEX HighFlyer Card to top-up a GrabPay account (earning 1.8 mpd in the process), then use your GrabPay balance to pay income/corporate/property taxes via AXS. Now that GrabPay does not work with AXS, this is no longer possible. 

That said, you can still use the AMEX HighFlyer Card to earn miles on bill payments provided the merchant accepts AMEX, or more likely, Mastercard. Some examples include:

  • making donations
  • purchasing travel insurance
  • paying the initial premium or servicing annual premiums on selected policies (I pay my Singlife Mindef Group Term Life policy on an annual basis, and receive a payment link each year that lets me pay by card)
  • paying utilities bills
  • paying public hospital bills
  • paying tuition fees or other education bills
  • paying town council fees

These transactions are normally excluded from earning points with regular credit cards, so the AMEX HighFlyer Card + GrabPay Card combination is a good workaround. 

The general rule is this:

  • If a bill can only be paid via AXS you can’t use the AMEX HigFlyer Card to earn miles
  • If a bill can be paid via Mastercard or PayNow QR, you can use the AMEX HighFlyer Card to earn miles via the GrabPay Card or GrabPay QR

Also note that this sign-up bonus of 40,000 HighFlyer points is smaller than the previous offer of 55,000 HighFlyer points that ended on 31 January 2023. I have no indication whether we will see a higher/lower bonus after 3 April 2023, so you’ll need to weigh whether it makes sense getting the card now to take advantage of GrabPay top-ups in the meantime. 

Overview: AMEX HighFlyer Card

Apply Here
Income Req.S$30,000 p.a.Points Validity3 years
Annual FeeS$301.79
Min. TransferN/A
Miles with
Annual Fee
NoneTransfer PartnersHighFlyer
FCY Fee2.95%Transfer FeeNone
Local Earn1.8 mpdPoints Pool?N/A
FCY Earn1.8 mpdLounge Access?Yes
Special EarnUp to 8.5 mpd on SIA ticketsAirport Limo?No
Cardholder Terms and Conditions

AMEX HighFlyer Cardmembers earn up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 on Singapore Airlines and Scoot revenue tickets (this includes the base 5-6 HighFlyer points that all HighFlyer companies already earn), and 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 on transactions elsewhere.

✈️ What is HighFlyer?

HighFlyer is Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program for SMEs. The program is free to join and does not require any minimum spend commitment; all you need to sign up is an ACRA business registration number.

HighFlyer is essentially a cash rebate scheme. Companies earn 5-6 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Lufthansa, and SWISS (excluding airport fees and government taxes), and can redeem them at a rate of 1,050 HighFlyer points= S$10.

HighFlyer points are valid for 3 years, and cannot be earned on V and K booking classes (i.e. Economy Lite fares). They can be converted into KrisFlyer miles for nominated employees at a rate of 1 HighFlyer point= 1 KrisFlyer mile.

This makes the AMEX HighFlyer Card the best general spending card on the market with a 1.8 mpd earn rate (versus 1.2-1.6 mpd for other cards). 

Do note the following restrictions when converting HighFlyer points to miles:

  • Each HighFlyer account can only be linked to a maximum of five selected KrisFlyer accounts for the purpose of converting HighFlyer points to KrisFlyer miles
  • Each HighFlyer account is only 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

Is the annual conversion cap of 30,000 KrisFlyer miles a deal-breaker? I don’t believe so. At end of the day, your main use for this card should be transactions that don’t normally qualify for rewards with other cards. Assuming that’s the case, you’re effectively earning 30,000 extra miles that you wouldn’t normally have been able to get. 

Purchases of Singapore Airlines tickets will enjoy 0% interest for six months, and other purchases get 51 days of interest-free credit. Employees who purchase tickets with the card will still be entitled to accrue miles for personal use, based on the fare class purchased.

In terms of personal benefits, cardholders enjoy:

  • Two complimentary visits to Priority Pass lounges per year
  • A complimentary Accor Plus Explorer membership, which includes 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

AMEX HighFlyer Card members will also enjoy the following spending bonuses: 

  • First year only: 5,000 HighFlyer points for S$500 SIA Group spending
  • Every year: 15,000 HighFlyer points for S$10,000 SIA Group spending

Complimentary Accor Plus Membership

One of the highlights of the AMEX HighFlyer Card is the free Accor Plus Explorer membership, which includes one complimentary hotel night each year. 

This can be redeemed at hotels in Singapore and across Asia Pacific; I recently used my certificate for a free stay at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. 

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 as low as S$143 nett, and the Grand Mercure for as little as S$64 nett. 

Prego at Fairmont Singapore

The other big draw of an Accor Plus membership are 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 and Asian Market Cafe at the Fairmont, SKAI, The Stamford Brasserie, CLOVE, at Swissotel and The Cliff and Kwee Zeen at the Sofitel Sentosa Resort.

In fact, should you enjoy the benefits of an Accor Plus membership, it’s still cheaper to pay the AMEX HighFlyer Card’s annual fee instead of buying an Accor Plus Explorer membership (S$418). 

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

Conclusion

American Express has launched its latest sign-up bonus for the AMEX HighFlyer Card, which offers 40,000 bonus HighFlyer points with S$5,000 spend in the first 3 months and payment of the annual fee. This S$5,000 can include GrabPay top-ups, so if you have bills that can be paid via the GrabPay Mastercard (not AXS!), that’d be an easy way of hitting the threshold.

It’s just a shame the first-year annual fee waiver isn’t available anymore, because that was an excellent deal all things considered. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a card that still offers miles for GrabPay top-ups, this is as good as it gets at the moment.

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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Panini

Hi Aaron, appreciate the post. Actually for Business PayNow QR it is possible to use Grab to pay. For example recently my Aircon servicing had a PayNow code and I used Grab to scan and pay it. Allowing me to earn the 1.8mpd by topping up using amex Highflyer.

high12

Usually by when would you advise to call and ask about second year waiver? 2 mths before?

J t

Is it possible to transfer miles to the same person via 2 companies?
Meaning both company A and company B transfer 30k highflyer points each to the same person within the calendar year.

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