AMEX HighFlyer Card offering 60,000 points sign-up bonus

Expired

Apply by 26 July and get 60,000 bonus HighFlyer points with a min. spend of S$8,000- but with no more points for GrabPay top-ups!

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 26 July 2023.

New cardholders who spend S$8,000 in the first 6 months of approval will receive a total of 74,400 HighFlyer points, broken down into:

  • 60,000 bonus HighFlyer points
  • 14,400 base HighFlyer points (S$8,000 @ 1.8 points per S$1)
Apply Here
💳 Key Info: AMEX HighFlyer Card
  • 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 on all local and overseas spend
  • 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

However, today also marks the beginning of a new era for the AMEX HighFlyer Card: no more points for GrabPay top-ups, insurance premiums, public hospitals, SPC transactions and utilities bills. 

That, together with recent nerfs like no more first year fee waiver, means the only real perks remaining are a complimentary Accor Plus membership (one free hotel night and up to 50% off dining), as well as two free lounge visits each year. 

AMEX HighFlyer Card Sign-Up Bonus

Apply Here
T&Cs
👍 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. 

New AMEX HighFlyer Cardholders who submit their applications between 4 April to 26 July 2023, and receive approval before 30 September 2023, will receive:

  • 30,000 HighFlyer points with a minimum spend of S$4,000 between months 1-3 (first 90 days)after approval
  • 30,000 HighFlyer points with a minimum spend of S$4,000 between months 4-6 (days 91-180) after approval

On top of this, they’ll earn 14,400 HighFlyer points for spending S$8,000 (based on 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1).

The S$301.79 annual fee must be paid. There is no requirement that you be new-to-AMEX; the offer applies even if you hold an existing AMEX consumer card. Applicants who have cancelled the AMEX HighFlyer Card previously for the same company are not eligible. 

What counts towards eligible spending?

American Express was previously very liberal with what counts towards sign-up bonus spending, but has added new exclusion categories effective 4 April 2023:

❌ AMEX HighFlyer Card Exclusions
  • 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
  • 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 membership 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
  • Bill payments and all transactions via SingPost (e.g. SAM kiosks, mobile app, online
    portal) (with effect from 4 April 2023)
  • Payments to insurance companies (except payments made for insurance products
    purchased through American Express authorized channel) (with effect from 4 April
    2023)
  • Payments to Singapore Petroleum Company Limited (SPC) service stations (with
    effect from 4 April 2023)
  • Payments for the purpose of GrabPay top-ups (with effect from 4 April 2023)
  • Payments to utilities merchants (with effect from 4 April 2023)
  • Payments to public/restructured hospitals, polyclinics and other public/restructured
    healthcare institutions and facilities (with effect from 4 April 2023)
  • 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

Note in particular that insurance premiums, SPC transactions, GrabPay top-ups, utilities and public hospitals no longer earn points, nor count towards the minimum spend for sign-up bonuses. 

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?

Here’s how the current sign-up offer compares to the previous one:

 Previous Offer
(Till 3 Apr 23)
New Offer
(From 4 Apr 23)
Month 1-3S$5,000S$4,000
Month 4-6N/AS$4,000
Total Bonus40,000 pts60,000 pts

As you can see, the bonus to spend ratio is slightly worse. It used to be S$5,000 for 40,000 points; now it’s S$8,000 for 60,000 points.

But leaving that aside, the party is well and truly over for AMEX HighFlyer Cardholders. Back in the day when it offered a first year fee waiver and 1.8 mpd on virtually all spending including GrabPay top-ups, and when GrabPay-AXS payments were still possible, this was a complete no-brainer.

Now? Difficult to say. 

On the plus side:

  • An earn rate of 1.8 mpd is the highest among general spending cards in Singapore
  • An Accor Plus Explorer membership with one free hotel night usually retails for S$418, so if you plan to buy one anyway then this card represents a ~30% discount
  • You get two lounge visits (though there are other cards that give this with an annual fee waiver)

On the minus side:

  • You can only transfer a maximum of 150,000 HighFlyer points to KrisFlyer accounts each year, and 30,000 HighFlyer points per KrisFlyer account
  • The first year’s S$301.79 fee must be paid
  • The nerfing of GrabPay top-ups means it’s no longer possible to earn free miles from paying bills like income tax or MCST fees

The only situation where I’d recommend getting the AMEX HighFlyer Card now is if you want an Accor Plus Explorer membership, because paying S$301.79 is better than paying S$418. I’ve shared more thoughts in the post below:

Keep or cancel: AMEX HighFlyer Card

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 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 on all local and overseas transactions, and up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 on Singapore Airlines and Scoot revenue tickets.

This consists of 2.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 from the AMEX HighFlyer Card itself, and a further 6 HighFlyer points per S$1 broken down into: 

  • The usual 5 HighFlyer points per S$1 awarded to all HighFlyer members
  • A bonus 1 HighFlyer point per S$1 awarded to HighFlyer members with the AMEX HighFlyer Card

Note that these 6 HighFlyer points per S$1 are not awarded on tickets issued in the V or K booking classes (Economy Lite). Tickets issued in the Q or N booking classes (Economy Value) will only be eligible for 50% accrual of HighFlyer points. HighFlyer points are not earned on award redemptions, so if you’re using the AMEX HighFlyer Card to pay for taxes and surcharges on award tickets, you’ll earn just 2.5 mpd.

✈️ 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.

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

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.

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 60,000 bonus HighFlyer points with S$8,000 spend in the first 6 months and payment of the annual fee. 

Unfortunately, it’s a much harder sell now that there’s no annual fee waiver nor points for GrabPay top-ups. Get it if you want an Accor Plus Explorer membership at a discount, but otherwise, it’s not quite the screaming good deal it used to be. 

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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