The first rule of credit card points is that they can only be transferred to your own frequent flyer account.
If Jack has 100,000 Citi Miles on his Citi PremierMiles Card, he can’t transfer those to Jill’s frequent flyer account. Jack’s credit card points are for Jack’s frequent flyer account only; banks and airlines conduct regular audits to ensure this rule is adhered to. Transfer points to a frequent flyer account other than your own, and you risk having them confiscated and the account shut down.
But this raises the question: if Jack’s the one who’s always flying and spending, how can he share some of the good life with Jill?
While some frequent flyer programmes like Avianca LifeMiles and Alaska Mileage Plan allow members to redeem a ticket for anyone they wish, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer uses a more specific redemption nominee system.
How does KrisFlyer’s redemption nominee system work?
KrisFlyer allows members to nominate a maximum of five redemption nominees, for whom tickets and upgrades can be redeemed.
Here’s the ground rules:
(1) Child nominees and adult nominees are treated the same (i.e. they each take up one of your five slots)
(2) There is no fee for adding new redemption nominees
(3) However, there is a fee to replace or delete existing nominees. Note the higher fees for doing it offline (but there’s really no reason to do so)
|Change of Redemption Nominee
|US$30 or 3,000 miles
|US$55 or 5,500 miles
|KrisFlyer Elite Silver
|US$15 or 1,500 miles
|US$40 or 4,000 miles
|KrisFlyer Elite Gold
|US$25 or 2,5000 miles
|PPS Club, Solitaire PPS Club
|Can only be done six months after a nominee is added
(4) Once a nominee is added, he/she can only be replaced or deleted after six months
Rule (4) exists because Singapore Airlines’ biggest concern is creating a resale market for award tickets. What they don’t want is people adding and deleting award nominees at will, then going on Carousell and offering discounted tickets for sale.
To discourage this, KrisFlyer imposes both a lock-in period for new nominees plus a fee to change them. That said, it’s pretty easy to create new KrisFlyer accounts, and given the number of listings I see on Carousell, I have my doubts as to what extent this measure really deters the creation of a resale market.
How do I add a redemption nominee?
Adding a nominee is a fairly straightforward process.
Login to your KrisFlyer account. Click on the circle with your initials at the top right > Profile
You’ll be prompted for an OTP, since this constitutes a high-risk transaction. On the next screen click on Redemption nominees.
Click Add nominee
Enter the details of the person you’d like to nominate.
There’s a field at the bottom labelled “Authorised nominee” that prompts you to select yes or no. This is how the KrisFlyer T&Cs describes an authorised nominee:
To protect membership privileges, the nominees you have authorised will be able to make and change bookings for themselves and on your behalf after necessary verification. If they have been so verified, Singapore Airlines will not inform the principal member nor be held liable for issuing redemption tickets to the authorised nominees.
This needs some explaining. It doesn’t mean that your nominee gets a login of their own that allows them to access your KrisFlyer account. What it does mean is that if you book a ticket on behalf of someone else, that person can make changes at will on their own.
I must admit I’m slightly confused about the ability of nominees to “make bookings” – in my experience, being added as a redemption nominee to someone else’s account doesn’t in any way let me access their miles through my own KrisFlyer account. The only way would be for that person to give their login details to me.
There’s another field at the bottom which asks what your relationship to this nominee is. There’s no reason to be concerned; KrisFlyer clearly states you can redeem miles for friends and family, so you can nominate pretty much anyone. This field is probably as much for demographic information as anything else.
How do I redeem a ticket for a redemption nominee?
Once a redemption nominee has been added, you can redeem any sort of award ticket for him or her, whether it’s with Singapore Airlines, Star Alliance, or any other partner.
You’ll see the option to add the redemption nominee’s name to the ticket at the booking screen.
If you’re making a booking over the phone, simply inform the CSO which nominee you wish to redeem it for.
You can also redeem upgrades for redemption nominees, or pay for their ticket using KrisFlyer miles.
Redemption nominee FAQs
What if my redemption nominee is <12 years old?
You can redeem KrisFlyer miles for a redemption nominee <12 years old so long as he or she is accompanied.
What if the KrisFlyer member is <12 years old?
It may surprise you to know that the minimum age to open a KrisFlyer account is 2 years.
However, a KrisFlyer member aged <12 cannot redeem KrisFlyer miles for award tickets online, unless a redemption nominee 18 years old or above is travelling with him/her on the same flight.
A KrisFlyer member aged 12-17 can redeem their KrisFlyer miles for award tickets online for themselves and redemption nominees 18 years old or above. However, they cannot do so for redemption nominees below 18 years of age.
You might also be interested in the KrisFlyer for Families feature, which allows you to transfer your child’s miles to you (but not the other way round) for a nominal fee.
KrisFlyer’s redemption nominee system is fairly straightforward, and while it limits you to five nominees, I can’t see anyone busting that unless you travel with a very big entourage.
Since there is a six-month window before you can remove or change a nominee, don’t add them willy-nilly. Make sure it’s someone you could see yourself redeeming miles for (is this the new “let’s get BTO” question?).