Instant and quick ways to top-up a KrisFlyer miles balance

Just short of the miles needed for a redemption? Here's some instant and fast ways of topping up a Krisflyer account.

Picture this: after months of fruitless searching, the award space you’ve been hunting for has suddenly opened up. None of this waitlist nonsense; those seats are staring you right in the face, available for immediate confirmation.

Only one problem- you don’t have enough miles. Or rather, you do, but they’re not in your KrisFlyer account. You need those miles, and you need them now. 

Getting miles into your account quickly can help you snap up the last pair of Business Saver awards

Fortunately, there are numerous ways of topping up a KrisFlyer account either instantly, or within 24 hours. 

In this post, we’ll examine the various options available. 

✈️ Fastest Ways To Top-Up KrisFlyer Account
SpeedMethod
⚡ InstantEarning at Kris+ Merchants
Kris+ Points Transfers
Linkpoints
CapitaStars
Velocity Points
Buy from SIA
HSBC TravelOne Points
⏰ <24 hoursSpend on KrisShop
GrabRewards Points
OCBC Points
AMEX MR Points
❓ Award hold?

If you’re short of miles and don’t have access to any instant transfer option, it’s worth calling up KrisFlyer membership services and asking them for an award hold.

What this means is that the available seats are held for you, pending the arrival of your miles. Once those miles come in, you proceed to pay for and confirm those seats. The duration of the hold can vary widely, from as little as 24 hours to as long as three weeks. It’s not clear to me how this is determined.

If a hold is granted, you’ll see the itinerary appear in your KrisFlyer account with a “Reserved” label on it (as opposed to “Confirmed”, which means the seat has been paid for and is yours).

There are mixed data points on whether award holds are still possible, but all things equal it’s easier to request if you’re a Solitaire PPS or PPS Club member. 

Instant: Kris+ Earning & Points Transfers

SpeedInstant
Transfer CostFree
Opportunity CostKris+ merchants: None
Bank points: 15% of the miles you’d normally receive

Earning at Kris+ Merchants

While you shouldn’t be spending miles via Kris+ (since you only get 0.67 cents per mile), there’s absolutely nothing wrong with earning them. 

Paying with Kris+ earns:

Miles earned from the Kris+ app can be transferred instantly to KrisFlyer at a 1:1 ratio with no fees or minimum blocks.

This makes Kris+ a very simple way to top off your account- just find a participating merchant near you and spend the requisite amount. Popular options include Bottles & Bottles, Challenger, Harvey Norman, and Paradise Group.

⚠️ Don’t forget to transfer!

Miles earned on Kris+ must be transferred to KrisFlyer:

  • within seven days of accrual
  • in their entirety

If more than seven days have passed, or if you’ve spent any portion of the earned miles, the remaining portion will be stuck in the Kris+ app with a six-month expiry and a value of 0.67 cents each. Make it a habit to press the “Transfer to KrisFlyer” button that appears at the end of the payment process. Don’t leave it till later!

Kris+ Points Transfers

In addition to earning miles at selected merchants, Kris+ also offers instant conversions of points from the following rewards programmes. 

ProgrammeTransfer RatioMin. Transfer
Read More1 Citi Mile: 0.85 miles
1 ThankYou Point: 0.34 miles
4,000 Citi Miles
10,000 ThankYou Points
Read More1 DBS Point: 1.7 miles
100 DBS Points
Read More1 UNI$: 1.7 miles
1,000 UNI$
26 STAR$: 1 mile
9,880 STAR$

Please remember that this is a two-step process; after converting the points to KrisPay miles, you need to transfer them over to KrisFlyer (which thankfully, can be done on the same screen with an additional tap). If you forget the second step, your KrisPay miles will no longer be transferrable after seven days (or if you spend any of them via the Kris+ app). 

If you’re transferring Citi, DBS or UOB points, do note that the Kris+ transfer rate represents a 15% haircut compared to the number of miles you’d receive if you used the bank’s transfer portal.

For example, 100 DBS Points is normally worth 200 miles via the DBS Rewards portal, but only 170 miles via Kris+.

💳 Transfer DBS Points via…
  Kris+ DBS Rewards Portal
Min. Transfer100 DBS Points5,000 DBS Points
Transfer FeeNoneS$27
Transfer TimeInstant2-3 working days
Transfer Ratio1 DBS Point = 1.7 miles1 DBS Point = 2 miles

On the plus side, there are no conversion fees via the Kris+ route, conversion blocks are smaller, and your miles are credited instantly. 

Instant: Linkpoints

SpeedInstant
Transfer CostFree
Opportunity Cost1.87-2 cents per mile

Everyone’s favourite aunty programme Linkpoints has been a KrisFlyer transfer partner since April 2022, with points accrual available at NTUC FairPrice, FairPrice online, Cheers, Unity Pharmacy and Caltex.  

While converting KrisFlyer miles to Linkpoints is a terrible idea, conversions in the opposite direction can sometimes make sense. Linkpoints can be converted to KrisFlyer miles instantly in the following denominations:

LinkpointsKrisFlyer Miles
10050
200100
1,000500
2,0001,070
5,0002,680

100 Linkpoints can be redeemed for a S$1 rebate, so converting Linkpoints to KrisFlyer miles is essentially buying KrisFlyer miles at 1.87 or 2 cents each, depending on the number transferred.

To convert Linkpoints to KrisFlyer miles, login to the Link Rewards Exchange Page and visit the KrisFlyer transfers page. You’ll see the option to link the two accounts (names on both accounts must match), after which you can make transfers. 

Instant: CapitaStars

SpeedInstant
Transfer CostFree
Opportunity Cost2.6 cents per mile

CapitaStar was added as a KrisFlyer transfer partner in April 2021, and members can instantly convert STAR$ into KrisFlyer miles at the following ratio:

STAR$KrisFlyer Miles
9,880380

A maximum of 350,000 STAR$ can be converted each calendar year.

STAR$ can be redeemed for CapitaVouchers at a rate of 5,000 STAR$ = S$5, so converting STAR$ to KrisFlyer miles is essentially buying KrisFlyer miles at 2.6 cents each. I’d argue this is too high a price to pay, unless you’re only transferring a very small amount. 

To convert CapitaStars to KrisFlyer miles, visit the CapitaStar Rewards Conversion page and login to your account. Select the option for KrisFlyer miles transfers, add your KrisFlyer membership number (names and date of birth on both accounts must match), and enter the number of STAR$ you want to convert. 

Alternatively, you can also transfer CapitaStars via the Kris+ app, as mentioned elsewhere in this article. 

Instant: Virgin Australia Velocity Points

SpeedInstant
Transfer CostFree
Opportunity Cost2.7 cents per mile

You probably won’t have a Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer account, since membership is only available to those with a mailing address in selected markets like Australia and New Zealand.

But in the off chance you have one, then you can transfer Virgin Australia Velocity Points instantly to KrisFlyer miles at a rate of 1.55 Velocity Points = 1 KrisFlyer mile. A minimum transfer of 5,000 Velocity Points is required. 

You will need to link your Velocity and KrisFlyer accounts, which can be done by logging into Velocity > Link & Transfer > Airline Points Transfer. Your name and date of birth must match between Velocity and KrisFlyer.

Once accounts are linked, you can proceed with the transfer. 

Unfortunately, such transfers will almost certainly be value negative; Points Hacks Australia values Velocity Points at 1.8 Australian cents apiece (1.73 SG cents), so you’re paying nearly 2.7 SG cents per KrisFlyer mile.

Instant: Buying from Singapore Airlines

SpeedInstant
Transfer CostUS$40 per 1,000 miles
Opportunity CostN/A

Whoever said “for the best prices, go to the source” obviously never bought KrisFlyer miles before. 

Members who have at least 50% of the miles required for an award ticket may purchase the remaining balance from Singapore Airlines. The offer will be made automatically during the online redemption booking process, and miles awarded instantly

Unfortunately, the price is prohibitively expensive at US$0.04 per mile (S$0.056). It’s hard to stomach when we’ve seen miles go for as little as S$0.008 cents each!

Because of the high price, this should only be used as an absolute last resort, such as when it’s too late to go out and shop with Kris+, and you need to confirm the seats immediately.

Instant: HSBC TravelOne Card points

SpeedInstant
Transfer CostFree 
Opportunity CostWhatever you’d have otherwise redeemed with those points

The newly-launched HSBC TravelOne Card offers points transfers to 12 different airline and hotel partners, including KrisFlyer.

While the website says that conversions are “instant or within one business day”, I can confirm that transfers to KrisFlyer are instant. What’s more, the conversion fee is waived till 31 December 2023 (it’s likely that a S$25 fee per transfer will apply subsequently). 

The minimum conversion block is 25,000 HSBC points (10,000 KrisFlyer miles), but subsequently you can make transfers in intervals of just 5 HSBC points (2 KrisFlyer miles). 

For a step-by-step summary to making transfers, refer to HSBC’s guide.

<24 hours: Shopping on KrisShop

Speed<24 hours
Transfer CostFree
Opportunity CostN/A

KrisShop is Singapore Airlines’ online retail store, offering fragrances, cosmetics, electronics, clothing, travel accessories, wines and more. 

KrisShop normally awards 1.5 mpd on all purchases, but members of the free-to-join KrisShopper programme can earn an additional 0.5-2.5 mpd, depending on tier. 

KrisShopper TierEarn Rate
Non-Member1.5 mpd
Member2 mpd
Insider2.5 mpd
Icon3 mpd
Ambassador4 mpd

While the official stance is that miles earned through KrisShop take up to five business days to credit, in practice they reliably come within 24 hours. 

The main drawback with KrisShop is that items may be priced higher than competing sites. You should do some comparison shopping and make sure you’re not paying over the odds.

<24 hours: GrabRewards points

Speed<24 hours
Transfer CostFree
Opportunity Cost2 cents per mile

GrabRewards members can convert points into KrisFlyer miles in the following denominations: 

GrabRewards PointsKrisFlyer Miles
20,0002,000
10,0001,000
5,000500
1,000100
50050

Based on my experience, transfers will be credited by 12 p.m the following day. 

Unfortunately, due to system limitations only a single conversion can be processed at a time. While one set of points is being transferred, all other KrisFlyer rewards will be temporarily removed from the GrabRewards catalogue.

This means the most you can transfer at one go is 2,000 miles, which is unlikely to be useful unless you’re just shy of the mark (and in which case, you might as well buy miles from Singapore Airlines).

1 GrabRewards point is worth 0.2 cents, so you’re effectively paying 2 cents per mile. 

<24 hours: OCBC points

Speed<24 hours
Transfer CostS$25
Opportunity CostWhatever you’d have otherwise redeemed with those points

While OCBC quotes “approximately 21 working days” for miles conversions, in practice, transfers of OCBC$, VOYAGE Miles or Travel$ to KrisFlyer are consistently processed within 24 hours.

Over the past few months, I’ve transferred both OCBC$ and Travel$, and in all cases the miles were credited later that day. 

Transfers of OCBC$, Travel$ and VOYAGE Miles incur a S$25 fee. The following minimum transfer amounts apply:

  • 25,000 OCBC$ (10,000 miles)
  • 1,000 Travel$ (1,000 miles)
  • 1 VOYAGE mile (1 mile)

<24 hours: American Express points

Speed<24 hours
Transfer CostS$20 (waived for all Platinum and Centurion cardholders)
Opportunity CostWhatever you’d have otherwise redeemed with those points

American Express Membership Rewards points have a quoted transfer time of one business day, but they reliably show up in KrisFlyer within 24 hours regardless of which day you transfer. 

A S$20 admin fee normally applies, but is waived for all AMEX Platinum Credit Card, Platinum Reserve, Platinum Charge and Centurion cardholders.

The following minimum transfer amounts apply:

  • Platinum Charge & Centurion: 400 Membership Rewards Points (250 miles)
  • All other cards: 450 Membership Rewards Points (250 miles)

Do note that transfers of miles earned on the AMEX Singapore Airlines co-brand cards like the AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend and AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card are not instant. Instead, points are batched and credited to your KrisFlyer account once a month. You can typically expect to see them credited around the end of your statement period. 

Conclusion

If you need an instant recharge of your KrisFlyer balance, the most realistic options would be spending on Kris+, or converting CapitaStars, Linkpoints and HSBC TravelOne Points. 

Those who are desperate could also consider transferring bank rewards points via Kris+, but there’s a 15% haircut involved, which makes this relatively unappealing.

Those who are truly desperate could also buy the balance from Singapore Airlines, but this probably only makes sense if you’re just shy. 

If you’re able to wait a little while (preferably with an award hold), then transfers of AMEX & OCBC credit card points, GrabRewards points and spending on KrisShop can also be alternatives, with miles usually credited within a day. 

Any other ways to transfer KrisFlyer miles quickly?

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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Fees

Lately I’ve been in this position a couple of times and I’ve transferred 100,000s of Citi, UOB and DBS miles and they’ve all come through in 24 hours and I haven’t missed a booking yet. Obviously YMMV.

Sean

My experience just last week is the same – both UOB and DBS are overnight. Meanwhile, still waiting on HSBC…

Lincoln

Hope u’ll add in the Transfer Lead Time for Citi Credit Cards points redemption to KrisFlyer Miles also. Thanks.

GC

i’ve transferred citi thank you points to kf recently. took 2 business days.

acky3000

to add to the Kris+ method, you can easily buy a deal voucher, and get the miles, and cash out that voucher at the merchant at a later time. much better value than buying miles from SQ.

sam

Aaron do you think there will be a convert promotion happening soon? still got around 1m miles to transfer from citi to krisflyer.

Alian

Xfer from highflyer is also another fast option

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