How to get KrisFlyer Elite Gold with just four flights

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members can earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold with just 4 flights- a much reduced threshold.

Singapore Airlines and Marriott Bonvoy have launched a Preferred Partnership Programme which offers elite members reciprocal status matches and a status accelerator challenge. 

Match KrisFlyer to Bonvoy
Match Bonvoy to KrisFlyer
  • With just 10 nights (instead of the usual 50 nights), Solitaire PPS, PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members can qualify for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum
  • With just four flights (instead of the usual 50,000 Elite miles), Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members can qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold

These are significantly reduced thresholds, and well worth considering if you already hold elite status with one programme or the other.

I’ve already written in detail about matching from KrisFlyer to Marriott Bonvoy, so in this post I want to focus on matching from Marriott Bonvoy to KrisFlyer.

Matching Marriott Bonvoy to KrisFlyer status

Marriott Bonvoy TierInstant Match To…Status Accelerator Challenge
AmbassadorKrisFlyer Elite SilverKrisFlyer Elite Gold
(4 flights in 6 months)

Titanium
Platinum
GoldN/AKrisFlyer Elite Silver
(2 flights in 6 months)

Here’s a quick recap, for those of you out of the loop.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members:

  • Can register to receive an instant status match to KrisFlyer Elite Silver
  • After registering, will be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold should they subsequently complete at least four qualifying flights in a six-month period

Marriott Bonvoy Gold members:

  • Do not receive any instant status
  • Can register and earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver when they complete at least two qualifying flights in a six-month period

For perspective, KrisFlyer Elite Silver and Elite Gold normally require 25,000 and 50,000 Elite miles respectively in a 12-month period, so this is a significant reduction in the qualification requirement. 

How are qualifying flights defined?

Qualifying flights include any commercial booking on Singapore Airlines in any booking class, excluding the following: 

  • Award tickets
  • Codeshare flights
  • Group fares in the ‘G’ booking class

It’s a fairly generous definition, since it includes even the cheapest Economy Lite tickets. 

For avoidance of doubt: 

  • There is no need to book your tickets directly with Singapore Airlines; tickets booked through OTAs and travel agents will qualify provided they’re not codeshares or ‘G’ booking class
  • Commercial tickets which are paid for with a mix of miles and cash will qualify
  • Scoot flights do not count as qualifying flights
  • Only flights booked in your name will count as qualifying flights

There’s some confusion as to how qualifying flights are counted, so let me put it this way: think of how many unique flight numbers are on your itinerary. 

Here’s a table to illustrate how it works (I’ve confirmed the below information with Singapore Airlines): 

ItineraryFlight NumbersQualifying Flights
SIN-FRA-JFK
(one-way)
  • SQ26 (SIN-FRA-JFK)
1*
SIN-FRA-JFK
(one-way)
  • SQ326 (SIN-FRA)
  • SQ26 (FRA-JFK)
2
SIN-FRA-JFK
(round-trip)
  • SQ26 (SIN-FRA-JFK)
  • SQ25 (JFK-FRA-SIN)
2*
SIN-FRA-JFK
(round-trip)
  • SQ326 (SIN-FRA)
  • SQ26 (FRA-JFK)
  • SQ25 (JFK-FRA)
  • SQ325 (FRA-SIN)
4
DPS-SIN-KUL
(one-way)
  • SQ937 (DPS-SIN)
  • SQ118 (SIN-KUL)
2
DPS-SIN-KUL
(round-trip)
  • SQ937 (DPS-SIN)
  • SQ118 (SIN-KUL)
  • SQ117 (KUL-SIN)
  • SQ948 (SIN-DPS)
4
*If your SIN⇆FRA and FRA⇆JFK legs fall on different days (e.g. you add a stopover), it will count as 2 flights notwithstanding the fact they’re both on SQ26

For what it’s worth, airlines price connecting flights cheaper than direct ones, so you could qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold for as little as ~S$256!

In that sense, the real hurdle is having Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador status, not so much the flights themselves.

How long is status valid for?

KrisFlyer Elite Silver or Gold status will be valid till the end of the 12th month following the date of qualification.

For example, a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum member who registers on 13 January 2024 will receive KrisFlyer Elite Silver till 31 January 2025. If he subsequently completes four qualifying flights in April 2024, he will receive KrisFlyer Elite Gold until 30 April 2025.

This means that unlike matching from KrisFlyer to Marriott Bonvoy, where the right timing can mean 12 additional months of status, timing is relatively less important in this direction.

The status match/accelerator is a one-time benefit only. Members will subsequently need to meet the regular requalification criteria to maintain their status:

  • KrisFlyer Elite Silver: 25,000 Elite miles in a membership year
  • KrisFlyer Elite Gold: 50,000 Elite miles in a membership year

Going back to our previous example of a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum member who qualifies for KrisFlyer Elite Gold in April 2024, he/she needs to accrue at least 50,000 Elite miles by 30 April 2025 to extend his status till 30 April 2026.

What if I already hold status?

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members who already hold KrisFlyer Elite Silver will enjoy a 12-month extension of status from the date of registration.

However, existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold members cannot use this offer to further extend their status. If you’re an existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold, registering for this programme simply wastes your opportunity to take advantage of the status accelerator at a later point in time. 

Instead, you should wait till your KrisFlyer Elite Gold status drops to KrisFlyer Elite Silver or KrisFlyer, then register.

What if my Marriott Bonvoy status expires before I complete the accelerator?

It doesn’t matter.

All that matters is your status at the time of linking your accounts. For example:

  • John is a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum whose status expires on 28 February 2024
  • John links his Bonvoy and KrisFlyer accounts in January 2024, triggering the status accelerator challenge
  • John completes his 4th flight in April 2024
  • John will be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold in April 2024, notwithstanding the fact he lost his Marriott Bonvoy Platinum after 28 February 2024

When is this offer available till?

The T&Cs of the Preferred Partnership Programme do not state any end date, so no one knows except Marriott Bonvoy and KrisFlyer.

In other words, this match and challenge continues “until further notice”.

What benefits do KrisFlyer Elite Gold members enjoy?

KrisFlyer Elite Gold isn’t quite the promised land- Singapore Airlines’ best perks are reserved for its Solitaire PPS and PPS Club members.

That said, KrisFlyer Elite Gold members can still look forward to perks such as priority check-in and boarding, extra baggage, airport lounge access, and a 25% bonus on mileage accrual. 

For a detailed rundown of all the perks, refer to this post.

Conclusion

KrisFlyer Gold Lounge

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members can register for a fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold by completing just four flights in a six-month period. 

Since there’s no minimum mileage that needs to be flown, it’s an excellent opportunity to qualify at a much reduced threshold, and enjoy those perks for a 12-month stint. 

I’d say this is something to seriously consider, if you’re eligible.

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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Christ

Someone posted online that they took four flights under one booking reference number, and they were told it was “one flight with four sectors” so didn’t count as four flights for purposes of status qualification. Seems rather unfair.
Also, this status challenge penalizes those of us who are Marriott Platinum/Titanium + KF Gold. My KF Gold expires in March, and it would be great to requalify with just four flights. But SQ tells me I can’t register because I’m already Gold.
I’m sure it will work for some folks.

Ben

It’s a return trip PNR which is why there are 4 sectors.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ben
Alex

Do you know if I bought the air ticket today for flying in March and triggered the status match by the end of FEB ( right before my Marriott platinum expires)? Will my flight still be entitled since I purchased before the status match started

Alvin Ng

Yes it’s valid. What matters is that the 4 flights are being captured within the 6 months after registration

Steven

Thank you very much, Aaron, for the detailed and insightful post. It is good to get the clarity that the status won by challenge will last for a year after it is completed rather than registered. I guess all else equal, it would be wise for status holder of other careers to register/complete the challenge late and prioritize finishing the goal of their original status, should they intend to keep it.

Yeech

I’m curious because I’m currently a Marriott Bonvoy Gold member, as well as a Krisflyer Gold.

Working towards Bonvoy Platinum, and I wonder if after that, I can leverage that for the accelerated Krisflyer gold!

Wayne W

But if you’re already KF Gold, theres no point for you to leverage towards Gold (again). You can’t retain Gold status after you get Platinum. The only way is link the two accounts after you get Platinum and then having dropped your KF to Silver.

Jasper

Hi Aaron, I sent an email to Sing Air customer service, and what they said contradicts what you described here.
This is what they said:

We would like to inform you for example the flight from BKK (transiting SIN) to JFK will count as one flight . Additionally, If ever you wanted to book a return flight BKK-JFK and JFK-BKK, it will also count as 1 flight as well.
Therefore, you have to complete (4) flights in separate ticket.

So a return flight will count as one qualifying flight only.

Randy

Hi Aaron,

I am having the same issue as above. Booked 4 flights on 1 PNR (HND>SIN, SIN>MLE, MLE>SIN, SIN>HND). I’ve reached out to customer service and 3 different reps have told me that I need 4 separate bookings to qualify for gold. I continue to reference the program’s terms and conditions where a qualifying flight is defined but the reps still require 4 bookings. Do you have a contact at SQ that I can reach out to? Thanks for your help.

Davy

Yes my experience exactly, flew dps-kul via sin return, still got no upgrade to Gold. Maybe there is some miscommunication within the SQ regarding this promotion

Chin

I’ve Just done my flight on 2nd January with the following
Pen-SIn-Denpasar (return flight).
and i’ve got email today saying that i’ve got upgraded to Gold.
So i believe that the table is your post is accurate.

Davy

Hi Chin, glad you got your gold upgrade. Did you email SQ before getting email about the upgrade? I flew on 6th Jan but hasn’t got any email regarding the upgraded status

Anon

So it took about 2 weeks after the 4th flight to get upgraded to Gold? I did my 4th flight 4 days ago, so far still Silver

Anon

Data point: 13 Jan completed 4th flight, 26 Jan upgraded to KF gold

Christine

I’m also working on this challenge and will complete it by this Saturday (KUL-SIN/SIN-PEN/PEN-SIN-KIX). I’ve been on fb and 2 people who finished the challenge said their flights were not considered 4 separate flights from an SQ agent. You are the first person who actually completed the challenge and got upgraded. Good to know it’s actually valid!

Vincent

Thanks for clarifying the confusion, Aaron.
Now, is it possible for us to do status challenge back-to-back? (ie. from KF Gold to Bonvoy Plat, then after KF Gold lapses on March 2024, re-register back for status challenge from Bonvoy Plat to KF Gold).

Wayne W

I believe it’s a one time thing only after your accounts are linked. Note that you are not signing up for any challenge. You’re automatically entered once you link your accounts together.

Wandering Prof

I tried to link my KrisFlyer account to Bonvoy; but it is stating (on SQ website) that accounts won’t be linked unless I first transfer at least 3000 points from KrisFlyer to Bonvoy:
“If you are a member of the Link Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, your partner account will be linked to your KrisFlyer account automatically upon the first successful conversion of KrisFlyer miles to the respective partner points.”
Is this really the case?

Wayne W

Nope. My accounts were linked immediately.

Silas T.

Just a thought:

1) If I am KF Gold and status match to Bonvoy Gold

2) I lose KF Gold and managed to get upgraded to Bonvoy Platinum

3) Can there then be a Bonvoy Platinum to KF Gold status match?

Wayne W

No. Once linked, it’s a one time thing. It’s not a status match per se.

umh

Data point: 1/3 ends with 4 trip
1/17 upgraded to gold

Wayne W

Congratulations.
I was with Infinite Journeys link in 2022. Shangri-La’s Golden Circle Jade level get instant KF Silver status. After 3 sectors on SQ, I’d be upgraded to KF Gold. It took 4 months after my 3rd flight for my status to be upgraded. Writing to SQ Customer Service was useless. They were all clueless.

Alvin Ng

Hi Aaron,

I know a lot has been said and shared but I received both written and spoken confirmation from SQ contact centre that the 4 flights have to be completed whilst still a Platinum Bonvoy member in order to get matched to Kris Flyer Gold.

Simply signing up whilst still a Platinum Bonvoy member and completing it within 6 months ( with a drop in Bonvoy status) will not work.

Help! Pls clarify😥

Wayne W

Well good thing that I’m a Lifetime Platinum Elite member then. Anyway I just completed my 4th flight yesterday so will see. The KF Gold status will be good when I take SQ flights in the future for their 25% mileage bonus..since I’m already TK Good Elite.

Zac

Hi Aaron
How long will be reflected if I finished my 4 flights with my Bonvoy Titanium status.
Thanks

Christine

Some say they got it within 2 weeks. It’s been a month and still nothing. I literally just got off the phone with SQ and they said it will take 4-6 weeks.

john

after upgrading to silver with 2 flights , is it possible to upgrade to kf gold with additional 4 flights?

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