AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend reduces minimum spend for KrisFlyer Elite Gold fast track

From now till 31 May 2024, spend S$12,500 on your AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend (with S$2,500 on SIA tickets) to get a 12-month KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership.

American Express is marking KrisFlyer’s 25th anniversary with a special KrisFlyer Elite Gold fast track offer for AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders.

During the four-month campaign period which runs from now till 31 May 2024, AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders who spend at least S$12,500 (of which S$2,500 must be with Singapore Airlines) on their card will receive an upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold, valid for 12 months. 

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold


Currently, AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend Cardholders can enjoy a fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status by spending S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines bookings within the first 12 months of card approval.

Unless you’re buying tickets on behalf of multiple people, however, S$15,000 is a very difficult threshold to reach. And if you’re spending that much on your own tickets, you’d probably qualify for KrisFlyer Elite Gold on your own merit anyway!

Perhaps in recognition of this fact, American Express has occasionally lowered the spending threshold: once in 2019, and again in 2021. The latter required just S$5,000 spend (S$300 with Singapore Airlines), though the usefulness was questionable at best, since border closures all but ruled out travel at that point.

Now that things are back to normal, the fast track offer this time round isn’t quite as low- but it’s still much more attainable than the status quo:

  • This offer is available regardless of whether you’re still within the first 12 months of card approval, or have crossed that threshold
  • No registration is required
  • A minimum spend of S$12,500 must be charged to the card from 1 February to 31 May 2024
  • Of this S$12,500, at least S$2,500 must be on Singapore Airlines flight bookings purchased directly from SIA through, SingaporeAir mobile app or phone bookings

It’s clear from the T&Cs that Scoot flights booked through the Scoot website or mobile app will not count towards the S$2,500 spend component, but there’s still questions regarding the eligibility of Scoot tickets sold on the Singapore Airlines website (as part of a codeshare connecting itinerary), or paying for taxes and surcharges on award tickets. 

I sent across a few scenarios to American Express, who declined to provide yes/no answers but stated the following: 

For codeshare flights sold on, tickets issued in the same travel itinerary and receipt* (with Place of Issue as Online Booking) will qualify as an eligible Singapore Airlines Flight Booking. Please note that these tickets should still originate from Singapore and are purchased in Singapore Dollars.

*Taxes and surcharges reflected in the receipt will qualify as eligible SIA spending.  

-American Express

Here’s my interpretation of that:

  • If you book an itinerary on the Singapore Airlines website or mobile app that includes a Scoot (or other codeshare partner) leg, the entire amount will count towards the S$2,500 spend component
  • Paying for taxes and surcharges on Singapore Airlines or other partner airline award tickets will count towards the S$2,500 spend component, provided the itinerary is booked on the Singapore Airlines website or mobile app

In both the cases above, the amounts must be charged in SGD, and tickets must originate from Singapore.

❓ Must it really originate from Singapore?

AMEX Platinum Charge Cardholders will know by now that the “must originate from Singapore” clause isn’t a hard and fast rule- the most important thing is that transactions take place in SGD. As such they’ve been able to enjoy their S$200 airline credit on SIA bookings which originate from overseas, just by switching the transaction currency to SGD at the time of payment (SIA allows this at the checkout page).

It stands to reason that that similar logic will apply to this AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend fast track, though of course you do it at your own risk.

When will upgrades be processed?

Cardmembers who meet the criteria will be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold within 8-10 weeks after the end of the offer period, i.e. by 9 August 2024. 

Exclusion for existing elites

This offer does not apply to AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders who are:

  • Currently a PPS Club or KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, and 
  • Whose status expires after 31 May 2024

In other words, this is not intended to be an initiative for existing KrisFlyer Elite Golds to extend their status by a further year.

That said, an existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold whose status expires up till 31 May 2024 and has not accumulated enough Elite miles for requalification could take advantage of this offer still. There would, obviously, be a brief downgrade in the period between his/her status expiry and the fulfillment of the offer (by 9 August 2024). 

For example:

  • John’s KrisFlyer Elite Gold status expires on 31 March 2024
  • He meets the minimum spend requirement on his AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend card during the 1 February to 31 May 2024 promotion period
  • He can look forward to an upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold by 9 August 2024
  • However, from 1 April 2024 to 9 August 2024 he will not be a KrisFlyer Elite Gold

Additional gifts

In addition to the KrisFlyer Elite Gold fast track, AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend Cardholders who complete the minimum spending quickly may receive additional gifts:

  • The first 500 cardmembers to spend S$12,500 or more on eligible purchases with a minimum spending of S$2,500 on Singapore Airlines flights will receive a S$125 eCapitaVoucher
  • The first 250 cardmembers to spend S$15,000 or more on eligible purchases with a minimum spending of S$2,500 on Singapore Airlines flights will receive a 25″ Samsonite luggage

Each cardmember will only be eligible for one gift. For example, if you meet the criteria for the Samsonite luggage, you won’t be eligible for the eCapitaVoucher also.

These gifts will be fulfilled on the same timeline as the KrisFlyer Elite Gold upgrade, i.e. by 9 August 2024.

What counts as eligible spending?

The S$12,500 minimum spend can be met by any transaction that does not run afoul of the AMEX exclusions list. Some examples of ineligible spending include:

  • Charitable donations
  • Education
  • GrabPay top-ups
  • Insurance premiums (unless purchased through AMEX authorised channels)
  • SPC transactions
  • Utilities

CardUp spending and private hospital transactions will count towards the minimum spend. 

How long is status valid for?

KrisFlyer Elite Gold status is valid for 12 months from the date of upgrade. For example, if your account is upgraded on 9 August 2024, status will be valid till 31 August 2025.

Subsequently, you’ll need to requalify via the regular route (accrue 50,000 Elite miles in a 12 month membership year). 

What are the perks of KrisFlyer Elite Gold?

KrisFlyer Elite Gold isn’t quite the promised land of the Solitaire PPS or PPS Club, but 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 the post below.

Complete Guide: KrisFlyer Elite Gold benefits

Is it worth it?

Given its mediocre earn rates, clocking S$12,500 on the AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend will entail a fair bit of opportunity cost.

Cardholders earn 1.2 mpd on SGD transactions, and 2 mpd on FCY transactions in June and December (1.2 mpd otherwise). There’s also a year-round 2 mpd earn rate on Singapore Airlines tickets, though these are woefully underpowered compared to the 4-6 mpd offered by other cards.

The exact opportunity cost will depend on the breakdown of your S$12,500 spend, but if KrisFlyer Elite Gold is what you really want then this is the only way to earn it without flying.

For what it’s worth, there is a way to minimise the opportunity cost- provided you don’t already have an AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend. 

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend welcome offer

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend
Apply Here
  Existing Customers
First Spend 5,000 miles
Spend S$1,000
(Mo. 1)
10,800 miles+ S$150 eCapitaVouchers
Base Miles from S$1,000
(@ 1.2 mpd)
1,200 miles
Total Spend S$1,000
Total Miles 17,000 miles +S$150 eCapitaVouchers
S$343.35 annual fee must be paid

From now till 28 February 2024, customers who already hold an AMEX credit card can apply for an AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend and get 10,800-15,800 bonus miles + S$150 eCapitaVouchers with a minimum spend of S$1,000 in the first month. 

The S$343.35 annual fee must be paid, but that’s partially offset by the S$150 eCapitaVouchers (which I’d take at face value since they’re so liquid). 

This means the nett annual fee is S$193, for which you receive:

  • 10,800-15,800 bonus miles (worth S$162-237 at a value of 1.5 cents per mile)
  • One-night stay at participating Hilton Hotels across Asia Pacific
  • 4x Plaza Premium Lounge passes

Needless to say, this only covers S$1,000 of the S$12,500 spend- and the remaining S$11,500 will still incur the aforementioned opportunity cost. That said, it’s one option for boosting the overall mpd for the fast track offer. 

For more details on this offer, refer to the post below. 

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend extends welcome offer for existing customers: 15,800 bonus miles & S$150 eCapitaVouchers


KrisFlyer Gold Lounge

From now till 31 May 2024, AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders can take advantage of a reduced-spend fast track offer to KrisFlyer Elite Gold. A minimum spend of S$12,500 is needed, of which S$2,500 must be on Singapore Airlines tickets. This is still a significant threshold to reach, but definitely easier than the status quo of S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines tickets.

Just remember that this is not a way for existing KrisFlyer Elite Golds to retain their status, unless said status expires by 31 May 2024 and they don’t mind a few months of statusless-ness (well, you’ll be soft landed to KrisFlyer Elite Silver but that’s really kind of useless) inbetween.

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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Hi, does anyone know if educational expenses charged through Cardup will be considered as part of the minimum spending?

Taxation is theft

Same, but for income tax?


ahh its too bad i just paid my property tax. income tax season is not here yet though. will have to wait, try and see no?

(love the username btw)

Cardup for tax

Hello, just to clarify, payment of income tax via cardup will qualify for the min spend right?


hoping to get a clarification for this too

Ben Jamin

In the past I’ve had amex deny any bonus/etc for SIA tickets which did not originate out of Singapore – personally I wouldn’t risk it.


Hi there, does this promotion of $12,500 spend apply to existing ascend cardholders? Or is this only for new cardholders? Thank you.


I’m facing the same issue – I received my card in Oct 2023 and have clocked about $14k with so far.

I made an enquiry through the chat in the Amex app. Apparently for me the promotion is being interpreted as $12,500 + an additional $2,500 that has to be spent on eligible Singapore Air flight bookings. So I still have to hit $15k? Does not seem it’s much of a promotion that way.


Hi, I just cancelled the AMEX Krisflyer Ascend card 2 days ago. From their T&C, I do not receive the *existing Card Members* benefits (S$150 eCapitaVouchers and 10,800 KrisFlyer miles) even if I make annual fee payment.

My question is: If I reapply the AMEX Krisflyer Ascend and choose not to pay the annual fees (since no rewards), am I still eligible for this KrisFlyer Elite Gold fast track offer?


Hi Aaron,

There seems to be 2 separate offers here. One for KF Elite Gold. There is another one with reduced spending requirement and higher miles upon sign up (this includes both Ascent and regular cards).

Also, quick question, does holding an Amex with DBS count discount one as a new customer?

Min Yu

Hi Aaron,
I’m exactly in the scenario you envisaged for “John” above, with KFEG expiring 31/3/24. Is it confirmed that the qualifying spend period is still 1/2/24 to 31/5/24, and not 1/4/24 to 31/5/24?


Hi Aaron, my current KFEG expires EXACTLY on 31 May 2024. Would spending this 12.5K make me eligible? Your case study with John was March 😂


Would the $2500 spend on SIA be applicable if i book for my family and friends?


i wonder this too. also amex is elgible for cardup payment right?


I just checked with AMEX. $ paid for miles redemption wouldn’t not count to the $2500


lol typo. Just to be clear, I was told that it “would not count” towards the $2500


I have booked a SQ / Lufthansa codeshare flight via SQ website. Would like to check if anyone knows if this will qualify. The flight is departing from SGP and has an SQ flight number operated by Lufthansa. Better to contact SQ or Amex to get confirmation on this?


Krisflyer upgraded my wife to KrisGold almost immediately after she spent more than $12,500.
I was expecting to be the upgrade fr Aug 24.