Credit Cards

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card – MoneySmart Review 2018

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

Joanne Poh



Going on holiday isn’t so simple when you’re travelling in a family. You’ve got to take into account everybody’s conflicting interests—the adults might just want to shop and eat, but they mustn’t forget that the kids will raise hell if they’re not entertained.

Then there’s the cost. One air ticket might not be too expensive, but multiply that by 3-5 and your heart will start to ache.

It’s time to make your family start earning their keep by collecting air miles that can be exchanged to offset the cost of air tickets on your next holiday.

And since every Singaporean should know about Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme, let’s see how good the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card is for helping families to accrue miles for a nice holiday.

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

Card Benefits

    • Apply through MoneySmart from 22 Mar - 19 Apr 2018 to get S$100 worth of Grab OR NTUC Vouchers. Application must be approved by 3 May 2018. Submit your (i)Contact Details and (ii)14-digit Reference Number on the Thank You Page upon completion at this link before 19 April 2018. T&Cs
    • 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles = S$1
    • 2 KrisFlyer Miles = S$1 in foreign currency spent overseas on eligible purchases in June & Dec
    • 3.2 KrisFlyer Miles = S$1 for Grab and Uber rides, capped at S$200 per month
    • Spend above S$15,000 on eligible purchases on within first 12 months of Card approval and get upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership
    • Four complimentary lounge access to participating SATS Premier and Plaza Premium Lounge each year
    • Complimentary night's stay each year at one of over 90 participating Millennium Hotels and Resorts properties worldwide
    • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage


    Pros and Cons of the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card



    1.2 miles for every $1 spent locally on all your eligible purchases with your Card.

    2 miles for every $1 spent overseas on eligible purchases in June and December, and on eligible purchases made on, SingaporeAir app,, KrisShop and at the SilkAir SkyShop.

    No minimum spending requirement

    4 complimentary airport lounge access passes per year to any participating SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore and Plaza Premium Lounge around the world.

    One complimentary night with Millennium Hotels and Resorts per year

    Welcome bonus of 5,000 miles the first time you charge your card

    Welcome bonus of an additional 15,000 miles

    Must spend $6,000 in first 3 months

    Receive 2,000 KrisFlyer miles each time you refer a friend

    Earn 3.2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on Grab and Uber rides, up to S$200 each calendar month.

    Spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on and you get a Double Miles Accrual Voucher.

    Voucher capped at 5,000 bonus miles, and offer expires 30 Jun 2018.

    Spend $15 ,000 on eligible purchases on within first 12 months and get upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership.

    First year annual fee waiver

     High annual fee of $337.05

    Higher-than-entry-level annual income requirement of $50,000.


    Why this card is good for families

    The card rewards you for spending money overseas / spending on Singapore Airlines websites and apps—for most people this usually means making Singapore Airlines flight bookings.

    Now, let’s be honest here—the miles conversion rate isn’t great. The maximum you can get is 2 miles, which many entry-level credit cards can beat.

    But the card’s real strength lies in the fact that big spenders qualify for many of their bonuses, such as the Double Miles Accrual Voucher (you need to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases) and their welcome bonuses. If you take frequent family holidays, it shouldn’t be too difficult to shore up that much spending.

    Another advantage of this card is that you get quite a few freebies that can improve your travel experience even if you don’t spend a cent on the card—the airport lounge passes and free annual hotel stay.

    Finally, your miles are credited automatically to your KrisFlyer account every month, so as busy a parent as you are, you won’t have to fumble with trying to convert rewards points to air miles or whatever.


    How does this card compare to the competition?

    Let’s see how the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card compares to similar cards.

    • UOB PRVI Miles World MasterCard – Get a much more generous 6 miles when you make flight and hotel bookings on Expedia, UOB Travel, Agoda and Kaligo, (selected airlines only—Singapore Airlines is NOT one of the selected airlines) as well as 2.4 miles for every $1 spent overseas and 1.4 miles for every $1 spent in Singapore. This is much more generous than the Amex Krisflyer Ascend on all counts, UNLESS you only fly with Singapore Airlines.
    • DBS Altitude Card – Conversion rate of 3 miles per $1 spent on online flight and hotel transactions, capped at $5,000 per month, 2 miles per $1 spent overseas and 1.2 miles per $1 spent locally. All in all, their conversion rates are more attractive than the Amex KrisFlyer Ascend’s, too.

    Okay, let’s face it, when it comes to miles conversion, this card pales in comparison to almost every serious competitor out there. You’ll only be able to unleash the card’s potential if you’re a big enough spender to earn all their bonuses.

    So by all means, enjoy your lounge passes and free hotel stay in the first year, but know that to really maximise the card you’re going to need to be spending much more.


    American Express KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card income requirements

    Singaporeans & PRs: $50,000 p.a.
    Foreigners: $60,000 p.a.

    American Express KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card annual fee


    What do you or dislike about the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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    Joanne Poh

    In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.