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American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card – MoneySmart Review 2018

amex krisflyer credit card

Joanne Poh

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The hunt for the perfect credit card to use for air miles continues.

But with so many credit cards promising to dole out a gazillion frequent flyer miles but only if you can meet their minimum spending requirements of $1 million a month, we’re getting a little tired of trying to earn miles the traditional way.

That’s why bonus miles are the way to go. Taking advantage of credit cards’ generous welcome offers to amass a big lump sum of miles is a lot easier than painstakingly trying to spend each and every month, only to discover the number of points you’ve collected can take you no further than Malaysia.

The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card offers a pretty decent bonus miles offer. Let’s see if it’s worth applying for:

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • Get S$150 cashback at Singapore Airlines
  • 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
  • S$1 = 1.1 KrisFlyer miles (Local)
  • S$1 = 2 KrisFlyer miles (foreign currency spent Overseas) during June and December and for purchases made at singaporeair.com, silkair.com KrisShop and SilkAir SkyShop, both in-flight and online
  • S$1 = 3.1 KrisFlyer miles for Grab and Uber rides, capped at S$200 per month
  • Receive bonus 7,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles when you first charge to your card
  • Get an additional 7,500 bonus KrisFlyer miles when you spend S$2,500 within 3 months of card approval
  • Get S$150 cashback for use on your next purchase on singaporeair.com when you spend S$12,000 on your Card from now till 30 June 2018
  • Enjoy free Travel Inconvenience & Travel Accident Benefits of up to S$350,000 when you purchase your travel tickets with you card

 

Pros and Cons for the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Pros

Cons

1.1 KrisFlyer miles for every $1 spent locally on eligible purchases (i.e. purchases made on singaporeair.com, the SingaporeAir app, silkair.com, KrisShop and at SilkAir SkyShop)

Miles conversion rate is not great.

2 KrisFlyer miles for every $1 spent overseas on eligible purchases in June and December

Miles conversion rate is not great.

$150 cashback when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases from 1 Jul 2017 to 30 Jun 2018.

Bonus of 7,500 miles when you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months upon card approval.

Earn 2,000 miles each time you refer a friend, and 20,000 miles when you refer 10 friends.

Get 500 bonus miles on your first Grab booking.

Entry-level minimum income requirement of $30,000 per annum.

First year fee waiver.

Annual fee of $176.55.

 

How good is the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card?

This card is like Amex’s KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card’s entry-level little sibling. The benefits and bonuses it offers are just a little less attractive, but in exchange there is a lower annual income requirement, lower annual fee and lower spending requirement to qualify for the bonuses.

Now, let’s be honest. The miles accrual rate for this card is quite poor—they’re in fact slightly worse than those offered by the KrisFlyer Ascend.

But as with the KrisFlyer Ascend, the card’s advantage is that it offers a rather easy way to earn bonus miles.

First off, the spending requirement of $2,500 in the first 3 months of card membership isn’t too difficult to fulfil if you sign up for this card just before going on a big holiday. That works out to a decent 3 miles per $1 spent.

And that’s the bare minimum you receive, assuming you spend on things that are not eligible for their regular miles accrual rates. On the other hand, if that $2,500 is spent on, say, air ticket bookings on singaporeair.com, you will effectively receive 4.1 miles per $1 spent (bonus miles + regular miles accrual of 1.1 per $1 for local spending). If that $2,500 is spent overseas in June/December, you will effectively be receiving 5 miles per $1 spent.

(The KrisFlyer Ascend offers a similar bonus miles offer for new cardmembers, but the spending requirements are much more onerous, at $6,000 in the first 3 months.)

There are also a few other ways you can scrounge a few more bonus points, such as by making a Grab booking, which instantly nets you 500 bonus miles, and by referring a friend. This makes it a great card to use in the first few months just for the bonus miles.

 

Let’s compare this card with its rivals

Of course, most air mile credit cards offer bonus miles. Let’s compare the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card with some if its closest competitors.

  • KrisFlyer Ascend – This card is very similar, and offers a 15,000 mile bonus if you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months upon card approval. Their miles conversion rate on eligible local spending is also slightly more attractive at 1.2 miles vs KrisFlyer (Blue)’s 1.1 miles. They also offer some extra perks like a free hotel stay and four complimentary airport lounge passes a year. You’ll want to go for this card if you are a big enough spender to maximise their perks, provided you satisfy their annual income requirement of $50,000.
  • HSBC Visa Infinite Card – 35,000 air miles once you sign up, no questions asked. Oh, did we mention you also get unlimited airport lounge access, free travel insurance, complimentary limousine transfer and expedited immigration clearance? The main drawback for mere mortals is the minimum income requirement of $120,000 a year, which you can circumvent while maintaining an HSBC fixed deposit account with at least $30,000.
  • UOB PRVI Miles World MasterCard – Their sign-up bonus is a cool 12,000 points so long as you charge $4,000 of eligible purchases within the first two months. The minimum income requirement is $50,000.

As you can see, the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card may not offer the best bonus miles, but most of its closest competitors have higher minimum income requirements. If you make under $50,000 a year, this is probably your best option for earning sign-up bonus miles.

 

American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card income requirements

Singaporeans & PRs: $30,000 p.a.
Foreigners: $60,000 p.a.

American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card annual fee

$176.55 (waived for first year)

Which credit cards have you applied for just to enjoy their sign-up bonus miles? Tell us 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.