American Express x Singapore Airlines = The Best Credit Card for Business Owners?

amex-singapore-airlines-business-credit-card-review

As far as credit cards go, Amex cards are probably as prestigious as you can get in. And as far as airlines go, Singapore Airlines is one of the most expensive in the world to fly with. So what happens when atas meets expensive? Their lovechild is the American Express Singapore Airlines Business credit card, a heavyweight air miles card specially for business owners.

Is the American Express Singapore Airlines Business credit card worth getting? What alternative credit cards are there for those without their own business? Here are our thoughts on the American Express Singapore Airlines Business credit card, including how you can use it to double up and earn both HighFlyer points and KrisFlyer miles at the same time, and why it’s the fastest way to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status.

Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Is it MoneySmart?
amex-sia-business-credit-card

Overall: ★★★☆☆
Best for: Business owners who fly or whose employees fly SQ often. 

Category Our rating The deets
Earn rates: Air miles ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ – Up to 8.5 HighFlyer points on Singapore Airlines Group
– Up to 1.8 HighFlyer points for other eligible spend
– Double up: Earn HighFlyer points and KrisFlyer miles from the same transaction. 
Earn categories ✈️✈️
Annual fees and charges ★★☆☆☆ $301.80 (main cardholder) / $99.92 (supplementary cardholder)
Accessibility ★☆☆☆☆ Must be a business owner or have executive authority of a company/business 
Extras/periphery rewards ★★★★☆ Priority Pass membership + 2 complimentary visits per year for you and a guest (worth S$221).
Complimentary Hertz Gold Status with 10% off standard rates, one car class upgrade and the additional driver fee waived.
Complimentary Accor Plus membership (worth S$418), inclusive of a free nights stay every year.
KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with S$15,000 spend on purchases from Singapore Airlines Group in the first year.
Sign-up bonus ★★★☆☆ 60,000 HighFlyer points with $8,000 spend over 6 months (valid till 26 Jul 2023)

See our credit card ranking rubric to find out how we rank credit cards.

 

Contents:

  1. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Summary
  2. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Eligibility
  3. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Annual fees
  4. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Rewards points
  5. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Travel benefits
  6. Is the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card the fastest track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status?
  7. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Sign-up promotion
  8. Should I get the Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card?
  9. Alternatives to the Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

 

1. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Summary

The American Express Singapore Airlines Business credit card is no everyday card for the everyday Singaporean. What differentiates this card the most is that it’s only for those who either own a business, or have executive authority of a registered company/business. (Psst, if this isn’t you, but you fancy the benefits of the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card, jump straight to our last section on some alternative air miles cards you can get instead.)

The Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card is an air miles credit card, rewarding you with miles for your spending on the card. Among the air miles cards, the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card has the highest earn rates for SQ flights, at a rate of 8.5 HighFlyer Points per S$1 spent. I mean, what would the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card be without a generous Singapore Airlines earn rate, right? Other flights also earn you a competitive 1.8 HighFlyer Points per S$1 spend.

There are also a bunch of exclusive memberships and benefits that the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card will get you, such as an Accor Plus membership, Priority Pass membership, and a fast pass to attaining KrisFlyer Elite Gold status.

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2. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Eligibility

Here are the known requirements you have to meet to qualify for the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card:

  • Age: 21 years and older
  • Minimum income: Amex doesn’t give an exact figure, but states that, “Card application is subjected to customers meeting the regulatory minimum income requirement and internal assessment”.
  • Be a business owner and/or person with executive authority of a company/business with a valid Unique Entity Number (UEN) issued to it by the government.

Although Amex doesn’t give an exact amount for their minimum income requirement, this probably isn’t the first thing you have to consider. The first thing you’ll notice about this card’s eligibility requirements is that you’ve got to be some kind of a business owner. Amex is catering here to entrepreneurs and businessmen and women whose work necessitates frequent and/or fairly regular travel overseas. If that sounds like you, read on to see how the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card works for you. 

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3. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Annual fees

This is an Amex card we’re talking about. Amex cards are notorious for a level of exclusivity that somehow translates into letting Amex get away with not only higher annual fees, but higher annual fees that often cannot be waived. It’s no different for the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card. While Amex used to offer a first year fee waiver back in 2021, these days, you can expect to have to pay the hefty annual fee of S$301.80 (inclusive of 8% GST) per year. Comparatively, here’s a look at the annual fees for other miles credit cards:

Air miles credit card Annual fee for main cardholder Supplementary card annual fee
Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card $301.80 $99.92
HSBC TravelOne Card $194.40 (Waive from second year onwards if you spend more than S$25,000 per year) Free, up to 5 supplementary cards
Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card $194.40 $0
UOB PRVI Miles Card $259.20 (1 year fee waiver) $129.60 (free first 2 supplementary cards)
DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card $194.40 $97.20
Citi PremierMiles Card $194.40 $97.20
OCBC 90°N Card  $54 $54

The Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card has one of the highest annual fees out there—aside from, well, other Amex credit cards. For example, the American Express The Platinum Card has an annual fee of a whopping $1,728. *faints*

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4. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Rewards points

Ok, so the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card comes with a pretty hefty annual fee. But do its rewards more than make up for it?

Here are the mile earn rates for the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card:

Spend Earn
S$1 spent on eligible Singapore Airlines Group flights Up to 8.5 HighFlyer Points
S$1 spent on all other eligible spend Up to 1.8 HighFlyer Points

Additionally, you’ll be rewarded with 5,000 HighFlyer points when you spend S$500 with Singapore Airlines Group in the first 12 months. Each year, you can also earn 15,000 HighFlyer points if you spend S$10,000 with Singapore Airlines Group in that year. These are regular card benefits independent of any welcome bonuses, which you should check out too below. Spoiler: they’re good!

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What are HighFlyer points?

HighFlyer by Singapore Airlines is a travel reward programme for businesses. It lets you and your employees earn HighFlyer points when you fly, which are valid for 3 years. You can then redeem these points to offset future flights or redeem extras like additional baggage and cabin class upgrades. 

You also have the option to convert your company’s HighFlyer miles into KrisFlyer milesm at a 1:1 rate. These KrisFlyer miles then work as per normal.


ALSO READ: KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide—How to Start Playing the Miles Game in Singapore 


You might be wondering, what’s the difference between HighFlyer points and KrisFlyer miles? Essentially, HighFlyer points are to businesses what KrisFlyer miles are to individuals. Here’s a quick look at how they compare: 

HighFlyer points KrisFlyer miles
Who owns the points/miles? Businesses. Each business can nominate up to 5 Corporate Travellers. Individuals
How do you earn them?

Selected flights operated by:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Swiss
  • Scoot
  • Tickets purchased in Singapore Airlines Suites
  • Tickets in First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class on participating airlines including Scoot.
  • Eligible charges on participating credit cards, such as the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
  • Qualifying hotel stays at hotel partners 
  • Qualifying car rentals
When do the points/miles expire? After 3 years After 3 years for KrisFlyer Basic, KrisFlyer Elite Silver and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members. Miles never expire for Priority Passenger Service (PPS) Club members.
What can you redeem them for?
  • Singapore Airlines tickets purchased through the online corporate booking platform
  • Excess Baggage and Preferred Seat Selection purchases
  • E-vouchers on Scoot, Lufthansa and SWISS
  • Airport lounge passes
  • KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership status (only for businesses under the HighFlyer Silver, HighFlyer Gold and HighFlyer Platinum tiers)
  • Flight tickets on Singapore Airlines, Star Alliance and other partner airlines
  • Singapore Airlines airfares and airport taxes
  • Scoot airfares and airport taxes
  • Conversion to KrisPay miles in the KrisPay mobile app
  • Items on krisshop.com
  • Partner vouchers

Don’t take the 1:1 HighFlyer to KrisFlyer miles conversion rate for granted. Many cards don’t come with such friendly rates—for example, if you have the ​​HSBC Revolution Credit Card, you’ll earn HSBC rewards points that can only be redeemed for KrisFlyer miles at a rate of 25,000 HSBC rewards points to 10,000 SQ Krisflyer miles.

However, do note there is one catch to converting HighFlyer points to KrisFlyer miles: you can only convert a maximum of 30,000 HighFlyer points into KrisFlyer miles per KrisFlyer member, per calendar year. You can also add up to only 5 people to receive these KrisFlyer miles—SIA calls them “Corporate Travellers” So if your company is large, these limits may curb your savings. You can still use HighFlyer points to redeem SQ bookings (either partially or in full), but this is more limited than the KrisFlyer miles rewards you can redeem.

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Can I earn HighFlyer points and KrisFlyer miles at the same time?

The beauty of the HighFlyer programme is that it lets you earn HighFlyer points at the company level, while your employees can still earn their good old KrisFlyer miles on the individual level.

In a way, this doubles the earnings. Using the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card, your employee can collect up to 8.5 HighFlyer points on an SQ flight for the company, while still earning KrisFlyer miles as an individual on their personal KrisFlyer account. You can then even convert those HighFlyer points into KrisFlyer miles for the employee to maximise savings.

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5. Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card—Travel benefits

The Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card is as miles-y as a miles card can get. Even its “lifestyle” benefits are travel related! However, that isn’t to say these perks are disappointing. In fact, they’re pretty darn good benefits you can get from a single credit card if you are a frequent flyer.

  • Priority Pass membership + 2 complimentary visits per year for you and a guest (worth S$221). Priority Pass is a programme that gives members access to 1,300 airport lounges and travel experiences in over 148 countries worldwide. 
  • Complimentary Hertz Gold Status with 10% off standard rates, one car class upgrade and the additional driver fee waived.
  • Complimentary Accor Plus membership (worth S$418), inclusive of a free nights stay every year. Accor Plus is a programme that rewards you with hotel and dining privileges in about 1000 hotels in 20 countries. Participating hotels include Fairmont, Sofitel, Swissôtel, Grand Mercure, and Novotel.
  • Accelerate to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status when you spend S$15,000 on purchases from Singapore Airlines Group in the first year. This tier gets you privileges like priority airport check-in, priority baggage handling, and additional baggage allowance.

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6. Is the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card the fastest track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status?

The Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card gives you KrisFlyer Elite Gold status when you spend S$15,000 on purchases from Singapore Airlines Group in your first year. Normally, it takes 50,000 Elite miles earned in a year to upgrade your KrisFlyer tier to Elite Gold. Mind you, that’s Elite miles you gotta earn, not your regular KrisFlyer miles. You might be wondering, how much harder is it to earn 50,000 Elite miles compared to spending $15,000 a year on SQ flights? Let’s take a closer look.

 

What are Elite miles and how are they calculated?

Elite miles are a special type of miles Singapore Airlines uses to determine if you deserve to be an Elite Silver or Elite Gold KrisFlyer member. Nope, they don’t actually earn you any rewards and are not redeemable for any goodies, unlike your regular KrisFlyer miles. These Elite miles are just for SIA to decide on your membership tier. 

Elite miles are calculated based on actual miles. The Elite miles you earn can be anywhere between 50% to 250% of the KrisFlyer miles you earn, depending on the booking class of your flight ticket. 

Here’s an example. Say you’re doing a return trip from Singapore to London on SQ Standard Economy. That’ll earn you about 10,142 KrisFlyer miles, according to their online KrisFlyer miles calculator. Here are the Elite miles you can earn, depending on your booking class:

KrisFlyer miles earned  Booking class under Economy Earn rate for Elite miles Elite miles earned
10,142 KrisFlyer miles Flexi (Y, B, E) 100% 10,142 Elite miles
Standard (M, H, W) 75% 7607 Elite miles
Value (Q, N); Lite (V, K) G 50% 5071 Elite miles

 

Getting that KrisFlyer Elite Gold—what’s the fastest, cheapest way there?

If you want to be in the KrisFlyer Elite Gold tier, you normally have to earn 50,000 Elite miles in a year. In the best case scenario in the example above, it’ll take you 5 round trip flights from Singapore to London under booking classes Y, B or E (Flexi). A Standard Economy round trip SQ flight from Singapore to London will cost you anywhere between $2,200 to over $4,000, which comes up to about $11,000 to over $20,000 for 5 such flights.

In the worst case scenario, we’re looking at 10 round trip flights from Singapore to London to hit the 50,000 Elite miles minimum. That’s $22,000 to $40,000 a year!

Comparatively, the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card requires a $15,000 minimum spend on Singapore Airlines Group. This may sound like a rather lofty sum at first, but based on our calculations above, it’s probably going to be the easier way to get that KrisFlyer Elite Gold.

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7. Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card—Sign-up promotion

Amex has ridiculous annual fees, but admittedly good welcome bonuses. The Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card is giving out 60,000 free HighFlyer points with $8,000 spend if you sign up by 26 Jul 2023. If you convert these to KrisFlyer miles, that’s roughly a return trip from Singapore to Sydney, Australia or 2 round trips to Bangkok, Thailand!

Here’s the breakdown of the HighFlyer points you’ll get and how to get them:

  • 30,000 HighFlyer points when you spend S$4,000 in the first 3 months of Card approval
  • 30,000 HighFlyer points when you spend S$4,000 between 4 and 6 months of Card approval

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8. Should I get the Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card?

Are you a business owner? Do you and/or your employees travel a few times a year, especially on Singapore Airlines? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you should get the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card. Here’s why.

Earn rates. This card beats the rest of the competition out hands down when it comes earning miles on SQ flights. At a whopping 8.5 HighFlyer points per $1 spent on Singapore Airlines Group purchases, the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card currently offers the best deal out there when it comes to rewards for SQ bookings. The next best is the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, which earns you 3 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop. Considering the fact that your HighFlyer points convert to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 conversion rate, the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card leaves the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card in the dust when it comes to SQ miles earn rates. 

Double the miles. Don’t forget that the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card lets you earn HighFlyer points for your company while letting your employee earn KrisFlyer miles for their own KrisFlyer accounts.

Sign-up bonuses. It feels like we’ve been talking about miles for miles and miles now, but the generous welcome bonus is definitely worth considering here—a total of 60,000 free HighFlyer points with $8,000 spend over 6 months.

Travel benefits. With a complimentary Priority Pass membership, Hertz Gold Status, and Accor Plus membership, the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card packs a punch when it comes to letting you (and your employees) live the high life at an affordable rate. Not to mention, it may very well be your fastest track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status. Hello, priority check-in/baggage handling/everything at the airport.

Now all this sounds great, but we also have some words of caution when it comes to the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card. Hear us out:

Hefty annual fees. $301.80 for the main cardholder and $99.92 for supplementary cards is kinda normal for Amex, but ludicrous to me when I consider all the other credit cards out there. I mean, there are some credit cards with no annual fees at all! 

There is a KrisFlyer conversion cap. You can only nominate 5 employees (SQ calls them Corporate Travellers here) under the HighFlyer programme for your business. When it comes to converting HighFlyer points to KrisFlyer miles, each of these Corporate Travellers can only receive a maximum of 30,000 KrisFlyer miles per year. This is probably no biggie if your company is not too big, but larger companies are going to feel held back by this limit.

All in all, the miles and savings you earn + lounge/hotel privileges you get amount to more than the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card’s sizable annual fee, it’s probably worth getting. Just take note of the KrisFlyer miles conversion cap.

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9. Alternatives to the Amex Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

We’re not all business owners, and not many of us are willing to pay over $300 in annual credit card fees. If you still want a credit card that rewards you for flying SQ, the next best alternative to the Amex Singapore Airlines Business credit card is the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, which annual fee is S$194.40 (first year waived).

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
AMAZING APRIL PROMOTION
on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, KrisShop, Kris+ purchases
S$1 = 3 Miles
on dining, food delivery, online shopping, online travel, and transport spend
S$1 = 3 Miles
on all other spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Amazing April Promotion | CASH BONUS]
Stand a chance to get an Sony PlayStation®5 (SLIM) Disc Edition (worth S$799) when you apply through MoneySmart! The first 6 successful applicants who submit the claim form at 2pm or 9pm can also receive a S$88 Cash Bonus via PayNow! T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS get up to 31,000 miles plus first year annual fee waived for new-to-UOB credit card customers who successfully apply for an eligible KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card and spend a min. of S$2,000 within 60 days of the card approval date on their card. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 21 Apr 2024

The HSBC Revolution Credit Card earns you 4 Air miles per S$1 spend on selected categories. These include contactless payment methods, online spending, food deliveries, and travel bookings.

HSBC logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn up to 4 miles per S$1 | Instant Activation*
on Online Spend and Contactless Payments
S$1 = 10X Points
on All Other Spend
S$1 = 1X Point
for every 10 Points
Earn 4 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get a Hinomi Q1 Ergonomic Chair (worth S$499) or a Samsung 27-inch Smart Monitor M5 (worth S$432) or an Apple AirPods 3rd Gen + S$50 Cash (worth S$313.80) or S$150 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$500 from Card Account Opening Date to the end of the following calendar month. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 21 Apr 2024

Want to start earning miles for your next holiday while you’re tucking into your Foodpanda delivery? The Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card lets you earn a generous 3 miles per S$1 spent on online transactions for transportation, grocery and food delivery.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Annual Fee Waived
for every S$1 spend on Transportation, Food Delivery & Online Grocery merchants. Capped at 3,000 Miles in a statement cycle
S$1 = 3 Miles
for all Eligible Foreign Spends
S$1 = 2 Miles
for all Eligible Local Spends
S$1 = 1.2 Miles

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P.S. Here’s our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric

In case you’re wondering, here’s how we decide on our credit card rankings.

Is that credit card MoneySmart? Our MoneySmart credit card ranking rubric
Category Our rating
Overall The average rating for the credit card on the whole, calculated from the ratings for the individual categories below. Plus, we’ll give you a one-liner on who we think the credit card is best suited for. 
Earn rates: Air miles / Cashback / Rewards points Air miles ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ / Cashback 💰💰💰💰💰/ Rewards points 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁. This category looks at the depth rather than breadth of earn rates.

  • 5 stars: This card’s got the highest earn rates within that credit card type.
  • 3-4 stars: It’s average.
  • 1-2 stars: These earn rates are below average.
Earn categories This category looks at the breadth rather than depth of your earnings.

  • 5 stars: Earn with ANY spend.
  • 3-4 stars: Earn on a large number of categories (e.g. all dining, transport and retail, but not telco bills) OR earn on 1 very broad category (e.g. all contactless/mobile payments).
  • 1-2 stars: Earn a decent rate only on selected categories, such as fast food only.
Annual fees and charges
  • 5 stars: $0 
  • 4 stars: $1-200
  • 3 stars: $201-500
  • 2 stars: $501-$999
  • 1 star: $1,000 and up
  • We dock a star if fee waiver is NOT allowed.
Accessibility Minimum income requirements:

  • 5 stars: Less than $30,000 a year
  • 4 stars: Around $30,000 a year for Singaporeans and $40,000-$45,o00 for non-Singaporeans
  • 3 stars: $30,000-$60,000 a year for Singaporeans, $40,000-$70,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 2 stars: $60,000-$120,000 a year for Singaporeans, $70,000-$120,000 for non-Singaporeans
  • 1 star: $120,000 and up for either, or both 

Exclusivity: We dock 1-2 stars if there is/are another category/categories that make the card exclusive and very specific to a certain clientele.

Extras/periphery rewards These include:

  • Travel benefits, such as airport lounge access
  • Lifestyle benefits, such as spa privileges
  • Dining benefits, such as complimentary AMEX Love Dining or Entertainer with HSBC subscriptions

We count the number of benefits and award between 0.5 to 2 stars for each, depending on how good the perk is.

Sign-up bonus
  • 5 stars: The gift(s), cash, or miles are the highest we see out there compared to other credit cards of the same type (miles, cashback, etc).
  • 3-4 stars: Average but not disappointing sign-up bonus compared to other credit cards. You aren’t losing out.
  • 1-2 stars: You are probably losing out in terms of the welcome bonus you’re getting; there are other similar credit cards with better sign-up bonuses.

Check out all our MoneySmart credit card reviews: The Ultimate List of Credit Card Reviews in Singapore.