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When I first got my KrisFlyer membership card almost a decade ago, the bulk of earning miles was by taking flights, and I wasn’t in some jetsetting career. So it took me a couple of years before I could finally claim an award ticket to a nearby destination.
However, these days, especially with a vast selection of air miles credit cards and a slew of partner programmes that allow the earning of or conversion to KrisFlyer miles, it’s gotten waaay easier for me to accrue miles for an award ticket.
In addition, with KrisPay’s miles-earning feature that’s been added as of March 2019, there’s really no excuse NOT to earn miles when you’re going about your everyday routine.
First things first, how do I get on the KrisFlyer programme?
Here’s a link to the online registration form. It’s pretty routine, just fill in your deets, check the right boxes and submit. This comprehensive blog post on the KrisFlyer programme might also come in handy if you’re the sort who needs to do extensive research before diving in.
The important thing is to make sure your name in your KrisFlyer account matches that on your passport so you can earn miles seamlessly.
Download the SingaporeAir mobile app to access your digital KrisFlyer card any time, so you’ll always have important information at your fingertips — such as seeing your upcoming flights, total KrisFlyer miles balance, and more.
KrisFlyer miles starter pack
For even better mileage (pun intended), make sure you do these things:
Now that you’re well-prepared, it’s time to find out how you can glean all the rewards without needing to buy a plane ticket:
Earn KrisFlyer miles through credit cards
There is a slew of credit cards out there that can help you earn KrisFlyer miles.
- Co-brand cards, such as the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card and KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card where the miles earned are credited to your KrisFlyer account monthly (so you save on transfer fees)
- Air miles cards, such as the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card and OCBC 90°N Card (where you can decide when you would like to transfer the reward points earned to your KrisFlyer account)
Many of these cards come with perks such as airport lounge access, priority check in and so on. There might also be opportunities to accelerate your miles-earning rates such as shopping on global sites (foreign currency spend) or maintaining a linked bank account so you can redeem award tickets faster. But while some provide a little more flexibility (some air miles cards allow you to choose your preferred FFP aka frequent flyer programme), there may be a conversion fee when transferring air miles from the card to your FFP account. Check out our blog post on the 7 best air miles credit cards in Singapore (2019).
Earn KrisFlyer miles through financial service partners
Consolidate all your rewards points with the various financial service partners like banks and insurance companies, and channel them to your miles-earning goal. Here are some ways to earn your KrisFlyer miles:
- Insurance: For example, on AIG, earn 1 KrisFlyer mile for every S$1 spent on eligible travel insurance plans; book via the Singapore Airlines website, or go direct to the AIG website.
- Investment: You can receive 6,000-45,000 KrisFlyer miles (from now to 31 July 2020) when you trade the qualifying amount on IG.
- Others: Convert other reward points to KrisFlyer miles (conversion fees may apply). Partners include American Express Membership Rewards, Diners Club Rewards Points, Great Eastern UPGREAT Points, various local and regional banks, and so on. Get the full list here.
Earn KrisFlyer miles through ground transport providers
There are several car rental providers like Avis, Hertz or Rentalcars.com that will help you along in your miles-earning journey. Even if you can’t drive, GrabRewards points can be converted to KrisFlyer miles. Here’s a taste of some of the partners on KrisFlyer:
- Car rental/limousine services: Earn KrisFlyer miles per qualifying rental or per dollar spent.
- Grab: Convert GrabRewards points to KrisFlyer miles at up to 160 KrisFlyer miles per 1,400 points for GrabRewards Platinum members. For those of us who have been topping-up our GrabPay wallet with an air miles credit card to earn even more, do note that some credit cards have started excluding GrabPay top-ups from the qualifying spend, so do check in with your bank. However, while we still can, we’ll continue using this method to pay our bills via AXS since it onboarded GrabPay in August 2019.
Check out the full list of ground transport partners here.
Earn KrisFlyer miles through hotels and serviced residences
Even if you don’t plan to travel soon, probably a staycation is on the cards.
- Hotels/resorts/residences: Big names here, such as Marriott, Starwood, Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and so on. Do take note that there is a mix of directly earning KrisFlyer miles and earning points via the hotel group’s own reward programme and later converting this to KrisFlyer miles. For Golden Circle members (Shangri-La Hotel and Resort, Kerry Hotel, Traders Hotel or Hotel Jen), 1 Golden Circle (GC) Award Point nets you 1.25 KrisFlyer miles. Plus you earn a bonus 500 KrisFlyer miles per qualifying stay at any participating hotel worldwide. (Do note that a minimum of 2,500 points is required for each conversion)
- Hotel booking sites: For more affordable alternatives, there’s Agoda, Kaligo, Worldhotels, Trip.com and more. To get the most bang for your buck, if you already have an air miles credit card with hotel booking perks, check which method allots you the most miles as you may not be able to double-claim these KrisFlyer miles (you usually need to visit a dedicated site). Also, do check if you need to be the lead guest if you intend to help friends book and earn the miles.
Check out the full list of hotels and serviced residences partners here.
Earn KrisFlyer miles through retail partners
KrisFlyer members can also accrue miles when shopping at retail partners, both offline and online, such as Club 21, Changi Airport, Zalora and more.
- Changi Rewards: Members can convert their points to KrisFlyer miles
- Shopping: KrisFlyer miles are either earned direct or through conversion. For example, Club 21 members can convert their points into KrisFlyer miles; while shopping at Zalora will net you 5 KrisFlyer miles for every S$5 spent and purchases S$150 and above mean an additional 50 KrisFlyer miles.
- Others: Some of these partners include RebateMango.
Check out the full list of retail partners here.
Earn KrisFlyer miles when you shop online at over 2,000 brands via KrisFlyerSpree.com
What is KrisFlyer Spree? Well, think of it as an online mall where you can earn “rebates” in the form of KrisFlyer miles. Yeah, it’s kinda like ShopBack but you get miles instead of cashback.
Why didn’t I use this sooner? There are so many local and international merchants to shop at, and here are some popular ones:
- Booking.com (23 KF miles per 10 USD)
- ClassPass (up to 30 KF miles per 10 USD)
- ASOS (19 KF miles per 10 USD)
- Klook (up to 19 KF miles per 10 USD)
- iHerb (19 KF miles per 10 USD)
There’s a bunch of e-vouchers and bonus offers on the website as well, so you can save/earn even more.
Earn KrisFlyer miles when you buy stuff from KrisShop
Then there’s KrisShop as well, which carries stuff from the in-flight shopping catalogue like airline exclusives and items from top brands. The earn rate is not too bad as well, at 1.5 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to be on a Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Scoot flight to purchase or collect your KrisShop items (but you can choose this option). Items can also be delivered directly to your doorstep.
Earn KrisFlyer miles through KrisPay
In July 2018, KrisPay, a miles-based digital wallet where you can pay using your KrisFlyer miles at selected partners, was launched. An update in March 2019 saw the app allowing users to earn KrisPay miles on their everyday spend at participating KrisPay partner outlets, which can be instantly converted to KrisFlyer miles (conversion must be done within 7 days of KrisPay miles accrual).
With KrisPay, I can potentially triple-earn miles, cashback and rebates from a single purchase (or more). For example, you can use your favourite air miles card to pay for your big-ticket item at Harvey Norman, PLUS earn additional miles via KrisPay. A recent transaction at Cedele saw me earning 6% on my dining credit card, rebates on my Cedele membership, more rebates via ShopBack Go, AND air miles via KrisPay. There are currently around 60 KrisPay partners spread across over 470 outlets in Singapore, but more are being added!
If you have a DBS card, you can also instantly convert your DBS Points to KrisFlyer miles via KrisPay.
Earn KrisFlyer miles through other miscellaneous merchants
There are a couple of merchants that don’t really fit into any category, but provide miles-earning opportunities as well. Some of these will need some conversion — i.e. Chope, Esso, PAssion Card’s TapForMore; while others are direct earnings — i.e. foodpanda (1 KrisFlyer mile per dollar spent), Sembcorp Power (when you sign up for a selected 24-month electricity plan).
Check out the full list of these merchants here.
How to earn miles: A quick scenario
As you can see from my not-so-brief explanation above, there are a thousand and one ways to earn KrisFlyer miles even if you hardly travel overseas. But how does this add up? Here’s a simple example, showing how a regular Singapore dude “Jim”, who is a basic KrisFlyer member, might embark on his miles-earning journey in a year:
|Financial service partners
$50 on eligible AIG travel insurance
$1 = 1 KrisFlyer mile
|Investment on IG hits the first tier of the monthly aggregated contract value
Earned 7,000 GrabRewards points (GrabRewards Platinum member)
1,440 GrabRewards points = 160 KrisFlyer miles
Every $1 spent on a Grab ride (pay via GrabPay) = 6 GrabRewards points
|Hotels and serviced residences
3 hotel staycations at Shangri-La Hotel (total spend = US$2,500)
2,500 GC points x 1.25 GC bonus = 3,125 KrisFlyer miles
3 qualifying hotel stays = 3 x 500 bonus KrisFlyer miles
|3,125 + 1,500 = 4,625
|$2,880 in eligible spend per year at Changi Airport via Changi Rewards 1,440 Changi Rewards points = 200 KrisFlyer miles
|$150 at Zalora
– US$100 at iHerb @ 19 KrisFlyer miles per 10 USD
– US$200 at ASOS @ 19 KrisFlyer miles per 10 USD
– US$1,500 at Apple @ 5 KrisFlyer miles per 10 USD
|190 + 380 + 750 = 1,320
S$500 at KrisShop
1.5 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent
4 visits x $100 at Sultans of Shave
Earn 1 KrisPay mile for every S$1 spent, plus a 10% discount when you flash the KrisPay app
|360 (after discount)
|Switching to Sembcorp’s 24-month electricity plan
550 Smiles Points at Esso (valid only for auto-conversions)
110 Smiles Points = 100 KrisFlyer miles
1L of Synergy fuel = 1 Smiles Point
|1-year Print and Digital subscription to The Economist magazine
|$4,000 on 1-year’s worth of food deliveries via foodpanda (minimum order of $35 each time)
Maximise the use of an air miles card i.e. Amex Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card or the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card
Based on what Jim has spent above, he can earn up to an additional ~31,000 miles in a year
Information in the table is for illustration only and may not reflect all the additional terms and conditions, fees and charges involved.
Redeeming your KrisFlyer miles is simple
With his 53,505 KrisFlyer miles, Jim can redeem a return Economy Saver Award Ticket to Tokyo, Japan (Haneda or Narita) for 50,000 miles on Singapore Airlines. If Jim accumulates the miles for a longer period, he could be well on his way to redeeming a Business Class award ticket.
If there are expiring miles leftover from this redemption that cannot be used for another award ticket, Jim can transfer them to his KrisPay app and use them to pay for his purchases, where he can start redeeming from just 15 miles (equivalent to S$0.10).
He can also use his existing KrisFlyer miles to buy stuff on KrisShop (minimum 1,000 KrisFlyer miles per transaction; mixing KrisFlyer miles with cash is doable as well), or when booking a hotel or car via KrisFlyervRooms.com.
Wait there’s more — other perks of the KrisFlyer programme
Other perks available to KrisFlyer members include additional discounts on advance seat selection, pre-purchased additional baggage, and more. Look out also for the monthly KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes, where KrisFlyer members can get about 30% off the usual redemption rates. Current promotion: For bookings made from now to 31 Jan 2020, get 51% off usual redemption rates for travel in Feb 2020!
There are more special KrisFlyer promotions too, so keep your eyes peeled! i.e. look out for bi-monthly offers from KrisFlyer where you can earn bonus miles via KrisFlyer partners.
So there’s really nothing stopping you from signing up for KrisFlyer and maximising your miles-earning capabilities even if you don’t plan to take a plane any time soon. Start earning these ‘hidden’ miles now!
Special promotion for MoneySmart readers:
Sign up for KrisFlyer with the code MONEYSMART to earn 500 bonus KrisFlyer miles. Offer is valid till 31 March 2020. Terms and conditions apply.
Are you already a KrisFlyer member and are you maximising all the benefits? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!