Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer has brought back its 15% transfer bonus when you convert points from worldwide banking partners – including HSBC Rewards here in Canada, as well as several popular points currencies in the US – into KrisFlyer miles.
While KrisFlyer isn’t necessarily the most easily accessible program from a Canadian perspective, it remains an essential program for anyone wanting to book a dream flight in Singapore Airlines’s premium cabins, making this 12–15% conversion bonus worth a closer look.
Convert Points to KrisFlyer Miles with a 12–15% Bonus
Rather than being offered by any particular bank’s rewards program, the 15% transfer bonus is a promotion put on by Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer themselves. As long as you convert points to KrisFlyer by November 22, 2021, you’ll earn a bonus as follows:
- Convert 10,000–49,999 KrisFlyer miles in a single transaction (pre-bonus), and get a 12% bonus
- Convert 50,000+ KrisFlyer miles in a single transaction (pre-bonus), and get a 15% bonus
You’ll find the list of participating bank partners on the Singapore Airlines promotion page.
The only bank with a Canadian presence is HSBC, whose HSBC Rewards points can usually be transferred to KrisFlyer miles at a ratio of 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 9,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Under this promotion, the effective transfer ratio would be 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 10,080 KrisFlyer miles if you converted at the lower tier, and 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 10,350 KrisFlyer miles if you converted at the higher tier.
Do keep in mind the rather peculiar redemption structure when it comes to transferring HSBC Rewards points to frequent flyer partners:
- A minimum of 25,000 HSBC Rewards points must be redeemed at once
- On top of the minimum amount, HSBC Rewards points may be redeemed in increments of 10,000 points
Therefore, to unlock the higher 15% conversion bonus under this promotion, you’d need to convert at least 145,000 HSBC Rewards points in a single transaction, which results in 52,200 KrisFlyer miles pre-bonus and a 60,030 KrisFlyer miles after the 15% bonus.
Meanwhile, on the US side, all of the “big four” points programs of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, and Capital One miles are participating partners as well. Each of these convert into KrisFlyer at a 1:1 ratio, so the effective ratio during this promotion is 1:1.12 or 1:1.15.
Indeed, I’d say that this promotion is more relevant for those of you with a credit card presence in the US, because of the wider range of participating partners and ease of earning points compared to HSBC.
Finally, note that hotel transfer partners like Marriott Bonvoy are not eligible for the 15% bonus.
Also: Earn Star Alliance Gold by Converting Points to KrisFlyer
At the same time as this conversion bonus, there’s also the ongoing KrisFlyer promotion for earning KrisFlyer Gold status – and thereby Star Alliance Gold status – by converting 250,000 KrisFlyer miles to the program by February 28, 2022.
Since the two promotions overlap until November 22, 2021, you can take advantage of both simultaneously with a single transfer of 250,000 points from the major US currency of your choosing, which would earn you Star Alliance Gold and a 15% bonus to result in 287,500 KrisFlyer miles.
Should You Transfer Points to KrisFlyer with a 15% Bonus?
A 15% bonus may or may not move the needle for whether you wish to convert points into KrisFlyer miles, and there are quite a few different factors that may sway your decision.
On one hand, Singapore Airlines has historically liked to keep its KrisFlyer program as exclusive as possible. The airline’s long-haul premium cabins have historically been gated-off from partner award redemptions, and could mostly only be accessed through the KrisFlyer program only.
There have been some exceptions here and there, like when I managed to book Auckland–Singapore on Singapore Suites using Aeroplan miles, or when the world’s longest Newark–Singapore flight was widely available through Aeroplan during the early days of the pandemic.
But by and large, KrisFlyer miles gave you access to the widest range of premium cabin availability across the entire Singapore Airlines route network, and I’d expect that to continue in the post-pandemic days.
Some of the common one-way redemption price points in First & Suites Class include:
- North America to Europe (such as the New York JFK–Frankfurt fifth-freedom route): 86,000 KrisFlyer miles
- North America to North Asia: 104,000 KrisFlyer miles
- Singapore to Europe: 125,000 KrisFlyer miles
With a 15% bonus in play, these correspond to pre-bonus points transfers of 74,782, 90,434, and 108,696 points, respectively, from the major US points currency of your choosing.
On the other hand, KrisFlyer has a strict mileage expiration policy: KrisFlyer miles will expire 36 months after you’ve earned them, rather than following an “inactivity rule” like most other programs around the world these days.
Therefore, any points conversions to KrisFlyer under this promotion should be accompanied by a careful plan for redeeming your miles within three years’ time. In this regard, what might be a minor challenge during regular times can certainly become a major challenge during times of a pandemic.
Personally, I had taken advantage of this conversion bonus when it was offered last year, by transferring some of my Amex US MR points with the goal of eventually flying Singapore Airlines A380 New Suites Class.
After flying with Emirates and Etihad a few times, Singapore’s new A380 Suites are now the single top-most item on my bucket list for aspirational travel.
This year’s conversion bonus is a little less generous than last year in that you have to convert a minimum of 50,000 KrisFlyer miles pre-bonus to unlock the full 15% bonus, although we now have the unique opportunity to stack the 15% bonus with the opportunity to earn one year of Star Alliance Gold by converting 250,000 KrisFlyer miles.
If I hadn’t already taken advantage of this transfer bonus from my Amex US MR points last year, I’d almost certainly be doing so this year.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is putting on a 12–15% conversion bonus from worldwide bank partners until November 22, 2021, which is a good opportunity to pick up extra points in a program that has historically liked to keep things as exclusive as possible.
If you’re like me and have Singapore Suites on your aspirational bucket list, or you’d like to combine this with the simultaneous opportunity to earn free Star Alliance Gold status for a year, then this promotion will definitely pique your interest.
Outside of a bucket-list Singapore Suites redemption, however, I don’t think this conversion bonus will move the needle too much, especially considering the strict 36-month expiration policy on KrisFlyer miles.