How to get Star Alliance Gold status after just three flights

By Chris Chamberlin, December 11 2017
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Star Alliance Gold is normally your reward for regularly flying with Star Alliance airlines throughout the year – unlocking perks like airport lounge access, priority check-in and priority boarding – but there’s a handy shortcut that can elevate you to Gold status after taking just three flights.

That’s more than covered by one return trip from Australia to Europe or two return trips between Australia and Asia, and what’s more, it doesn’t matter whether you’re flying on a flexible first class fare or the most heavily-discounted economy ticket: just three individual flights is all it takes!

This hack comes courtesy of the ‘Infinite Journeys’ tie-up between Singapore Airlines and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, where Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade members can be fast-tracked to KrisFlyer Gold – and by extension, Star Alliance Gold – just by taking three Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights.

Not already a Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade cardholder? That’s okay: there’s a way you can fast-track that status too!

Here’s how you can snag a Star Alliance Gold membership of your own, by playing your cards right.

Step 1: Become a Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade member

In Shangri-La’s own hotel loyalty program, all members start at the Golden Circle ‘Gold’ tier, and can move up to ‘Jade’ after 10 qualifying stays or spending 20 qualifying room nights in Shangri-La, Kerry, Traders and Hotel Jen each calendar year.

That means travellers who only check-in for one night at a time would reach Jade membership after their 10th hotel visit, even though they wouldn’t have stayed for 20 nights, as you only need to meet one requirement or the other: not both.

If you haven’t already joined the free Golden Circle program, join online now and be sure to attach your Golden Circle membership number to all future hotel bookings at these chains.

An even faster path is to be an American Express Platinum Charge Card holder, as the card includes complimentary Golden Circle Jade membership as one of its many perks, without meeting the usual night or stay requirements.

New cardholders should first activate their charge card and register for an American Express online account as part of that activation process, before continuing with these steps – while existing cardholders can get things moving by logging in to the AMEX website, hovering their mouse over ‘Benefits & Help’ and clicking on ‘Platinum Benefits’:

On the next screen, expand the ‘Hotels’ tab, then click on the word ‘enrolment’:

When the various hotel benefits present themselves, browse until Shangri-La Golden Circle appears, and then tap ‘Enrol’:

When prompted, key in (or confirm) your name, email address, mailing address and Golden Circle membership number, to submit your request for an upgrade to Jade.

Your status won’t tick over straight away – in fact, you should allow several weeks, or even a month for this to happen – during which time, you’ll see your request as ‘pending’ from the same screen.

Once everything goes through, your status will show as Jade on the Shangri-La website and in the Golden Circle mobile app, which you may wish download for iPhone or Android. Remember, everybody starts at ‘Gold’ in Golden Circle, so if you see this, your upgrade hasn’t gone through yet.

Step 2: Link your Golden Circle, KrisFlyer memberships together

When you’re officially a Golden Circle Jade member – either by meeting the nights or stays requirement or courtesy of the American Express Platinum Charge Card – your next step is to link this membership with your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account.

(Not already a KrisFlyer member? You should join for free first.)

To link your accounts, log in to Golden Circle here, and when prompted, key in your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer membership number. Once that’s done, click ‘register’. You may see wording relating to ‘Infinite Journeys’: if so, you’re on the right track!

Shortly after completing this process, your Singapore Airilines status should click over to KrisFlyer Silver – yes, not Gold – and if you do nothing else, you’ll remain a Silver frequent flyer for one year.

However, Silver doesn’t have many tangible benefits – you don’t even get priority check-in, let alone lounge access – so what you really want is KrisFlyer Gold, which is also Star Alliance Gold, covered in the next step.

Step 3: Upgrade from KrisFlyer Silver to KrisFlyer Gold

Once Silver status is showing in your KrisFlyer account, you can move up to KrisFlyer Gold after taking at least three ‘qualifying flights’ on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir within four months of registration, on which your KrisFlyer membership number is attached to the booking.

That covers any paid, points-earning Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights in any class of service – be it Suites Class, first class, business class, premium economy or economy – except for G-class group fares, flights which were booked using frequent flyer points, and codeshare flights.

Just one return trip between Australia and Europe would more than cover it, such as Sydney-Singapore-London (two flights), London-Singapore-Sydney (a further two flights); or two return trips between Australia and Asia – or New Zealand, aboard SQ’s Canberra-Wellington flights.

Howsoever you notch up those three required flights, your KrisFlyer Silver status will be replaced with KrisFlyer Gold (Star Alliance Gold) for one year.

In future years, you’ll need to retain KrisFlyer Gold the ‘normal’ way to continue enjoying its benefits – typically by earning 50,000 ‘Elite miles’ during that 12-month membership, by flying with Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners.

You can’t merely link your Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines accounts again: this is a one-off boost, so use it wisely.

You’ll also want to choose your timing here carefully, because even though you get a KrisFlyer Silver card for a whole year just by linking your Golden Circle Jade membership, the flights you need to take to ascend to Gold must happen within four months of linking your accounts.

Specifically for AMEX Platinum cardholders, there’s no harm in opting-in for Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade as soon as you’re able – particularly as this takes some time to be processed – but you should wait to link that membership to KrisFlyer until you know you’ll be travelling.

That way, you’ll be ready to roar, but won’t miss your opportunity of becoming a Star Alliance Gold frequent flyer if your next Singapore Airlines flight is a number of months away.

Step 4: Enjoy the benefits of KrisFlyer Gold, Star Alliance Gold

You’ve done it! With a KrisFlyer Gold card under your belt, you’ll now enjoy lounge access whenever travelling with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and the entire Star Alliance family, including Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, EVA Air, SAA, Thai Airways and United in Australian skies.

Your Star Alliance Gold card provides access to Air New Zealand's lounges, including in Sydney
Your Star Alliance Gold card provides access to Air New Zealand's lounges, including in Sydney

Further afield, your Star Alliance Gold also unlocks lounge access with Adria, Aegean, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Swiss, TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines.

Added to that is a boosted checked baggage allowance plus priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling when flying with the same airlines, plus other benefits like fast-track security screening and passport control in selected airports.

Through Singapore Airlines’ other partnerships, perks like lounge access and priority check-in are offered when flying with Virgin Atlantic and India’s Vistara.

A KrisFlyer Gold card also provides lounge access when travelling domestically with Virgin Australia, although this perk is already available to AMEX Platinum Charge Card holders: if that’s you, you may prefer to flash your AMEX for Virgin lounge access and accrue Velocity points on your flight instead, keeping KrisFlyer Gold for when you travel further abroad.

Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Very interesting!

Also, as AusBT has already covered previously, another easy way to Star Gold is joining Aegean's FF program. It's quicker if you fly 4 sectors with Aegean but even if you don't, it's only 48K to hit Gold and 24K to retain (12K if you fly 4 sectors on Aegean).

04 May 2016

Total posts 34

That's the process to get from Silver to Gold with Aegean. To get to Silver first, you either need to fly 2 sectors with Aegean / Olympic Air and earn 12k miles within 12 months, or a total of 24k miles with any *A airline. So basically 72k miles total to get A3 gold if you never fly A3.
The path to *G with Aegean used to be much easier. There are now other *A airlines that get you there faster.

18 Nov 2013

Total posts 48

Is it Gold status after just three flights

OR

Gold status after three flights (and 10 stays or 20 nights or Platinum AMEX)?

The title makes me think the former but after reading, it seems there's more to it?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Get the Platinum AMEX card and it's "gold after just three flights" (this is in keeping with the title of the article - we're showing shortcuts to getting Star Alliance Gold status after just three flights).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Would love to get Star Alliance Gold but being so far into OW, Emerald, its not really worthwhile. Shame as I enjoy flying SQ when I do

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

If you're not in a hurry for status, sign up with Asiana. Do 40K over 24 months with any Star Alliance partner (check the airfare class first) and you'll score Star Gold for 2 years. Asiana calls it Diamond. Their Gold is equivalent to Silver in Star Alliance. For full details check with Asiana's T&C. Otherwise fly Aegean around Europe as suggested by Alex. Cheers

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

14 Nov 2013

Total posts 42

great article, i had no idea this was available. I have diamond golden circle and have just done as you instructed above. I have recieved an email stating that my tier match has been approved and i will recieve my new card for silver in 4-6 weeks. What made this even better is that it states at the end (To receive a further upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status, you only need to fly 1 eligible Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flight within 4 months from this date of registration). Ive just booked my next trip in January to Singapore, Chris you are a legend.
Nicely done mushmush! Yes, as a Shangri-La Diamond member, only one eligible flight is required as opposed to three for Jade cardholders. A very easy path to Star Alliance Gold!

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

19 Mar 2016

Total posts 33

Hi ChrisCH.

In my humble view I think you may be missing a key point in this discussion. That being is Gold actually worth the loyalty and cost. Start Alliance has for a long time been eroding benefits when you are not flying on the airline that you are not associated with via membership (e.g. SQ PPS Gold flying LH). Boarding is often a shambles as the flights have so many Gold FF that’s you effectively get no priority no matter what class you are flying, luggage allowance have changed and generally in Asia, Aus, Europe the lounges are packed to standing room only. Recently in FRA despite flying business with LH and requesting to go into a LH lounge and being SQ Gold I was told that the lounge was actually full and regrettably I could not be admitted as they were admitting Miles and More only due to capacity.

Don’t get me wrong, I have done the mileage runs and more to retain status but for me the gleam of Gold is starting to diminish as better airlines start to evolve at a far cheaper cost.
Hi Taylor, and thank you for your feedback. 'Worth' is a very subjective topic, especially when discussing a benefit that covers over 30 airlines across 190+ countries and 1300+ airports, so while it sounds like you've personally had a few bad experiences on your travels, the value of KrisFlyer Gold status is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, for which some will assign a higher 'worth' than others, and that's an individual matter, it's not something for us to cover in a broad 'how to' piece on earning that status, beyond how it's done and what it gets you.

09 May 2017

Total posts 2

Sing air told me yesterday upgrade takes up to 6 weeks and they know nothing about 3 flts to gold. Any chance if posting actual official gold upgrade info on any sing air site?

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

14 Nov 2013

Total posts 42

We are pleased to welcome you to a higher tier of KrisFlyer membership.

Your new KrisFlyer Elite Silver membership card and luggage tags will be delivered to you within 4 weeks. You can also access your digital membership card by downloading the SingaporeAir mobile app.

For further information on your KrisFlyer membership benefits, please visit krisflyer.com

If you have any queries, please contact us at the number most convenient for you.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.


Yours sincerely,

KrisFlyer Membership Services

This is a computer-generated email. Please do not reply to this email.
Singapore Co. Reg. No. 197200078R

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

14 Nov 2013

Total posts 42

thats what they sent me after i followed Chris instructions. 4 weeks.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 117

Does this have to be ticketed by SQ or just flying SQ metal?

11 May 2018

Total posts 14

I'm also wanting to know this. If I book on SQ where two flights are on SQ metal and one connection on NZ metal, does this count as three flights for this status match?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2013

Total posts 130

This question was already very clearly answered in the article: "All fares...except for G-class group fares, flights which were booked using frequent flyer points, and codeshare flights."

05 May 2019

Total posts 1

Hi! Is it anywhere mentioned that we need to use our KF here or we can use Velocity to get SC while getting counted for the three flights? Thanks

11 May 2018

Total posts 14

Hi

Just thinking of doing this status challenge to get KF gold. Just wondered does anyone know is KF Gold worth anything in benefits? I already have NZ Elite.

Just wondered if KF Golds can see more award availability in the premium cabins on the SQ site? TIA

Oh
Oh

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

29 Mar 2018

Total posts 2

Hi, I was wondering if the 3 segments include short flights eg SIN-KUL. Would SIN-KUL-SIN count as 2 segments?


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on How to get Star Alliance Gold status after just three flights