Getting started with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Whether you're normally a frequent flyer or a frequent buyer, Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer scheme is your ticket to rewards.

By Chris C., August 27 2020
Getting started with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program isn't only for Singaporeans: it's a popular international frequent flyer scheme for people who fly with Singapore Airlines, its Star Alliance partners, and other affiliated airlines including Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic.

On the ground, KrisFlyer also serves as a useful frequent 'buyer' program too, with KrisFlyer miles easy to earn via a range of Australian and overseas credit cards – so even if you can't visit Singapore right now, you can still stock up on Singapore Airlines miles.

As KrisFlyer operates a little differently than Australian frequent flyer programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Australia's Velocity, here's what you need to know about KrisFlyer. 

What is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer?

KrisFlyer is Singapore Airlines' frequent flyer program, through which members can earn and spend KrisFlyer miles on a range of activities, spanning flights and hotel stays through to online shopping and more.

Because Singapore Airlines is a member of the global Star Alliance, members of KrisFlyer aren't limited to earning and redeeming miles on Singapore Airlines flights: those miles can be used to fly with a range of airlines including Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, United and more.

How to join Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

It's easy to sign-up to the KrisFlyer program: simply visit the Singapore Airlines website and complete the online form.

Joining KrisFlyer is free, and there's also no fee to remain a member.

Where and how can I earn KrisFlyer miles?

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles can be earned around the world – and even if you don't fly with Singapore Airlines, you'll find plenty of ways to earn KrisFlyer miles.

Earn KrisFlyer miles on flights, hotels, ground transport

Members of the KrisFlyer program can amass miles when travelling with a number of airlines on eligible fares and flights. Of course, this includes Singapore Airlines, but also covers Scoot (when KrisFlyer add-on is purchased), and Singapore Airlines' Star Alliance partners.

That roster covers carriers like Air Canada, ANA, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, United, and many others – plus, miles can also be earned on other partners such as Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Olympic Air, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Vistara.

On the ground, KrisFlyer miles can be collected when booking hotel stays through Agoda, and via a number of chain hotel loyalty programs including Accor Live Limitless, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, World of Hyatt and more.

Hiring a car, in Singapore or around the world? KrisFlyer miles may be up for grabs on eligible bookings with Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt: and if you have a Grab account, GrabRewards points can be converted into Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer miles, too.

Earn KrisFlyer miles on credit cards and shopping

Beyond various Singaporean credit cards attached to the KrisFlyer program, Singapore Airlines maintains partnerships with banks and card issuers around the world, allowing shoppers to convert their credit card points into KrisFlyer miles.

In Australia, those with credit cards or charge cards from American Express, ANZ, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, Citibank, Diners Club, HSBC, NAB, StGeorge, Westpac and more may have a bounty of KrisFlyer miles waiting for them, just by converting their credit card rewards.

In fact, eligible new St.George Amplify Signature Visa with Amplify Points cardholders can earn up to 100,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles, just by applying for the card by September 30 2020, and spending $12,000 on purchases each year for two years.

This unlocks 130,000 bonus Amplify Points in year one, and 70,000 bonus Amplify Points in year two. Combined, that's 200,000 Amplify Points, worth 100,000 KrisFlyer miles after a 2:1 conversion from Amplify Rewards to KrisFlyer.

Also read: Best Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer credit card offers

Otherwise, every time you shop online could be an opportunity to earn KrisFlyer miles.

Just begin your journey via Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer Spree website, and click through to your chosen retailer every time you shop to earn points based on the value of your transaction.

There are plenty of other ways to earn KrisFlyer miles, too – head to the Singapore Airlines website to explore all your options. 

How many KrisFlyer miles can I earn?

In the air, you'll typically earn KrisFlyer miles based on the distance of your flight, influenced also by the type of fare you've purchased with every journey.

For the most part, more expensive tickets such as business class and first class fares, and fully flexible bookings, earn more points than lower-cost experiences like cut-price economy class travel, even though your mileage haul isn't directly based on the cost of the ticket.

On the ground, the number of KrisFlyer miles you can earn from other activities is instead more closely tied to the number of dollars spent.

As an example, when shopping online via the KrisFlyer Spree mall, you'll receive a certain number of miles per dollar spent, depending on the retailer.

Through credit card providers, you'll instead convert your credit card points into KrisFlyer miles. These transactions are typically subject to a 'conversion rate' – for example, two credit card reward points may equal one KrisFlyer mile, depending on your bank.

Of course, the number of credit card reward points you earn in the first place is closely tied to how much you spend (excepting any sign-on bonus offers, of course), meaning those poised to get the most benefit out of KrisFlyer are those regularly making moderate to high spends.

In the KrisFlyer program, there's no limit to the number of miles you can earn in your account, although earn earning partner may have its own limits: such as a points cap or transfer limit on a credit card.

What are KrisFlyer Elite miles?

In the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program, members can earn two types of miles: 'KrisFlyer miles', and 'Elite miles'.

KrisFlyer miles are those we've discussed above, being miles earned that can later be spent on things such as flights and upgrades.

Elite miles, on the other hand, are KrisFlyer's equivalent of status credits, and are used solely to determine your progress from the base KrisFlyer membership tier, up to KrisFlyer Elite Silver and KrisFlyer Elite Gold.

As such, Elite miles can never be spent, nor can they be converted into KrisFlyer miles.

Normally, Elite miles can only be earned on eligible flights with Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners – not from things such as credit card points conversions or online shopping.

What is the PPS Club?

Singapore Airlines' PPS Club serves its highest-flying travellers, with membership levels above the standard Silver and Gold ranks.

PPS Club is bolted on to KrisFlyer, but isn't achieved by earning Elite miles. Instead, travellers can earn 'PPS Value' when travelling with Singapore Airlines in business class and first class, and with SilkAir in business class.

Travellers in the PPS Club program enjoy benefits over and above those offered to KrisFlyer's Elite members, detailed further below.

What are the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer membership tiers?

Above entry-level membership, KrisFlyer members can work towards a higher status level by taking flights with Singapore Airlines and its eligible partners.

Here's a list of those tiers, how you can earn them to begin with, and how you can retain them once you already hold that membership level.

Tier / requirements

How to earn

How to retain

KrisFlyer Elite Silver

25,000 Elite miles within 12 months

25,000 Elite miles within 12 months

KrisFlyer Elite Gold

50,000 Elite miles within 12 months

50,000 Elite miles within 12 months

PPS Club

$25,000 in PPS Value within 12 months

$25,000 in PPS Value within 12 months

Solitaire PPS Club

$50,000 in PPS Value within 12 months

$50,000 in PPS Value within 12 months

Solitaire PPS Club Life

Closed to new members

No further flying required to retain

Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer and PPS Club programs work on a rolling 12-month period, meaning your membership level is regularly assessed with a view to upgrading your tier as your travel increases.

Once upgraded, your status is valid for 12 months. To retain your status, you need to earn the appropriate number of Elite miles or PPS Value during that fresh 12-month period.

However, when it comes to climbing the status ladder – such as from the entry-level to KrisFlyer Silver and then up to KrisFlyer Gold – all the travel taken in the 12 months prior to your status upgrade is considered.

This means if you start with no status in January and reach KrisFlyer Elite Silver in April (requiring 25,000 Elite miles), you'll only need to earn 25,000 extra Elite miles before the following January to go all the way up to Gold.

(You don't need to earn 25,000 Elite miles for Silver, then start again at nothing, and earn a further 50,000 Elite miles for Gold – 50,000 Elite miles in total over a 12-month period will have you covered.) 

What are the benefits of KrisFlyer and PPS Club status?

With each boost to your KrisFlyer or PPS Club status, you'll unlock new privileges when you travel with Singapore Airlines and its partners.

Here are just some of the benefits you can look forward to – at least, on Singapore Airlines flights:

  • KrisFlyer Elite Silver: Earn 25% bonus miles and complimentary seat selection on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, priority waitlist and standby, and Star Alliance Silver recognition.
  • KrisFlyer Elite Gold: Benefits of Silver, plus airport lounge access – including to the KrisFlyer Gold lounges at Changi and most Star Alliance business class lounges (and Virgin Australia lounges) – plus extra checked baggage, Star Alliance Gold, and more.
  • PPS Club: Benefits of Gold, plus upgraded lounge access (SilverKris business class), no expiry of KrisFlyer miles, complimentary extra legroom seating, and more.
  • Solitaire PPS Club, and Solitaire PPS Club Life: Benefits of PPS Club, plus Solitaire PPS Club status for a partner, first class check-in with Singapore Airlines, fast-track immigration in Singapore (via APEC queue), first class lounge access, and more.

For the full list of privileges extended to KrisFlyer Elite and PPS Club members, including with partner airlines such as Virgin Australia and others, head to the Singapore Airlines website.

Do KrisFlyer miles expire?

Unlike some frequent flyer programs, Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer miles adopt a fixed expiry. Normally, this is 36 months from the month in which each individual mile was earned.

For example, earn KrisFlyer miles in September 2020 and those miles will be valid until the end of September 2023, even if you earn more miles between those dates.

Of course, when you spend miles from your KrisFlyer account, KrisFlyer discharges your oldest miles first. This means you can't accidentally spend miles you earned just one month ago, when you have miles earned 35 months ago about to expire.

Those primarily earning KrisFlyer miles via credit card spend would be wise to keep their points in their credit card rewards program account until needed, to avoid converted miles from expiring.

(Naturally, if a bank is preparing to worsen its conversion rate to KrisFlyer, or the bank's loyalty program has its own points expiry rules, it may instead be wise to convert those points to KrisFlyer even without a specific use in mind, provided they're spent before expiry.)

How do I spend and redeem KrisFlyer miles?

KrisFlyer miles are made to be redeemed – and many of the methods used to earn KrisFlyer miles are also ways to use them.

As an example, you can spend miles on flights with Singapore Airlines and its various partner airlines, as well as to book hotel stays and car hire.

It's also possible to use KrisFlyer miles to upgrade to premium economy, business class or first class on eligible Singapore Airlines flights.

The upgrade options available to you will depend on the type of fare originally purchased, and the cabins offered on your flight.

Upgrade options may include:

  • Economy to premium economy
  • Economy to business class
  • Premium economy to business class
  • Business class to first class

Upgrades from economy and premium economy straight to first class are not available, and nor can you 'double upgrade', such as by swapping an economy class seat for business class, and then upgrading again from business class to first class.

Read: Singapore Airlines business class upgrade guide

KrisFlyer miles can also be used to upgrade to business class or first class on eligible Star Alliance partner airline flights.

Previously, it was also possible to convert Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points, but this is currently unavailable.

What's the best way to spend KrisFlyer miles?

When it's time to put your KrisFlyer miles to good use, some of the ways you can spend them provide better value than others.

For instance, when it comes to flying, the number of miles needed to book a flight outright isn't much more than the asking price for an upgrade: and of course, an upgrade requires you to have purchased a full-fare ticket first.

On the other hand, outright flight bookings on Singapore Airlines have minimal fees and charges attached, as Singapore Airlines doesn't levy fuel surcharges and carrier surcharges on these reward bookings.

Many members prefer to save their miles to book business class or even first class with Singapore Airlines, given the availability for those using miles tends to be good, and the fees are quite low.

KrisFlyer also runs 'Spontaneous Escapes' promotions from time to time as well, significantly reducing the number of KrisFlyer miles needed for eligible journeys.

Do I need a KrisFlyer membership card?

Singapore Airlines issues both physical and digital KrisFlyer membership cards to its customers.

While physical cards are handy to help unlock perks like lounge access abroad, the digital card will usually suffice: and of course, as soon as your KrisFlyer tier changes, the digital card will be updated with your new membership level, so you can make the most of your benefits.

Frequently asked questions

Can you join two Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer accounts?

While two travellers cannot share a single frequent flyer account, KrisFlyer has a system called 'redemption nominees', which allows a KrisFlyer member to use their miles to book flights and upgrades for another person.

For example, if one member of a household tends to earn more KrisFlyer miles than the others, that member can use those miles to book flights for the people nominated as their 'redemption nominees'.

Depending on your KrisFlyer membership tier, fees may apply if you decide to change your nominees, as limits apply.

Can you use KrisFlyer miles to upgrade on other airlines?

Yes! As above, you can use KrisFlyer miles to upgrade both on Singapore Airlines and on other airlines around the globe – typically those belonging to the Star Alliance family.

The number of miles needed for an upgrade depends on the airline, route and upgrade type.

Note, however, that while upgrades from business class to first class may be appealing, upgrades from economy to business class are quite difficult, and are normally possible only from the highest-cost economy class fares.

Can you convert credit card points into KrisFlyer miles?

Yes! Singpapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program is a popular transfer partner of many Australian and international credit card issuers, allowing cardholders to earn rewards via their credit card that can later become KrisFlyer miles.

For the most up-to-date information about transfer opportunities, conversion rates, minimum transfer amounts and waiting times for transfers to be processed, contact your credit card issuer.

Of course, Singapore Airlines is not partnered with every credit card rewards program, and some limit transfers from different types of cards.

HSBC Australia, for instance, allows the points earned on its HSBC Premier credit card to be converted into KrisFlyer miles, but not points earned on its HSBC Platinum card.

Also read: Best Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer credit card offers

Chris C.

A Brisbane-based contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

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