As I wrote about yesterday, Singapore Airlines has launched a new campaign enabling KrisFlyer and PPS Club members to earn status credits on the ground, without flying. This campaign runs all the way till February 2022, making it easier to achieve or requalify for status.
The one thing that everyone’s getting excited over is the ability to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold by transferring the equivalent of 250,000 miles from credit card points. That’s no small figure, but thanks to the pandemic, you just might have that much lurking in your balance.
I don’t know why I’m getting so many questions asking whether the double status credits promotion (running from 7-21 April) means they only need to transfer 125,000 miles. Guys, the double status credits promotion:
So the question before us: is it worth it?
What are the benefits of KrisFlyer Elite Gold?
KrisFlyer Elite Gold is the tier where benefits start getting serious. I mean, if you’re thinking of converting just enough points to earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver, you’re better off not doing anything at all.
|KrisFlyer Elite Silver
|KrisFlyer Elite Gold
|Elite Miles Req.
|Advance seat selection
(Forward and Standard)
|20kg extra baggage
|Priority baggage handling
KrisFlyer Elite Silver has virtually zero perks- trust me, I’m a member. KrisFlyer Elite Gold, on the other hand, comes with additional baggage, priority check-in lines, priority tags for your bags, priority boarding, and that all-important lounge access.
|✈️ Which lounge do I get?
|KrisFlyer Elite Gold members are banished from the SilverKris Lounge in Singapore (they can visit the outstation ones), but at least the old dingy KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is no more. Singapore Airlines is in the process of building a new-and-improved facility, which may or may not look like this.
KrisFlyer Elite Gold maps to Star Alliance Gold , which means you’ll enjoy similar perks when flying with any of its 26 member airlines. You can also enjoy a fast-track to Shangri-La Jade status with just one eligible night, thanks to the Infinite Journeys partnership.
How long would my status be valid for?
Here’s where there’s a lot of confusion (and the FAQs don’t really help), so I’m going to do my best to explain it. Please let me know if your interpretation is different.
Imagine two people: Jill, a regular KrisFlyer member, and Jack, a KrisFlyer Elite Gold. Both transfer 250,000 credit card points to KrisFlyer, and their points show up today (8 April). The 50,000 Elite miles will be credited within seven working days, so let’s assume it’s credited on 19 April.
Jill has now qualified for KrisFlyer Elite Gold, and her membership will be valid for 12 months from the date she earned her 50,000th Elite mile, i.e April 2021 to March 2022 (technically it’s April 2022, because SIA gives an additional month of grace, but let’s ignore that).
Jack’s existing KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership expires at the end of July 2021. Thanks to the 50,000 Elite miles, he has requalified in the current membership year, and his status will be valid till July 2022.
But wait, you say. Hasn’t Singapore Airlines already granted an extension to all members whose status expires from March 2021 to February 2022? So…why is Jack “wasting” his miles by requalifying when there’s no need to?
Exactly. That’s why there’s a rollover.
The rollover of Elite miles applies to members holding KrisFlyer Elite Silver or Elite Gold status with expiry between March 2021 and February 2022. These guys have already been granted a one-year extension, so any Elite miles earned during this membership year will roll over to count towards requalification in the following year (i.e March 2022 to February 2023).
Therefore, Jack will start his next membership year with 50,000 Elite miles already in the bag, which will see him requalifying all the way till July 2023.
I realise that’s a lot to digest, so let me try to tl;dr it:
- If you don’t have KrisFlyer Elite Gold now, your status will be valid up to 12 months from the date your 50,000 Elite miles post
- If you do have KrisFlyer Elite Gold, your status will be valid for another 24 months (12 months from SIA, 12 months from the 50,000 Elite miles earned during this campaign) after its current expiry date
Is it worth converting points for Elite Gold status?
Well, this pretty much boils down to when you see yourself traveling again, and how.
Regarding the when (and assuming you’re not already a KrisFlyer Elite Gold), you presumably want to maximize your Elite Gold status by delaying qualification until you know can enjoy the benefits.
For example, there’s little point converting 250,000 KrisFlyer miles now (April 2021) and earn status till March 2022, when you only see yourself flying again in January 2022 (because you’ve wasted 9 months of your perks).
But since the lead time for Elite mile crediting is relatively short at 7 working days, you can watch and see how things go with Singapore’s general population vaccine rollout, plus developments on the travel bubble front. If travel to Phuket really does open up in July, for instance, then by all means convert points and qualify for your status in June.
Regarding the how, Elite Gold benefits will obviously not be that useful if you always redeem miles/buy Business Class tickets anyway, since the perks are duplicated. But the expectation is that travel will reopen on a regional level first, and some may not find it worthwhile redeeming miles for such short flights. If your plan is to buy Economy Class tickets on Singapore Airlines, then yes, Elite Gold will be very useful indeed.
You also need to remember that KrisFlyer miles have a three-year expiry, and while Singapore Airlines has been periodically extending expiring miles, I just don’t see that policy stretching beyond the end of 2021. In contrast, certain bank points (e.g DBS Altitude, OCBC 90N, Citi PremierMiles) don’t expire, and keeping them on the bank side also allows you to maintain flexibility (by transferring them to another FFP).
For me, it’s pretty much a done deal. I plan to convert enough miles to earn myself KrisFlyer Elite Gold, and thanks to some Elite miles accrued through Inside SIA and Restaurant A380, I won’t actually need to do the full 250,000. Once quarantine-free travel is open to Singaporeans, I intend to do up a few reports on what it’s like flying in Economy and Business Class now, and the status will come in handy for the former.
For everyone else, you don’t need to rush into the decision. The option is available right up till February 2022, so play your cards right and you could have status all the way till February 2023. The next few months will be crucial in determining whether travel in 2021 can actually happen, so all we can do is wait.
Don’t expect VIP treatment as a KrisFlyer Elite Gold, but hey, if you want to say you’ve got something in common with Joseph Schooling…