The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card is a co-branded credit card between American Express and Singapore Airlines. Since the name is too long (who can remember such lengthy name??), I will just refer to it as AMEX KrisFlyer card throughout this review.
The reason I indicate the blue card in the title is because there are 2 AMEX SIA KrisFlyer co-branded cards. The first one is this American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card (aka AMEX Krisflyer, aka the blue one), and the second one is called American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card (aka AMEX Ascend, aka the black one). This article will focus on the blue one, which is the entry-level card.
I got my AMEX KrisFlyer card in 2018. Back then, American Express cards were not so widely accepted in Singapore yet, I had some difficulty fulfilling the minimum spending amount. Thankfully, now, more and more merchants in Singapore are accepting Amex cards (YAY!).
In this article, I’ll share my in-depth review of the AMEX KrisFlyer credit card.
Table of Contents
What is AMEX KrisFlyer Card?
AMEX KrisFlyer Card is an entry-level credit card that gives KrisFlyer miles to customers when they spend using the card. The KrisFlyer miles will be transferred directly to the cardholder’s KrisFlyer account once a month without additional fee (which is a double-edged sword, I’ll talk more about this in “Benefit #1” section).
If you are not familiar with KrisFlyer, it is Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program. Membership is free of charge. You can earn KrisFlyer miles by flying on SIA flights, shopping on SIA platforms, or by converting points from credit card to KrisFlyer miles. The miles can be used for redeeming or upgrading flights, offsetting flight ticket purchase, and many other uses which I’ll explain in “Where to use KrisFlyer Miles” section.
Here are the requirements:
- Age: 21 or older
- Min. income: S$30,000 (Singaporean/PR) or S$45,000 (Foreigner) a year
- Documents required:
- A copy of your NRIC/passport
- Proof of residence if different from NRIC
- Income documents (For salaried employees: Latest income tax notice of assessment and latest computerized payslip, OR Latest 3 months computerized payslip. For self-employed: Income Tax Notice of Assessment for the last 2 years)
Although not officially specified on the website, you NEED to have a KrisFlyer account. Registration is free. If you don’t have a KrisFlyer account yet, you can sign-up on Singapore Airlines’ website.
The annual fee is waived for the first year if you do not hold any other existing co-branded American Express Singapore Airlines Credit Cards.
In 2023, the annual fee is S$178.20/year (inclusive of 8% GST). Supplementary card is free for the first 2 cards, thereafter, S$54/card per year (inclusive of 8%GST).
From Jan 2024 onwards, the annual fee is S$179.85/year (inclusive of 9% GST). Supplementary card is free for the first 2 cards, thereafter, S$54.50/card per year (inclusive of 9% GST).
For the second year onwards, you may or may not get fee waiver, depending on your spending and Amex’s discretion.
For me, I did not continue to use this AMEX KrisFlyer card for the second year because I upgraded to AMEX Ascend card. I’ll share more about this in the “Benefit #2” section.
Welcome Bonus for New Sign-Ups
New sign-ups can earn the following welcome bonus:
- 5,000 Bonus KrisFlyer Miles upon first transaction, if this is the first time you own any co-branded American Express Singapore Airlines Credit Card
- Singapore Airlines Cashback worth S$150 if you charge S$12,000 or more to your card between 1 July (of current year) to 30 June (of the immediately following year). Details can be found in “Benefit #3” in this article.
Benefits of AMEX KrisFlyer Card
Benefit #1: Direct Transfer of KrisFlyer Miles to Your KrisFlyer Account
The benefit of owning a co-branded Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer credit card is that all the miles earned will be transferred directly to your KrisFlyer account without additional fee, therefore, you can save the SGD25+GST conversion fee, which is usually charged by other miles card.
The bad thing about direct transfer is that, once your miles enter your KrisFlyer account, the 3-year countdown begins. That’s because KrisFlyer miles are only valid for 3 years, if you don’t use them during the validity period, they’ll expire worthless. So, make sure you monitor your KrisFlyer miles validity using the SingaporeAir mobile app or SIA website, and redeem them before their expiration.
Benefit #2: Ability to upgrade to KrisFlyer Ascend card after 9 months
AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend is the sister card (the black card) which gives slightly higher earning rate and more attractive benefits. The Ascend card has a higher income requirement (S$50,000/year for Singaporean/PR).
If you can’t meet Ascend income requirement, you can still get Ascend card by upgrading from this AMEX KrisFlyer card (the blue card) and receive upgrade bonus upon successful upgrade and Ascend annual fee payment.
To qualify for the upgrade, you need to hold AMEX KrisFlyer card for a minimum of 6 months. Sometimes, they require that you spend a certain amount with AMEX KrisFlyer before applying to upgrade, but sometimes they don’t. The latest upgrade requirements and bonus details can be found here.
Benefit #3: S$150 cashback on Singapore Airlines
You can earn S$150 Singapore Airlines cashback when you spend at least S$12,000 between 1 July (of the current year) and 30 June (of the following year).
The S$150 cashback can be used with your next purchase of eligible Singapore Airlines air ticket(s) made directly online at singaporeair.com or the SingaporeAir mobile app.
You must purchase SIA tickets within 12 months from the date you meet the S$12,000 spending requirement. And the tickets must originate from Singapore only, and paid in Singapore Dollars.
This S$150 cashback will only be credited to your Card as statement credit after you purchase tickets on singaporeair.com or the SingaporeAir mobile app. The S$150 statement credit will appear in your billing statement within 90 days from date of your ticket purchase. Confusing, I know, but that’s the way it is. T&Cs here.
Benefit #4: 500 Bonus KrisFlyer miles on telco recurring bill
You can get a one-time bonus of 500 KrisFlyer miles on your first recurring telco bills. To do so, you need to set up automatic bill payments via your telco provider’s website. The participating telco merchants are: Singtel, StarHub, M1, Circles.Life and MyRepublic. Details can be found here.
Benefit #5: Free Travel Inconvenience & Travel Accident Benefits
You can get a free Travel Inconvenience & Travel Accident Benefits of up to S$350,000, when you charge the entire fare of your travel tickets with AMEX KrisFlyer card.
This insurance is underwritten by Chubb Insurance and covers missed connection, baggage delay, flight delay, travel accident which leads to accidental death or total disablement. T&Cs here.
To be honest, the coverage is pretty minimum. I wouldn’t rely on this travel insurance alone, I would get a better insurance with more coverage.
Earning Rate of AMEX KrisFlyer Card
Local Spend: 1.1 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent in local currency
Overseas Spend: 2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 equivalent in foreign, during June and December only
Singapore Airline: 2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on singaporeair.com, SingaporeAir mobile app and KrisShop (in-flight and online)
Grab: 3.1 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on eligible Grab Singapore transactions (exclude Grabpay top-up), cap at S$200 spend in each calendar month. (T&C)
Where to use KrisFlyer Miles
Here are the ways you can use your KrisFlyer miles:
- Redeem miles for free flight (aka award tickets) on Singapore Airlines, Star Alliance or partner airlines
- Redeem miles for flight upgrades
- Offset flight tickets
- Offset your purchase at KrisShop, Kris+
- Redeem miles for hotel stays and car rentals via vRooms
- Convert miles to Shangri-La GC Award Points to redeem free hotel stay, room upgrades, spa/dining vouchers
- Convert to Virgin Australia Velocity Points to redeem reward seats and upgrades
Personally, I would only use KrisFlyer miles for flight redemption (Business or First Class) because that’s where a mile is worth the most.
You won’t earn KrisFlyer Miles for the following spending (source):
- a) Charges processed and billed prior to the Enrolment Date or charges prepaid on any Card Account prior to the first billing statement for that Card Account following the Enrolment Date;
- b) Cash Advance and other cash services;
- c) Express Cash;
- d) American Express Travellers Cheque purchases;
- e) Charges for dishonoured cheques;
- f) Finance charges – including Line of Credit charges and Credit Card interest charges;
- g) Late Payment and collection charges;
- h) Tax refunds from overseas purchases;
- i) Balance Transfers;
- j) Instalment plans;
- k) Annual Card fees;
- l) Amount billed for purchase of KrisFlyer miles to top-up your miles balance;
- m) Bill payments and all transactions via SingPost (e.g. SAM kiosks, mobile app, online portal);
- n) Payments to insurance companies (except payments made for insurance products purchased through American Express authorized channel);
- o) Payments to Singapore Petroleum Company Limited (SPC) service stations;
- p) Payments for the purpose of GrabPay top-ups;
- q) Payments to utilities merchants (with effect from 12 February 2021);
- r) Payments to public/restructured hospitals, polyclinics and other public/restructured healthcare institutions and facilities (with effect from 1 October 2022);
- s) Transactions relating to education and other non-profit purposes (including charitabledonations) (with effect from 1 October 2023);
- t) Charges at merchants or establishments that are excluded by American Express at its sole discretion and notified by American Express to you from time to time.
You can earn miles when using CardUp (source).
How to Check How Many KrisFlyer Miles Earned in Each Transaction
I once asked the customer service whether it was possible for me to check how many miles earned for each transaction. She said I can go to visit Amex website, login to my account, under “KrisFlyer Miles” click on KrisFlyer Miles Earned button. I did what she instructed but I still couldn’t see the breakdown of each transaction. She didn’t have any solution to that.
Later, I found that I can actually see the miles earned in each transaction via mobile app. To do that, I need to open my Amex SG mobile app, select AMEX KrisFlyer Card, tap the Membership tab at the bottom of the screen, then tap View Activity button. Here, I can see my recent transactions and the number of points earned on each transaction.
What I Love about AMEX KrisFlyer Card
Generous welcome bonus. Not gonna lie, the first thing that made me want to sign up for the card is the generous welcome bonus. I mean, 5k miles just for spending the card for the first time? That’s worth like S$100 (assuming 1 mile is worth 2 cents) and they just give it to you for free! And the welcome bonus for meeting the spending requirement is pretty generous compared to other miles card. This card used to have generous welcome bonus, but not anymore =(
Direct transfer of KF miles to KF account. I love not having to pay for miles conversion. Since I’m planning to redeem my KF miles at least once every 3 years anyway, I’m not afraid that the 3-year miles validity.
Upgrade to AMEX Ascend card. To be honest, I couldn’t qualify for AMEX Ascend based on income requirement alone, so I really appreciate this upgrade path. When I upgraded to Ascend, I received Ascend welcome bonus upon paying annual fee (the value of welcome bonus far exceeded the cost of annual fee, so it was worth upgrading).
Good customer support. This point is highly subjective. Based on my own experience, I feel that the AMEX team has been very efficient (card approval was really quick) and the quality of support I’ve received from their hotline is so much better than other banks (they’re well-trained and can answer most of my questions).
Adhoc promotions. AMEX often run generous promotions through their Amex Offer feature (accessible through Amex SG mobile app only). Sometimes, they’ll offer cashback or bonus miles when you spend at certain merchants or when you meet certain spending requirements. I seldom find such promotions in other banks, so I really appreciate what Amex does.
What I Don’t Like about AMEX KrisFlyer Card
Low earning rate. 1.1mpd for local spend is too low compared to other entry-level cards, like Citi Premiermiles. That’s why I upgraded to Ascend as soon as I could because Ascend gives 1.2mpd for local spend.
Bonus miles for overseas spending are only applicable in June and December. While other entry-level cards gives 2mpd for overseas spending all year round, AMEX KrisFlyer cards only gives 2mpd in June and December. For this reason, I don’t charge my overseas spending on this card.
Since they removed the generous welcome miles, AMEX KrisFlyer is no longer a solid card for people who are chasing welcome miles. I personally think that the only reason for applying this card is to upgrade to Amex Ascend later if you can’t qualify for Amex Ascend right now.
If the generous welcome miles returns in the future, I think this card is worth a re-look.
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