Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer is a strong airline loyalty scheme, with an excellent set of partner airlines giving it global appeal. In this article, we explore the important area of how to earn KrisFlyer miles – through flying, credit card spending and more.
Flying with Singapore Airlines
The first and most obvious way to earn miles is by flying on Singapore Airlines. Earnings here are based on distance flown – the airline has not switched to a revenue based earning system like several others have these days (including Star Alliance partner United Airways). This certainly tends to reward the lower budget economy flyer.
Mileage is earned based on a percentage of the distance flown. For economy class, this ranges from 50% for the lowest discount (Lite) fares up to 100% for full fare tickets. Premium cabins earn 100% to 200%. Even though there is a bonus of 25% for Silver and Gold Elite members, these premium cabin rates are not as good as many other airlines offer for their own flights (for example British Airways Executive Club).
Flying with other airlines
Clearly, for anyone not flying regularly through Singapore, earnings with partner airlines are more important! The good news is that these earnings are all distance based (just like for flights with Singapore Airlines). The bad news is that earnings rates have been somewhat decreased over the past couple of years. Whilst the program is nowhere near as lucrative as it once was, there are still good earning options when compared to other airline programs.
There are several separate KrisFlyer mileage earning tables, for the following:
- Singapore Airlines and SilkAir
- All Star Alliance partners (awards can be combined with Singapore Airlines and multiple partners)
- Each of the other partners – Scoot, Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Vistara (each award can only be for travel with one of these partners)
As with flights on Singapore Airlines, mileage earning is based on the flight distance and booking code. For economy class these range from 25% to 100%, but a few of the lowest booking classes (for example N with United Airlines) do not earn miles.
Unfortunately there are no status bonuses for flights with Star Alliance or other partners. Silver and Gold Elite members earn a 25% bonus on fights with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Virgin Atlantic only.
Earning with credit cards / everyday spending
There are several co-branded Singapore Airlines credit cards that reward spend with KrisFlyer miles. These are available in Singapore, Australia and a few other Asian countries. They are worth considering for those based in these areas, not least as they often offer generous KrisFlyer miles sign up bonuses. View details of these cards on the KrisFlyer website.
The lack of a credit card in other markets is not really a problem. KrisFlyer has partnerships with most of the main financial reward schemes – including American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi Thank You Rewards.
This enables you to earn miles with any card in these programs and then transfer the earned points to KrisFlyer if desired. This is a very flexible way of handling spending rewards!
All these partners transfer into KrisFlyer at a 1:1 ratio, and transfers are fast (most within 24 hours.
Earning miles with hotel stays
KrisFlyer have partnerships with many of the major hotel chains and online booking portals. Miles are earned whenever you stay, and for regular travelers, this can be a good way to build up miles.
Earning vary between brands – you can check full details on the KrisFlyer website.
- Some hotels award a fixed number of points per stay (for example 500 miles per stay at Mandarin Oriental, Millennium Hotels or Kempinski)
- Others award miles based on total spend (for example up to two miles per dollar at IHG)
- And some offer points transfer to KrisFlyer, rather than earning miles direct (such as Radisson and Hilton). In these cases, it is usually better value though to use points for hotel stays.
Earn with car hire
There are partnerships to earn KrisFlyer miles for rentals with several of the main car hire companies. Avis, Hertz, Europcar and Sixt all award up to 500 miles per rental worldwide. You can also earn miles with spend at Rentalcars.com (one mile per dollar) and EasyRentCars.com (two miles per dollar).
And points earned through Grab (a leading ride-hailing service operating in Singapore and South East Asia) can be converted into KrisFlyer miles.
Retail and other earning
KrisFlyer offers plenty of other earning possibilities. Many retail deals and other offers, however, are locally based in and around Singapore. For collectors there, options which will earn miles include shopping at Lotte, Pacific Place and Singapore Changi airport.
There are a few options for international use, including shopping at London Heathrow (Heathrow rewards points can be converted to KrisFlyer miles), shopping at Bicester Village outlets in Europe and subscriptions to Economist magazine.
But perhaps most usefully, KrisFlyer operate a shopping portal – KrisFlyer Spree.
This operates like most cashback portals and awards miles when you complete purchases at online retailers after clicking through from the portal. Options currently include Selfridges, Macy’s US, Canon UK, Apple UK and Groupon. For hotel bookings through the portal, options include Hilton and IHG, as well as booking sites Agoda and booking.com.
KrisFlyer is a good program with strong international earning options. The range of partners, including Star Alliance partners and several more, make earnings possible from different parts of the world.
A major appeal of the program is its distance based mileage earning for all partners. Rates are not as lucrative as they were several years ago, but are still very competitive, especially if you stay aware of the booking codes and multiples used. It is unfortunate that there are no Elite bonuses for most partners, and also that premium cabin earnings can be low compared to some other airlines.
Other than flying, perhaps the best way to boost points is through earning and transferring from other financial partners – KrisFlyer has about the best partner list around!