American Express cutting transfer rate to Singapore KrisFlyer next month

Mar 3, 2021

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American Express and Singapore Airlines are devaluing the value you can get from transferring your credit card points to the airline. This week, cardholders of some Amex cards got word that the transfer rate for Membership Rewards to Singapore KrisFlyer will be increasing later this year.

For long, Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer programme has been a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, meaning one Amex point can become one KrisFlyer mile. However, as of 1 April, that rate is changing to 3:2, meaning three Amex points can become two KrisFlyer miles.

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This is bad news for those looking to make a road into the Star Alliance group with great value. Singapore’s KrisFlyer programme has long been the favourite for U.K.-based points and miles collectors, as its redemptions offer good value and the miles are easy to accrue thanks to Amex. While that’s not going away, you just won’t be getting the same value out of each Membership Rewards point as of 1 April, thanks to the increased transfer ratio.

Related: A guide to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer loyalty programme for UK flyers

(Image courtesy of American Express)

As an example of what this change might look like in practice, let’s take a worked example of an itinerary TPG U.K. Director of Content Nicky Kelvin booked in 2019. Nicky redeemed 125,000 KrisFlyer miles and pay £19 in taxes for a one-way ticket in Singapore’s luxurious new Suites product from Zurich (ZRH) to Bali (DPS) via Singapore (SIN).

Related: How to book the new Singapore Suites for as little as £19

Because of the 1:1 transfer rate, Nicky was able to transfer 125,000 American Express Membership Rewards points to Singapore KrisFlyer and make the redemption. After 1 April, if he were to transfer Amex points to Singapore, that same redemption would require about 189,000 American Express points — an increase of about 51%.

(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

If you’re looking to boost your KrisFlyer account balance at the best rate, you’ll want to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to the programme before 1 April. While we don’t recommend transferring points speculatively, if you know that you’ll be making a redemption in the coming days or weeks, it could make sense to transfer now.

All other airlines that are transfer partners of the Amex Membership Rewards programme will retain their 1:1 ratio. In other words, you’ll still be able to transfer one Membership Rewards point to one British Airways Avios or one Virgin Atlantic Virgin Point. At this time, only Singapore KrisFlyer is changing.

Related: The ultimate guide to UK American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards points are earned through certain Amex card products. Right now, the American Express Business Platinum Card is offering its highest-ever welcome bonus of 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending £10,000 in the first three months. For personal cards, the Platinum Card from American Express is offering a welcome bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £4,000 in your first three months.

Featured photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy.

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