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Update: You can login here to see if you’re targeted for a 20% transfer bonus from AMEX to Singapore. With that bonus a 105K AMEX points transfer will earn 126K Singapore miles and Star Alliance Silver status. A 209K AMEX point transfer will earn 250.8K Singapore miles and valuable Star Alliance Gold status for 12 months. After you earn Gold you could transfer over another 209K points to extend the Gold validity for an additional 12 months. AMEX doesn’t publish end dates for targeted offers, so transfer now if you want to take advantage of this offer.
Originally posted on 4/7/21:
Singapore Airlines is now offering 1 elite mile for every 5 miles converted from bank points to miles. The promotion is valid from today through 2/28/22.
You must transfer at least 10,000 miles to earn elite miles. It can take up to 7 business days for the elite miles to post to your account. There’s no limit to how many transfers you can make to earn the bonus.
- Singapore Silver elite status/Star Alliance Silver status requires 25,000 elite miles, or a transfer of 125,000 redeemable miles from a bank with this promotion.
- Singapore Gold elite status/Star Alliance Gold status requires 50,000 elite miles, or a transfer of 250,000 redeemable miles from a bank with this promotion.
US bank transfer partners include:
- AMEX (1:1 ratio)
- Capital One (1:1 ratio)
- Chase (1:1 ratio)
- Citibank (1:1 ratio)
Status lasts for just 12 months from the date that you qualify, so don’t transfer over miles until you have a need for the status.
If you do transfer over 250,000 miles to earn Gold status now, you can to renew that status for another 12 months by earning another 50,000 elite miles during your membership year. In another words if you transfer over 250,000 miles now and the elite miles posted on 4/15/21, you would get Gold status through 4/15/22. If you transfer over another 250,000 miles after that, your status would be extended through 4/15/23.
Star Alliance Silver status doesn’t really have meaningful benefits, but Star Alliance Gold status does.
Star Alliance Gold status allows you and a guest access to Star Alliance lounges worldwide when flying on any Star Alliance carrier. Incredibly, non-United Star Alliance Gold status also works to get access to United Clubs even when flying on domestic itineraries. United doesn’t even allow their own 1K Star Alliance Gold elites to access United Clubs on domestic first class tickets unless they have a paid United Club membership!
Star Alliance Gold status comes with a free checked bag, but it doesn’t stack on top of the free bag that United credit cards come with.
Star Alliance Gold status also comes with priority baggage handling, priority boarding, priority Gold Track security and immigration lines, priority waitlisting, and upgrades to business first class on the Heathrow Express.
United does not give economy plus seats or upgrades to partner Star Alliance Gold members, though they do offer free same day confirmed flight changes.
Singapore Gold status also gives you:
- Access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses when flying Virgin Atlantic
- Access to Virgin Australia lounges with a guest when flying Virgin Australia
- 3 free 50 pound bags on Singapore US flights in economy or 70 pound bags in business/first class.
- Singapore normally only allows you to redeem miles for 5 designated individuals and charges a $30 fee to change your redemption list. That fee is waived for Gold elites.
Is it worth transferring 250,000 points to Singapore to get Star Alliance Gold?
That will depend on how you value lounge access, as that’s the primary benefit.
One major caveat is that Singapore miles expire after 36 months and they can’t be extended with activity, so you need to use them or lose them.
Another caveat is that earlier this year Singapore was giving a 15% bonus on mileage transfers. Had you transferred 250,000 miles then, you would have received 37,500 bonus miles, which you won’t get now.
Singapore only makes long-haul premium cabin awards available to their own members, so having Singapore miles is not a bad thing.
This was the Singapore suite Mimi and I flew in from JFK to Frankfurt en route in Paris in 2012, booked with 57,000 Singapore miles:
And here is the updated Singapore A380 suite:
- Sample one-way Singapore redemptions:
- JFK to Frankfurt or Houston to Manchester in business class: 72K
- JFK to Frankfurt or Houston to Manchester in first/suites class: 86K
- JFK/Newark to Singapore in business class: 99K
- San Francisco to Hong Kong in business class: 89K
- San Francisco to Hong Kong in first/suites class: 104K
- Sample one-way Star Alliance redemptions:
- JFK to Los Angeles in business class: 23K
- Newark to Maui in business class: 34.5K
- Newark to Tel Aviv in business class: 76.5K
The Star Alliance rates are decent, but you can do better with partner miles from airlines like ANA or Turkish. Then again you get Gold status just for transferring over miles. If you’re redeeming for a ticket and the redemption makes sense, that can be worthwhile.
If Singapore miles didn’t have a hard expiration date or if Singapore elite status lasted longer than 12 months, I’d be a lot more excited about this offer. As it stands now, it can be worth pursuing if you have a redemption that makes sense or if you really want Star Alliance Gold status now and are sure you’ll use the miles within 36 months. Otherwise, wait and see what happens until the offer expires next February.
Will you take advantage of this offer?
- You can transfer AMEX, Chase, Or Citi points to Singapore at a 1:1 ratio or Capital One to Singapore at a 2:1 ratio and you’ll earn elite miles through 2/28/22.
Capital One cards with transferable points to miles include:
- Capital One Venture X offering 100,000 miles+$200 towards vacation rentals, $300 annual travel credit, 10,000 mile anniversary bonus, 2-10 miles per dollar spent, Capital One Lounge access, Priority Pass Lounge access, Global Entry/Pre-Check Membership and more. $395 annual fee. Read more here.
- Capital One Venture offering 60,000 miles, 2 miles per dollar everywhere. Global Entry/Pre-Check Membership. $95 annual fee.
- Capital One Spark Miles offering 50,000 miles for spending $4,500 in 3 months, 2 miles per dollar everywhere. Global Entry/Pre-Check Membership. $0 intro annual fee, then $95 annual fee.
AMEX cards with transferable Membership Rewards points include:
- AMEX Blue Business Plus
- AMEX Platinum Business
- AMEX Gold Business Card
- AMEX Platinum Consumer Card
- AMEX Gold Consumer Card
- AMEX Green Consumer Card
- AMEX Everyday Preferred Consumer Card
- AMEX Everyday Consumer Card
If you, a member in your household, or an authorized user has one of the following Chase cards, you can transfer points into miles:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 60K signup bonus, earns 2.1 points per dollar on travel, 3.1 points per dollar on dining, streaming, and online groceries, has a $50 hotel credit, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.3 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($95 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve has a 50K signup bonus, earns 3 points per dollar on dining/travel, has a $300 travel credit, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.5 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($550 annual fee with $300 travel credit). Read more here.
- Chase Ink Preferred has a 100K signup bonus and earns 3 points per dollar on shipping, advertising, and travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.25 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($95 annual fee). Read more here.
Chase no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:
- Chase Ink Cash has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 5 points per dollar on cable, TV, telecom, cellular, office supply stores, and gift cards from office supply stores, plus 2 points per dollar on dining and gas ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Ink Unlimited has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Freedom Flex has a 20K signup bonus, plus earn 5 points per dollar on up to $12K in groceries for 1 year, plus 5 points on rotating categories, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 20K signup bonus, plus earn 5 points per dollar on up to $12K in groceries for 1 year, at least 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
If you or a friend has one of the following Citi cards, you can transfer points into miles:
- Citi Premier has a record high 80,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 3 points per dollar on airfare, hotels, travel agents, groceries, gas, and dining. $95 annual fee. Read more here.
Citi no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:
- The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back or 2 points per dollar spent everywhere that can be transferred into ThankYou points. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles. No annual fee. Read more here.
- The Citi Custom Cash Card offers 5 points per dollar on up to $500 in purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. This is marketed as 5% cash back, but will actually come in the form of 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent! Eligible categories include Restaurants, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs, and Live Entertainment. You will also get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. No annual fee. Read more here.
- The Citi Rewards+ Card offering 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. This card can’t transfer points on its own, but can transfer points if you have one of the Citi cards above. This card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload. Earn 2 points on $6K in annual spending at supermarkets, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles and get a 10% points rebate on transferred or redeemed miles. No annual fee. Read more here.