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Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card – MoneySmart Review 2022

·12-min read
amex krisflyer credit card
amex krisflyer credit card

The Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card is one of the cards officially co-branded with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, making it super easy to use since miles you earn are credited directly to your KrisFlyer account.

Though its base earn rates are far from spectacular, the Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card offers a pretty decent welcome bonus miles of up to 24,800 KrisFlyer miles (up till 30 September 2022, minimum spend of $2,000 in the first 3 months, for new-to-Amex customers).

Tempted? Let’s see if the Amex KrisFlyer is worth applying for in your hunt for the perfect air miles credit card.

Contents

  1. AMEX KrisFlyer Card Review

  2. AMEX KrisFlyer Card Terms and Conditions

  3. AMEX KrisFlyer Card Miles Redemption

  4. AMEX KrisFlyer Lounge Access

  5. AMEX KrisFlyer vs Ascend

  6. UOB KrisFlyer vs AMEX KrisFlyer

  7. How to maximise my AMEX KrisFlyer Card?

  8. AMEX KrisFlyer Promotion

  9. Should I get the AMEX KrisFlyer Card?

1. AMEX KrisFlyer Card Review

Officially known as the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card, this card is AMEX’s entry-level miles card.

In a nutshell, it lets you earn air miles which are then credited directly to your KrisFlyer account, no conversion or conversion fee needed. (By contrast, some other air miles cards require you to convert rewards points to miles, which may also require you to pay a conversion fee.)

The earn rate of the card ranges from 1.1 miles = $1 to 3.1 miles = $1, but to clinch that top earn rate you’ll need to spend on Grab in Singapore.

More on that later.

2. AMEX KrisFlyer Card Terms and Conditions

The AMEX KrisFlyer Card is an entry-level credit card, which means you don’t need to be a high roller to sign up for it—an annual income of $30,000 will suffice.

AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card

Annual Fee Waiver

$176.55 (waived for first year)

Supplementary Card Annual Fee

$53.50 (waived for first year)

Interest Free Period

22 days

Annual Interest Rate

26.90%

Late Payment Fee

$90 (before 17 Oct 2022) / $100 (from 17 Oct 2022)

Minimum Monthly Repayment

3% or $50, whichever is higher

Foreign Currency Transaction Fee

2.95%

Cash Advance Transaction Fee

5%

Overlimit Fee

Minimum Income

$30,000 (Singaporean) / $45,000 (non-Singaporean)

Card Association

American Express

Contactless Payment

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay

3. AMEX KrisFlyer Card Miles (and Miles Redemption)

The Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card lets you earn miles for every dollar you spend. Unlike most other credit cards, you earn them in KrisFlyer miles rather than rewards points, so there’s no need to go through the rigmarole of converting miles or waste money on conversion fees.

An air miles card isn’t worth squat without a good earn rate. Here’s a look at the Amex KrisFlyer card’s:

  • 3.1 miles = $1 on Grab Singapore transactions (capped at $200 spending per calendar month)

  • 2 miles = $1 on foreign currency spending and Singapore Airlines and KrisShop expenditure

  • 1.1 miles = $1 on local spending

  • 0.5 miles = $1 on Singapore Airlines Instalment Plans

Honestly, the miles accrual rate for this card is nothing to write home about.

The Amex KrisFlyer card’s real advantage is that it offers a rather easy way to earn bonus miles. 

For starters, you receive a 5,000 KrisFlyer miles welcome bonus the first time you charge the card.

You also receive 5,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. If you’re a new-to-Amex customer, you get an additional 14,800 miles if you hit the spending requirements. What’s more, if that $2,000 is spent locally, you’ll also get 2,200 miles based on the local earn rate of 1.1 = $1.

That potentially brings your total miles to 27,000 KrisFlyer miles, which is enough to redeem for a one-way ticket to Southeast Asian destinations like Thailand and Vietnam.

4. AMEX KrisFlyer Lounge Access

The AMEX KrisFlyer Card no longer offers airport lounge access. Boo!

If you want to live it up in airport lounges around the world for free, you’ll have to upgrade to the AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card, which has a higher minimum income requirement.

5. AMEX KrisFlyer vs Ascend

AMEX KrisFlyer and AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend have very, very similar names. But they serve completely different target markets. The KrisFlyer Card is an entry-level card, while the KrisFlyer Ascend is a higher tier miles credit card targeted at people with an annual income of at least $50,000.

AMEX KrisFlyer

AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend

Base Air Miles

1.1 miles = $1

1.2 miles = $1

Bonus Air Miles

0.9 miles = $1 /

2 miles = $1

0.8 miles = $1 /

2 miles = $1

Bonus Categories

Overseas spending /

Grab

Overseas spending /

Grab

Annual Income

$30,000 (Singaporean/PR) /

$45,000 (non-Singaporean)

$50,000 (Singaporean/PR) /

$65,000 (non-Singaporean)

Airport longe access

No

Complimentary passes

Welcome bonus

5,000 miles + 5,000 miles + 14,800 miles (new to Amex)

5,000 miles + 15,000 miles + 16,400 miles (new to Amex upon payment of annual fee) / 10,000 (existing customers upon payment of annual fee)

Annual fee waiver

First year

None

The miles earn rates of Amex KrisFlyer Ascend are actually not very much better than those of the entry-level AMEX KrisFlyer.

The Ascend’s base rate of 1.2 miles for local spending as well as the earn rate of 3.2 miles for Grab is slightly better, but the overseas spending earn rate is the same at 2 miles per $1.

KrisFlyer Ascend does, however, have a more generous welcome bonus, but the catch is that there is no annual fee waiver for the first year, so you need to pay their annual fee of $337.05 and spend at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval to get the maximum welcome bonus. That said, the bonus is generous enough to let you redeem a trip to the Maldives.

The card also entitles you to complimentary airport lounge passes, a complimentary one night stay at Hilton hotels each year and a double KrisFlyer miles accrual voucher that lets you boost your miles.

6. UOB KrisFlyer vs AMEX KrisFlyer

The UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card was born out of a collaboration between UOB and Singapore Airlines, so it is quite similar to the AMEX KrisFlyer.

AMEX KrisFlyer

UOB KrisFlyer

Base Air Miles

1.1 miles = $1

6 miles per $5 (1.2 miles = $1)

Bonus Air Miles

0.9 miles = $1 /

2 miles = $1

9 miles per $5 (1.8 miles = $1) /

5 or 6 miles = $1

Bonus Categories

Overseas spending /

Grab

Singapore Airlines, Scoot and KrisShop purchases, dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel and transport spending (minimum $500 annual spend on KrisShop or Singapore Airlines) /

with Monthly KrisFlyer UOB Deposit Account balance of $1,000 with salary crediting

Annual Income

$30,000 (Singaporean/PR) /

$45,000 (non-Singaporean)

$30,000 (Singaporean/PR) /

$40,000 (non-Singaporean)

Any other differences

5,000 miles + 5,000 miles + 14,800 miles (new to Amex)

12,000 miles 

UOB KrisFlyer’s bonus miles are geared towards local spending, with their highest earn rate of 3 miles = $1 being doled out on dining, food delivery, online shopping, travel and transport spending.

By contrast, AMEX KrisFlyer’s maximum earn rate of 3.1 = $1 is paid out only on Grab rides, while overseas spending is rewarded with a measly 2 miles = $1.

While UOB KrisFlyer is more generous, you have to hit their requirement of spending at least $500 a year on Singapore Airlines or KrisShop purchases, and miles are only credited after one year, which is a bit of a pain.

7. How to maximise my AMEX KrisFlyer Card?

The welcome bonus is too good to be missed, so make sure you’re prepared to satisfy the spending requirement of $2,000 in the first 3 months of card membership before you sign up. If you can’t spend that much right now, wait until you have a big purchase on the horizon before you apply for the card.

To max out your miles earn rate, the first thing you should do is to link your AMEX KrisFlyer Card to the Grab app so you can earn the 3.1 miles = $1 rate each time you take a Grab ride. Just remember you can only enjoy that earn rate on a maximum of $200 worth of Grab rides per month.

You should also use your card when you are overseas in order to earn the 2 miles = $1 rate.

8. AMEX KrisFlyer Promotion

When you manage to spend at least $12,000 on the card from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, you can get $150 cashback on your next Singapore Airlines purchase.

9. Should I get the AMEX KrisFlyer Card?

The AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card doesn’t have the best earn rates, but it’s a very straightforward card that’s ideal for beginner miles collectors because it’s so easy to use.

Since your miles are credited directly to your KrisFlyer account, you don’t need to consolidate your spending to try to earn enough points to convert into miles. There’s also no futzing around with weird points systems, rewards catalogues, conversion fees and other terms and conditions.

But honestly, even if you’re already regularly using another credit card to earn miles, you might still want to sign up as long as you’re expecting big expenses in the coming 6 months. This spending requirement isn’t too difficult to fulfil if you sign up for this card just before getting hitched, having a kid, buying big ticket items for your home, etc, and gives you an excuse to earn the big fat welcome bonus.

Alternatives to the Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card

These days, many air miles cards are vying for the same target group of users – young working adults who can’t wait to start earning miles. Let’s compare the Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card with some similar cards:

American Express logo
American Express logo

MoneySmart Exclusive

Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

Local Spend

S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Grab rides

S$1 = 3.2 Miles

Get up to 40,000 worth of KrisFlyer Miles from Amex when you apply. Min. spends of S$3,000 within first 3 months of card approval and payable annual fee required. T&Cs Apply.

Valid until 30 Sep 2022

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • 1.2 KrisFlyer miles = S$1

  • 2 KrisFlyer miles = S$1 in foreign currency spent overseas on eligible purchases in June & Dec

  • 3.2 KrisFlyer miles = S$1 for Grab Singapore transactions, capped at S$200 per month

  • Spend above S$15,000 on eligible purchases on singaporeair.com within first 12 months of Card approval and get upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership

  • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage

See all card details 

Amex KrisFlyer Ascend – The 3rd credit card that lets you earn KrisFlyer miles directly without conversion, this card is very similar to the Amex KrisFlyer, just that it has a slightly better local earn rate ($1 = 1.2 miles) and a bigger welcome bonus. There’s a higher income requirement and annual fee, but in exchange you do get perks like a free hotel stay and airport lounge passes.

DBS logo
DBS logo

Earn Miles That Never Expire

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card

Local Spend

S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Staycation bookings

S$1 = 10 Miles

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • Base earn rate: 1.2 air miles per S$1 local spend

  • Base earn rate: 2 air miles per S$1 overseas spend charged in foreign currency

See all card details 

DBS Altitude Card – Similar entry level miles card, but with average earn rates. You don’t get welcome miles for spending a lot, but there’s a decent bonus category for online travel bookings. DBS miles also don’t expire, which makes this card good for those who are not earning or spending a lot of money and have to play the long game.

UOB logo
UOB logo

Earn Miles on Everyday Spending

KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card

on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop

S$1 = 3 Miles

on dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel, and transport spend

S$1 = 3 Miles

on all other spend

S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • $1 = 3 KrisFlyer Miles for spend on everyday spend categories with S$500 min. annual spend on Singapore Airlines Group

  • $1 = 3 KrisFlyer Miles on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop purchases

  • $1 = 1.8 KrisFlyer Miles on Dining, Online Shopping and Travel, and Transport Card Transactions with a min sum of S$500 charged on Singapore Airlines Related Card Transactions in a year

  • $1 = 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles on all other spend

See all card details 

UOB KrisFlyer Card A new card from UOB that also lets you earn KrisFlyer miles directly, this one offers a generous 3 miles per $1 spent on travel, dining, online shopping, and transport, which is what most Singaporeans spend a ton on anyway. The trouble is that you need to spend $500 on SQ, Scoot or KrisShop a year, and miles are only credited after a year, which is a bit of a pain.

As you can see, the Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card may not offer the best regular earn rates, but it’s still pretty much the best entry level miles card in town for earning bonus miles on upcoming large expenses.

American Express logo
American Express logo

MoneySmart Exclusive

Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Local Spend

S$1 = 1.1 Miles

Overseas Spend

S$1 = 2 Miles

Grab rides

S$1 = 3.1 Miles

Get up to 27,000 worth of KrisFlyer Miles from Amex when you apply. Min. spends of S$2,000 within the first 3 months of Card Approval required. T&Cs Apply.

Valid until 30 Sep 2022

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • Earn 2 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 equivalent in foreign currency on eligible purchases during June and December each year, with no cap.

  • S$1 = 3.1 KrisFlyer miles for Grab Singapore transactions, capped at S$200 per month

  • First Year Fee Waiver of S$176.55

  • Receive 5,000 KrisFlyer miles upon first spend on card

  • Eligible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

See all card details 

Which credit cards have you applied for just to enjoy their sign-up bonus miles? Tell us in the comments!

The post Amex KrisFlyer Credit Card - MoneySmart Review 2022 appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.

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