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Earn United Club access by taking advantage of Amex's latest Star Alliance transfer bonus

Dec. 10, 2021
4 min read
Earn United Club access by taking advantage of Amex's latest Star Alliance transfer bonus
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There's a potentially attractive double-dip opportunity available to those with a stash of American Express Membership Rewards points. With this deal, you can earn both bonus miles and a bump toward elite status with Singapore Airlines ... which can translate to United Club access.

Amex is out with its latest transfer bonus, offering 20% more points when converting Membership Rewards into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. The promotion appears to be widely targeted, though some accounts may not qualify for the offer.

(Screenshot courtesy of American Express)

Under its terms, for every 1,000 Amex points transferred, you'll end up with 1,200 KrisFlyer miles. Note that there's no published end date for this offer, but I wouldn't expect it to last too long.

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Even if you have no plans to fly with Singapore Airlines itself, you can redeem those KrisFlyer miles for flights on dozens of other popular airlines, including United, Air Canada and Lufthansa among others. For that reason, it can sometimes make sense to speculatively transfer points with a bonus if you are actively considering redemptions on Star Alliance carriers.

A one-way business-class award from New York to Frankfurt would run you 72,000 miles (plus taxes and fees), while a standard domestic economy flight in the U.S. would cost 12,500 miles (plus taxes and fees) each way. You can find more KrisFlyer sweet spots in our guide here.

For some people, earning a bonus on KrisFlyer miles will be enough of a reason to take advantage of this limited-time offer.

However, the KrisFlyer program is currently running another promotion that makes it potentially even more beneficial to transfer now in the right situations.

Through Feb. 28, 2022, Singapore is rewarding members with elite-status qualification credits from non-flight activities, which include points transfers from flexible credit card currencies.

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For every five redeemable KrisFlyer miles earned from a credit-card transfer, you'll one elite-qualifying mile in the KrisFlyer program. Note that you need to transfer at least 10,000 points in each transaction to qualify for this promotion.

For most U.S.-based travelers, KrisFlyer Elite Gold is the status to chase as it confers Star Alliance Gold benefits.

When flying a Star Alliance airline, such as United, this means you'll get a free checked bag, priority check-in and security screening, as well as lounge access when flying with a member airline, no matter the class of service. Even if you're just taking a short flight in United economy, with that status you can access the airline's United Clubs (but not Polaris Lounges).

That's not true if you earn Star Alliance Gold through United MileagePlus, but if you do so through a partner like Singapore KrisFlyer, that lounge access is yours when flying United or another Star Alliance airline.

United Club (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

To achieve KrisFlyer Elite Gold, you need to accrue 50,000 elite-qualifying miles. Combining the Amex transfer bonus and the ongoing Singapore KrisFlyer elite boost, you would need to transfer 208,334 Membership Rewards points to unlock this tier of status (and thus also attain Star Alliance Gold).

With 208,334 Membership Rewards points transferred under this deal, you'll earn:

  • 250,001 redeemable KrisFlyer miles
  • 50,000 KrisFlyer elite miles
  • A year of KrisFlyer Elite Gold status

One big downside to moving over 200,000 points to Singapore is that the airline expires points three years after they're earned, regardless of account activity. This means you will want to have some redemptions in mind if you plan to take advantage of this double-dip.

With the risk of an award chart devaluation and ever-changing travel restrictions, it'd only make sense to partake in this offer if you can earmark a use for the points, or think you can really maximize the Star Alliance Gold status in the coming year. That said, if you do plan to fly Star Alliance and Singapore Airlines in particular, this could be a good chance to enjoy elite benefits while doing so.

Among the cards you might carry that earn transferable American Express Membership Rewards points are The Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Business Gold Card.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.