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

Dec 10, 2021

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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.

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 photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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