Singapore extends status, delays mileage expiration

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Singapore KrisFlyer has announced to members alerting them to an extension of elite status and a continued pause on the expiration of miles. The elite status extension may be of particular interest to anyone considering a transfer this month for Star Alliance Gold status because I think maybe you could score two years of status out of the deal.

an airplane with a seat and a pillow

Elite status extended and elite miles to roll over

In an email to members this morning, Singapore Krisflyer announced that due to reduced opportunities to fly in 2021, they are extending elite status set to expire between March 2022 and February 2023 by an additional year. As an example, this means that if your elite status was set to expire in October 2022, your status expiration date will now be moved out to October 2023. That’s obviously good news for anyone who has elite status.

The reason this may be particularly relevant for those considering a transfer to Singapore Krisflyer is that there is currently an opportunity to get Singapore Gold status (and therefore Star Alliance Gold status) with a transfer of 250,000 points to Singapore Krisflyer from your loyalty programs. I believe that status is good for a year, meaning that it would be set to expire during this promotion window. I then expect that this extention should apply and you would theoretically be looking at two full years of Star Alliance Gold status. The utility of that will vary based on your expected travel, but two years sounds better than one.

Elite miles earned during the 12 months leading up to renewal of status will roll over by being credited back to your account for your new elite year — so if you credited some flights to Singapore Krisflyer last year, they will potentially help you requalify for future status.

Miles expiration paused

Singapore is also extending the pause on the expiration of miles. No Singapore Krisflyer miles will expire during 2022. Instead, miles will be extended by six months at a time. In other words, if you have miles set to expire in March 2022, at the end of March those miles will first be extended to the end of September. Then, if still unused at the end of September, they will be extended again to the end of March 2023.

This is kind of a weird way to handle expiration. The end result is that the miles will ultimately get extended for a year beyond current expiration, but the six-months-at-a-time way of doing this seems like an unnecessary complication that will confuse people. I guess it’s set up this way to make people think their miles are expiring sooner in order to encourage redemption sooner rather than later?

This extension highlights the difficulty in speculatively transferring to Singapore Krisflyer. Singapore miles expire 36 months from the time they are earned / transferred in and new activity does not extend that expiration. It’s nice to see Singapore continue to extend miles right now, but you obviously can’t count on that a few years from now — so if you transfer, beware of expiration.

Bottom line

The one year extension of elite status is nice to see — hopefully many airlines will continue with the same this year as business travel is still far down from pre-pandemic levels. This should work out well for all those who have taken advantage of the chance to transfer miles to Singapore for easy Star Alliance Gold status since I believe all those who have already taken advantage of that should be eligible for an additional year via this extension.

H/T: Reader Kathy

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