Freshly announced on 5th April 2021, KrisFlyer members can now convert their KrisFlyer miles to CapitaStar STAR$, and vice versa. Given how KrisFlyer and CapitaStar are the reward programmes of Singapore Airlines and CapitaLand Malls, both industry giants in Singapore, this is pretty big news. Here’s an analysis of the benefits of this partnership… and it’s contrary to what most mile blogs are saying so far.
|Converting from||Converting to||Valuation (without GreenUP)||Valuation (with GreenUP)|
|9,880 STAR$||380 KrisFlyer miles||Buying miles at|
2.6 cents per mile (terrible)
|Buying miles at|
3.7 cents per mile (very terrible)
|3,000 KrisFlyer miles||21,000 STAR$||Liquidating miles at |
0.7 cents per mile (poor)
|Liquidating miles at|
1 cents per mile (pretty alright)
Maximum transfer of 350,000 STAR$ / 30,000 KrisFlyer miles each calendar year
Converting from STAR$ to KrisFlyer miles is a big no. Each STAR$ is 0.1 cents normally, and the conversion rate means that you are buying miles for 2.6 cents each. That is even more expensive than paying your annual fee of $192.60 for 10,000 miles. Unless you’re in some specific situation where you absolutely need a bit more miles, you should absolutely not do this given how costly the miles are with this option.
The other way round though, isn’t all that bad. Having more ways to liquidate your miles, especially in the times we live in, is always welcomed, especially if the rate is okay. At the base rate, liquidating your KF miles for STAR$ gives your miles a relatively abysmal value of 0.7 cents… But the story doesn’t end here.
GreenUP drastically changes the value proposition
It’d be remiss not to talk about SP GreenUP when talking about STAR$ – something at least three local mile blogs I have read completely left out when evaluating this partnership – because it drastically changes the value proposition.
Once you have achieved the final stage in GreenUP, your STAR$ are now worth 0.143 cents each instead of the usual 0.1 cent, a dramatic improvement in the value proposition of the KrisFlyer-CapitaStar partnership.
This means that converting your KrisFlyer miles to STAR$ is liquidating miles at 1 cents each. Not too shabby, given how using your miles at KrisFlyer’s own KrisShop only values them at 0.8 cents each. Moreover, KrisShop definitely has a much narrower range than all the things you can buy across CapitaLand’s 19 malls islandwide.
|Redeeming miles for||Value per mile|
|Business / First Class||≥ 1 cent|
|Economy / Pay flights with miles||~ 1 cent|
|STAR$ with GreenUP||1 cent|
|KrisShop purchases||0.8 cents|
|TapForMore points||0.73 cents|
|STAR$ without GreenUP||0.7 cents|
|Esso Smiles points||≤ 0.67 cents|
Obviously, you’d still get the best value from your miles if you redeem them for business class and above (assuming you are willing to pay a premium for them to begin with), but converting the miles to STAR$ then eCapitaVouchers with GreenUP gives you the best value for your miles when it comes to buying things, giving 25 to 50% more value compared to other redemptions like KrisShop purchases and Kris+.
1 cent per mile is also very close to my valuation of miles, which is why I believe it’s a fair value to liquidate miles at.
Two lucky winners who have done conversions will be selected at the end of every week, and will win 1 Million STAR$® or 100,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Week 1: 5 Apr – 11 Apr (7 days)
Week 2: 12 Apr – 19 Apr (8 days)
Week 3: 20 Apr – 26 Apr (7 days)
Week 4: 27 Apr – 4 May (8 days)
I have some miles expiring in the latter half of this year, and I’m not sure if their validity would continue to be extended given that travel bubbles are popping up. It’s an annoying situation for anyone with expiring miles to be caught in: you can probably redeem your miles for flights in the near future which might mean no more extensions, but yet don’t want to undergo all the hassle of travelling during this pandemic.
This new partnership comes in really handy for me. If, like me, you have been pondering what to do with your miles, this is one of the best opportunities you have to buy stuff with your miles. Unfortunately, the cap is relatively low at 30,000 miles (giving a total of 210,000 STAR$ or $300 in eCapitaVouchers) but that should settle at least a bit of a headache about expiring miles.
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