Is Transferring Miles Via Kris+ a Good Idea?

Kris+ has been a useful app for earning more rewards at participating merchants, but did you know that you could also convert your bank points to KrisFlyer miles with the app? It comes with its sets of pros and cons, so read on to see if it’s a good idea to use the app for your point conversions.

Kris+

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Gives miles on top of your usual card rewards! Not a miles person? The miles can also be used as cashback. Get as much as additional 9 miles or 6% cashback! See the review here and check out the guide

Eligible Points

There are currently 4 types of points that you can convert to KrisFlyer using Kris+:

  • CapitaStar STAR$
  • Citibank Miles/ThankYou Points
  • DBS Points
  • UOB UNI$

The exchange rates are:

Minimum Number of PointsKrisFlyer Miles
9,880 STAR$340 miles
10,000 Citi ThankYou Points3,400 miles
4,000 Citi Miles3,400 miles
100 DBS Points170 miles
1,000 UOB UNI$1,700 miles
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CapitaStar STAR$

The exchange rate is 26 STAR$ = 1 KrisFlyer mile with a minimum conversion of 9,880 STAR$. Since each STAR$ is worth 0.1 cents, this is equivalent to trading 2.6 cents for each mile. That’s a really steep price to pay for miles.

ChannelTypical Cost Per Mile
Using a 4 miles per dollar card over a 17.5% rebates card4.38 cents
Converting STAR$ to miles2.6 cents
Using a 4 miles per dollar card over an 8% cashback card2 cents
Paying S$192.60 annual fee for 10,000 miles1.93 cents
Using services like CardUp, ipaymy, Citi PayAll etc.~1.15 to 1.54 cents

Even if you have expiring STAR$, I would suggest expending them at CapitaMalls instead at their original 0.1 cent per STAR$ valuation.

Bank Points

The biggest downside to using Kris+ to convert your bank points would be the 15% haircut. For instance, 10,000 Citi ThankYou points is normally worth 4,000 miles when you redeem it through Citibank’s rewards portal, and 100 DBS Points is 200 miles when redeemed through DBS’s website.

In exchange, however, you get some upsides when using Kris+ to convert your points. When you convert points to KrisFlyer miles using the app, there is no conversion fee involved while banks normally charge S$27.25 per conversion. Also, transfers are instant, with miles appearing in your KrisFlyer account after conversion and ready to be used. It can take a few working days for banks to transfer the points over to KrisFlyer.

Lastly, you are able to convert a lower minimum number of points, making Kris+ a great option to deal with small balances of points.

Deciding Which to Use

While there is a 15% haircut, there is also cost savings since no conversion fees need to be paid. If you value miles at about 1 cents each, the “break-even” point is roughly 18,166 miles worth of points.

This is because if you redeem 18,166 miles worth of points with your bank (ignoring conversion blocks), your fee payable is S$27.25. If you redeem 18,166 miles worth of points with Kris+, you get 15,441 miles instead after the 15% haircut, losing 2,725 miles in the process. Since you value miles at 1 cent each, these 2 scenarios are financially equivalent: it’s a choice between saving S$27.25 or having 2,725 more miles.

Convert With BankConvert With Kris+
Miles With Bank18,16618,166
Miles After Conversion18,16615,441
Conversion FeesS$27.25S$0
Value After Conversion
Assuming 1 cent per mile
S$181.66 worth of miles
– S$27.25 fees
= S$154.41
S$154.41 worth of miles
Which is Better?DrawDraw

This means that if you have fewer than 18,166 miles and have a mile valuation of 1 cent each, you should definitely convert with Kris+. If you have more miles than 18,166, convert them with your bank instead.

Convert With BankConvert With Kris+
Miles With Bank30,00030,000
Miles After Conversion30,00025,500
Conversion FeesS$27.25S$0
Value After Conversion
Assuming 1 cent per mile
S$300 worth of miles
– S$27.25 fees
= S$272.75
S$255 worth of miles
Which is Better?⭐️ Converting With Bank
Convert With BankConvert With Kris+
Miles With Bank10,00010,000
Miles After Conversion10,0008,500
Conversion FeesS$27.25S$0
Value After Conversion
Assuming 1 cent per mile
S$100 worth of miles
– S$27.25 fees
= S$72.75
S$85 worth of miles
Which is Better?⭐️ Converting With Kris+

Generally, if you are dealing with smaller number of bank points, the more you should use Kris+ to convert.

Also, if your value per mile is higher, than the “break-even” point becomes lower. An example for someone who values miles at 1.5 cents each:

Convert With BankConvert With Kris+
Miles With Bank12,11112,111
Miles After Conversion12,11110,294
Conversion FeesS$27.25S$0
Value After Conversion
Assuming 1.5 cents per mile
S$181.66 worth of miles
– S$27.25 fees
= S$154.41
S$154.41 worth of miles
Which is Better?DrawDraw

Someone who values miles highly would therefore find converting with Kris+ more unattractive than someone who values miles at a lower valuation. The number of miles that are considered “small enough” to use Kris+ hence decreases.

Steps

To convert miles using Kris+, you need to download the app first.

  1. Go to Wallet
  2. Top Up
  3. Select one of rewards programmes
  4. Log in
  5. Input number of points

Verdict

While you won’t want to use Kris+ to transfer large amounts of miles, it is really useful for dealing with smaller numbers. This is great if you have a small pockets of miles with the different banks above. Given the instant conversion, it’s also immensely useful if you need a small amount of miles quickly for your flight redemption.

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