Air miles are popular for their role in helping frequent flyers to enjoy on-flight perks, or fly at a discounted rate or for free. Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer programme is one of the more well-known ways to earn air miles.
As well as earning KrisFlyer miles, there are also several ways you can buy them. While buying miles is considered a little unconventional, you may want to consider it in certain circumstances, such as to benefit from a certain reward before cut-off, or make a quick purchase of a smaller number of miles prior to travel.
This review covers everything you need to know about how to buy KrisFlyer miles, and looks at the best and worst buying options, the risks associated with buying from certain providers, and some of the best credit cards that will help you earn KrisFlyer miles faster.
The Buying Options
Let’s begin by looking at the buying options for KrisFlyer miles. There are actually several places you can buy KrisFlyer miles aside from Singapore Airlines itself. These include Singapore Airlines partners and their Rewards programmes, and mileage brokers. We’ll cover the full range of options below, highlighting which offer the best deals – and which, more importantly, are the most trustworthy.
Singapore Airlines – Direct from Website
The simplest (and perhaps the most obvious) way to buy KrisFlyer miles is through Singapore Airlines itself. You may choose to do this if you’re making a last-minute purchase of a small number of miles, and you’re too limited for time to check out any better deals elsewhere.
Another reason to purchase KrisFlyer miles direct from Singapore Airlines is if you’re looking at a certain reward, and you’re not far off redeeming it. In this case, you can make a quick purchase of miles to top up your account and enjoy your reward.
Equally, you might want to purchase a small number of KrisFlyer miles if you need to keep your points from expiring. It would be fairly disheartening if you were to save up thousands and thousands of air miles, only for your frequent flyer programme to expire due to inactivity. You can avoid this, while waiting to use your points on an upcoming flight, by purchasing KrisFlyer miles to keep your account alive.
There’s limited information available on the Singapore Airlines website about purchasing Krisflyer miles online, but you can in fact purchase them direct from the airline – although there’s a catch. You will need to have at least half of the miles you wish to purchase in your account already, as there’s a maximum top-up of 50%. So, for example, if you were redeeming 40,000 miles, you’d need 20,000 already in your account.
You should also triple check that Rewards seats are available before purchasing Krisflyer miles for a particular flight. You wouldn’t want to purchase your miles to then discover that you can’t actually use them on the flight you’ve been looking at.
It’s fairly simple to purchase KrisFlyer miles using the Singapore Airlines website or mobile app. You just need to click through to the “top up KrisFlyer miles option” and select your number. Make sure to use your purchased miles straight away, though, as per the airline’s guidelines. Also, keep in mind that the purchase will cost you quite a bit – it’s currently $40 per 1,000 KrisFlyer miles purchased. This is more than double what we would suggest spending on air miles.
Hotels & Partners – Points Conversions or Stays
Singapore Airlines has several partnerships with a range of hotel brands and hotel/vacation providers, including Accor, Hyatt, Hilton, Kempinski, Luxury Escapes, Marriott, Okura, and Trip.com. Occasionally, some of these hotels or booking companies will let you buy points through them, providing you are signed up to their loyalty programmes. You’ll be able to earn points through their own programmes, which you’ll then be able to convert into KrisFlyer miles. This technically means that if you already have points accumulated in these programmes, you’ll be able to use them to “buy” KrisFlyer Miles.
Hilton, for example, lets you convert your Hilton Honours points for a range of air miles, including KrisFlyer miles. You can do so on the exchange section of your account. The exchange process can take up to 30 days – so it’s not instant – and exchanges are almost always in set increments of 10,000. This is pretty common across all of KrisFlyer’s partners when it comes to converting their points to air miles – it isn’t instant. You’ll need to make sure you plan ahead if you wish to buy KrisFyler miles for an upcoming flight.
Marriott Bonvoy™ is a programme provided by another of Singapore Airlines’ partners, Marriott Hotels. You can use your points to transfer KrisFlyer miles into your airline mile account. To do this, you just log into your Marriott Bonvoy™ account at Marriott.com. Then select “Redeem” from the toolbar, then “Travel”, then “Transfer to air miles”. Note that in all instances with partners you will be charged a fee for making the transfer, which varies depending on the partner in question.
Additionally, it’s worth knowing that as a KrisFlyer member, you can earn KrisFlyer miles for any qualifying hotel stay at the airline’s participating hotel partners. This means that by staying for any number of consecutive nights at one hotel, you will accumulate miles. This isn’t technically considered as “buying” the miles, as you’re offered them for free, but there is of course a payment involved – the cost of the hotel room you choose to stay in. Note that you won’t receive a larger sum of air miles for purchasing multiple rooms during your stay.
Buying your KrisFlyer miles from a mileage brokers is hands-down the riskiest option out there, but it’s also one of the easiest – so it’s still worth a mention. When you purchase from a brokers, you have the advantage of not needing any air miles already in your account. You can simply purchase the number of air miles you require straight-up, whether you have 0, 1,000 or 10,000 miles in your account.
A couple of popular, trusted mileage brokers for buying KrisFlyer miles right now are The Points King and The Miles Broker. These sites both pay you for your miles and sell miles to their customers.
Different mileage brokers work in different ways. Some sell their airline miles in specific increments, so you’re less likely to be able to purchase, say, 7,400 miles – you’d probably have to round it up to the nearest thousand or ten thousand.
Brokers do legitimately buy “real” air miles. They can make a profit from this in a number of ways. For example, if Singapore Airlines were to have a sale on KrisFlyer miles, a brokers may purchase a very large amount of these miles, and sell them on at an inflated price. They may also buy and sell KrisFlyer miles from their consumers, or buy air miles using a Singapore Airlines partner through a points transferral scheme.
It’s not illegal for brokers to sell air miles, but it goes against the terms of conditions of most frequent flyer programmes. Even if you buy from a legitimate business, which most online brokers are, there’s still very little protection for you. You could also end up getting your flights cancelled or your KrisFlyer account terminated if you were found to be buying your miles from a brokers website.
Brokers work by opening an account, transferring a large number of points into the account, using them to purchase your tickets, and closing the account once more. Of course, this may be flagged up as suspicious to Singapore Airlines, and you shouldn’t be certain you’ll receive help from brokers if this situation does occur.
If you’re looking for the best way to earn KrisFlyer miles through credit card purchases, the top earners to consider include:
When you use the KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card, you can earn 3 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop purchases, and 1.2x miles per $1 on any other spend. To new members, UOB is also offering a promotion of up to 12,000 KrisFlyer miles or a return ticket for signing up. To apply for this card, you’ll need a minimum income of $30,000.
When you apply for the American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card, you’ll receive a bonus of up to 26,000 KrisFlyer miles. The card offers no KrisFlyer miles transfer fee, and you can earn up to 3.1 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent. As an added bonus, if you spend $12,000 before 30th June 2020, you’ll get $150 cashback at Singapore Airlines. You’ll need a minimum income of $30,000 to be eligible for the card.
Ultimately, there’s no definitive method of buying Krisflyer Miles that could be recommended above the rest. It simply depends on your own personal situation.
In some cases, it may make more sense to purchase KrisFlyer miles directly from the Singapore Airlines website. On a more casual basis, or when you have plenty of time before a flight, it’s better to accumulate miles through staying in partner hotels, converting points from these partners, and using relevant credit cards.
Buying from a brokers is another possibility, but a risky one – and keep in mind that it’s against the KrisFlyer programme’s terms and conditions. You should try to avoid ever having to consider this as an option.