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Covid-19 completely upended the business models for several companies in the travel industry. Over the last few months, we’ve seen airlines and hotels offer creative promotions in order to keep their customers engaged during a time of low travel numbers. One such promotion that has garnered a lot of attention is the one being offered by Singapore Airlines. If you play your cards right, you can still earn Star Alliance gold status by maxing out this promotion.

Singapore Airlines – Star Alliance Gold Status

If you’re looking to earn status with Singapore Airlines without flying, then you need to accumulate a certain amount of elite miles. With this current deal, you can earn those elite miles by transferring bank points to Singapore Airlines. You can transfer your points from American Express, Chase, Citi or Capital One.

For example, if you transfer 125,000 bank points and convert them into Singapore Airlines miles, you’ll earn 25,000 elite miles, enough to give you Silver status. Similarly, if you convert 250,000 bank points into Singapore Airlines miles, you’ll earn 50,000 elite miles, enough to give you Gold status.

If you get Gold status with Singapore Airlines, you’ll automatically get Star Alliance Gold. This will give you access to lounges when you fly partner airlines in the Star Alliance. For example, you could use this status to access United Club lounges while flying United Airlines.

This promotion ends on February 28, 2022. However, Singapore Airlines has also announced the extension of elite status by one year. So if you jump on this deal, then you could end up having Star Alliance Gold status for a total of two years instead of one!

Why I’m skipping this deal

Singapore Airlines started offering this promotion early in 2021. I decided that I’d wait until I see how things plan out with regards to Covid-19. With the promotion ending next month, I’ve now decided to sit this one out. Here are my reasons.

Airline Loyalty

Unlike hotel chains, I’m not really loyal to one particular airline or chase status with it. Also, since I usually use miles and points for most of my travel, I tend to buy very few revenue tickets. Moreover, post Covid-19, my business travel has come to a complete standstill and I don’t really see the merit in parking aside 250,000 miles with a single airline and then going out of the way to fly Star Alliance partners whenever I travel.

Miles Expiration Policy

This is probably the number one reason on my list. Singapore Airlines makes your miles expire three years after you earn them. Not three years of inactivity. If I were to transfer miles right now in Jan 2022, they’d expire in Jan 2025, no matter how frequently I fly on Singapore Airlines during that time. For me, that opportunity cost is really high, even though I love flying Singapore Airlines. The next reason explains why.

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Make no mistake, Singapore Airlines has an amazing product

Travel Around Asia

Between 2015 and 2019, I’ve done my fair bit of travel on Singapore Airlines and around the Asian continent. For a couple of years, I was based out of India and used my Singapore Airlines miles extensively to make trips to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and New Zealand.

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While I love traveling to Singapore, my travel personal goals mean that I’ll probably not travel there any time soon

In addition to transiting via Changi airport, I must’ve made at least 5 trips to Singapore during a 3 year period. Why does this matter? Singapore Airlines often blocks premium cabin space on flights operated by their partners. If I’ve done my fair share of flying with Singapore Airlines already and probably won’t fly them for the next few years, I don’t see merit in parking 250,000 miles in a Singapore Airlines account, setting off a three year expiration clock.

star alliance gold

Exploring Vietnam (2018)

star alliance gold

Bungy jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand (2016)

Moreover, whenever travel returns to normal, I intend to explore more of Latin America and Europe, quite in contrast to my last half a decade of travel, which had me traversing South East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent quite a lot.

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Stunning backdrop while boarding in Dharamshala, India (2021)

Business Travel

I haven’t flown for work since late 2019. Given how things are shaping up, I’m still unsure what percentage of work will continue to be remote. Given that, I don’t see merit in speculatively transferring 250,000 points if I’m not going to fly as frequently.

Personal Reasons

As a father to my daughter born last year, I’ve been extra cautious about dipping my toes into the travel waters again. Traveling with an infant throws its own challenges, notwithstanding all the restrictions and roadblocks already in place due to testing requirements and quarantine rules.

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Ready to explore the world, whenever the new normal arrives

Even the best travel plans can go awry with the emergence of a new variant, putting all travel in abeyance.


Given that uncertainty, I do plan to slowly ramp up my travel whenever things seem like getting back to normal as opposed to jumping directly to the deep end. Given all these variables, I just don’t see myself traveling frequently enough to maximize elite status.

The Pundit’s Mantra

Overall, both personal and business related reasons have driven me to this decision. Most importantly, I simply don’t see the opportunity cost of setting aside 250,000 miles during a time of uncertainty. Moreover, SQ’s strict three year miles expiration policy made it pretty clear to me that this wasn’t a speculation worth making. However, if you’re still looking to attain it, then you can earn up to 375,000 Membership Rewards points with a single credit card bonus on the Amex Platinum Card.

This would be a complete no-brainer during normal times, with multiple trips on the horizon. Do you plan to utilize this promotion to earn Star Alliance Gold status? Tell us in the comments section.


The American Express Gold Card is currently offering an increased welcome bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points. The card is packed with benefits and credits, which will easily help you offset the $250 annual fee.

Apply Now


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