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American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Card: Is it Right for You?

Accessible Balance of Miles Rewards & Luxury Perks
PROMO: GET FREE 1NIGHT STAY AT SOFITEL SENTOSA HOTEL

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Card: Is it Right for You?

Accessible Balance of Miles Rewards & Luxury Perks

4.2/5.0

ValueChampion Rating ValueChampion Icon

Rewards
Perks
Fees

Pros

  • Luxury travel perks
  • Great rewards with Singapore Airlines
  • Elite travel memberships

Cons

  • Not suitable for high overseas spend
  • High annual fee
PROMO: GET FREE 1NIGHT STAY AT SOFITEL SENTOSA HOTEL

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card is a great match for seasonal flyers and SIA loyalists who spend quite a bit locally, but still want to enjoy luxury perks when they travel. Cardholders earn 1.2 miles per S$1 general spend, plus 3.2 miles with Grab, Deliveroo, Food Panda, McDonald's, Starbucks & more. When travelling, consumers earn 2 miles per S$1 with SIA brands, as well as on overseas spend in June and December. Cardholders also enjoy luxury perks ranging from free lounge visits to exclusive membership upgrades. Finally, the S$337.05 fee–while it may seem high–is much smaller than that of other high-end travel cards. Altogether, Amex SIA KF Ascend Card makes for a unique and impressive blend of elevated everyday rates and affordable luxury.

Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card Features and Benefits

  • Annual Fee: S$337.05, No waiver
  • Income Requirement: S$50,000 for citizens & PRs, S$60,000 for foreigners
Key Features:
  • Annual fee: S$337.05
  • 1.2 miles per S$1 local & overseas spend, 2 miles overseas in June & December only
  • 2 miles per S$1 spend on SingaporeAir online & app, SilkAir, KrisShop in-flight & online
  • 3.2 miles per S$1 spend on Grab transactions (up to 640 mi/mo)
  • 4 free lounge visits/year, free annual hotel night, travel insurance
  • Access to Hilton Honors Silver & Krisflyer Elite Gold status
Promotions:
  • Receive 1 Night Stay in Luxury Room at Sofitel Sentosa Hotel (Room only, no breakfast) and additional 10,000 bonus miles with min spend of S$5,000 within first 3 months of card approval (until Sep 30, 2021)
Promotions:
  • Receive 1 Night Stay in Luxury Room at Sofitel Sentosa Hotel (Room only, no breakfast) and additional 10,000 bonus miles with min spend of S$5,000 within first 3 months of card approval (until Sep 30, 2021)

What Makes American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card Stand Out

If you're a seasonal traveller who prefers to fly with Singapore Airlines, you may be particularly excited to learn more about American Express KrisFlyer Ascend Card. Cardholders earn 1.2 miles per S$1 general spend, 2 miles overseas (June & December only), 2 miles for spend with Singapore Airlines brands and 3.2 miles for spend with Grab. While these rates may not be particularly astounding, the card makes up for it with high-end perks. From free lounge visits to Hilton membership upgrades, cardholders enjoy luxury whenever they travel.

Overall, Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card stands out by striking a balance between everyday rewards and exclusive benefits. The high rewards rate of 3.2 miles per S$1 spend with Grab makes it easy to earn miles from local transport. While earnings are capped at just 640 miles/month, it's ultimately possible to earn 7,680 miles per year within this spend category alone. Pricier travel cards rarely offer boosted rates for everyday spending, and less expensive travel cards with high local rates rarely offer the travel perks provided by Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card.

Amex SIA KF Ascend: Competitive Balance Between Cost, Rates & Perks

CardFeeLocal Rewards RatesPerks
OCBC VoyageS$488.01.2mi/S$1 general, 1.6 mi diningFree travel insurance, unltd lounge access, limo transfers, golfing privileges
Amex SIA KF AscendS$337.051.2mi/S$1 general, 3.2 mi w/ GrabFree travel insurance, 4 lounge visits/year, free hotel night, flight & hotel upgrades
MB HorizonS$0.0 (waiver)2 mi/S$1 air tickets, travel packages; 3.2 mi dining, petrol, taxis, AgodaFree travel insurance, 1 lounge visit/S$1k retail transaction
Rates and perks provide overview of card benefits and may not be all-inclusive. Only local rewards rates are shown. Maybank Horizon Card's annual fee is based on 3-year waiver, followed by waiver with S$18k annual spend. See reviews or card websites for further details

Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card's travel perks are worth discussing in their own right. Cardholders enjoy 4 free lounge visits per year worldwide, an annual free hotel night, free travel insurance and more. What's unique, however, is access to elite membership perks, like an automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Silver tier. Cardholders can also receive an automatic upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership with S$15,000 spend in their 1st year. All cardholders enjoy Hertz Gold Plus Rewards privileges, which include discounted rates, free upgrades and fee waivers. Given the breadth of luxury perks provided, it's rather surprising that Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend's annual fee is just S$337.05. Cards with comparable perks cost S$500+.

Membership Upgrades Available with Amex SIA KF Ascend

MembershipQualifying TermsBenefits
Hilton Honors Silver StatusAutomatic invite w/ card approval. Valid 1-yr20% boost in Hilton loyalty pts, 5th night free on 5+ night stays, free WiFi, early check-in, late check-out & more
KrisFlyer Elite Gold StatusMust spend S$15k on SIA online in 1st year. Valid 1-yrAdd'l access to KF lounges worldwide, extra check-in allowance, priority checking, boarding & baggage handling
Hertz Gold PlusAutomatic eligibility w/ card approval10% savings on published rates, car class upgrades, waiver for add'l driver fee
See credit card agreement for additional details and requirements

Even still, there are a few drawbacks to consider. People who spend a great deal of time and money overseas are unlikely to benefit, as purchases will earn just 1.2 miles per S$1 except in June and December. Other travel cards offer rates as high as 3 miles per S$1 overseas. Additionally, consumers who are solely focused on maximising miles earned and who are less interested in perks might prefer a different card. While Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card sports top-of-the-line benefits, its rates align with far less expensive travel cards'.

Nonetheless, Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card is an excellent choice for people seeking a balance between rewards for daily spend and exceptional travel perks. Those who mostly travel in June & December with Singapore Airlines will earn at competitive rates while enjoying exclusive benefits not offered by pricier cards. Speaking of cost, Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card's S$337.05 fee is far lower than its luxury competitors. All in all, if you want top perks at a discount, consider Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card.

How Does Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card's Rebate Program Work?

Use our guide below to learn how you can actually redeem Amex SIA KF Ascend Card's rewards.

  • Rewards are earned as KrisFlyer Miles
  • Cardholder must link Card to a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account
  • KrisFlyer Miles earned are directly credited to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account
  • Additional taxes, charges and fees may apply when redeeming mileage
  • Usage of KrisFlyer Miles is subject to the KrisFlyer Terms & Conditions, per Singapore Airlines

Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card's Rewards Exclusions

The following credit card expenditures are ineligible for cash back or rebates.

Charges processed and billed prior to the Enrolment Date or charges prepaid on any card account prior to the first billing statement for that card account following the enrolment date; cash advance and other cash services; Express Cash; American Express Travellers Cheque purchases; Charges for dishonoured cheques; finance charges (including line of credit charges and credit card interest charges); late payment and collection charges; tax refunds from overseas purchases; balance transfers; instalment plans; annual card fees; amount billed for purchase of KrisFlyer miles to top-up your miles balance
Purchase and top-up charges for EZ-Link Cards using American Express Cards; bill payments and all transactions via SingPost SAM kiosks and mobile app; payments for the purpose of GrabPay top-ups
Payments to insurance companies (except payments made for insurance products purchased through American Express authorized channels); payments to Singapore Petroleum Company Limited (SPC) service stations

How does Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card Compare to Other Cards?

Read our comparisons of Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card with other cards and learn what makes each card unique.

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Card offers above-average value-to-consumer after two years based on a high monthly spend of S$6,000

Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card v. Amex SIA KrisFlyer Card

PROMO: GET S$20 CAPITAVOUCHERS
Consider this if you want to easily earn welcome bonus miles and fly mostly on Singapore Airlines’ various brands
  • Pros
    • Easy-to-use miles card
    • No conversions & transfer fees
    • Great rewards with Singapore Airlines
    • Cons
      • Not easy to maximise miles
      • Lacks airline/travel rewards aside from SIA

      American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card offers consumers an affordable way to quickly capitalise on welcome bonuses, while also enjoying rewards for loyalty spend with select vendors. Amex SIA KF Card is actually quite similar to Amex SIA KF Ascend Card, at least in terms of rates: cardholders earn 1.1 miles per S$1 general spend (vs. 1.2 miles), 3.1 miles per S$1 with Grab (vs. 3.2 miles), 2 miles per S$1 with SIA brands and overseas, in June & December. Amex SIA KF Card, however, lacks Ascend's travel perks, which may explain its lower S$176.55 annual fee.

      Amex SIA KF Card's welcome promotions are typically more accessible, however. New cardholders receive 8,000 bonus miles with just S$5k spend in the 1st 3 months, as opposed to S$10k, as required by Ascend. Ultimately, Amex SIA KF Card is an even more affordable version of Ascend, at the cost of travel perks.

      • Annual fee: S$176.55, 1-year waiver
      • 1.1 miles per S$1 local & overseas spend, 2 miles overseas in June & December only
      • 2 miles per S$1 spend on SingaporeAir online & app, SilkAir, KrisShop in-flight & online
      • 3.1 miles per S$1 spend on Grab transactions (up to 620 mi/mo)
      • Free travel insurance
      • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards & Amex Selects Privileges
      Promotions:
      • New cardmembers get S$20 CapitaVouchers when you apply via MyInfo (until Sep 30, 2021)
      • Annual fee: S$176.55, 1-year waiver
      • 1.1 miles per S$1 local & overseas spend, 2 miles overseas in June & December only
      • 2 miles per S$1 spend on SingaporeAir online & app, SilkAir, KrisShop in-flight & online
      • 3.1 miles per S$1 spend on Grab transactions (up to 620 mi/mo)
      • Free travel insurance
      • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards & Amex Selects Privileges
      Promotions:
      • New cardmembers get S$20 CapitaVouchers when you apply via MyInfo (until Sep 30, 2021)

      Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card v. OCBC Voyage Card

      Consider this if you have a high annual income and eat out frequently
      • Pros
        • 2.2 miles per S$1 overseas and dining spend
        • 1.3 miles per S$1 local general
        • 15,000 annual bonus renewal miles (worth S$150)
        • Unlimited lounge access, free travel insurance, limo transfers, golfing privileges & more
        • Up to 19% fuel savings with Caltex
        • Cons
          • High S$488 annual fee (no waiver)
          • Recurring bills ineligible for rewards
          • Access to limo transfers requires S$3,000 minimum spend

          If you prioritise luxury and comfort when travelling and often spend overseas, you may want to consider OCBC Voyage Card. Cardholders earn 1.2 miles per S$1 locally and 2.3 miles overseas, plus a boosted 1.6 miles on local dining. OCBC Voyage stands out, however, for its luxury travel perks. Cardholders receive free unlimited lounge access, limo transfers, travel insurance and more. These features primarily provide comfort and ease during travel, while Amex SIA KF Ascend Card offers membership upgrades and hotel & transport perks. Overall, OCBC Voyage is an excellent option for people seeking luxury when they travel, as well as high miles rates both locally and overseas.

          • Annual fee: S$488
          • 1.2 miles per S$1 local spend, 1.6 miles local dining, 2.4 miles overseas
          • Unlimited lounge access, free limo transfers, golfing privileges
          • Free travel insurance & global concierge service
          • Up to 19% fuel savings with Caltex
          Promotions:
          • Annual fee: S$488
          • 1.2 miles per S$1 local spend, 1.6 miles local dining, 2.4 miles overseas
          • Unlimited lounge access, free limo transfers, golfing privileges
          • Free travel insurance & global concierge service
          • Up to 19% fuel savings with Caltex
          Promotions:

          Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card v. Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card

          Consider this if you want to maximise miles earned on dining and petrol
          • Pros
            • High spend on local dining & transport
            • Great for local spend and miles rewards on travel
            • 3 years fee waiver
            • Cons
              • Doesn't reward overseas spend
              • Few travel perks & privileges
              • Lacks in rewards for essentials (ie groceries)

              If you spend most of your budget locally and want miles for everyday spending, Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card offers a great no-fee option to maximise rewards. Cardholders earn 3.2 miles per S$1 on local dining, petrol, taxis and travel bookings with Agoda, plus 2 miles per S$1 on air tickets, travel packages and overseas spend. The S$180 fee is even waived 3-years, and subsequently with just S$18k annual spend.

              While these rates are extremely competitive, MB Horizon Card offers very few travel perks. Cardholders do not receive welcome miles and each lounge access can only be unlocked with a S$1,000 retail transaction. Ultimately, MB Horizon Card is a great match for locally-based consumers who would rather avoid a fee than pay for luxury perks; those who are seeking such benefits might prefer Amex SIA KF Ascend Card.

              • Annual fee: S$180.0, 3-year waiver, subsequently with S$18,000 annual spend
              • 3.2 miles per S$1 local spend on dining, petrol, taxis, Grab & hotel bookings with Agoda
              • 2 miles per S$1 spend on air tickets, travel packages & foreign currency transactions
              • Up to 17.2% fuel savings on petrol in Singapore
              • Access to airport lounges & free travel insurance
              Promotions:
              • 3.2 miles per S$1 local spend on dining, petrol, taxis, Grab & hotel bookings with Agoda
              • 2 miles per S$1 spend on air tickets, travel packages & foreign currency transactions
              • Up to 17.2% fuel savings on petrol in Singapore
              • Access to airport lounges & free travel insurance
              Promotions:

              Amex SIA KrisFlyer Ascend Card v. DBS Altitude Visa Card

              PROMO: S$200 CASHBACK OR 38,000 MILES
              Consider this if you are looking for a good miles credit card with an easily waived annual fee
              • Pros
                • Great for online travel bookings
                • No an annual fee
                • Cons
                  • Those willing to pay an annual fee for more bonus miles
                  • Affluent travellers who are willing to pay a high fee for luxury travel perks

                  DBS Altitude Visa Card is perhaps the best option available for competitive miles rates and affordable travel perks. Cardholders earn 1.2 miles per S$1 locally, 2 miles overseas, 3 miles for online travel bookings, and often, elevated promotional rates with key vendors or in a specific spend category. Beyond these rewards, consumers can also enjoy free travel insurance, lounge access, golfing privileges and more. The S$192.6 fee is even waived with just S$25k annual spend. Overall, travellers who want to save on an annual fee while still earning competitively overseas–and who aren't willing to sacrifice luxury travel perks–may want to consider DBS Altitude Visa Card.

                  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver, subsequently with S$25,000 annual spend
                  • 1.2 miles per S$1 locally, 2 miles overseas, 3 miles for online travel bookings
                  • Free travel insurance, 2x lounge visits, golfing & dining privileges
                  • DBS My Preferred Payment Plan (0% interest instalments)
                  • Up to 15% fuel savings with SPC, 14% with Esso
                  Promotions:
                  • Use code 200CASH to get S$200 cashback when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge min S$800 within 60 days of card approval OR spend S$6,000 within first 90 days and get 38,000 miles (until Sep 30, 2021)
                  • Annual fee: S$192.6, 1-year waiver, subsequently with S$25,000 annual spend
                  • 1.2 miles per S$1 locally, 2 miles overseas, 3 miles for online travel bookings
                  • Free travel insurance, 2x lounge visits, golfing & dining privileges
                  • DBS My Preferred Payment Plan (0% interest instalments)
                  • Up to 15% fuel savings with SPC, 14% with Esso
                  Promotions:
                  • Use code 200CASH to get S$200 cashback when you apply online via digibank or Myinfo with Singpass and charge min S$800 within 60 days of card approval OR spend S$6,000 within first 90 days and get 38,000 miles (until Sep 30, 2021)
                  Zoryana Melesh

                  Zoryana is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, who focuses on evaluating credit cards, savings and fixed deposits in Singapore. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MPA in International Finance and Economic Policy, both from Columbia University. Prior to joining ValueChampion, Zoryana worked in treasury management consulting.

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