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Singapore Airlines Mileage Transfer Problems For Authorized Users

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Singapore Airlines Mileage Transfer Problems For Authorized Users

Singapore Airlines Mileage Transfer Problems For Authorized Users

We are noticing a trend with Singapore Airlines mileage transfer problems for authorized users. Because this seems like a pattern, it’s worth letting you know about issues with transferring miles to Singapore Airlines. Here’s a look at our experiences and how Singapore’s stance doesn’t match the bank policies for transfers.

Singapore Airlines Mileage Transfer Options

Singapore Airlines is a favorite of many people in this hobby. One of the key reasons is that you can transfer points and miles into your KrisFlyer account from numerous sources. Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 transfer ratio + 5,000 bonus miles for each 60,000 Marriott points you send).

Being able to transfer points from numerous sources makes it easy to add up miles in one spot for booking. Maybe you don’t have enough miles from pot A, but adding A, B & C makes enough for your booking.

What Do The Banks Say?

I wrote previously about programs that allow you to combine your points. Singapore Airlines also allows you to book tickets on behalf of others, if they’re in your redemption group. Theoretically, you should be able to use your points by sharing or by transferring to get this ticket with Singapore Airlines. Recent problems have uncovered an issue in how this works.

The most recent issue came up specifically with American Express. According to their terms published here:

The frequent customer program account that you transfer points into must be held by you or an Additional Card Member linked to your program account provided that an Additional Card must be issued to the Additional Card Member at least 90 days prior to linking your program account to that Additional Card Member’s frequent customer program account.

In short, you can transfer points into account that is yours or belongs to an authorized user on your account. Citi says the same thing for transferring to authorized users’ accounts. Sweet. If only these terms matched what Singapore Airlines / KrisFlyer enacts.

Singapore Airlines Mileage Transfer Problems because their policies don't match bank policies

Singapore Airlines Mileage Transfer Problems

Singapore Airlines does not appear to be on the same page as the banks regarding points transfers. We’re seeing issues involving authorized user accounts.

Shawn As Authorized User With Citi

Previously, Singapore Airlines rejected a points transfer for Shawn. Shawn is an authorized user on his wife’s credit card account and meets the Citi terms. However, Singapore Airlines rejected a points transfer into his wife’s account. They told him that the points must come from her Citi account to her KrisFlyer account. Authorized user transfers aren’t permitted by them.

A Reader As Authorized User With Amex

This week, a reader reached out to us with the same experience. He transferred points from his Chase account into his KrisFlyer account. He then transferred points from his wife’s American Express account, since he is an authorized user. After the tickets were booked and confirmed, Singapore Airlines called him days later saying this was a problem.

At first, the reader assumed the problem with Singapore Airlines citing a “name mis-match” was that his credit card account didn’t state that he has “jr.” in his name. The reader sent pictures of his credit card, identification documents, and a screen shot of the points transfers belonging to their accounts.

Singapore Airlines responded that the screenshot from the Amex transfer didn’t show the account holder’s name. American Express, when asked for help, said there’s no way to provide a transfer receipt showing names.

The end result is Singapore Airlines saying they do not accept points transfers involving authorized users. They say only account holder to account holder transfers are permitted. They’re cancelling the tickets and cancelling the points transfer, sending them back to American Express where they came from. How long that could take is anyone’s guess. This Singapore Airlines mileage transfer problem clearly contradicts the American Express transfer terms with authorized users.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, the banks allowing transfers and the rewards programs receiving them need to be on the same page. If this was just once, I would think it’s a “hang up, call again” situation. However, passing through multiple phone and email reps makes us think this is in fact a Singapore Airlines policy among their employees. I’d be wary about transferring points to KrisFlyer via authorized user at this point. It might work, but your tickets also can be cancelled.

American Express is also making this difficult. They are the owners of Membership Rewards. It blows my mind that they say they can’t provide anything with a name on it showing the points transfers. When customers follow Amex policies, Amex should help them out and/or go to bat for them. However, if the “no authorized user transfers” is really the Singapore Airlines policy, nothing with names on it that Amex provides would likely mean anything here. I don’t envy anyone waiting on a bunch of miles to appear back in their Membership Rewards account.

Update March 18: Singapore Airlines responds

Thank you for your email to Singapore Airlines.

Do allow us to share that as per KrisFlyer Terms and Conditions, pooling of miles is strictly prohibited and miles can only be earned or converted by the individual KrisFlyer member performing the transaction with participating partners.

As such, you can only transfer your own credit card points to your KrisFlyer account.

There it is. The banks say you can transfer via authorized users, but Singapore Airlines will reject the points transfer.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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  1. Frequent flyer programs are separate from the banks and there doesn’t necessarily have to be alignment with their rules. In this case SQ determines the rules for Kris Flyer and you are out of luck trying to fall back on the Amex or Chase position. People need to read the terms and conditions of the specific frequent flyer program instead of just assuming it matches the terms of the bank

    • Sure, but if Amex or Citi says you can transfer points into this program, wouldn’t you think they’d cleared that with KrisFlyer first? These banks have armies of lawyers whose entire job is built around clearing legal situations like this. We aren’t arguing that KrisFlyer doesn’t get to run its own program. The point is that it’s silly for a bank to tell you they’ll let you do something that the partner program won’t let you do, especially since we know a team of lawyers read and signed off on the policy statements beforehand.


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