Star Alliance Gold is normally your reward for regularly flying with Star Alliance airlines throughout the year – unlocking perks like airport lounge access, priority check-in and priority boarding – but there’s a handy shortcut that can elevate you to Gold status after taking just three flights.
That’s more than covered by one return trip from Australia to Europe or two return trips between Australia and Asia, and what’s more, it doesn’t matter whether you’re flying on a flexible first class fare or the most heavily-discounted economy ticket: just three individual flights is all it takes!
This hack comes courtesy of the ‘Infinite Journeys’ tie-up between Singapore Airlines and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, where Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade members can be fast-tracked to KrisFlyer Gold – and by extension, Star Alliance Gold – just by taking three Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights.
Not already a Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade cardholder? That’s okay: there’s a way you can fast-track that status too!
Here’s how you can snag a Star Alliance Gold membership of your own, by playing your cards right.
Step 1: Become a Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade member
In Shangri-La’s own hotel loyalty program, all members start at the Golden Circle ‘Gold’ tier, and can move up to ‘Jade’ after 10 qualifying stays or spending 20 qualifying room nights in Shangri-La, Kerry, Traders and Hotel Jen each calendar year.
That means travellers who only check-in for one night at a time would reach Jade membership after their 10th hotel visit, even though they wouldn’t have stayed for 20 nights, as you only need to meet one requirement or the other: not both.
If you haven’t already joined the free Golden Circle program, join online now and be sure to attach your Golden Circle membership number to all future hotel bookings at these chains.
An even faster path is to be an American Express Platinum Charge Card holder, as the card includes complimentary Golden Circle Jade membership as one of its many perks, without meeting the usual night or stay requirements.
New cardholders should first activate their charge card and register for an American Express online account as part of that activation process, before continuing with these steps – while existing cardholders can get things moving by logging in to the AMEX website, hovering their mouse over ‘Benefits & Help’ and clicking on ‘Platinum Benefits’:
On the next screen, expand the ‘Hotels’ tab, then click on the word ‘enrolment’:
When the various hotel benefits present themselves, browse until Shangri-La Golden Circle appears, and then tap ‘Enrol’:
When prompted, key in (or confirm) your name, email address, mailing address and Golden Circle membership number, to submit your request for an upgrade to Jade.
Your status won’t tick over straight away – in fact, you should allow several weeks, or even a month for this to happen – during which time, you’ll see your request as ‘pending’ from the same screen.
Once everything goes through, your status will show as Jade on the Shangri-La website and in the Golden Circle mobile app, which you may wish download for iPhone or Android. Remember, everybody starts at ‘Gold’ in Golden Circle, so if you see this, your upgrade hasn’t gone through yet.
Step 2: Link your Golden Circle, KrisFlyer memberships together
When you’re officially a Golden Circle Jade member – either by meeting the nights or stays requirement or courtesy of the American Express Platinum Charge Card – your next step is to link this membership with your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account.
(Not already a KrisFlyer member? You should join for free first.)
To link your accounts, log in to Golden Circle here, and when prompted, key in your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer membership number. Once that’s done, click ‘register’. You may see wording relating to ‘Infinite Journeys’: if so, you’re on the right track!
Shortly after completing this process, your Singapore Airilines status should click over to KrisFlyer Silver – yes, not Gold – and if you do nothing else, you’ll remain a Silver frequent flyer for one year.
However, Silver doesn’t have many tangible benefits – you don’t even get priority check-in, let alone lounge access – so what you really want is KrisFlyer Gold, which is also Star Alliance Gold, covered in the next step.
Step 3: Upgrade from KrisFlyer Silver to KrisFlyer Gold
Once Silver status is showing in your KrisFlyer account, you can move up to KrisFlyer Gold after taking at least three ‘qualifying flights’ on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir within four months of registration, on which your KrisFlyer membership number is attached to the booking.
That covers any paid, points-earning Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights in any class of service – be it Suites Class, first class, business class, premium economy or economy – except for G-class group fares, flights which were booked using frequent flyer points, and codeshare flights.
Just one return trip between Australia and Europe would more than cover it, such as Sydney-Singapore-London (two flights), London-Singapore-Sydney (a further two flights); or two return trips between Australia and Asia – or New Zealand, aboard SQ’s Canberra-Wellington flights.
Howsoever you notch up those three required flights, your KrisFlyer Silver status will be replaced with KrisFlyer Gold (Star Alliance Gold) for one year.
In future years, you’ll need to retain KrisFlyer Gold the ‘normal’ way to continue enjoying its benefits – typically by earning 50,000 ‘Elite miles’ during that 12-month membership, by flying with Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners.
You can’t merely link your Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines accounts again: this is a one-off boost, so use it wisely.
You’ll also want to choose your timing here carefully, because even though you get a KrisFlyer Silver card for a whole year just by linking your Golden Circle Jade membership, the flights you need to take to ascend to Gold must happen within four months of linking your accounts.
Specifically for AMEX Platinum cardholders, there’s no harm in opting-in for Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade as soon as you’re able – particularly as this takes some time to be processed – but you should wait to link that membership to KrisFlyer until you know you’ll be travelling.
That way, you’ll be ready to roar, but won’t miss your opportunity of becoming a Star Alliance Gold frequent flyer if your next Singapore Airlines flight is a number of months away.
Step 4: Enjoy the benefits of KrisFlyer Gold, Star Alliance Gold
You’ve done it! With a KrisFlyer Gold card under your belt, you’ll now enjoy lounge access whenever travelling with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and the entire Star Alliance family, including Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, EVA Air, SAA, Thai Airways and United in Australian skies.
Further afield, your Star Alliance Gold also unlocks lounge access with Adria, Aegean, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Swiss, TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines.
Added to that is a boosted checked baggage allowance plus priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling when flying with the same airlines, plus other benefits like fast-track security screening and passport control in selected airports.
Through Singapore Airlines’ other partnerships, perks like lounge access and priority check-in are offered when flying with Virgin Atlantic and India’s Vistara.
A KrisFlyer Gold card also provides lounge access when travelling domestically with Virgin Australia, although this perk is already available to AMEX Platinum Charge Card holders: if that’s you, you may prefer to flash your AMEX for Virgin lounge access and accrue Velocity points on your flight instead, keeping KrisFlyer Gold for when you travel further abroad.