This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
KrisFlyer Elite Gold is the highest tier of the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer frequent flyer program and equivalent to Star Alliance Gold, which unlocks over 1,000 lounges across its partner airlines.
There are also perks when flying with Virgin Australia domestically, making KrisFlyer Elite Gold status useful for travellers darting mainly around Asia and Australia.
How to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold status
Whereas Qantas and Virgin Australia use status credits to determine tiers, Singapore Airlines uses Elite miles to do the same, which is more closely tied to the actual distance you fly.
You’ll need to earn 50,000 Elite miles within any 12-month period to qualify for Elite Gold status, and continue to reel in another 50,000 Elite miles every year thereafter to retain your status.
The KrisFlyer miles calculator will help you check how much your next trip will earn. Usually, you’ll earn the same amount of KrisFlyer miles (for spending) and Elite miles (for status) from each flight.
|Travel Class||Earning Rate||Actual flown miles needed for Elite Gold|
|First/Suites (F, A)||200% of flown||25,000 miles|
|Business Flexi (Z, C, J)||150% of flown||33,334 miles|
|Business Standard (U)
Business Lite (D)
Premium Economy Flexi (S, T)
|125% of flown||40,000 miles|
|Premium Economy Standard (P)
Premium Economy Lite (R)
Economy Flexi (Y, B, E)
|100% of flown||50,000 miles|
|Economy Standard (M, H, W)||75% of flown||66,667 miles|
|Economy Lite (Q, N, V, K)||50% of flown||100,000 miles|
Status-seeking travellers will need to fly at least 33,334 to 40,000 real-life miles in business class to earn KrisFlyer Elite Gold, making it a fairly difficult status level to attain.
Using Sydney to Singapore one-way as an example (actual distance 3,912 miles), you would have to fly the route at least 7 times in first class, 9 times in business class (11 on Business Standard and Lite fares) or 26 times in Economy Lite to reach KrisFlyer Elite Gold.
Sydney to London via Singapore return clocks in at 21,152 miles, so even if you flew first class both ways (earning 42,304 Elite miles), you still won't quite make the cut to Elite Gold yet without a few more trips.
Lounge access for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members
Elite Gold frequent flyers have access to Singapore Airlines' and SilkAir’s network of lounges with one guest in tow, even when flying economy. However, the quality of lounges can vary significantly.
In the home port of Singapore, the disappointingly sub-par KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is offered for Elite Gold members travelling in economy or premium economy, while the swankier SilverKris lounge remains open for business class and PPS Club guests only.
In all other cities where Singapore Airlines offers a SilverKris business class lounge, Elite Gold members will have access with one guest.
The Star Alliance network provides access to hundreds more lounges worldwide, including Lufthansa’s ‘better than business class’ Senator Lounges, which are only accessible to Star Alliance Gold members.
AusBT review: Lufthansa Senator Lounge, London Heathrow Airport T2
In Australia, the doors are open to Virgin Australia domestic lounges along with one guest who has to also be travelling.
Rounding up the list is access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses when flying with Virgin Atlantic but without any guests, plus the Vistara lounge in New Delhi along with one guest also flying Vistara.
Checked baggage allowance for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members
An extra 20kg can be checked in when flying Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Virgin Atlantic and Star Alliance members and connecting partners. Where the piece concept applies, you’ll get one extra bag instead. Vistara offers an extra 10kg (22 pounds).
On Virgin Australia, Elite Gold members get one extra bag of 23kg in economy, or 32kg for business class and premium economy.
Perks for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members
Complimentary economy seat selection is available for Forward Zone and standard seats, where the fare would normally charge for seat selection.
Priority airport check-in, boarding and baggage delivery comes as standard when travelling with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Star Alliance (members and connecting partners) and Virgin Australia.
Also handy: waivers or reductions for most KrisFlyer service fees such as changing your redemption nominees, which normally attracts a US$30 (AU$43) or 3,000 miles penalty.
On the hotel front, you can also be boosted to Shangri-La Jade membership – providing complimentary breakfast, room upgrades and more at hotels like Shangri-La and Hotel Jen – after linking your KrisFlyer and Golden Circle memberships and staying for just one night at a participating hotel.
All this is in addition to Elite Silver benefits, including a 25% tier bonus on actual miles flown, and priority reservation waitlist and airport standby.
Elite Gold Rewards
As an incentive to keep flying with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir rather than partner airlines, Elite Gold Rewards offers extra bonuses when you earn miles solely from those two airlines.
When 60,000 Elite miles have been earned from these flights during a membership year, you’ll get a Double KrisFlyer Miles Reward which allows you to earn twice the KrisFlyer miles for a single flight segment.
At 75,000 Elite miles, a short-haul Advance Upgrade becomes available, allowing a one-class upgrade at the time of booking for short flights, including from Singapore to most of south-east Asia.
Finally, at 100,000 Elite miles, you’ll unlock a premium economy Advance Upgrade which is valid at the point of booking for any flight sector with premium economy, including longer legs between Singapore and either Australia or Europe.
AusBT review: Singapore Airlines premium economy, Sydney to Singapore