Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
This list shows all the partner airlines you can book with Singapore KrisFlyer miles and where to check award space.
|Region||Airline||Where to check award space|
|Asia||Scoot||Voucher on KrisFlyer site|
|Asia||Tigerair||Voucher on KrisFlyer site|
|North America||Air Canada||United.com|
|North America||Virgin America||Call KrisFlyer|
|Pacific||Air New Zealand||United.com|
Only Singapore Airlines and Silkair award flights may be booked online via the Singapore Airlines website. All partner redemptions must be made by phone. Krisflyer redemptions booked online for Singapore Airlines and Silkair benefit from a 15% discount on the “sticker” price. Phone bookings and partner bookings are not eligible for this discount,
Singapore Airlines and Silkair award space can be searched online. Star partners can be searched via united.com, Aeroplan.com (with a free account) or ANA’s website (also with a free account).
TigerAir and Scoot awards are in the form of a dollar voucher you can use toward any flight. For example 3,200 miles gets you a $30 Singapore dollar voucher, and you can request the voucher on Singaporeair.com.
The most straightforward method would be an old fashioned telephone call to the Krisflyer member line on (800) 742-3333.
Singapore Airlines uses a two-tiered pricing structure for its awards. One has the option of purchasing “Saver” and “Standard” awards. Awards are available in Economy, Premium Economy Business, and First Class. The cost differentials are substantial.
In Business Class Los Angeles-Singapore a roundtrip Saver award would cost 170,000 miles plus surcharges, a Standard award 240,000 miles. Including the 15% online booking discount, that saver award to Singapore would cost 144,500 miles.
Partner awards generally price higher than Singapore’s own flights. The sticker price of that same round-trip Los Angeles-Singapore on a Star partner like ANA would cost 195,000 in business plus surcharges.
Krisflyer miles have another use – they can be directly used to pay for “revenue” (i.e. a normal paid for with cash flight). But at a value per mile of $0.007 or approximately three-quarters of an American cent, it’s a poor use of miles.
When redeeming Krisflyer miles for Singapore Airlines flights, the lion’s share of fees payable will be fuel surcharges. For a Los Angeles-Singapore round-trip, fuel surcharges are about $460 of the $570 in booking charges.
Change fees: Singapore Airlines does not levy a fee when changing dates on its own award flights. Changing the route or class of your award will cost $12 online and $20 offline for Singapore Airlines and Silkair flights. Partner awards have a change fee of $20. A no-show or late change (less than 24 hours before departure) will incur a fee of $75.
Cancellation fees: If you want to cancel your award and redeposit your miles, the fee is $30, unless you are a silver, gold, or PPS elite, in which case the fee is $15.
A table of fees levied for various other changes is available here.
Krisflyer does shine in a number of places. This is the only way to get into Singapore Airlines’ best aircraft and cabins. United miles won’t get you into Suites.
Including the online discount, New York – Frankfurt, Los Angeles – Tokyo, and San Francisco – Hong Kong Saver awards are among the award bargains on Singapore Airlines. These are all fifth freedom flights operated by Singapore Airlines, bookable online, and benefit from the 15% online discount.
Upgrades with miles are available on Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and a number of Star partners. Upgrades are available from Economy to Business only on flights without Premium Economy. You can also upgrade Economy to Premium Economy, Premium Economy to Business, or Business to First. Krisflyer does not permit upgrades from Economy to First.
Economy tickets in fare buckets Y, B, and E are eligible for an upgrade. All paid Premium Economy and Business fare buckets are eligible at this time.
Generally, these fare buckets are the expensive but highly flexible ones. Most leisure travelers will never book into a Y or B fare unless they’re buying at the last minute. Depending on the route, the difference between discount business and full-fare economy may be minimal (less than 20%). And often, Premium Economy fares are cheaper than the most expensive Economy fares.
Let’s crunch some numbers for Premium Economy to Business Class.
To upgrade a roundtrip Premium Economy ticket Los Angeles – Singapore would cost 90,000 miles (76,500 with the 15% online discount) on top of the cost of the Premium Economy ticket, which is often about $1,800.
However, there are a few sweet spots worth considering when globe-trotting like Singapore-Japan/S Korea and Australia-Singapore.
The flights between Singapore and Japan are 7 hour red-eyes. An upgrade for 20,000 miles (17,000 online) Premium Economy to Business can make for a much more comfortable day on the other end. Singapore-Australia flights are similar, although come at an extra cost: 30,000 miles (25,500 online).
Partner upgrades are an even tougher value proposition. US-Europe economy-business upgrades at 40,000 each way rival the cost of an outright award.
As above, upgrade inventory on Singapore Airlines and Silkair can be found online. Partner availability can be searched on a third party website (United, ANA, Aeroplan) or more reliably by calling Krisflyer.
Singapore KrisFlyer allows stopovers on its own and partner award tickets.
Yes, for Singapore Airlines flights you can waitlist for both upgrades and awards via the online booking process. Generally they will clear about a week or two in advance of the flight if the flight isn’t booked solid.
Singapore requires you have the amount of miles for the award in your account in order to waitlist, but the miles aren’t deducted until your waitlist clears. You’ll get an email when it clears and you’ll have a day to call back and confirm the flight to deduct the miles.
You can book Singapore Airlines flights up to 350 days in advance.
Singapore Airlines flights can be theoretically booked via their Star Alliance and non-Star partners. The reality is rather dismal.
Singapore Airlines is notoriously stingy in releasing seats to partners, possibly only matched by Star partner Air New Zealand’s lack of inventory on its long haul routes.
Premium cabin award seats available via partner programs are a particularly rare find. Prior experience and research suggest that intra-Asia and various regional routes (Australia, NZ, India) see some premium cabin released to partners. North American and European route availability borders on non-existent.
You can transfer points to KrisFlyer via credit cards the earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, or Citi ThankYou points.
A number of options exist for credit card holders in the US and abroad to earn miles.
While there is no U.S. based Singapore Airlines credit card, you can transfer points to KrisFlyer from cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and HSBC Premier, in addition to the hotel programs above.
Krisflyer does not permit points to be transferred between members’ accounts
A Krisflyer member may nominate up to 5 friends and family for whom he/she can redeem his/her miles. Nominees may be changed online at a cost of 3,000 miles and $30 online, 5,000 and $50 offline. Discounts are available to Elite Silver members. Mileage and cash fees are waived for Elite Gold and PPS members.
Miles expire three years after being earned. This expiration is regardless of account activity. Blocks of 10,000 miles may be extended online by non-elite members at a cost of 1,200 miles and $12 per 10k block for a single 6 month extension. An offline extension costs 2,000 miles and $20. Elite Silver, Gold, and PPS may extend under the same cost structure, but their extension is 12 months.
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