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Singapore KrisFlyer cheat sheet for using your miles

by on Wed April 20, 2016 • 38 Comments
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What airlines can you book with KrisFlyer miles?

This list shows all the partner airlines you can book with Singapore KrisFlyer miles and where to check award space.

RegionAirlineWhere to check award space
AfricaEgyptairUnited.com
AfricaEthiopianUnited.com
AfricaSouth AfricanUnited.com
AsiaAir ChinaUnited.com
AsiaAir IndiaUnited.com
AsiaANA JapanUnited.com
AsiaAsianaUnited.com
AsiaEVAUnited.com
AsiaScootVoucher on KrisFlyer site
AsiaShenzhenUnited.com
AsiaThaiUnited.com
AsiaTigerairVoucher on KrisFlyer site
AsiaVistaraNone
EuropeAdriaUnited.com
EuropeAegeanUnited.com
EuropeAustrianUnited.com
EuropeBrusselsUnited.com
EuropeCroatiaUnited.com
EuropeLOTUnited.com
EuropeLufthansaUnited.com
EuropeSASUnited.com
EuropeSwissUnited.com
EuropeTAP PortugalUnited.com
EuropeTurkishUnited.com
EuropeVirgin AtlanticDelta.com
Latin AmericaAviancaUnited.com
Latin AmericaCopaUnited.com
North AmericaAir CanadaUnited.com
North AmericaUnitedUnited.com
North AmericaVirgin AmericaCall KrisFlyer
PacificAir New ZealandUnited.com
PacificVirgin AustraliaDelta.com

How to book award flights

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.

Tip: If you do a phone booking of a Singapore Airlines flight that’s not possible online, you can request the 15% discount.

How much do awards cost?

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.

  • Singapore Airlines and Silk Air award redemption charts are available here.
  • The Star Alliance award redemption chart and information can be found here.
  • Charts for non-Star partners Virgin America/Atlantic/Australia and Vistara can be found here.
  • Charts for low-cost partners Scoot and Tigerair can be found here.

Tip: Business Class awards are often only slightly more expensive than Premium Economy awards.

What are award change and booking fees?

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.

What are the best award values?

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.

  • New York JFK – Frankfurt Saver awards price out at 20,000 miles one way in Economy, 57,500 in Business, and 67,500 in Suites. That’s before a 15% discount for booking online.
  • Los Angeles – Tokyo before the discount prices out at 32,500 miles in Economy, 77,500 in Business, and 87,500 in First.
  • San Francisco – Hong Kong before the 15% discount comes in at 30,000 miles in Economy, 75,000 in Business, and 82,500 in First.
  • Flights within the U.S. and to Hawaii are a good partner award. 20,000 miles one way for Business/First redemption on United Airlines within North America is a good deal, as is. 30,000 one way between Hawaii and the Mainland in First.

Tip: Krisflyer’s Round-the-World Star Alliance award is also reasonable. You can go around the world for 180,000 miles in Economy, 240,000 miles in Business and 360,000 miles in First with up to seven city stopovers on any combination of Star Alliance carriers.

Can you upgrade with miles?

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.

  • The Singapore/Silkair award chart is available here.
  • For Star Alliance partner upgrades, please refer to the chart above or the Singapore Airlines page here.

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.

What stopovers are allowed?

Singapore KrisFlyer allows stopovers on its own and partner award tickets.

  • On Saver awards, a single complimentary stopover is allowed on round-trip bookings. No complimentary stopover is offered on one-way bookings.
  • Standard and Full awards allow one complimentary stopover on one-way bookings and two stopovers on a round-trip ticket.
  • Round-trip Star Alliance partner awards are permitted a single complimentary stopover.

Tip: On Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and Star Alliance round-trip awards, up to three additional stopovers may be purchased for $100 each.

Can you waitlist for an award?

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.

Tip: If you are flexible, you can take advantage of the fact that KrisFlyer has minimal cancellation fees by waitlisting one flight, and confirming another. For example, let’s say you prefer to fly on July 8, but that’s only available as a waitlist. And a flight on July 9 is available to confirm now.
You can waitlist the July 8 flight (no miles will be deducted). Then, book the confirmed July 9 flight. If the July 8 flight clears you can cancel the July 9 flight and use the refunded miles to confirm the July 9 flight.

Can you hold an award seat?

Krisflyer does not allow seats to be kept on hold.

How far in advance can you book flights?

You can book Singapore Airlines flights up to 350 days in advance.

Alternative miles to book Singapore flights

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.

What hotel points can you transfer from?

  • Accor’s Le Club allows conversion to Krisflyer miles at a rate of 2 points to 1 KF mile.
  • Starwood’s SPG program allows a conversion to Krisflyer miles at a 1 to 1 rate. SPG Preferred and Gold Preferred members are subject to converting a minimum of 2,500 and 1,500 points, respectively. Platinum Preferred members are not subject to a minimum conversion
  • Hyatt Gold Passport points can be converted at a rate of 2.5 points to 1 Krisflyer mile.
  • IHG Points can be converted in blocks of 10,000 points for 2,000 Krisflyer miles.
  • Hilton HHonors points can be converted in blocks of 10,000 points for 1,000 Krisflyer miles.

What credit cards earn KrisFlyer miles?

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.

How do you transfer miles?

Krisflyer does not permit points to be transferred between members’ accounts

Can you book awards for others?

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.

Do KrisFlyer miles expire?

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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38 thoughts on Singapore KrisFlyer cheat sheet for using your miles

  1. Peter

    I currently have a award:
    SYD-SIN-xFRA-JFK all SQ F.
    116875 miles.

    I am trying to add SFO-HNL-xHND-xSIN-SYD in Y/J/F/F on UA/NH/SQ/SQ

    Can the entire trip be treated as a Australia to North America F award (255k)?

    I am getting conflicting info from different agents. Some say it’s a round the world costing >300k in total. Some say I can add 145k miles for the additional sectors (meaning total of about 262k).

    Anyone succeeded in making this sort of itinerary as 255k?

    Any tips will help.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Peter – It would have to be booked as an entirely new reward. And you can only have one stopover on the reward (so both HND and SIN as stopovers would break the fare).

      Reply
  2. Mike

    Great Information on Krisflyer!

    Me and my wife have about 125K kf miles and would like to book one business class ticket MCI-DEL. What will be my optimal route? and how many points do I need?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Mike – Glad you find it useful. It won’t be cheap.

      If you did IAH-MAN-SIN-DEL it would be 105k miles just one way less a 15% discount for booking a Singapore flight online.

      If you used the miles to book a partner award, like United to Lufthansa on MCI-ORD-FRA-DEL it would cost 97.5k miles one way plus the taxes and fees.

      Reply
  3. Ray

    Have to make a decision between Mileageplus and Krisflyer. I have enough miles to purchase roundtrips for spouse and me on a NA to Europe United flight but not enough for my 4 year old. Will Singapore Airlines book a third ticket for cash or do I have to purchase that separately from United and being that I cannot book a minor ticket without jumping through a few hoops, should I just stick with Mileageplus in the first place? Regards

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Ray – Any reason you can’t book yourself and your 4 year old with miles? Then your spouse with the separate ticket?

      Reply
  4. Rachel

    I have about 19,000miles that expire within few months. Is it possible to transfer KF miles to United Airline mileage plus account? United is Star Alliance.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Rachel – Unfortunately no way to move KF miles into a United account. Best to find an award – 19,000 KF miles can get you a one way domestic flight on United for example.

      Reply
  5. steve curtis

    Hi, I have enough KF miles for an award flight and half of another. My wife has the same amount. Can we both nominate our son and each contribute half of the miles needed for his award flight? Thanks.

    Reply
      1. steve curtis

        Thanks, that makes sense, but I should have been more precise. We don’t each have exactly (or more than) half of what he would need. I probably have 70% of what he needs (enough for a one-way with some left over) and my wife has about 40% (not enough for a one-way but, when coupled with my ‘leftovers’ it would be). Any way to make that work? Thanks again for your help.

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @steve – You can make up the shortfall buy buying miles at a rate of 40 USD per 1,000 miles when you’re in the process to make the booking. So, when you’re booking, you’d buy 30% of the miles needed. And when she’s booking she’d need to buy 60% of the leftovers. No way to transfer your leftovers to her account unfortunately.

          Alternatively, you can buy Starwood points for a little cheaper – $36 USD per 1,000 miles – and you get a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 SPG points to Krisflyer.

          https://buy.points.com/marketing/spg/landing_page/#/en-US

          Reply
          1. steve

            One final question: I found a great saver award flight on united.com. I will buy the necessary miles as you suggest in order to have enough for us all to travel. I will then call SIA to request those tickets.

            Will Singapore honor the fuel surcharges, etc. that are listed on the united.com site or will they increase them (I notice that SIA charges much more for those costs than does United)?

          2. MileCards.com

            @steve – They probably don’t pass on fuel surcharges on United, but call SIA to check on that particular flight – also verify they see the award space as well.

  6. CeeJay

    Would you happen to know if I can transfer points from two different cards into the same Krisflyer account? For example if I had chase freedom points under my name and Amex rewards under my wife’s name, can we both transfer points into the same Krisflyer account under my name? Thanks for the great post!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @CeeJay – For your wife’s Amex account, add you as an authorized user on the account, and then you can transfer to your KrisFlyer account. Also you’ll need a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus to transfer the Chase points. A Freedom alone isn’t enough.

      Reply
  7. LZ

    Great post! — Another question regarding purchasing needed miles from Singapore. My plan is to use my SQ miles to fund a continental U.S. to Hawaii award on United at 35,000 miles. However, I only have 27,000 in the Krisflyer account. I understand I can purchase the additional 8,000 needed miles at the time I make the booking on SQ. However, the “fine print” on the mixing miles and cash on SQ’s website says “Valid for a booking on singaporeair.com only, on any flight operated by Singapore Airlines or SilkAir. Tickets paid with KrisFlyer miles cannot be used for travel on any other airline.” — Since the United award has to be called in (i.e. can’t use SQ website) and isn’t a flight operated by Singapore, do I understand that my original plan to mix miles and cash for a United award flight CAN’T be done? Any workaround?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @LZ – Unfortunately no real good workaround other than earning some more SQ miles. Are you sure you don’t have any points you can transfer in like from Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Starwood, or Citi ThankYou?

      Reply
  8. mangoMan

    Your section on one-ways doesn’t mention that stopovers on one-way awards are allowed for a $100 fee. Not sure if this is true for partner awards, though.

    Reply
  9. Lou Seal

    Thank you very much for the posting. Very well written and super useful. I was deciding between Air France (your previous post) and Singapore Airlines for my expiring Thank You points and will be going with Krisflyer. Is there another airline that I should be thinking of? Also, can you please confirm Singapore’s Los Angeles-Tokyo route is in Suite instead of First?

    Reply
  10. MSer

    You forgot that SPG can transfer to Singapore. I just did except they seem to have lost my transfer and after two weeks they can’t find my points. Hugely frustrating as I desperately need to get a suite award booked…grrrr!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @MSer – Frustrating wait time. Hope it works out. We mentioned SPG in the hotel section rather than card section.

      Reply
  11. T.

    Supposedly I have KF miles that are about to expire shortly. Can I extend them the following way:

    Using these miles to book a ticket in the future (any available ticket, let’s say – 6 months in advance) and then (right before the departure date) canceling the ticket.
    The fee for canceling is small, the miles will be re-deposited into my account. And the new countdown to the expiration will start from the day they are re-deposited, right?
    Or it does not work this way?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @T – Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Those miles still have their original earned date, and would still expire 3 years after that original date.

      You can extend them once up to 6 months. Then you can book a ticket up to almost a year beyond that.

      Reply
  12. tigerscusa

    A great post indeed, but I thought the miles expire 3 years from the date they are earned, even with account activity, those 3-years old miles will expire anyway, could you please confirm that?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @tigerscusa – Thanks – Yes that is our understanding – “the expiration is regardless of account activity”.

      Reply
    2. tigerscusa

      never mind to my original question, after reading twice, you did mention the expiration correctly. Thanks.

      Reply
  13. Linda

    Dear Sirs

    I have an enquiry :
    1) Am I able to book tickets for other passengers through my Krisflyer website? Will I get the points?

    2) I live in Shanghai. If I need to use my Krisflyer points to buy tickets around Asia, Using the Star Alliance airlines, is there any priorities? The last time I tried, the process was to fill up the form, submit/fax to SQ with our flight details. Apoarently, they said there was no flight available for redemption.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Linda:

      On 1) – you can book for others, but you will not earn points for their flights. You only earn points when you fly.

      On 2) – you can check Star Alliance award space over the phone with the KrisFlyer call center in real time. Perhaps try the Singapore or US call center via Skype or other method if the China call center isn’t helpful.

      Reply

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