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Singapore KrisFlyer cheat sheet for using your miles

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This article was last updated Sep 27, 2017. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

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
AfricaSouth AfricanUnited.com
AsiaAir ChinaUnited.com
AsiaAir IndiaUnited.com
AsiaANA JapanUnited.com
AsiaScootVoucher on KrisFlyer site
AsiaTigerairVoucher on KrisFlyer site
EuropeTAP PortugalUnited.com
EuropeVirgin AtlanticDelta.com
Latin AmericaAviancaUnited.com
Latin AmericaCopaUnited.com
North AmericaAir CanadaUnited.com
North AmericaAlaskaAlaskaAir.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. A great deal is flights to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines for 11,500 – 12,500 miles one way.

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.
  • An open-jaw is allowed on round-trip awards, even those that include a 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.

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®, American Express 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®, American Express Membership Rewards®, Citi ThankYou® Rewards, 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.

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