I hadn’t really planned to cover Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, but there are 2 very compelling reasons to consider it:
- It’s the only Star Alliance programme that allows direct transfers from BOTH Starwood Preferred Guest and the UK version of American Express Membership Rewards
- Redemptions in premium cabins on Singapore Airlines are mostly, if not always, limited to Krisflyer members. (and a redemption on Singapore Airlines, particularly a First Class Suite, is definitely worth experiencing!)
Here’s the chart for figuring out how many miles you’ll earn for flying on Singapore, its Star Alliance partners as well as the Virgins (America, Atlantic and Australia). It looks like me like a case of 100% for most fare classes, and nothing for the deepest discounts.
In terms of hotels, I did include Singapore in my hotel mileage-earning chart, so check it out…
As I mentioned above, you can also transfer your UK American Express Membership Rewards points to Singapore Krisflyer. Singapore Airlines do have a number of co-branded cards, but these are mostly aimed at Asian countries.
Here’s the award chart for Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners. There aren’t a whole lot of bargains, but one way redemptions are allowed for 50% of the return cost. (however one way redemptions don’t allow a stopover, unlike return redemptions which do allow 1 stopover) There is a 15% discount on the number of miles required, if you make your booking online; this is often waived if your required redemption cannot be made online and you are forced to use the call centre.
I do notice the grouping of Hawaii with Central America, so it’s probably possible to do a one way booking from South America to Hawaii, via continental USA, for fewer miles. (Air Canada Aeroplan has the same loophole) However Singapore don’t miss a trick, with relatively short flights from Asia to Hawaii requiring a lot of miles, putting a stop to another common trick…
If you are short miles, but have at least 50% of the amount required for the redemption, you can buy the missing miles for USD40 per 1000. At about 2.5p per mile, this is not great, but may be a lifesaver for expiring miles and a great value redemption…
Singapore Airlines have also brought in the ability to pay for revenue tickets with Krisflyer points. As ought to be expected, the value of the miles is poor – about 10 Singapore dollars value per 1,000 miles (so 0.5p per mile). But if you have a few soon-to-expire miles to redeem (at least 5,000) this can at least get you some value from your miles. Interestingly, you are purchasing a revenue ticket using this method, so you will receive miles when you fly.
Miles expire at the end of the month three years after being earned. (i.e. miles earned on 3 March, 2013 will expire on 31 March, 2016) You can pay to extend their life by 6 months, but basically you should use them or lose them!
This is similar to other Star Alliance frequent flyer programmes, which is why I consider the Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest transfers to be quite important, so that you can top up your Krisflyer account.
For Europeans, the attraction of Singapore Airlines Krisflyer is probably limited to those who have lots of American Express Membership Rewards points, as well as a desire to experience a Singapore Airlines premium cabin using miles.