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Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer maintains a position as one of the best airlines in the world for premium cabin rewards travel. They fly a quality hard product, backed by excellent customer service, and have a reputation for providing a top in-flight experience. In addition to offering some of the best premium cabin award redemptions available, KrisFlyer also partners with all four of the big transferrable rewards currencies.
While recent changes to KrisFlyer have had an adverse effect on redemption value for some members, for others, the changes mean smaller out-of-pocket expenses and a simplified award structure. We've covered sweet spots with Singapore Airlines in a previous post, so won't dig into that here. But if you’re new to KrisFlyer or looking for instructions on how to redeem your Singapore miles, this post should have you covered.
How to Earn KrisFlyer Miles
We’ll dive into how to accumulate enough KrisFlyer miles to get into those sweet Singapore Suites, and how to redeem your miles for flights on Singapore Airlines and its extensive list of partners. For diehard Singapore fans, if you want decent KrisFlyer miles earning credit cards, you'll need to move to Singapore or Australia.
The good news, however, is that the U.S. has the best flexible rewards programs in the world, and all four of the big transferable currencies convert to Singapore!
- Marriott Rewards (transfers at 3:1) – Best card to earn Rewards points: Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
- American Express Membership Rewards – Best card to earn Membership Rewards points: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- Citi ThankYou Rewards – Best card to earn ThankYou points: Citi Prestige® Card
- Chase Ultimate Rewards – Best card to earn Ultimate Rewards points: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Access to KrisFlyer transfer partners makes it easy to accumulate points for premium redemptions using a few key signup bonuses, maxing out bonus categories on associated credit cards, and implementing smart transfer strategies.
When you transfer Marriott points to KrisFlyer miles, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Marriott points you convert, adding 25% more value to the transfer. Amex offers decent welcome bonuses on its extensive collection of travel rewards and co-branded credit cards. And the signup bonus on the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is almost enough on its own to get you into a Singapore Suite.
Search and Book KrisFlyer Awards on Singapore and SilkAir
In addition to Singapore Airlines, KrisFlyer is also the frequent flyer program for SilkAir, Singapore’s regional subsidiary, and you can earn and redeem KrisFlyer miles on Scoot and Tigerair, both budget carriers based out of Southeast Asia. The best redemptions for KrisFlyer miles are first and suite class fares on Singapore.
Unlike most international airlines, Singapore doesn’t open the bulk of its award space, particularly premium cabin award space, to partners. If you want to get onboard business, first, and suite class with Singapore using miles, you must do it using KrisFlyer miles. Singapore services four destinations in the US: Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and has a comprehensive award chart covering 13 zones.
Due to the distance between the U.S. and Singapore, all flights include a stopover. The location of the stopover depends on the departure city. To redeem a flight, you’ll first need to login into your KrisFlyer account from the top right of the Singapore Airlines homepage.
Select ‘Book a Flight’ from the account navigation. Click on ‘Redeem flights’ and fill in your details.
You’ll be redirected to a results page showing the award availability for Saver and Standard Awards where you can make your selection, and then move on to seat selection, stopover options, and payment of taxes and fees.
One of the downsides to the Singapore website is that it doesn’t allow you to search flexible dates via the award search, which can make finding availability at the pointy end of the plane a labor-intensive process. If there is no award space available you can opt to waitlist the flight.
Waitlisting a flight doesn’t put you under any obligation to take the award if it clears, it simply puts you on the waitlist in case Singapore does clear the waitlist and open up more award space. And the chance of your waitlist clearing? Don’t bank on the flight if you have to be somewhere on a particular date. Singapore also provides some good instructional videos over on its YouTube channel showing the booking process.
Search and Redeem KrisFlyer Miles for Partner Awards
Singapore has a massive range of partner airlines as part of Star Alliance, and also partners with Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Vistara, which all have separate award charts found on the KrisFlyer partner page. You can now search and book Star Alliance awards on the Singapore website which makes the booking process much easier than it used to be.
The other thing to note is that all partner awards are priced at the Standard award rate, not Saver, so partner awards don’t always provide good value. The exception to that rule is economy tickets to Hawaii (one of our favorite sweet spots and unaffected by the changes) or domestic flights within the lower 48 states. You can see all the changes to the Star Alliance award chart in this PDF.
To book a Star Alliance partner award with KrisFlyer, you can search the Singapore site or another Star Alliance partner site such as United or ANA for award space, and book directly on the KrisFlyer site. If you need to call the Singapore Reservations Office on 1-800-742-333 to lock the award in, there is now a US$25 or 2,500-mile booking fee. Singapore does not hold award fares on partners or their own flights, so even if award space is open, be aware that it’s anyone's game while your points transfer.
Singapore KrisFlyer is a fantastic program offering one the best premium cabin award experiences in the world and an abundance of methods to accumulate miles. Even with the recent devaluation, premium cabin award fares into and out of the U.S. are competitively priced, and, with the reduction in fuel/insurance surcharges, can now be purchased with a minimal out-of-pocket expense.
One of the only downsides to having all four of the major flexible rewards currencies as transfer partners is that competition for award space is hotter than it's ever been on Singapore. But that is part and parcel of the rewards travel game! Got any tips for booking awards using KrisFlyer miles? Let us know in the comments.
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