The best ways to use Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles

By Chris Chamberlin, August 9 2016
The best ways to use Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles

Upgrades to business class or first class are usually considered one of the best ways to use frequent flyer points, but Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program proves the exception to that rule.

Certainly, you can use KrisFlyer miles to upgrade on Singapore Airlines or its regional subsidiary SilkAir, but you’ll find much better value in making your bookings using miles outright – especially when travelling at the pointy end.

However you fly and wherever you’re headed, here are five of the best ways to use your hard-earned Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to travel the world in style.

1. Whatever you do, redeem your miles online

Be it first class, business class, premium economy or even economy, booking your Singapore Airlines reward flights via the KrisFlyer website requires 15% fewer miles than making the same booking over the phone.

That could get you flying sooner or even further than you’d originally planned, as the reward rates shown on the airline’s website – both in its ‘award charts’ and during the online booking process – don’t include this discount in the initial mileage prices shown...

... instead appearing only in the booking summary after choosing a particular flight:

KrisFlyer reward bookings on Singapore Airlines’ web of airline partners, such as Virgin Australia and Air Canada, can’t be made online: instead charged at the full published rate and secured via the contact centre.

2. Fly Singapore Airlines first class, ‘Suites Class’

Using KrisFlyer miles to fly in Singapore Airlines first class (or ‘Suites Class’ on the A380s) is a favourite of many travellers – and what’s more, the number of miles you’ll need for a standalone flight to Singapore is the same as to connect onwards to many destinations across Asia.

Welcome aboard Singapore Airlines Suites Class: bookable using miles...
Welcome aboard Singapore Airlines Suites Class: bookable using miles...

That means you could fly Sydney-Singapore-Hong Kong for the same number of KrisFlyer miles as only Sydney-Singapore, being 63,750 miles including the 15% online booking discount. The same rates also apply to journeys from Australia to Taiwan and Thailand, among others.

Making the trek from Sydney or Melbourne through to London or elsewhere in Europe costs a precise 112,625 KrisFlyer miles: less in number than other frequent flyer programs levy to make the same trip in business class!

3. Book yourself in Singapore Airlines business class

Speaking of business class, it’s not a bad way to fly – and unlike some loyalty programs which can only nab business class rewards on Singapore Airlines’ oldest aircraft, KrisFlyer members can secure seats on SQ’s flagship A380s and Boeing 777s too, not to mention the newer A350s.

Review: Singapore Airlines A380 business class, Singapore-London

For a one-way trip from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or also Canberra from September 20, you’d need 46,750 KrisFlyer miles to reach Singapore, Hong Kong and other hotspots across Asia, while Australia-Japan is also an attractive option at 65,875 miles.

Fly from those Australian cities through to Europe and you could be perched in business class on the entire journey for only 80,750 KrisFlyer miles.

You’ll need even fewer miles when flying from Perth on SQ or Darwin aboard SilkAir, with 27,625 miles connecting you with much of Asia; 44,625 miles with Japan or 72,250 miles with the UK and Europe, one-way in business class, including online booking discounts.

4. Convert KrisFlyer miles into Velocity points

Even if Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer isn’t your main frequent flyer program, it’s a great way to earn Virgin Australia Velocity points when travelling on Star Alliance airlines such as Air Canada, Air China, Air India, ANA, EVA Air, Thai Airways and United.

While these airlines aren’t direct partners of Virgin Australia, you’d do this by first earning KrisFlyer miles when with travelling with those airlines (and more), before converting those KrisFlyer miles into Virgin Australia Velocity points on a 1.35:1 basis.

Just 5,000 KrisFlyer miles buys 3,704 Velocity points, while a balance of 30,000 KrisFlyer miles would deliver 22,222 Velocity points. That’s handy if you already have some Velocity points up your sleeve from previous journeys and want to combine the two to book a flight.

Read: How to convert KrisFlyer miles into Velocity points

5. Fly trans-Tasman, trans-Pacific

Singapore Airlines’ broader network of Star Alliance partners also makes for some great options to use your miles en route to New Zealand, Fiji, Canada and the USA, without detouring via Singapore.

From Australia to New Zealand or Fiji, a mere 17,500 KrisFlyer miles could take you there in business class on Air New Zealand, one way, while from Australia to Canada or the USA on Air Canada or United, you’d need 97,500 KrisFlyer miles.

Fly on Air Canada's new Boeing 787 Brisbane-Vancouver services...
Fly on Air Canada's new Boeing 787 Brisbane-Vancouver services...

Better yet, it costs no more miles to fly to North America’s east coast than the west coast – so you could jet from Sydney all the way through to New York or Toronto for the same number of miles as when flying to Los Angeles or Vancouver.

Also read: KrisFlyer: best program for reward flights?

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 101

How to know if there are saver-fare business class seats available for upgrade before purchasing a full-fare economy class ticket?

Hi DBPZ, the process of upgrading flights using KrisFlyer miles isn't one we've covered here – you'll find more information in our dedicated 'upgrade guides' linked above, or Singapore Airlines may also be able to answer your question directly.

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 7

How do you book flights on Air New Zealand to Fiji this way? Do you have to call SQ?

Correct.

"KrisFlyer reward bookings on Singapore Airlines’ web of airline partners, such as Virgin Australia and Air Canada, can’t be made online: instead charged at the full published rate and secured via the contact centre."

Within Australia you can call 02 8228 1188, open 24/7.

14 Apr 2015

Total posts 7

A killer option on SQ Suites would be BOM/DEL-SIN-PVG/PEK at 61625 miles oneway. 2 Suites flights and a visit to the Private Room, and still costs less miles than MEL/SYD/AKL-SIN. Add in US$100 and you get a stopover in SIN too.

Thanks for sharing, Joel. We focussed mainly on the best ways to use miles from Australia, although if you happen to be travelling between India and China, it's certainly not a bad option. Likely more attractive with that stopover to break up the trip, otherwise you'll double your travel time. :)

14 Apr 2015

Total posts 7

True. I'd rather use United miles out of Australia to Asia though. Route through BKK and get a massage, then use SQ miles for other purposes.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

10 Aug 2016

Total posts 3

Agreed and the taxes are only 20% of what SQ charges and they pick you up at the gate on arrival and drive you to the lounge!

14 Apr 2015

Total posts 7

Yup, unfortunately the only way to beat SQ's YQ is to do an ex-MNL or ex-GRU run, as Brazil and the Philippines do not charge YQ on international departures. Unfortunately the GRU option is going to die out soon. SFO-HKG has minimal YQ too.

Other data points: BOM-SIN-TYO has half the YQ of BOM-SIN-PEK/PVG. SIN-TYO also has pretty reasonable YQ.

bmc
bmc

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 169

How far in advance to SQ open their redemtion flights? Is it 355 days?

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 58

Shhhhhhh, don't tell everyone, I might not be able to get my favourite seat in future.

You made a similar comment back in April, and yet when I was searching yesterday for first/Suites class rewards out of Sydney for this article, there were reward seats available on every flight on the dates I selected. :P

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 24

Hello, 

Is Singapore Airline's around-the-world in first class for two people at 720,000 points and seven city stops good value ? I have the points now and would like to use them in this way. We are retired and so have the time, and reasonably flexible where we go. All thoughts most welcome, with thanks. 

Excellent strategies! Last month I booked a OW Suites Class ticket from SYD to Zurich for 112,625 miles online just as Chris says. The SIN website advised a waiting list for my ticket, it cleared a week in advance.  The transfer from AMEX points to my KrisFlyer acct was near instantaneous and then booked the redemption an hour later for a confirmed A380 Suites Class seat.  And yes it included time in a nearly empty The Private Room in SIN.   A further strategy to advise is to book a center Suite if the accompanying center Suite is open-they will open up both Suites for you and that is the biggest bed you will ever fly on.  

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

Your route suggestion in number 2 is the same thing i got my parents booked on.  MEL-SIN-HKG in combo of first/suites for only $1k.  Normally would've cost like $13k+.

07 Nov 2016

Total posts 1

Hi Chris 

I am going to book two return tickets from Sydney to Indian subcontinent.
M the only new krisflyer member. I did fly with SQ before 4-5 times, but i wasn't krisflyer member at that time(unfortunately).
Please advise me to maximize my krisflyer miles.
Thanks

Hi Rushi, your question is best-asked in the Singapore Airlines discussion forum of our dedicated online Community, where other users can offer you their support and assistance.

(You've posted your question on an article published months ago, so most users won't notice your comment here - and as we've advised earlier, our staff aren't able to offer assistance with individual requests: that's what the Community is for.) :)

07 Feb 2017

Total posts 1

Thanks for all the info.  Very informative indeed.  Question:  If I want to fly from IST-SIN-MEL, and want to upgrade to Business Saver, is it the same as flying from IST-MEL without stopover?  Anyone knows how many points required?


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