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With a home base at Singapore’s Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines is known for offering a luxurious travel experience. While Singapore Airlines offers direct service to only six U.S. airports, its membership in the Star Alliance opens up virtually the entire world through partnerships with airlines like United, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Turkish Airlines and others.
Whether you’re a frequent traveler to Singapore or on any other supported route, you may want to learn the ins and outs of Singapore’s KrisFlyer frequent flyer rewards program. Keep reading to learn more about Singapore Airlines, KrisFlyer and how to turn miles into luxury travel or other rewards.
About Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines is the national airline of Singapore, the parent of SilkAir (a regional airline that covers shorter-distance flights) and owner of the subsidiary low-cost carrier Scoot. The airline traces its history to the 1940s and operates several ultra-long-haul routes, including routes that rank among the world’s longest-distance nonstop flights. Don’t be put off by the 18-plus-hour nonstop flight from Newark to Singapore: You can take that flight in the coveted suite class and enjoy the comfort and privacy of your own little hotel room in the sky.
Here are the places you can fly with Singapore directly from the U.S., as well as the main fare classes offered by Singapore Airlines:
Fare types: Singapore Airlines offers five cabins under its flagship brand and two more through SilkAir. The five service classes are suites, first class, business class, premium economy class and economy class. SilkAir offers economy class and business class fares.
Main U.S. routes: Singapore Airlines currently serves Houston, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Newark, San Francisco and Seattle. Through Scoot, the airline also reaches Honolulu.
Points currency and loyalty program: Singapore Airlines' loyalty program is called KrisFlyer. Elite members may become part of the PPS Club for additional perks and privileges.
How to earn KrisFlyer miles
The easiest way for frequent flyers to earn miles is flying on Singapore Airlines or an affiliate. However, there are additional ways to earn valuable KrisFlyer miles.
Earn by flying
Earn KrisFlyer miles when booking a paid fare on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and partner airlines. The miles you earn are partially determined by your fare class. You can earn 50% to 200% of the miles traveled on Singapore Airlines flights, with lower opportunities on SilkAir and Scoot.
For Star Alliance member airlines and six additional partners, the miles you can earn on KrisFlyer vary based on the type of ticket you book. Those little codes and letters next to your class or fare type explain how many miles you earn — check the most recent detailed chart.
Earn by spending on credit cards
There are no credit cards that earn points directly in the KrisFlyer program for U.S. residents; however, co-branded credit cards are available for Singapore, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines residents.
For Singapore residents, there are four American Express cards or two Mastercard-branded cards from United Overseas Bank.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn credit card miles in the U.S. and redeem them for flights on Singapore Airlines. For example, with a card like the United℠ Explorer Card, you can earn United miles redeemable for partner flights on Singapore Airlines. JetBlue is also a code-share partner with its own credit card: the JetBlue Card. You can also earn points with rewards programs at Chase, American Express, Citi and Capital One, with an option to convert their rewards into KrisFlyer miles. More on that in the next section.
» Learn more: Valuable benefits of United Airlines credit cards
Earn by transferring
If you have a credit card from a general travel rewards program, you may be able to transfer miles or points into KrisFlyer to redeem directly with Singapore Airlines. Some of the most popular credit card rewards programs support converting rewards to KrisFlyer miles for those in the U.S.
As a general rule, transferring points at a 1:1 ratio is a pretty good deal. Be careful when converting for less, as you could lose value along the way. Here are credit cards that offer transferable points to Singapore Airlines:
Chase Ultimate Rewards®: Convert Chase points to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 conversion rate in 1,000-point increments.
American Express Membership Rewards: With an AmEx card, you can transfer Membership Rewards points into KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 rate in 1,000-point increments.
Citi ThankYou Points: Cardholders who earn Citi rewards points can transfer to Singapore Airlines. You can transfer 1:1 in 1,000-point increments.
Other credit card and bank programs that feature partnerships or transfer options with Singapore Airlines include Diners Club International, HSBC and Brex.
Other ways to earn
Hotel and residency partners: Singapore Airlines has relationships with more than 30 hotel and serviced residency brands worldwide. U.S.-based travelers should look for transfer opportunities with major brands like Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Radisson and Millennium Hotels and Resorts.
Retail and subscription partners: KrisFlyer works with a dozen shopping partners, including programs for shopping at London's Heathrow Airport, Changi Airport and other destinations. You can also earn points with subscriptions and purchases at the Economist and Forbes magazines, among others.
Kris+: Kris+ is a mobile app and wallet that includes opportunities to earn and use KrisFlyer miles.
» Learn more: How to earn Singapore KrisFlyer miles
How to redeem KrisFlyer miles
KrisFlyer miles are redeemable for flights and other awards. NerdWallet values Singapore KrisFlyer miles at 1.1 cents each. Redeeming for flights on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Star Alliance and other award partners takes a varying number of miles depending on the destination, class, when you book and when you travel.
Book award travel on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir
When redeeming for travel on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, one-way saver awards start at 7,500 miles for shorter-distance economy travel and go up to 295,000 for some longer first class or suites awards outside of saver availability. The easiest way to redeem for travel is through the Singapore Airlines website.
There are four cabin classes available for award tickets. Because of the luxury travel experience you get on the airline, the best use of KrisFlyer miles is probably to fly on Singapore. But because of Singapore’s limited number of destinations for U.S.-based travelers, you may wind up using your KrisFlyer miles for flights on partner airlines. You won’t get the same quality of flight experience with most partners, but they will get you where you’re going.
To get the best value, book a Saver Award, which takes far fewer miles than a standard anytime award. Here’s what you can expect to pay (in miles) when booking in any of Singapore’s four redemption levels:
Zone 12 (West Coast to South China, Hong Kong and Taiwan)
33,000 - 55,000 (Premium economy: 63,000 - 95,000).
89,000 - 121,000.
104,000 - 167,000.
Zone 13 (East Coast & Houston to Europe)
22,500 - 60,000 (Premium economy: 47,000 - 99,000).
72,000 - 129,000.
86,000 - 167,000.
Award chart current as of April 2021.
Between SilkAir and Singapore, there are seven cabin classes available. Here are the five options provided by the flagship Singapore Airlines brand.
Economy: Economy on Singapore Airlines feels like flying on domestic first class with a major U.S. carrier. Economy includes relatively comfortable seats, an extensive dining and drink menu and in-seat entertainment (and power outlets in some planes).
Premium economy: A premium economy class fare includes more comfortable and larger seats, meal reservations, improved seat amenities and priority service.
Business: If you want luxury in the air, you’ll want a business class ticket or higher. The business class experience varies based on the plane. On the massive A380, it includes lie-flat seats that can be combined with the seat next to you, more space and comfort when seated upright, improved entertainment, better meals and drinks, and a luxury amenity kit perfect for use in the dedicated business class restroom. Business tickets and higher also have access to the more luxurious KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, a step up from the standard SilverKris Lounges, where available. Here's what to know about Singapore Airlines lounges.
First: First class gives you more privacy, an improved lie-flat seat, fine dining options and an enhanced entertainment system. When flying first, you’ll have access to a dedicated first class check-in reception, luggage porter services, a private lounge entrance and an option to have a customer representative take care of all of your check-in needs while you relax in a lounge enjoying included amenities.
Suites: Singapore Airlines’ suites class offers an unrivaled travel experience. With suites, you have your own mini hotel room in the sky. It’s the closest thing to flying on a private jet without actually flying on your own private jet. Suites include a reclining chair, a bed (can be made for two with a double suite), your own sliding door, a private 23-inch touchscreen HD monitor, noise-canceling headphones to use, and other amenities that make every other traveler jealous. If you have the miles to book this award, it could be well worth it.
Mix KrisFlyer miles and cash
If you don’t have enough miles for a full award flight, you can mix cash and miles to make up the difference. You’ll need at least 980 miles for a miles and cash award. You can mix miles and cash for flights on Singapore and SilkAir, booked at singaporeair.com, or on Scoot starting at 1,050 miles, booked at flyscoot.com.
Miles can offset airfare, taxes, surcharges and other fees for you and any guests.
Find partner awards
Singapore Airlines uses separate award charts for Star Alliance partners and other partners. Here is a list of partners and links to the relevant award charts for full details.
If you paid cash for your ticket, you can use miles to upgrade to a higher class. Use your balance to move up to a more comfortable seat with a better meal or even a bed. The cost to upgrade your flight varies depending on your ticket’s class and what you’re looking for in an upgrade. You can find the full upgrade award chart here.
Other ways to redeem miles
Shopping: Redeem your miles for electronics, clothing, fine foods and more at krisshop.com and you’ll get a value of about 75 cents (1 Singapore Dollar) for every 125 miles redeemed. You can also shop in the Kris+ app using miles.
Hotels and rental cars: Through the KrisFlyer vRooms program, you can use miles and cash to book hotel and rental car reservations.
Donate miles: Donate miles to Make-A-Wish Singapore, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
» Learn more: 5 award sweet spots for using Singapore KrisFlyer miles
Singapore Airlines elite status program
Elite members of the KrisFlyer program may qualify for the Priority Passenger Service Club, which comes with extra privileges and perks.
How to qualify
Earn 25,000 miles within 12 months.
Solitaire PPS Club
Earn 50,000 miles within a membership year.
Besides earning additional miles, PPS Club membership has additional privileges on Singapore, SilkAir and other flights you book through your Singapore Airlines account.
That includes access to Singapore SilverKris Lounges and Star Alliance Gold lounges, priority lines at participating airports, priority standby, guaranteed seats in economy, complimentary Wi-Fi and other perks.
At the Solitaire PPS level, you get special check-in services at Changi Airport, access to the first class area of SilverKris Lounges and the Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow, and priority redemptions.
What makes Singapore Airlines unique?
If you’ve only ever flown on domestic United States airlines, you’re in for a treat when you fly on Singapore Airlines. Here are a few unique features of Singapore Airlines flights and rewards:
Suites class: The highest class of service on Singapore gives you a private room in the sky. The individual cabin feels like a small stateroom on a cruise ship, complete with two seats that convert into a single lie-flat bed, a personal 23-inch screen with Bose noise-canceling headphones and privacy you can’t otherwise expect without flying private.
Airport meet-and-greet: With the luxury meet-and-greet service at Changi Airport in Singapore, you can enjoy a door-to-door assistant who escorts you through the entire airport experience and handles your bags for you.
Lounges: Many airlines offer lounges, but Singapore’s stand apart. First class reception and designated areas and separate KrisFlyer Gold lounges offer even more luxury than you would get with a normal high-end lounge.
The bottom line
For a luxurious travel experience, you don’t have to look further than Singapore Airlines. Though it doesn’t offer U.S. travelers as many nonstop destinations as some competitors, its travel experience is second to none.
Singapore Airlines' frequent flyer program is known as KrisFlyer, and with enough qualifying activities, members can earn elite status in the airline's PPS Club. Miles can be earned by flying on the airline, flying on its partners, spending on the right credit cards or by shopping with partner brands, like Avis.
KrisFlyers can redeem their miles for flights, upgrades, hotels and rental cars, to name a few.
A membership in KrisFlyer opens up a world of travel opportunities. If you’re going to fly anyway, you might as well get there in style.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card