Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer isn’t my favorite program. It’s not a particularly lucrative or especially inexpensive program to use. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Singapore is a premium airline with a premium in-flight product, and its awards are priced accordingly.
What’s more, KrisFlyer has repeatedly devalued (most recently this year), and they seem to have taken particular aim at kneecapping previous sweet spots in the program.
Credit card points don’t transfer immediately to Singapore KrisFlyer from Citi ThankYou or AmEx Membership Rewards, and Singapore doesn’t make all award inventory available online. This means that if you want to book an award flight, you’ll often need to move the points into your account, wait for them to show up and then book it over the phone.
Is there still any value to be found on the existing award charts? Sure, if you’re willing to travel off the beaten path. We dug deep into the current KrisFlyer award charts to bring you some far-flung sweet spots.
» Learn more: Citi ThankYou points: How to earn and use them
Flights on Singapore Airlines in premium cabins
Singapore rarely makes premium cabin space available to partners. Generally speaking, the only way to gain access to premium cabins is by using KrisFlyer miles. The pricing isn’t great compared to other programs (and some awards are more expensive than redeeming equivalent itineraries on partner Star Alliance airlines).
The good news is there are no fuel surcharges when redeeming your KrisFlyer miles for Singapore Airlines flights. More importantly, there are bragging rights — it’s such an exclusive product that when you’re onboard, you probably won’t remember just how steep the price was.
The lowest price for a first class award ticket is 27,500 miles each way between Singapore and Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Business class flights on these routes will cost you 19,000 miles. More realistically, if you’re flying from the U.S, you’ll spend at least 89,000 miles in business class or 104,000 miles in first class.
Tip: Want to enjoy a Singapore stopover longer than 24 hours? In many cases, you can add one for 100 Singaporean dollars (roughly $72 in U.S. currency) when you book over the phone.
Flights on Alaska Airlines in economy class
Singapore Airlines appeared to have been geographically challenged when developing the award chart for flights on Alaska Airlines. There is some phenomenal value here, such as the West Coast to Hawaii for 12,000 miles in economy class. Prices shown on the award chart are only good for nonstop flights.
Economy class flights within India on Vistara
Singapore Airlines’ partner Vistara offers flights throughout India at very low redemption rates. Better yet, you can have a free stopover en route when booking round-trip travel. Prices start at 7,500 miles each way and go up to 11,000 miles, depending upon distance flown.
Be sure to comparison shop, because flights within India can be inexpensive. However, it’s not hard to maximize this chart. Premium cabin pricing isn’t out of line relative to what this service costs in cash, but for short flights, the additional cost won’t be worthwhile for most people.
Flights to Vladivostok, Russia, on Juneyao Airlines
Ever wanted to visit Siberia? Flights to this destination can be incredibly expensive. However, Singapore Airlines’ partner Juneyao Airlines flies there, and you can get there from Nanjing or Shanghai in China for just 12,500 KrisFlyer miles one-way in economy class or 26,000 KrisFlyer miles in business class.
This is definitely a niche redemption, but when fares between North America and China are often under $500 (and award inventory is plentiful for premium cabins), it can make plenty of sense to book a cheap ticket to China and continue on an award ticket to Vladivostok.
Virgin Australia to the Cocos
Want to visit Cossies Beach, recently named the best beach in Australia? You’ll need to head to the remote Australian territory of the Cocos, located 1,824 miles northwest of Perth. This is an expensive flight, costing north of $800, but it can be had for as few as 15,000 KrisFlyer miles each way when departing from Perth.
The bottom line
The biggest sweet spot — and the reason most people gravitate toward the KrisFlyer program — is redeeming for premium cabin award flights on Singapore Airlines. While these are definitely not cheap, the price reflects the product. Other sweet spots on the award chart are elusive, but they do exist.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
4 things to know about Singapore Airlines lounges
5 things Star Alliance is doing right