1

The Ink Plus currently offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

That means you’d have at least 65,000 Ultimate Rewards after meeting the minimum spending requirement (60,000 for the bonus, and 5,000 for 1x spending), enough to fly several Korean and Singapore First Class routes with no additional miles.

You might qualify for a business card and not realize it, so don’t write off the possibility just because you don’t have your own booming startup. Before applying though, remember to consider the 5/24 rule that Chase apparently began enforcing for the Ink cards in March of this year. In short, if you’ve opened any five credit cards in the last 24 months, an application for a new Chase card will be denied.

So just what kind of First Class awards can you book with your 65,000 Ultimate Rewards? 

  • Transfer them to Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore Suites, which is possibly the most luxurious First Class in the world. It is the only First Class that allows two suites to be combined into a flying double bed. Singapore KriFflyer miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites.
    • Singapore First Class is also a world class product with many of the same amenities as Suites Class. It is also only bookable with Singapore miles.
  • Transfer them to Korean Air’s SkyPass program to book Korean First Class. Delta miles cannot book their partners’ First Class, so Korean miles are the main way to fly Korean First Class.

And when considering that United devalued its First Class awards in 2014, and American Airlines devalued its chart on March 22,  now Singapore and Korean First Class awards are looking a lot more reasonable.

Book Singapore Suites and First Class

Singapore Suites Class

Singapore’s A380s feature one of the world’s best First Class products that it calls Suites Class, and it is only bookable with Singapore miles as the airline doesn’t release Suites Class space to partners.

It is a fully enclosed suite with over the top service, fancy alcohol, and delicious food.

The cabin is laid out 1-2-1 and is most famous because the two suites in the middle can be combined into one double bed. If the cabin isn’t full, sometimes they even offer the double bed to a solo traveler!

This is one of the best, if not the best, product in the world.

Only the A380 planes feature Suites Class. Here is a list of routes that feature Singapore A380s (and thus Suites Class.)

Here are some deals I particularly like (I’ve bolded the ones you can get with just the Ink Plus’ bonus):

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo: 74,375 miles in Suites Class + $113
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore: 91,375 miles in Suites Class + $276
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles in Suites Class + $203
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles in Suites Class + $286
  • Singapore to Hong Kong: 31,875 miles in Suites Class + $30
  • Singapore to Mumbai: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Singapore to Beijing: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Mumbai to Beijing: 61,625 miles in Suites Class + $322
  • Hong Kong to Sydney: 63,750 miles in Suites Class + $188

And here is Singapore’s award chart to fly its own flights and its subsidiary SilkAir.

An important factor to note is that Singapore awards include fuel surcharges when an identical cash ticket would have fuel surcharges, as you can see from this list. They are a necessary evil though if you want to fly Singapore’s premium products, with the exception of flights originating in Brazil as fuel surcharges are illegal there.

Singapore First Class

Singapore First Class is available on routes that fly the Boeing 777–300ER and refitted Boeing 777–300 aircraft. Click here to see where you can fly Singapore First Class. It is also only bookable with Singapore miles as Singapore releases no First Class space to partners.

The product has many of the same amenities as Suites Class, and the “New First Class” has an even wider seat which is, according to Singapore, “progressively more available on our Boeing 777–300ER aircrafts”.

First Class seats are arranged 1-2-1, so everyone has aisle access.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.37 AM

They also feature a lie-flat bed with plenty of room to stretch out.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.28 AM

You can also “Book the Cook” just like you can in Suites Class, e.g. reserve your choices online from an array of dishes like these King Prawns before your flight:

IMG_8590

Since it avoids fuel surcharges, I think one of the best deals flying Singapore First Class is from Sao Paulo to Barcelona for 58,225 miles and only $37 in taxes.

Read this post about sweetspots with Singapore Krisflyer miles to learn more about the award rules and process of redeeming Krisflyer miles.

Book Korean Air First Class

Korean Air flies to more American cities (11) than any other Asian airline. Korean flies a modern First Class, which gets good reviews. Korean releases more First Class award space than any airline I’ve ever seen, and there is almost no competition for those award seats because Delta SkyMiles can’t book them.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 3.37.36 PM

The best one, the Kosmo Suites 2.0 was introduced in May 2015, and this blogpost (Google Translate) says they will be on the 747-8i, 787-9, 777-300ER, and A330-300. It looks like they will only be on new planes delivered, and other planes will not be retrofitted. I do not think all 777-300ERs or A330s will have them.

Read a full trip report here from a FlyerTalk contributor who flew from Seoul to San Francisco on a 747-8i featuring the Kosmo Suite 2.0.

Here are some deals I particularly like (I’ve bolded the ones you can get with just the Ink Plus’ bonus):

  • Los Angeles to Sao Paulo: 70,000 miles in First Class
  • Seoul to Los Angeles, stop up to a year, Los Angeles to Sao Paulo: 110,000 miles in First Class
  • United States to China, Japan, Korea, Northeast Asia: 80,000 miles in First Class
  • Japan, Korea, or China to Southeast Asia: 45,000 miles in First Class
  • Japan, Korea, or China to Southwest Asia or Maldives: 57,500 miles in First Class

And here is Korean Air’s award chart for flying its own flights.

There are fuel surcharges on some Korean Air awards but thankfully they are minimal.

Prices are about 50% higher during the peak window, which only affects 60-70 days a year. If you want to fly Off Peak, it is very easy to do. Just avoid these peak dates:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 4.10.14 PM

You can search and book Korean Air awards directly on koreanair.com. To search you’ll need to first sign-up as a member of Skypass. Read this post to learn more about sweetspots and award rules using Korean Air miles.

Bottom Line

Singapore Suites and First Class are impossible to book unless you have Singapore KrisFlyer miles, and Korean Air (member of SkyTeam alliance) First Class awards are not bookable with Delta miles. The Ink Plus Card has the ability to unlock fabulous First Class options because you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to Singapore Airlines and Korean Air.

Just getting the card and meeting its spending requirement earns enough points (65,000) for several long international routes in Korean or Singapore First Class.

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

9

Korean Airlines releases the most First Class award space of any airline for a fantastic First Class product. All five possibilities are fully flat beds. Korean miles are the main way to book Korean First Class. (Delta miles cannot book partner First Class.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 3.37.36 PM

Singapore Suites is even more luxurious, possibly the most luxurious First Class in the world, and the only one that allows two suites to be combined into a flying double bed. Singapore miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.46.33 PM

In my mind, the problem with Korean First Class and Singapore Suites is the cost. Singapore charges for First/Suites Class (one way):

  • San Francisco to Hong Kong: 70,125 miles + $49.60 (15 hours flying)
  • San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $263.30 (17:45 flying)
  • San Francisco to Seoul: 74,375 miles + $203.30 (12:50 flying)
  • San Francisco to Seoul to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $263.30 (19:20 flying)
  • Houston to Moscow-Domodedovo: 57,375 miles + $211.70 (10 hours flying)
  • Houston to Moscow-Domodedovo to Singapore: 93,500 miles + $271.70 (21:15 flying)
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita: 74,375 miles + $113.30 (11:45 flying)
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $275.97 (19:20 flying)
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles + $203.30 (7:35 flying)
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles + $285.85 (20:05 flying)

Korean charges in First Class (one way):

  • United States to China, Japan, Korea, Northeast Asia: 80,000 miles
  • United States to Southeast Asia: 95,000 miles
  • United States to the Indian Subcontinent: 105,000 miles.
  • Fuel surcharges vary by destination but from the United States to Korea are usually $80 or less each way. From the United States to Southeast Asia, they can hit about $180 one way.

While a few prices were pretty good, most of those prices seemed high to me because American Airlines and United awards were fewer miles and had no fuel surcharges. Well United devalued its First Class awards in 2014, and American Airlines devalued its chart on March 22.

Here’s what their charts look like now for First Class awards. Slashes indicate flying on that airline’s metal–cheaper–and flying a partner–more expensive.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.16.13 PM

Now, Korean and Singapore awards don’t look expensive; they look downright reasonable.

To Japan:

  • American charges 80k in First Class on American or Japan Airlines
  • United charges 80k in First Class on United
  • United charges 110k in First Class on ANA
  • Korean charges 80k and small fuel surcharges on Korean
  • Singapore charges 74.4k and tiny fuel surcharges on Singapore

At those prices, my top choices are Singapore, Japan Airlines with AA miles, and Korean in that order.

To Singapore:

  • American charges 110k in First Class on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines
  • United charges 80k in First Class on United
  • United charges 130k in First Class on ANA, Asiana, or Thai
  • Korean charges 95k and fuel surcharges on Korean
  • Singapore charges 91.4k or 93.5k and fuel surcharges on Singapore

At those prices, my top choices are Singapore and Korean in that order. Next is probably United First Class or Cathay Pacific, but they are way worse values.

You can find similar values to other places that show that Korean and Singapore awards are about to be as good or better value from the United States in First Class as American Airlines and United awards.

And for awards within Asia, Singapore (from 32,000 miles one way) and Korean (from 45,000 miles one way) offer some exceptional values.

Getting Korean and Singapore Miles

Getting Korean Miles

SPG points transfer 1:1 to Korean miles, and for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, you get 5,000 extra Korean miles. So to get 80,000 Korean miles, you’d need to transfer 65,000 Starpoints. Starpoints transfers are not instant.

Ultimate Rewards also transfer 1:1 instantly to Korean miles. The best cards to get Ultimate Rewards are the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus.

The Sapphire Preferred is one of the best personal credit cards on the market. It offers:

  • 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards for adding an authorized user
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • no annual fee the first year and $95 thereafter

While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Ink Plus is easily the best business card on the market. It offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Getting Singapore Miles

Every transferable points program transfers 1:1 to Singapore miles.

  • Citi ThankYou Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • SPG Starpoints (with the customary 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred)

The first three take about 36 hours to transfer. SPG transfers take about a week or two and seem to post on Tuesdays in Singapore.

That means you can get the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus mentioned above.

Or you can get the Citi Prestige, which offers 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Bottom Line

Korean and Singapore haven’t made improvements to their award charts, but as competitors devalue their charts, Korean and Singapore First and Suites Class become a better value.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

It is cheaper to book the exact same United flights to Hawaii with Singapore KrisFlyer miles than with United miles.

  • United charges 22,500 miles each way in economy and 40,000 miles in First Class between the mainland and Hawaii
  • Singapore charges 17,500 miles each way in economy and 30,000 miles each way in First Class between the mainland and Hawaii

That’s a humongous difference. Instead of costing 90,000 United miles to get two people from your home airport to Hawaii and back, you could pay 70,000 Singapore miles. Instead of paying 160,000 United miles for two roundtrip First Class tickets, you could pay 120,000 Singapore miles–even occasionally for flat beds!

To reiterate, these are the exact same flights with vastly different prices depending on which miles you use. Singapore has access to all the same Saver award space United releases to people with United miles (except for some space set aside only for United elites and credit card holders.)

For a very similar example, look at this post about booking Delta flights to Hawaii with Korean, not Delta miles.

What’s the catch? For bookings to Hawaii, there really isn’t one.

  • Singapore awards cost fewer miles than United awards
  • Singapore awards are way cheaper to change or cancel than United awards if your plans change
  • Singapore awards do not have a fee for booking within three weeks of departure like United awards do (though here is how to get out of that fee on United awards)
  • Singapore awards of United flights do not have fuel surcharges, so both types of awards will just have identical taxes of around $11 roundtrip.
  • Singapore miles are easier to get than United miles, and even share a key transfer partner.

Getting Singapore Miles

Singapore miles are a partner of the four major transferable points program:

  1. Chase Ultimate Rewards, 1:1
  2. Citi ThankYou Points, 1:1
  3. American Express Membership Rewards, 1:1
  4. SPG Starpoints, 1:1 with a bonus. Every 20,000 Starpoints transferred earns a 5,000 mile bonus, so the ideal transfers are in exact increments of 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 Singapore miles.

Right now, I carry the two best cards to earn Singapore miles:

To compare this to earning United miles, United has its own co-branded personal and business cards plus is a 1:1 transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards but not any of the other three transferable points programs.

Searching for Award Space, Transferring Miles, and Booking the Awards

You will have to search for award space on the United flights on united.com; then you will call Singapore Airlines at 213-404-0301 to book the awards.

Here’s how to search united.com. Make sure that you do NOT sign into united.com when searching for award space that you plan to book with another type of miles because signing in can cause award space set aside for elites or credit card holders to appear, and that space is not bookable with other types of miles like Singapore miles.

How to Interpret the Calendar

The first thing you’ll notice when you search for award space to Hawaii on united.com is that it’s widely available for much of the year. Here’s a calendar from Houston to Honolulu. Yellow days have Saver economy award space; blue days have Saver First Class space; green days have Saver space in both cabins. Singapore miles can book all the Saver space that is depicted on these calendars.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.08.25 PM

How to Interpret the Itineraries

Once you select a date, the itineraries will be displayed from fewest miles in economy to most miles in economy. Most results will have three columns of award space. You can ignore the First Standard Award column. Singapore miles cannot book that space.
Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.08.52 PM

We’re looking for award space in the Economy column that says “Saver Award 22.5k” and award space in the First Saver column. Singapore miles can book all such space.

For instance, Singapore miles can book this itinerary in economy and First Class because the economy column says “Saver Award 22.5k” and because there is space in the second column (First Saver.)

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.10.31 PMSingapore miles cannot book this award space because the economy column doesn’t say “Saver Award 22.5k.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.09.03 PM

Two vs. Three Cabin First Class

The vast majority of United’s domestic flights have two cabins that are sold as Economy and First. Internationally, United’s two cabin flights are sold as Economy and BusinessFirst. Whenever United operates a two-cabin plane, the premium cabin’s awards are priced at the Business Class award price by United and by Singapore. And in fact, you should call the award space “Business Class” when talking with a Singapore agent.

Extremely rarely, you will encounter a plane on a domestic route with three cabins: Economy, Business, and First. Whenever any itinerary is available with any flight with three cabins, the three columns you’re used to seeing on the search results turn into five columns.

United charges 50,000 miles if any of the segments is in First Class on a three cabin plane. Singapore would charge 40,000 miles. But again, these flights are rare, and you can get flat beds in two cabin planes for 30,000 Singapore miles.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.05.53 PM

Flat Beds

Both Business and First Class on three cabin planes have flat beds.

On two cabin planes, you can occasionally find flat beds in First Class. To find out if your plane has flat beds, click View Seats on the itinerary. Regular seats look like squares with rounded edges.
Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.01.21 PM

Beds look like little beds.Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.02.26 PM

Some 777-200s feature flat beds, and all 767-400ERs feature flat beds. Flights from Newark and Washington-Dulles to Honolulu all feature flat beds, and some San Francisco and Houston flights feature flat beds.

Mixed Cabin Awards

Many awards on united.com in the premium cabin columns say “Mixed cabin?”

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.09.13 PM

Holding your cursor over “Mixed cabin” launches a pop up that says which cabin is available on each flight.
Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.09.19 PM

You always have to pay the full price of the premium cabin award even though part of the award is an inferior cabin.

Singapore Airlines also lets you book mixed cabin awards for the full Business Class price.

In April, I booked myself a mixed cabin award to Hawaii because my first flight was about 2 hours in economy, and the next was 8.5 hours in a flat bed. That seemed worth paying 30,000 Singapore miles.

Transferring Miles

Transfers from Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points to Singapore miles all take about 19-48 hours. My most recent transfer in July, 2015 from Citi ThankYou Points to Singapore miles were in my Singapore account when I checked 19 hours after the transfer. SPG transfers take at least as long as the other three.

Once I find award space, I initiate the transfer.

Award space changes all the time, so in a worst case scenario, your award space could disappear before your miles posted. If you can’t handle this outcome, transfer Ultimate Rewards to United miles instantly instead, and pay the extra miles.

I can handle the small chance that my award space will disappear. Maybe it will reappear later. If not, I can always use Singapore miles in the future for a different high value award.

How to Book Singapore Awards

Once your miles post, you have to call Singapore Airlines to book the award. Call 213-404-0301 and be ready with your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account number and six digit PIN.

Feed the agent the date, flight number, and cabin of each flight you want.

For cabin, call United First Class on its two cabin planes “Business Class” because that is what the agent needs to search for.

The agent will charge you taxes denominated in Singapore dollars. If you convert that price to US dollars, it should be about $5.60 per person per direction, the standard taxes on domestic awards.

Within a few minutes, you should get an email from Singapore Airlines with an attachment like this.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 3.13.16 AM

Picking Seats

To pick your seats and confirm that your reservation was ticketed correctly, head to united.com and input the Singapore Airlines confirmation number on the home page where it says “My trips.” The Singapore Airlines confirmation number is the six letter/number code listed on your email attachment next to “Booking Reference.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.42.41 PM

United.com will recognize the Singapore Airlines confirmation number. You can select your seats and note your United confirmation number, which will be a different six letter/number code. You can also permanently add this reservation to your united.com account, which will be convenient for checking in without having to search for it again. To do that, click “Add to Account” from the tiny links above “United Confirmation Number.” That option isn’t available in the screen shot below because I clicked it a few days ago.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.04.58 PM

Other Benefits of Singapore Airlines Awards Over United Awards

  1. United charges $75 to book an award within 21 days of departure. Singapore charges no fee for such bookings.
  2. United charges $200 to cancel an award booking and get your miles back. Singapore charges $30.
  3. United charges $75 to $100 to change an award booking. Singapore charges $20.

My Experience Booking United to Hawaii with Singapore Miles

April 2015

In April 2015, I found out that my mainland plans had fallen through, so I could start my trip to Hawaii a few days later. Booking so late in the game is no problem because United offers excellent last minute award space to Hawaii.

I needed to book an award from Atlanta to Honolulu, so I searched united.com and found a mixed-cabin award with Atlanta to Houston in economy and Houston to Honolulu in a flat bed in United First Class on a two cabin plane.

A short hop in the back before a long flight in a bed
A short hop in the back before a long flight in a bed

The award would have cost 40,000 United miles and $80.60 to book including United’s $75 fee for booking within 21 days of departure. I noted the flight number, dates, and cabins plus my KrisFlyer number and PIN.

I already had 30,000 Singapore miles in my account because I transferred Citi ThankYou points and Chase Ultimate Rewards weeks earlier in anticipation of booking an award to Hawaii in First Class when I knew what date I wanted to fly.

I called Singapore Airlines and fed the agent the information and called the First Class cabin on my United flight “Business Class.”

He priced the award at 30,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles + 7.8 Singapore dollars ($5.66.) I booked the ticket with my Citi ThankYou® Premier Card because it has no foreign transaction fees and earns 3x points for airfare purchases and got an email confirmation a few minutes later. I input the Singapore confirmation code into the United app on my phone and selected my seat and bed.

July 2015

I had to book myself a one way award from Houston to Honolulu.

From Houston to Honolulu, there is usually a lot of First Class award space if you connect in Los Angeles or San Francisco and a lot of economy space on the direct flight. If you want First Class on the direct flight, which some days features flat beds, you normally have to book within a few days or weeks of departure.

But I got super lucky!

When I searched for award space, the monthly calendar of the direct flight looked like this. There was literally one day with First Class award space, and it was the exact date I wanted to fly.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 2.08.23 PM

I transferred my 30,000 ThankYou Points to Singapore miles, and they posted within 19 hours. Within 20 hours, I had ticketed the award for 30,000 Singapore miles + $6.

Bottom Line

Use Singapore miles instead of United miles to book economy and First Class awards to Hawaii on United flights. You’ll pay fewer miles, lower fees, and be able to book the exact same seats. Plus Singapore miles are so easy to get as a transfer partner of pretty much everyone.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Updated April 6, 2016 with the addition of links to my posts on best uses of six of the transfer partners.

Citi ThankYou Points are now transferable to one hotel and 12 airline programs. Folks who have a Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige®, or Citi Chairman card can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to (click links for posts on basics and sweetspots of that program):

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.01.54 AM

This is an incredible step forward for Citi ThankYou Points and puts them in the ranks of the big four transferable points programs.

Certainly I would like to see more and better partners added to the transfer possibilities, specifically Citi’s partner American Airlines, but this is a great start and there is value with Citi’s current transfer partners.

  • What are the best Citi ThankYou Points transfer partners?
  • How can you get ThankYou Points?
  • How can you transfer ThankYou Points?
  • What are the other ThankYou Points redemption options?

Best Transfer Partners

Singapore KrisFlyer

The best Citi ThankYou points transfer partner is Singapore KrisFlyer. Singapore was already a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Now it is even easier to get the most useful Star Alliance miles for travel in the Western Hemisphere.

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so its miles can be used to book flights on any of the 27 member airlines. Singapore miles are also the only miles that can be used to book the ultra-luxurious Singapore Suites.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.10.43 AM

Singapore Airlines collects fuel surcharges on most award flights, but not those flown by United, Taca, Avianca, and Copa. Here are some of my favorite Singapore Airlines awards (click the links for full posts on them):

  1. Between the continental United States and Hawaii on United flights for 17,500 miles each way in economy and 30,000 miles in First with no fuel surcharges. United charges 22,500 and 40,000 miles respectively for the same flights! (Get the flat bed in first!)
  2. Two free one ways to Hawaii plus a roundtrip to South America for 50,000 miles total in economy and 80,000 miles in Business/First with no fuel surcharges. United would charge a ton more miles.
  3. Two free one ways to Hawaii plus a roundtrip to Central America or two free one ways to Central America plus a roundtrip to Hawaii for 35,000 miles total in economy and 60,000 miles in Business/First with no fuel surcharges. United would charge a ton more miles.
  4. Booking Singapore Suites, one of the world’s nicest First Class products on the A380. Singapore miles are the only way to book the award, which is pricey in miles and includes a fuel surcharge, but is worth it for lovers of luxury.

See “Sweet Spots on Singapore, Suites Class from 32,000 Miles” and “Awards on United and Partner Flights Booked with Singapore Miles.”

Air France Flying Blue

Flying Blue miles are the key to booking Promo awards: 12,500 mile awards to anywhere in Europe or Israel. Flying Blue miles can be used to book any SkyTeam award space, and Flying Blue has a very cheap award chart to many places including Hawaii (15,000 miles one way.)

Here is my full post on the best options to book with Flying Blue miles.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic miles can book super cheap one way awards to London:

  • 17,500 miles in economy
  • 27,500 miles in Premium Economy
  • 40,000 miles in Upper Class (flat bed Business Class)

These awards have fuel surcharges, but they are so much cheaper in miles than other airlines charge that fuel surcharges may be worth paying.

Virgin Atlantic miles can also be used to book awards on partners like Delta, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian. You can book a roundtrip to Buenos Aires on Delta for only 45,000 miles and no fuel surcharges!

Here is my full post on the best options to book with Virgin Atlantic miles.

How to Get ThankYou Points

The easiest way to earn a bundle of ThankYou Points is with the Citi ThankYou® Premier or with the Citi Prestige® Card, which each have huge sign up bonuses and big category bonuses.

Citi Prestige® Card:

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou Points after $3,000 in spending
  • Category Bonuses: 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on restaurants and entertainment
  • Air travel fee credit:  $250 annual credit ($500 first year of cardmembership)
  • Lounge access: Admirals Clubs lounges and Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • Free hotel nights: Get your 4th night free on all paid hotel stays (no blackout dates)
  • Global Entry: $100 application fee credit
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450 not waived, well worth it

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

How to Transfer

From thankyou.com, look for the Points Transfer on the Do More tab.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.33.25 AM

You’ll see the redemption options. I initiated a transfer to Singapore Airlines to see how the process works.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.59.25 AM

As with Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards transfers, you must send increments of 1,000. Interestingly the name on the Singapore Airlines account is already pre-set to the cardholder’s name, so it doesn’t look like you can transfer to anyone else’s account. (Of course, I can book anyone an award from my Singapore Airlines account.)

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.35.07 AM

Other Redemption Options

Before the transfer option to airlines, the best redemption option for Citi ThankYou Points was to redeem for any flight on any airline for 1.25 cents of value per point. Most flights could be booked on thankyou.com and other flights by calling 800-THANKYOU.

That option is still around, but I don’t plan on taking advantage because I know I can get far more than 1.25 cents of value from the points as Singapore miles.

For free economy flights, I’ll continue to use my Arrival miles, since the 40,000 bonus miles earned on the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® can also be used for free flights on any airline but cannot be transferred to any airlines.

There are other redemption options for ThankYou Points, like merchandise. Avoid these options like the plague for their low return on ThankYou Points.

Two Final Thoughts

1. This transferability is really nice if you ever want to close the ThankYou card.

With cards that earn bank points, those points disappear when you close the card. (Not so for cards that earn airline miles or points.)

It would have been tough to redeem your balance close to zero before closing the card with the prior redemption options. Now you can always transfer out points until your balance is under 1,000.

2. I really, really hope Citi adds American Airlines as a transfer partner.

Citi has purchased billions of American Airlines miles as part of their partnership with the co-branded American Airlines cards, so it is strange that American Airlines isn’t on the transfer list. Making it stranger: it’s not as if the only way to earn American Airlines miles from a credit card is with the co-branded American Airlines cards. American Airlines miles are a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest points, which you can get from the SPG credit cards.

Bottom Line

Citi added 12 airlines as 1:1 transfer partners of ThankYou Points over the last few months. This is a huge addition to the program, but I really want to see American Airlines added also.

You can get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The best transfer partner for those ThankYou points is Singapore KrisFlyer. The Singapore Airlines program allows redemption on all 27 Star Alliance airlines including United flights with no fuel surcharges.

There are some amazing gems on the Singapore Airlines award chart, and Singapore miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites, one of the world’s nicest First Class products.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can book yourself a tour around the Caribbean and South America stopping in three places for only 64,500 miles total with half the trip in a flat bed. By stopping in three places, I am referring to actual destinations, not connections that have to be under 24 hours.

This incredible deal relies on piecing together four sweet spots awards into one big trip. Even if you never take a trip like this, you should know about these sweet spot awards.

For the purposes of this example, this will be the route we examine:

Philadelphia > Aruba > Bogota, Colombia > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Philadelphia

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 7.46.00 PM

However the price is the same no matter where your home airport is, and no matter where you choose your destination in Southern South America to be.

You can tweak the route to your liking and keep the same prices as long as each destination falls in the right region for the pricing of the award.

What does that mean exactly?

  • Aruba could be replaced by anywhere that is in the region defined by American Airlines as Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America for no extra miles
  • Bogota could be replaced by any nearby city with direct LAN flights from the Caribbean or Mexico, though the miles price will probably go up if you choose a different city since this part of the award is flown with distance-based Avios
  • Rio de Janeiro could be replaced by any destination in South America for no extra miles

United States to Aruba

American Airlines post-devaluation award chart has flights to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean during the off peak season priced at just 12,500 miles one way in economy.  

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.20.37 PM

The off peak season for these regions is defined as:

  • April 27 – May 20
  • September 7 – November 14

Taxes: $16

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.20.42 PM

Where to search for award space: aa.comHere’s how to search aa.com, award space is great to Aruba during off peak season

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.19.52 PM

How to Book: on aa.com

Aruba to Bogota

It costs 4,500 British Airways Avios to fly from from Aruba to Bogota, Colombia on LAN in economy.

Taxes: $49 (my ba.com is in euros for this reason)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.18.01 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.18.11 PM

Where to search for award space: ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. This route has the worst award space in the post, so if you copied this routing, you’d build the trip around award space on this leg. You can pick a place with better award space to Bogota (or wherever you decide to go), but the Avios price will probably be higher. Aruba to Bogota is only 605 miles flown, so it is the cheapest price of 4,500 Avios. Flights 651-1,150 miles flown are 7,500 Avios and something like Cancun to Bogota is 10,000 Avios.

How to Book: on ba.com.

Bogota to Rio de Janeiro

For 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles you can fly from Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Avianca/TACA (if using Singapore miles) or LAN (if using American Airlines miles). You could book the same flights in Business Class for 20,000 Singapore miles, or 25,000 American Airlines miles. 

Taxes/Fees: $62 (ignore the miles price in the screenshot, we pay the price on Singapore’s chart, not United’s chart when using Singapore miles)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.14.19 PM

Where to search for award space: If using Singapore miles, united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. If using American Airlines’ miles, ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. Award space is very good on Avianca’s direct Bogota to Rio flight, especially in Business Class.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.14.08 PM

How to Book: If using Singapore miles, on singaporeair.com. If using American Airlines miles, call American Airlines’ AAdvantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880.

Rio de Janeiro > United States

It costs 35,000 Asiana miles to fly Business Class on Copa Airlines, Avianca, United, or Air Canada from Southern South America to the United States. I booked Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile in Copa Business Class for 35,000 Asiana miles this year.

Taxes/Fees: $57 (ignore mileage prices below, Asiana has lower prices than United for the same flights)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.22.31 PM

Where to search for award space: united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. There is great award space between Rio and Philadelphia.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.21.52 PM

How to Book: call the Asiana Club at +1-800-227-4262.

What Do Those Awards Add up to?

    United States to Aruba = 12,500 American Airlines miles

    Aruba to Bogota, Colombia = 4,500 British Airways Avios

    Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil = 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles

 + Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to United States = 35,000 Asiana miles in Business Class


    64,500 miles and under $184 in taxes

Or, if you wanted to fly the leg between Colombia and Brazil in Business Class, it would cost 72,000 using Singapore or 77,000 American Airlines miles.

Consider it from this angle as well. Heading southbound, you spent only 12,500 + 4,500 + 12,500 = 29,500 miles/Avios, and you visit three places. Normally a one way award to Southern South America would cost 30,000 American Airlines/Delta/United miles, and no stopovers would be allowed.

Why are There No Fuel Surcharges Mentioned in This Post?

Because fuel surcharges are not levied on any airline, on any ticket, w the Americas that I am aware of. Great news for our mega-trip!

How to Get the Miles and Points Needed for this Trip

American Airlines Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Application Link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

Singapore Krisflyer Miles (transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points)

The Citi Prestige® Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

Asiana Miles (transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express, personal and business versions, both are offering 25,000 Starpoints each for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively within three months of the accounts opening.

British Airways Avios 

British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase is offering 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 within three months of the account opening.

While I can not directly link to the current offer from British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Bottom Line

If you have some (emphasis on some, not many are needed!) American Airlines, Singapore, and Asiana miles as well as a few British Airways Avios, you can piece together an amazing multi-award trip that spans all over the Caribbean and South America with three different destinations. It would be a great way to use up smaller amounts miles hanging around in your frequent flyer accounts, leftover after larger redemptions.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Waikiki Sunset

You can get both the Citi Prestige with 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months and the Citi ThankYou Premier with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, as long as you apply at least eight days apart.

Meet both minimum spending requirements, and you’ll have at least 96,000 ThankYou Points, in one account if you follow the simple steps to combine your accounts.

Here are the top eight ways I would use the 96,000 point sign up bonus for flights in Economy and First Class to Hawaii, Europe, South America, or anywhere else in the world.

1. ~$2,136 in American Airlines Flights

Each of the 96,000 points can be used like cash toward any American Airlines flight at a rate of 1.6 cents per point. That’s $1,536 worth of American Airlines flights.

And on every one of those flights, you’ll earn American Airlines miles because the airline sees your ticket as a cash ticket. The exact number of miles is determined by where you actually fly, but 25,000 American Airlines miles is a reasonable estimate. That’s enough miles to redeem for one way cross-country in American Airline’s new flat bed Business Class or one way in economy to Europe, Asia, or South America at off peak prices. Redeeming these 25,000 miles well should be worth around $600.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.22.23 PM
American’s Flat Bed Cross-Country Business Class

That’s about $2,136 in American Airlines flights from the 96,000 original ThankYou Points. I covered this topic more thoroughly in Get $2,600 in American Airlines Flights in Five Steps from Only Two Cards. (The extra $500 in that title comes from the $250 Air Travel Credits on the Citi Prestige.)

2. Four Roundtrips to Europe, Israel, or North Africa

You can transfer 100,000 ThankYou Points to AirFrance Flying Blue miles and book four roundtrip Promo Awards to Europe.

IMG_20131004_140450
Head to Munich for Oktoberfest for 25,000 miles

Every month, Air France releases a list of American cities. You can fly from the listed cities to anywhere in Europe, Israel, Morocco, or Tunisia for as little as 12,500 Flying Blue miles + taxes + a $55 fuel surcharge each way. Usually you have one month to book awards that must be flown 1-4 months in the future.

Right now, Promo Awards are bookable for summer travel, so the list isn’t as good as usual. But in June and July when Fall travel becomes bookable as Promo Awards, I’d expect to see more cities offered like New York, Dallas, Houston, Washington, Miami, and other places where Air France and KLM fly.

Award space is usually widely available during the Promo Awards dates, and because Flying Blue groups Israel with Europe, you can also fly to Israel for as little as 25,000 miles + taxes + $110 roundtrip.

If your city isn’t on the Promo Awards list, you still have great options to Europe with ThankYou Points. You can transfer 110,000 ThankYou Points to Singapore KrisFlyer miles and book two roundtrips to Europe in United economy with NO fuel surcharges. Singapore has access to the United Saver award space on united.com, so I was easily able to book myself Washington DC to Madrid for 27,500 Singapore miles + $20 last month.

3. Two Roundtrips to Buenos Aires or Rio

You can transfer 90,000 ThankYou Points to Virgin Atlantic miles and book two roundtrips in Delta economy to Southern South America including Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Delta would charge 120,000 miles for the same award space.

Virgin Atlantic will have access to any Delta award space to Southern South America that you can find for 30,000 miles one way on delta.com. Search from your home airport to South America or your home airport to Atlanta and Atlanta to South America separately if necessary.

I don’t want to over-sell or under-sell this award space. It isn’t available every day, but there is plenty even at great times to travel if you are flexible. For instance, here is the available space in orange to Rio de Janeiro in September and October.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 1.51.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 1.51.39 PM

Here is the space in orange to Buenos Aires in November and December.Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 1.51.55 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 1.52.21 PM

To book the space you find on delta.com with Virgin Atlantic miles, call Virgin Atlantic. Expect to pay 45,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and about $80 in taxes per person for a roundtrip.

4. Four Roundtrips to Hawaii (90k)

You can transfer 900,000 ThankYou Points to Air France Flying Blue miles and book four roundtrip awards to Hawaii with Delta award space. Delta would charge 135,000 miles for the same award space.

Waikiki Sunset
Waikiki Sunset

You can initially search on delta.com or airfrance.us; the latter is where you’ll eventually book.

Award space is more available than you might think, especially if you search in winter. Even though I think winter is the best time to visit Hawaii for a contrast between 40 degrees at home and 80 degrees at the beach in Hawaii, it is the low season.

Here is award space from Los Angeles to Honolulu for four people in March. All the orange days that say 22,500 will have space that is bookable for 15,000 miles one way on airfrance.us. Search from your home airport to all four major Hawaiian islands to find your dream award space.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.03.22 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.03.45 PM

5. One and a Half Roundtrips in First Class (flat bed) to Hawaii (900k)

You can transfer 90,000 ThankYou Points to Singapore miles and book one-and-a-half roundtrips in United First Class to Hawaii. You would need 120,000 United miles to book the same award space.

All United First Class seats from Newark and Washington DC to Hawaii are flat beds and some flights from Houston and San Francisco also feature beds. I’ve flown all four routes on flat beds, and it’s very nice to be able to get some great sleep on flights that are often longer than flights from the East Coast to Europe.

To book United flat beds to Hawaii with Singapore miles, search united.com for Saver award space then call Singapore. In addition to the miles, you’ll just pay about $11 in taxes roundtrip per person.

If you’re not sure whether your flight will have seats or beds, click View Seats on united.com. These squares mean regular recliner seats.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.18.24 PM

These icons mean beds.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.22.09 PM

Right now the flat bed award space isn’t fantastic to Hawaii, though there is some via San Francisco on the daily 767-400ER flight with flat beds in First Class. United tends to open up more award space in the last few weeks before departure, though, and Singapore doesn’t charge a fee for booking within three weeks of departure like some airlines. Waiting may be your best bet.

6. Six One Ways to London (105k)

7. Four One Ways to London in Premium Economy (110k)

Transfer 105,000 ThankYou Points to Virgin Atlantic miles for six one ways to London in Virgin Atlantic economy or 110,000 ThankYou Points for four one ways in Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy, which looks a lot like domestic First Class in the United States.

Award space is fairly good in both cabins and is searchable and bookable on virginatlantic.com.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.26.04 PM

Here is the award space for three people in October from Washington DC to London.Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.26.43 PM

So why did I phrase this as six and four one ways instead of three and two roundtrips?

Not only do these awards have fuel surcharges, but there is a gigantic tax for departing London.

For economy, one way to London costs 17,500 miles + $134.60. That’s $129 in fuel surcharges, and $5.60 in taxes.Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.27.25 PM

The return costs the same miles + $323. That represents a fuel surcharge plus almost $200 in taxes for departing London.Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.27.29 PM

Three roundtrips would cost 105,000 miles + $1,373.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.27.42 PM

Six one ways to London would cost the same miles but only $808 in taxes and fuel surcharges. Then move onto somewhere else in Europe with the $570 in savings and return with a different type of miles to save on taxes and fuel surcharges.

We see the same story for Premium Economy redemptions. You pay 27,500 miles + $235 going east…
Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.28.51 PM …but more than $300 extra heading west.Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 2.28.55 PM

I can make a strong case for paying 27,500 miles + $235 one way in Premium Economy. Most airlines charge 27,500 miles or more in regular economy, and Premium Economy is a much bigger seat with more legroom, and more freebies. It’s worth paying an extra $200, I think.

But the return is too much. Fly back from the continent with miles that don’t collect a fuel surcharge.

8. Three Roundtrips to Peru (105k)

You can transfer 105,000 ThankYou Points to Flying Blue miles to fly three roundtrips to Peru or anywhere else in Northern South America on Delta flights. Delta would charge 135,000 miles for the same award space.

Search on airfrance.us and book there with no fees or fuel surcharges.

Bottom Line

You can get both the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier, each with a huge sign up bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, as long as you apply at least eight days apart. Meet both minimum spending requirements, and you’ll have at least 96,000 ThankYou Points, and probably more since both offer 3x and 2x category bonuses.

You have a ton of options with 96,000+ ThankYou Points. You can use them like cash toward American Airlines flights or transfer the points to Singapore, Flying Blue, or Virgin Atlantic miles. Great awards are available to Hawaii, Europe, and South America; or when using the points like cash you can fly any flight to anywhere.

  • Application Link: Citi Prestige
  • Application Link: Citi ThankYou Premier
------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

8

Fly between South America and Europe for 17,425 miles one way year round. Or for only 58,225, fly one of the world’s nicest First Classes. These are fantastic deals as part of your next BIG trip.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 6.58.14 PM

Singapore Airlines flies from Singapore to Barcleona to Sao Paulo with one plane.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 6.59.29 PM
Source: gcmap.com

You can book any part of the route separately, like just Sao Paulo to Barcelona.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 6.59.07 PM
Source: gcmap.com

Singapore Airlines awards have fuel surcharges, but awards departing Brazil are legally forbidden from having fuel surcharges, so Singapore awards from Sao Paulo to Barcelona or Sao Paulo to Singapore have no fuel surcharges. Not only that, but Singapore way underprices its awards from Sao Paulo to Barcelona.

Check out the number of miles (in thousands) you’d need for a one way award from Sao Paulo to Barcelona with a few major mileage currencies:

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 7.09.39 PM

United awards could fly Lufthansa or TAP (or Singapore economy.) Those are fine products, especially Lufthansa First Class, but United miles are nearly triple the miles in economy and more than double the miles in First Class, so I’ll take a Singapore award every day.

American awards could fly British Airways, which has a very good Business and First Class product, but AA awards are nearly triple the miles in economy and 40% more miles in Business and First, so I’d much rather fly a Singapore award.

  • What is the Singapore First Class product?
  • What is the award space between Barcelona and Sao Paulo?
  • How much does the award cost?
  • How do you search and book the award?
  • How do you get Singapore miles?

Singapore First Class

I flew Singapore First Class on the 777-300ER, the exact plane that serves Sao Paulo to Barcelona, from Singapore to London in 2014. Here is my trip report.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.30 AMThe comfort of the seat and bed is world class, and you can select your meal in advance for maximum control.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.28 AM

Singapore First Class is clearly a top ten and possibly a top five commercial flying experience.

Award Space

Award space is wide open between Sao Paulo and Barcelona in First Class for the next seven months. I didn’t check Business or economy as extensively, but it is wide open also on the searches I did make.

Methodology

I searched one week periods in April, June, August, October, December, and February for two First Class award seats. This allowed me to see seasonal and time-before-departure variations in award space. The flight operates three times a week (M, Th, Sa from GRU-BCN), so I searched 18 dates in total. I found:

  • 9/18 dates had Saver award space for two passengers in First Class between Sao Paulo and Barcelona

However that masks some seasonal. From now through October 9/12 dates I had checked had two Saver awards in First Class, with most of the missing dates during Rio’s Olympics. But every date in December 2016 and February 2017 looked like this, which leads me to believe that Singapore isn’t releasing First Class award on the route more than nine months out for whatever reason.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.12.08 PM

If you book in the next six months, the only real constraint is flying a Monday, Thursday, or Saturday. If that works for you, odds are you’ll find award space in First Class.

Since First Class is such a small premium over Business Class (8,075 extra miles), I wouldn’t bother to fly Business Class unless I had to fly on a rare date with no First Class award space, and even then I’d try to waitlist the First Class award space before booking Business Class. For that reason, I didn’t search Business Class. Economy Class award space was open on all of the handful of days I searched it.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.07.04 PM

How Much Does the Award Cost

Singapore awards booked on singaporeair.com receive a 15% miles discount. Prices below are after that discount.

Sao Paulo to Barcelona (10:25 flying time)

  • First Class: 58,225 Singapore miles + $37.24
  • Business Class: 50,150 Singapore miles + $37.24
  • Economy: 17,425 Singapore miles + $37.24

Sao Paulo to Barcelona to Singapore (23:15 travel time)

  • Sao Paulo to Barcelona to Singapore in First Class: 95,625 Singapore miles + $37.24

Barcelona to Sao Paulo (11:10 travel time)

  • Barcelona to Sao Paulo in First Class: 58,225 Singapore miles + 188 euros ($206, including approximately $180 in fuel surcharges)

How to Search and Book the Award

Search and book the award on singaporeair.com. Here’s how to use singaporeair.com. Everything is pretty intuitive.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.24.34 PM

Make sure you search a Monday, Thursday, or Saturday if you originate in Sao Paulo or Barcelona, or you will get an error.

On the search results, the Saver awards will be listed without their 15% discount. Once you select the space you want, the 15% discount will appear in the top right corner of the screen.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.07.12 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.07.04 PM

Pay your award taxes with the Citi Prestige® Card. The first $250 in award taxes, fuel surcharges, airfare, or airline fees per calendar year are refunded to you as a statement credit. If you’ve already maxed out the statement credit, you will still earn 3x ThankYou Points on the award taxes.

Getting the Miles

Singapore miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of the major transferable points programs: Chase, AMEX, Citi, and SPG. Cards I like that earns points that transfer to Singapore miles:

After meeting the minimum spending requirement on one of those cards, you’ll have enough for three one-way tickets from Sao Paulo to Barcelona in economy or one in First Class.

Bottom Line

Singapore Airlines First Class is widely available between Sao Paulo and Barcelona and Singapore. Book it between Brazil and Spain on your next triangle trip to South America and Europe or modern round-the-world award.

Book Singapore First Class for only 58,225 miles and $37. Or fly in the back of the plane for 17,425 mile and $37.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

Singapore Airlines offers an efficient and convenient way to waitlist Saver award space on most flights in any cabin when Saver space is unavailable.

What is Waitlisting?

Singapore Airlines has three prices for award space in each cabin on each route: Saver, Standard, and Full.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 5.35.24 PM

Saver is the cheapest, around one-fifth to one-eighth of the price of Full. Saver is also the least likely level to have award space available, though there are some routes and times of year when Saver space in Singapore Suites Class is a gimme, even for two people.

When Saver space is not available, there will usually be an option to “Waitlist” it. If you waitlist the space, Singapore Airlines will give you priority in case they decide to open Saver award space.

Why Waitlist?

To get first crack at award space in one of the world’s nicest cabins: Singapore Suites.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.46.33 PM

How To Waitlist Singapore Award Space

Perform an award search as usual.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.50.36 AM

 

If your preferred flight has Saver award space like this flight, book it.Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.55.44 AM

 

On the payment page, you’ll get a 15% discount off the listed prices.Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.57.22 AM

 

If your desired flight doesn’t have Saver award space, like the top flight from Los Angeles to Singapore next Winter, select “Waitlist” in the Saver column. If your desired flight says “Not available” in the Saver column, like the bottom flight, you can’t even waitlist it.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.51.23 AM

 

If you have enough miles in your account to ticket a Saver award if one were available, you’ll be told what the price of the award will be and be given a Waitlist confirmation number. You will not have to enter your credit card information or have the miles debited from your account. For instance, to waitlist Los Angeles to Singapore in Suites Class, I’d need at least 91,375 miles in my account, but the miles wouldn’t be touched and I wouldn’t have to give a credit card for the $277 that the award costs.Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 11.05.38 AM

 

Right now I only have 125 Singapore miles, so I can’t waitlist anything.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 5.32.53 PM

When I selected “Waitlist,” I got this error message.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 5.35.47 PM

The bottom line is that to waitlist Singapore Award space, you need to have enough miles in your account to ticket the award you’d like to ticket, but those miles are not deducted from your account, nor are you charged any taxes at the time of waitlisting.

If the waitlist clears, and award space is opened up, you will receive an email notifying you and asking you to complete the booking within 24 hours. If you do not complete the booking, nothing happens. You still have your miles and never paid a penny. If you complete the booking, you pay the Saver price plus taxes and fuel surcharges and fly your dream award.

I should note that there is no point in checking the seat map or the inventory of paid seats for sale in the days leading to the flight you’ve waitlisted. Just because a seat is unsold does NOT mean the waitlist will clear. Sometimes airlines just don’t open up award space.

Doubling and Quintupling or 100x’ing Your Chances

If flying Singapore Suites is a dream of yours, and the dates don’t matter so much, you can waitlist as many dates and flights as you’d like. You just have to have the number of miles in your account to ticket one award if the space opens up, but since those miles are never debited, you can waitlist as many segments as you’d like.

How Do You Get the Singapore Miles?

Singapore miles are a partner of every transferable points program, and points transfer in about 36 hours. Cards I like that earns points that transfer:

  • Citi Prestige® Card: 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
  • Sapphire Preferred: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
  • Ink Plus (business card): 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
  • Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus

I have a lot of ThankYou Points from my Citi Prestige® Card, but I hold onto those as ThankYou Points instead of Singapore miles to maintain flexibility. Don’t transfer ThankYou Points until you are ready to book or waitlist an award.

What Is the Success Rate of Waitlisting?

Good, but not perfect, and sometimes the process doesn’t work as designed.

Here is an entire thread of FlyerTalkers reporting their successes and failures with waitlisting all cabins, but mainly First and Suites Class. There is no consensus time when award space is most likely to clear though it often happens in the month, week, or days before departure.

Be aware that sometimes Singapore messes up and opens award space on a flight without contacting people on the waitlist to give them first access. If you’ve got a lot of time or the waitlisted flight is especially important, you can search for award space every few days on your flight even after waitlisting it. If space opens, book it, and then if you’re ever contacted about the waitlist clearing in the future, ignore that email.

Also know that some people swear by calling Singapore every so often while on the waitlist to ask whether award space has opened, thinking that increases their chances of having the award space opened up. I’d say there’s insufficient data to prove the claim, but it can’t hurt if you’ve got the free time.

Because not all waitlists clear, I’d want to have a back up plan to get me from point A to point B. My back up plan would probably be United or American Airlines miles depending on the route because many of their partners, notable United, Lufthansa, and Cathay Pacific open up tons of award space right before departure if seats are unsold.

Bottom Line

If you have the Singapore miles in your account to book a Saver award on a route, but no Saver space is open, you can waitlist the award with no commitment. If space opens up, you’ll get an email to book the space if you’d like. This is a unique and awesome feature of Singapore KrisFlyer and increases our chances of Flying Singapore First Class or Suites Class.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Updated 1/29/16 to reflect new Aeroplan award prices effective for awards booked 12/15/15 or later.
Updated 10/6/15 to reflect new ANA award prices effective for awards booked 10/15/15 or later.

In the last few weeks, I have published some comparative charts of Star Alliance award charts. I’m putting all of those charts into this post for easier reference.

You can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book almost any Star Alliance flight. (Swiss, Lufthansa, and Singapore hold back some premium cabin award space for their own members. United gives extra award space to elites and United cardholders.) The 27-member alliance has more than a dozen frequent flyer programs, many of which offer good or great deals on some routes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

I’ve taken the time to make a comprehensive spread sheet of eight programs’ award prices from North America:

  • United (on United flights and on partner flights)
  • Copa
  • Asiana
  • Singapore (on Star Alliance partner flights)
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Lufthansa Miles & More
  • ANA

These programs were chosen because they all have at least some awards that are really cheap. And other than Copa and LifeMiles, Americans can easily get all these miles through transferable points programs:

  • United: Ultimate Rewards
  • Copa: no easy way to get the miles yet, but the program is brand new
  • Asiana: SPG
  • Singapore: ThankYou Points, Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, SPG
  • LifeMiles: buy miles for 1.5 cents each
  • Aeroplan: Membership Rewards, SPG
  • Lufthansa: SPG
  • ANA: Membership Rewards, SPG

There are other Star Alliance programs into which Americans can transfer miles–Citi ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to EVA and Thai miles–but their charts don’t offer any value compared to the eight I’ve selected.

Of course, the charts below only captures one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Here are a few big things that applies to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

For specific information on fuel surcharges to each region and other important routing rules, click on the individual posts where I really analyzed awards to each region.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

The Charts

Below the award charts show the one way price in thousands of miles from the United States mainland to the region listed for the eight types of miles listed. For information on slashes, click the links above to get more information.

Within Mainland United States and Canada

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.42.55 PM

Alaska

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.44.14 PM

Hawaii
Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.44.25 PM

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.29.00 AM

Northern South America

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.29.12 AM

Southern South America

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.30.52 AM

EuropeScreen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.31.05 AM

Middle East

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.28.47 AM

Africa

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.29.08 AM

North Asia

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.41.47 AM

Southeast AsiaScreen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.30.44 AM

Indian SubcontinentScreen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.30.58 AM

Australia and New Zealand

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.33.06 AM

Oceania

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.33.16 AM

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

The three best uses of ThankYou Points are:

  1. Transferring to Singapore miles to book Singapore Suites
    Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 6.56.37 PM
  2. Transferring to Singapore miles to book United First Class to Hawaii
  3. Transferring to Etihad miles to book American Airlines flights
Singapore Suites

Singapore Suites is inarguably one of the nicest First Class in the world. It is the only First Class where the two middle seats can have their barrier removed to form a single double bed, pictured above.

From the United States, you can book it from Los Angeles to Tokyo or Singapore and New York to Frankfurt or Singapore. Or you can book it within Asia/Pacific as part of a larger trip.

106,000 ThankYou Points transferred to Singapore miles are enough for over 20 hours in Singapore Suites on two flights for one person or for two people to fly 6.5 hours from Singapore to Beijing in Suites together.

United First Class to Hawaii

It is cheaper to book the exact same United flights to Hawaii with Singapore KrisFlyer miles than with United miles.

That’s a humongous difference. Instead of costing 90,000 United miles to get two people from your home airport to Hawaii and back, you could pay 70,000 Singapore miles. Instead of paying 160,000 United miles for two roundtrip First Class tickets, you could pay 120,000 Singapore miles–even occasionally for flat beds!

To reiterate, these are the exact same flights with vastly different prices depending on which miles you use. Singapore has access to all the same Saver award space United releases to people with United miles (except for some space set aside only for United elites and credit card holders.)

What’s the catch? For bookings to Hawaii, there really isn’t one. See Guide to Booking United Flights to Hawaii with Singapore Miles for full details.

106,000 ThankYou Points transferred to Singapore miles are almost enough for two roundtrips in First Class (120k) to Hawaii.

American Airlines Flights with Etihad Miles

The Etihad chart for flying American Airlines flights is almost exactly the same as American Airlines’ own chart for American Airlines flights including for off peak awards:

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.31.05 PM
EO = Off Peak Economy, EP = Economy, B/F = Business, P = First

That means you could use 106,000 ThankYou Points for two roundtrips to Japan or Korea or a roundtrip in Business Class to Europe.

Last year we even saw a transfer bonus from ThankYou Points to Etihad miles that made these deals even better. For more info on booking American Airlines flights with Etihad miles and that transfer bonus, click here.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

14

The ThankYou Premier’s offer has expired. See the current top credit card offers for free travel here.

If you want to fly Singapore Suites, your best chance to do it may be on flights within Asia Pacific.

I know, I know, you live in the United States. But these flights can be very convenient and cheap as part of a trip to East Asia, Australia, and/or New Zealand.

You can fly the 6.5 hours from Beijing to Singapore in Suites Class for 42.5k Singapore miles and $131 or the 10.5 hours from Auckland to Singapore in Suites Class for 64k points and $160.

Singapore Suites is inarguably one of the top five First Classes in the world. Some people even consider Suites Class to be the nicest First Class in the world because of the available double bed that two people can share (or one person can get to himself if the flight isn’t totally full.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.46.33 PM

Here is my experience flying Singapore First Class on a 777-300ER. Suites Class is a fancier product available on Singapore’s A380s.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.02.44 AM

You Can Only Book Singapore Suites Class with Singapore KrisFlyer Miles

Singapore only releases award space in longhaul First and Suites Class to its own KrisFlyer program. You need Singapore miles if you want to book a double bed in the sky. Luckily Singapore miles are extremely easy to get because every transferable points program transfers 1:1 to Singapore miles.

  • Citi ThankYou Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • SPG Starpoints (with the customary 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred)

The first three take about 36 hours to transfer. SPG transfers take about a week or two and seem to post on Tuesdays in Singapore.

Right now, the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier each offer 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can get both as long as you apply 8+ days apart. The 106,000 ThankYou Points are more than enough to book any award in this post, and even getting one card and getting to 50,000 ThankYou Points is enough to book Singapore Suites.

Routes within Asia Pacific with Great Award Space

The three routes that offer a lot of award space in Suites Class, a low price, and a decent amount of in-air time are Beijing, Auckland, and Sydney to Singapore.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.43.42 PM

Prices

Singapore awards include taxes and fuel surcharges. The required mileage is rarely a round number because there is an automatic 15% discount when booking online. These are the all in prices:

  • Beijing to Singapore: 42,500 KrisFlyer miles + $132 (6:30 flying daytime)
  • Singapore to Beijing: 42,500 KrisFlyer miles + $161 (6:05 flying daytime)
  • Auckland to Singapore: 63,750 KrisFlyer miles + $160 (10:35 flying daytime)
  • Singapore to Auckland: 63,750 KrisFlyer miles + $184 (9:55 flying redeye)
  • Sydney to Singapore: 63,750 KrisFlyer miles + $221 (8:20 flying daytime)
  • Singapore to Sydney: 63,750 KrisFlyer miles + $181 (8:00 flying redeye)

To me, the best value is Auckland to Singapore. You get the most time in the air and all during the daytime, so you can maximize your enjoyment of the service while perhaps taking a short nap.

I also priced out these connecting itineraries:

  • Auckland to Beijing: 78,625 KrisFlyer miles + $301 (16:40 flying, overnight in Singapore)
  • Beijing to Auckland: 78,625 KrisFlyer miles + $296 (16:35 flying, 21:30 layover in Singapore)

Those are great mileage prices, though a little expensive on taxes and fuel surcharges. I would find the layover from Auckland to Beijing (7:05 PM to 8:45 AM) a bit annoying, but the layover from Beijing to Auckland (11:20 PM to 8:50 PM) is perfect for a full day of exploring the city.

Award Space

Auckland <-> Singapore award space is excellent in Suites Class this week and in November and December 2016. Award space is almost non-existent next month.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.16.10 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.16.17 PM

Since the times with award space are the best times to go to New Zealand, I infer that award space is best on this route at the last minute and 10-12 months in advance (you can book Singapore awards 355 days out). Many days with award space have two award seats in Suites Class (double bed!)

Beijing <-> Singapore award space is great for two passengers for most of the next 11.5 months. This route has the best award space in Suites Class of any route I have searched.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.22.10 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.22.13 PMSydney <-> Singapore award space is best in November and December 2016, so book it in advance.Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.29.29 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 5.29.39 PMTo book more than one segment in Suites Class, each segment needs to have award space, so check times when both routes have award space like December 2016 for Auckland to Beijing.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.57.34 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.57.41 PMBig Trip

If you’re reading this, you are probably an American, meaning that the value in great flights between Auckland and Singapore might not be immediately apparent.

These flights are valuable as part of a big trip like your home airport to Auckland with American Airlines miles in AA economy, Auckland to Singapore in Singapore Suites, and Singapore to your home airport in Cathay Pacific First Class.

That’s an amazing trip that would cost 105,000 American Airlines miles (at least until the AA devaluation), 64,000 ThankYou Points (transferred to Singapore miles), and about $200 in taxes and fuel surcharges.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 7.57.18 PM

Better yet, take a round-the-world trip with a leg in Singapore Suites and the rest of the legs picked from my nearly comprehensive list of under-priced awards.

ThankYou Premier Sign Up Bonus Take Down on Thursday

Right now, the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier each offer 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can get both as long as you apply 8+ days apart. The 106,000 ThankYou Points are more than enough to book any award in this post, and even getting one card and getting to 50,000 ThankYou Points is enough to book Singapore Suites.

However, the ThankYou Premier’s offer is being taken down Thursday (1/28.) If you want to fly Singapore Suites, get the Citi ThankYou Premier and Citi Prestige sooner rather than later while each is offering a big enough bonus to fly in Singapore Suites.

Bottom Line

There are three Asia-Pacific routes that offer a lot of award space in Singapore Suites Class, a low price, and a decent amount of in-air time: Beijing, Auckland, and Sydney to Singapore.

Book them as part of a big or RTW trip with Singapore miles that you get from ThankYou Points.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

9

Singapore Suites is inarguably one of the top five First Classes in the world. Some people even consider Suites Class to be the nicest First Class in the world because of the available double bed that two people can share (or one person can get to himself if the flight isn’t totally full.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.46.33 PM

Here is my experience flying Singapore First Class on a 777-300ER. Suites Class is a fancier product available on Singapore’s A380s.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.02.44 AM

Singapore Suites Class is easy for an American to book from the United States to Europe or Asia. I recommend booking 355 days in advance for the best chance to snag two award seats on the same flight in Suites Class.

You Can Only Book Singapore Suites Class with Singapore KrisFlyer Miles

Singapore only releases award space in longhaul First and Suites Class to its own KrisFlyer program. You need Singapore miles if you want to book a double bed in the sky. Luckily Singapore miles are extremely easy to get because every transferable points program transfers 1:1 to Singapore miles.

  • Citi ThankYou Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • SPG Starpoints (with the customary 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred)

The first three take about 36 hours to transfer. SPG transfers take about a week or two and seem to post on Tuesdays in Singapore.

Right now, the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier offer 50,000 and 40,000 ThankYou Points respectively after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can get both as long as you apply 8+ days apart. The 96,000 ThankYou Points are more than enough to book any award in this post, and even getting one card and getting to 58,000 ThankYou Points is enough to book Singapore Suites.

Searching and Booking Singapore Suites Class

The only Singapore Suites routes that touch the United States are Los Angeles <-> Tokyo <-> Singapore and New York <-> Frankfurt <-> Singapore.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.41.28 PM

You can fly any part of the flights. Here are the prices for a one way award in Suites Class:

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita: 74,375 miles + $113 (11:45 flying)
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $276 (19:20 flying)
  • New York to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles + $203 (7:35 flying)
  • New York to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles + $286 (20:05 flying)
  • Singapore to Frankfurt to New York: 93,500 miles + $323 (22:20 flying)
  • Frankfurt to New York: 57,375 miles + $307 (8:55 flying)
  • Singapore to Tokyo-Narita to Los Angeles: 91,375 miles + $313 (16:45 flying)
  • Tokyo-Narita to Los Angeles: 74,375 miles + $94 (10:00 flying)

For the multi-segment awards, you can add a stopover in Frankfurt or Tokyo for $100.

Award booking at singaporeair.com is easy. After signing in, select “Redeem flights”, type in your cities, dates, and cabins.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.34.07 AM

Select the flight you want at the Saver level. Although the Saver level is listed as 107,500 miles, there is a 15% miles discount for booking online.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.07.53 AM

You can see the online price and the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges in the “Booking summary” on the top right of the screen after selecting an itinerary. In this case, the total cost is 91,375 miles for flights from Los Angeles to Singapore in Suites Class.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.43.26 AM

Selecting a flight takes one to the pricing screen. The out-of-pocket costs are broken down into taxes and carrier surcharges. The currency for awards originating in the USA is dollars. Originating somewhere else will price the taxes/surcharges in the local currency.

Pay your award taxes and fuel surcharges with the Citi Prestige® Card. The first $250 in award taxes, fuel surcharges, airfare, or airline fees per calendar year are refunded to you as a statement credit. If you’ve already maxed out the statement credit, you will still earn 3x ThankYou Points on the award taxes.

Award Space 355 Days Out

I searched for award space from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York in both directions for 346-355 days from now (December 2-11, 2016), since the award calendar opens up 355 days in advance.

The best space is on the Los Angeles to Singapore route. Five of 10 days have at least one Suites Class award at the Saver level, and two of the days have two Saver Class award seats. (A third day has Saver space for two from Los Angeles to Tokyo, but not all the way to Singapore.)

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.07.53 AM

Oddly, the worst space is on the reverse route. Singapore to Los Angeles has no award space at the Saver level from December 2-11, 2016.

New York to Singapore has two of 10 days with Saver space for one person. Singapore to New York has one of 10 days with Saver space for one person. Neither direction has space for two people on the days I searched.

Bottom Line

You can book Singapore Suites with Singapore miles, a transfer partner of every major transferable points currency. I recommend the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier which offer 50,000 and 40,000 ThankYou Points sign up bonuses respectively. You can get both as long as you apply 8+ days apart. The 96,000 ThankYou Points are more than enough to book any award in this post.

You can fly Singapore Suites from Los Angeles or New York to Frankfurt, Tokyo, or Singapore because all American routes have en intermediate stop in Europe or Asia. You can connect to other Star Alliance award flights, but doing so means having to pay the higher mileage prices on the Star Alliance award chart.

Award prices range from 57,375 to 93,500 miles for 7.5 to 22+ hours in Singapore Suites Class. Taxes plus fuel surcharges range from $94 to $323 depending on the route.

Search for award space on singaporeair.com, transfer your points and wait about 36 hours for them to post, and book your award, paying the taxes and fuel surcharges with a Citi Prestige® Card to get an offsetting statement credit for the taxes and fuel surcharges.

Booking 355 days out gives you the best chance at two Suites on the same plane, especially at the moment on the Los Angeles to Asia routes. Get two Suites on the same plane, select the middle seats, and sleep together in a double bed.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.46.33 PM

Key Links:

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

5

Winter is the low season in Hawaii, and I think it is the best time to visit because:

  • there is more award space
  • lodging is cheaper
  • it’s cold where you live but still 80 degrees in Hawaii

Normally one drawback is that it is rainier in the winter months in Hawaii, but this winter should be drier because El Niño is disrupting weather patterns in the Pacific.

I took a look at United award space from several cities in the center and east of the continental United States to the four major Hawaiian Islands. This award space can be booked very cheaply with Singapore miles, only 17,500 Singapore miles each way in economy and 30,000 Singapore miles each way in First Class. (Why didn’t I look from the Western US? Because it is better to use Avios from there.)

Right now the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card come with 50,000 and 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points respectively after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You can get both eight days apart, meet both minimum spending requirements and have 96,000 ThankYou Points, which transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles.

Award Space

Search for United award space on united.com. Do NOT sign in before searching. If you sign in, you may be shown extra award space set aside for United elites and credit card holders that Singapore cannot book. If you don’t sign in, you can book all the United Saver award space on united.com with Singapore miles.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.38.20 AM

New York to Honolulu

There is great award space in economy (yellow and green days) from New York to Honolulu in January and February.Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.38.56 AM The same can be said for the return.
Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.39.51 AM

An award like this would cost 90,000 United miles for two people in economy.Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.40.17 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.40.26 AM

The exact same flights would cost 70,000 Singapore miles for two people.

Unfortunately there is almost no First Class award space. Even the days that the calendar says will have First Class award space often have “Mixed cabin” awards.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.49.38 AM

You pay the First Class price with United or Singapore miles, but only some of the flights are in First Class. That may or may not be worth booking for you.Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.49.50 AM There is some legit First Class award space like this day with two First Class seats from Newark to Honolulu on a direct flight with a flat bed (which I reviewed here), but that is very rare.Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.54.40 AM

Chicago to Maui

Chicago to Maui shows a similar pattern of great award space on United flights in January and February. Outbound calendar above. Return calendar below.
Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.57.09 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.57.28 AM

Richmond to Kauai

Kauai has far fewer flights, and Richmond to Kauai shows much less award space. Outbound above, return below.
Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.59.23 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.59.43 AM

Houston to Kona

Houston to Kona returns to the better award space we saw to Oahu and Maui.Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.01.25 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.01.54 AM

Caveat

Some of the award space on the calendar includes interisland segments on Hawaiian Airlines. These are an extra 6,000 United miles one way.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.01.37 AM

They are not bookable at any price with Singapore miles because Singapore doesn’t partner with Hawaiian.

Bottom Line

There is plenty of United economy award space to Hawaii this winter, which is supposed to be an exceptionally dry one.

Search for the space on united.com; note the date, cabin, and flight number of the space; transfer ThankYou Points to Singapore miles; and call Singapore to book the awards for 35,000 Singapore miles + $11 roundtrip per person. See the Guide to Booking United Flights to Hawaii with Singapore Miles for more detail on the process.

Right now the Citi Prestige® Card and the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card come with 50,000 and 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points respectively after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You can get both eight days apart, meet both minimum spending requirements and have 96,000 ThankYou Points, which transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

This post is part of a series about how to maximize value when transferring your Citi ThankYou Points to airline partners.

Singapore Airlines has two award charts when redeeming its KrisFlyer miles. There is one award chart to fly Singapore and its subsidiary SilkAir and one award chart to fly Star Alliance partners. This is a post about sweetspots on the Star Alliance chart. Here is the post about sweetspots on the Singapore/SilkAir chart.

Singapore KrisFlyer miles should have your attention. You can amass a huge stash since you can easily transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, or SPG Starpoints to Singapore miles.

Singapore miles can book any Star Alliance partner.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

Singapore awards that fly Star Alliance partners have the following rules:

Singapore awards include fuel surcharges when an identical cash ticket would have fuel surcharges. The only exception is that Singapore does not collect fuel surcharges on United flights ever. If you want to avoid fuel surcharges, book United, Copa, Avianca, and TACA flights.

Search for all the award space for Star Alliance partners on united.com or aeroplan.com. Any Saver award space found there is bookable by calling Singapore Airlines. Here is an Anatomy of an Award post on the entire process of searching and booking.

Without further ado, here are some Star Alliance deals I particularly like:

  • Within the Continental United States, Alaska, and Canada: 20,000 miles in Business or First Class
  • Mainland to Hawaii: 17,500 miles in economy
  • Mainland to Hawaii: 30,000 miles in First Class
  • USA to South America: 50,000 miles in Business Class
  • USA to Europe: 27,500 miles in economy
  • USA to Middle East/North Africa: 57,500 miles in Business
  • USA to Middle East/North Africa: 75,000 miles in First
  • Hawaii to Central America: 17,500 miles in economy, 30,000 miles in Business
  • Hawaii to South America: 25,000 miles in economy, 40,000 miles in Business
  • Intra-South America: 20,000 miles in Business Class
Within the Continental United States, Alaska, and Canada: 20,000 miles in Business or First Class

Whatever United or Air Canada call the best cabin on their two cabin planes, you can book it for 20,000 miles within North America.

Normally domestic First Class on United and Business Class on Air Canada are nothing special, but this award really stands out if you book United’s flat bed p.s. service from Newark to Los Angeles or San Francisco.

This price is 5,000 miles cheaper than United charges for the same award space.

Mainland to Hawaii: 17,500 miles in economy
Mainland to Hawaii: 30,000 miles in First Class

United releases great economy award space to Hawaii and occasional First Class space. The best First Class space to snag is on routes that United operates with flat beds upfront.

These prices are about 1/4 cheaper than United charges for the same award space.

USA to South America: 50,000 miles in Business Class

Singapore puts all of South America into one region. This is a bad price to Northern South America, but a good price to Southern South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia.)

United charges 55,000 miles each way.

Ideally you’d find award space on United’s flat beds, but realistically there is much more award space on Copa’s flights to South America via Panama. Those only feature recliners unfortunately.

USA to Europe: 27,500 miles in economy

If you find award space on a United flight to Europe, Singapore miles offer a cheaper way to book it than United miles. I booked the start of my current trip to Europe with Singapore miles and wrote this post on the booking.

USA to Middle East/North Africa: 57,500 miles in Business
USA to Middle East/North Africa: 75,000 miles in First

Look at these prices (economy/Business/First one way):

  • Singapore charges 27.5k/65k/85k to Europe
  • Singapore charges 37.5k/57.5k/75k to the Middle East
  • United charges 30k/57.5k/80k to Europe
  • United charges 42.5k/70k/90k to the Middle East

In case you need to brush up on your geography, the Middle East is quite a bit farther away than Europe, but Singapore charges fewer miles for a Business Class or First Class award to the Middle East than to Europe.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 3.15.11 AM

United flies to three destinations in the Middle East:

  • Washington-Dulles to Dubai
  • Washington-Dulles to Kuwait to Bahrain

We can use the Singapore sweetspot to book United’s Middle East flights cheaply in Business Class or First Class or to save miles on awards between the United States and Europe.

We can also use Singapore miles to book a United flight to Europe plus a partner flight to the Middle East. Skip the flight to the Middle East and enjoy the miles saved from the hidden city ticketing. This will incur fuel surcharges on the flight from Europe to the Middle East.

More Info: Hidden City Ticketing on Singapore Awards to Europe and Middle East

Hawaii to Central America: 17,500 miles in economy, 30,000 miles in Business
Hawaii to South America: 25,000 miles in economy, 40,000 miles in Business

Singapore Airlines’ award chart has Hawaii and Central America are in the same region!

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 1.53.37 AM

That means Hawaii to Central or South America is cheaper than the mainland United States to those places. Take advantage with creative awards from your home airport to Hawaii and to Central/South America all on one super cheap award.

More Info: How non-Hawaiians Can Take Advantage of Hawaii to Central America and South America Awards

Intra-South America: 20,000 miles in Business Class

Considering all of South America to be one region has this big benefit. I’ve booked myself two awards from Colombia to Argentina for way too cheap.

More Info: Anatomy of an Award: Using Singapore Miles to Save 20,000 Miles within South America

Getting Singapore Miles

Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles with a 12-36 hour delay.

SPG points transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles, and for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, you get 5,000 extra Singapore miles.

The best cards to rack up Singapore miles are the:

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also earns 3x points on travel and gas and 2x points on dining and entertainment
  • Citi Prestige® Card: 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
  • Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
  • Ink Plus (business card): 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
  • Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus

Bottom Line

Singapore miles are excellent for booking awards on Star Alliance carriers when the award has no fuel surcharges and Singapore charges fewer miles than United for an identical award.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

19

This post is part of a series about how to maximize value when transferring your Citi ThankYou Points to airline partners.

 

Singapore Airlines has two award charts when redeeming its KrisFlyer miles. There is one award chart to fly Singapore and its subsidiary SilkAir and one award chart to fly Star Alliance partners. This is a post about sweetspots on the Singapore/SilkAir chart. A second post will follow about sweetspots on the Star Alliance chart.

Singapore KrisFlyer miles should have your attention. You can amass a huge stash since you can easily transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, or SPG Starpoints to Singapore miles.

Singapore’s A380s feature one of the world’s best First Class products that it calls Suites Class, and it is only bookable with Singapore miles. (Singapore releases no First or Suites Class space to partners.)

Singapore awards that fly Singapore/SilkAir have the following rules:

  • One way awards cost half the price of roundtrip awards
  • On Saver awards (the only ones that are reasonably priced), you get zero free stopovers on one way awards and one free stopover on roundtrip awards
  • Since you can book one way awards, a roundtrip can have two open jaws
  • You must fly a published route of Singapore/Silk Air
  • You can only redeem awards for yourself or or one of five nominated people (nomination is simple and free, changing nominees costs money)
  • All Singapore awards booked on singaporeair.com receive an automatic 15% discount

Singapore awards include fuel surcharges when an identical cash ticket would have fuel surcharges, and I believe that all Singapore flights except those leaving Brazil have fuel surcharges. These are noted in the post.

Almost all my choices will focus on flying Singapore Suites Class, since that is what’s special about using Singapore miles. Here is a list of routes that feature Singapore A380s (and thus Suites Class.) Most of these deals are really just fair prices, not exactly sweetspots, but since they are the only way to fly such a fantastic product, I consider a “fair price” to be a sweetspot.

Here are some deals I particularly like:

  • Sao Paulo to Barcelona: 17,425 miles in economy + $37
  • Sao Paulo to Barcelona: 58,225 miles in First Class + $37
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo: 74,375 miles in Suites Class + $113
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore: 91,375 miles in Suites Class + $276
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles in Suites Class + $203
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles in Suites Class + $286
  • Singapore to Hong Kong: 31,875 miles in Suites Class + $30
  • Singapore to Mumbai: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Singapore to Beijing: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Mumbai to Beijing: 61,625 miles in Suites Class + $322
  • Hong Kong to Sydney: 63,750 miles in Suites Class + $188
Sao Paulo to Barcelona: 17,425 miles in economy + $37
Sao Paulo to Barcelona: 58,225 miles in First Class + $37

Singapore flies from Sao Paulo to Barcelona to Singapore with no fuel surcharges because Brazil law prohibits fuel surcharges.

Economy and First Class tickets are absolute steals for 10.5 hours of flying, especially compared to how many miles competitors charge.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 7.09.39 PM
One way from Sao Paulo to Barcelona in thousands of miles

Award space is wide open on the route in all cabins. Unfortunately Singapore flies a 777 with First Class instead of an A380 with Suites Class on the route. Here is my review of Singapore First Class.

Los Angeles to Tokyo: 74,375 miles in Suites Class + $113
Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore: 91,375 miles in Suites Class + $276

Singapore flies an A380 daily from Los Angeles to Singapore with a stop in Tokyo. You can fly the whole thing (19 hours in the air) or just to Tokyo (12 hours.) Both are decent deals with miles, though the fuel surcharges are much lower if you just go to Tokyo.

New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles in Suites Class + $203
New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles in Suites Class + $286

The only other Singapore Suites experience from the United States similarly allows you to fly to Singapore with an intermediate stop. The flight to Frankfurt is just 7.5 hours (and a bit longer flying west), while flying all the way to Singapore would be 20 hours in the air.

The price to Europe in Singapore Suites is undoubtedly a steal, though award space from JFK to Frankfurt in Suites Class is not great.

Singapore to Hong Kong: 31,875 miles in Suites Class + $30

The cheapest Suites Class route costs fewer than 32,000 miles, though unfortunately you’ll get less than four hours in the air.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.33.27 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.33.40 PM

Singapore to Mumbai: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160

For an extra hour of flying time, head to Mumbai instead. Unfortunately the award is 10,000 miles and $120 more expensive, which is not a rate I would want to pay per hour of Suites Class.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.37.30 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.37.41 PM

Singapore to Beijing: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160

I think six hours, if you don’t plan on sleeping more than about 90 minutes, is the minimum amount of time to fully enjoy the Suites Class experience. You can book such an award from Singapore to Beijing for less than the sign up bonus of one credit card, which is a pretty good deal.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.38.21 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.38.39 PM

Mumbai to Beijing: 61,625 miles in Suites Class + $322

The Singapore award chart has some good options to fly Singapore Airlines A380s in Suites Class twice and enjoy the Private Room (lounge) in Singapore. Just make sure you get a longer layover than the 50 minutes on this itinerary.
Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.41.53 PM

Almost 12 hours in the air for under 62,000 miles compares very favorably to the award prices from Singapore to Europe, which are over 90,000 miles for the same amount of flying.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.42.06 PM

Hong Kong to Sydney: 63,750 miles in Suites Class + $188

Similarly you can get two segments and 11.5 hours of flying by booking Hong Kong to Sydney.
Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.59.00 PM

This is the only screen shot that shows “Waitlist” at the Saver level instead of “Available.” Here’s How Waitlisting Singapore Awards Works.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.59.22 PM

Product

Singapore Suites is a world-class fully enclosed suite.

The suites are laid out 1-2-1, and the middle two suites can have their divider removed to turn two suites into one double bed.

The food, alcohol, and service are legendary.

Getting Singapore Miles

Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles with a 12-36 hour delay.

SPG points transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles, and for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, you get 5,000 extra Singapore miles.

The best cards to rack up Singapore miles are the

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also earns 3x points on travel and gas and 2x points on dining and entertainment
  • Citi Prestige® Card: 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
  • Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
  • Ink Plus (business card): 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
  • Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus

Bottom Line

Singapore miles are excellent for booking flights on Singapore Airlines. Singapore has way-too-cheap awards from Sao Paulo to Barcelona in economy and First Class with no fuel surcharges.

Singapore has fair value awards from the United States to Europe and Asia in Suites Class, and Singapore offers some attractive intra-Asia redemptions in Suites Class, starting at 31,875 miles.

Singapore miles are easy to get as a transfer partner of every major transferable points program.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Follow Me