Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Singapore Krisflyer #1

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This post is part two of a series about how to maximize value when transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards to loyalty program partners. 

Maximizing Your Ultimate Rewards Series Index

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’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
  • You can buy up to three extra stopovers for $100 each on either a one way or roundtrip
  • 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 have fuel surcharges.

Almost all my choices will focus on flying Singapore Suites Class, since that is what’s special about using Singapore miles. 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 we particularly like (with the 15% discount for booking online factored in):

  • 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

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 Singapore Suites experience from the United States 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.

The best time to find Suites Class award space is a little under a year out from when you want to travel–355 days from departure is when the space becomes available. But generally you’ll find more Suites Class award space on the routes that don’t touch the United States.

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.

Bottom Line

Singapore miles are excellent for booking flights on Singapore Airlines. They are the only way to book Singapore’s top of the line product, Suites Class.

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.


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.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. I’m looking at booking Singapore from Houston to Manchester, England non-stop on Singapore Business class in the Airbus A350 in September. When I go through the booking process, it shows as Waitlisted at the end.

    Does anyone have clarification on what that means? Does it mean I might not get the flight at all? I need to make it to Scotland during that time and would like to know how far in advance I would be confirmed or denied so I could make alternate plans.

    • Waitlisted means a big fat maybe. The good news is that your can waitlist flights on multiple days with only enough miles for a single flight. The bad news, of course is that you have no guarantee whatsoever that the space will become available. A Plan B might be in order. If Plan B can be cancelled for free or cheap, then you hope Singapore frees up space. If a waitlist clears, my understanding is that you are not required to take it.

  2. Is the JFK-Frankfurt 57,375 mile option only available TO Europe? I’m trying to book a FRA-JFK one-way in September, and the Singapore site shows 130,000 miles required. Please advise. Thanks!

    • No, it’s available in both directions. It can be hard finding the lowest level Suite Class space (57,375 after the 15% online booking discount) on the JFK <> FRA route… best time is 11 months out.

  3. I forgot to mention that the 130,000 miles is in the “Standard” column and can only be waitlisted. Does waitlisting require more points to book?

    • Standard is much more expensive, so very few people are willing to go for it, kinda like a business class ticket to Europe on Delta for 200,000 miles one way. As for waitlist, see the above. There is the IAH-MAN flight as another option to Europe.

  4. Singapore Miles Expire 3 years after they are in your account, so you need to have an immediate use for them, there is no way to extend them!

  5. Sarah, I’m going on memory here, but can’t you pay $100 to add a stopover on a one way award ticket? Thanks.

    • That’s correct, you can add up to three stopovers for $100 each on a one way or a roundtrip. Left that out of the award rules section but have added it in, thanks!

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