Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance that is known for being one of the best airlines in the world. I’ve flown in coach, business, and first class on Singapore and the service in every class of service is without a doubt the best I’ve ever experienced. In fact coach service on Singapore has been better than business or first class service on other airlines.
After flying 19 hours nonstop from Newark to Singapore in business class I was actually sad to have the flight come to an end.
And it’s hard to beat their A380 double suites which can only be booked with Singapore miles:
They also have some excellent award chart bargains.
They did announce a devaluation for their own flights last week, but they cushioned it by announcing that they are eliminating fuel surcharges on Singapore flights and that they aren’t making changes to their excellent Star Alliance award chart. And the jump in mileage required is nowhere near what the domestic airlines have done for premium class award travel.
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The 500 points will post within 24 hours.
-A Singapore A380 walled-in suite from JFK to Frankfurt will be going up from 57,375 miles to 76K miles effective 3/23, but the $180 in fuel surcharges will be eliminated. You can only book Singapore suites with Singapore miles, but compare that to the 110K miles that United charges to fly from JFK to Frankfurt in Lufthansa first class!
In fact you can book that suite for just 75K miles with no fuel surcharges after 3/23 by adding on a Lufthansa leg from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv as their Star Alliance chart will be more advantageous to use than their chart for Singapore flights only.
A flight from Chicago to Singapore will actually be cheaper than from Los Angeles, NYC, or San Francisco to Singapore due to being able to use the Star Alliance award chart when combining travel on Singapore and another partner airline like United.
Suites availability between Singapore and Australia and New Zealand is excellent. So is availability from European cities like Zurich and Asian cities like Shanghai to Singapore.
Plus Singapore allows you to waitlist for saver award space on flights.
Singapore still allows a free stopover and open jaw on round-trip saver awards and you can add up to 3 additional stopovers for just $100 each by booking your award over the phone. If you book a standard award you can even get a free stopover on a one-way ticket.
Singapore does charge fuel surcharges for most partner airlines, but notebly they don’t charge any for travel on United. Thanks to a generous Star Alliance award chart, that means it can be quite advantageous to use Singapore miles for United flights. However it’s worth noting that if you have a United credit card for expanded United award availability, that benefit only applies when using United miles and not miles from partner airlines like Singapore.
Sample one-way pricing using United miles vs Singapore miles:
-Domestic US first class on United using United miles is 25K miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 20K.
-A flight from the US48 to Alaska on United is 17.5K in coach and 30K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 12.5K in coach or 20K in first class.
-A flight from the US48 to Hawaii on United is 22.5K in coach and 40K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 17.5K in coach or 30K in first class.
-A flight from the US to Europe is 30K in coach, 57.5K-70K in business, and 80K-110K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 27.5K in coach, 65K in business, or 80K in first class.
-A flight from the US to Israel is 42.5K in coach, 70-80K in business, and 90K-140K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 37.5K in coach, 57.5K in business, and 75K in first class.
-A flight from the Middle East to Europe is 25K in coach, 45K in business, and 60K in first using United miles. With Singapore miles it’s just 17.5K in coach, 25K in business, or 35K in first class.
Singapore even still offers a round-the-world award, something that airlines like American and United have discontinued. A round-the-world ticket to 7 destinations is 180K miles in coach, 240K miles in business, or 360K miles in first/suites class.
Note that partner awards can’t be booked online, you’ll need to call Singapore to book at 1-312-843-5333.
You can search for Singapore award availability on Singapore.com, but you’ll have to use a site like United.com or Aeroplan.com to search for Star Alliance saver award availability. Note that United.com isn’t able to search for any availability on Singapore flights, though you can call United to book award travel on Singapore, though business and first class from the US isn’t typically available with United miles.
Award fees with Singapore miles vs United miles:
-There are no close-in fees with Singapore miles. With United miles there’s a $75 fee within 3 weeks, though there are workarounds for that.
-Date changes on Singapore flights are free and are just $20 on other flights with Singapore miles. With United miles changes are $75-$125.
-Award refunds are just $30 with Singapore miles vs $75-$125 with United miles.
This is the Achilles’ heel of the Singapore program.
United miles will never expire as long as you have activity every 18 months or have a United credit card.
Singapore miles expire 36 months after they’re earned. You can extend them for 6 more months by paying a $12 fee per 10,000 miles extended.
If your miles are expiring and you don’t have any travel plans you can also book an award before your miles expire and then change the award for up to 1 year from when it’s issued.
You can also transfer Singapore miles into Virgin Australia Velocity miles at a 1.35:1 ratio. Those miles never expire as long as you have activity every 36 months.
Mileage earning from JetBlue, United, and Virgin America flights:
While United only awards a paltry 5 miles per pre-tax dollar spent on flights, Singapore still awards flown miles for United flights!
For example United recently had a $379 fare from Newark to Zurich. That fare was $282 before tax and would earn just 1,410 United miles. However you can give United your Singapore mileage number and earn 7,890 Singapore miles, which is the actual distance flown for the K class fare.
When United matched El Al’s $749 winter sale from Newark to Tel Aviv the base fare was $662. That would earn just 3,310 United miles. However you can give United your Singapore mileage number and earn 11,384 Singapore miles, which is the actual distance flown for the K class fare.
-Singapore awards 100% of the flown miles for most United coach and business class tickets and 125-150% of the flown miles in some business and first class fare classes.
-Singapore awards 50-100% of the flown miles for most JetBlue coach tickets depending on the fare class and 125% of the flown miles in mint class.
-Singapore awards 100% of the flown miles for most Virgin America coach tickets and 125% of the flown miles in first class.
You can check the actual distance flown on GCMap.com. For example a flight from Newark to Sydney via Los Angeles would earn 19,884 Singapore miles for travel in most United fare classes.
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-AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore within 1-2 days.
-Starwood Starpoints transfer at a 20K:25K ratio to Singapore within 2-9 days.
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers from all banks.
-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have promotions awarding 25,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Singapore miles with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.
The Preferred card awards 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, 3 points per dollar on gas, and 4.5 points per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.
The EveryDay card awards 1.2 points per dollar everywhere, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 2.4 miles per dollar on groceries if you make 20 transactions per month. This is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into real airline miles from any bank.
You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, and from business charge cards like the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card (limited time 50K signup bonus) or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and has a limited time increased signup bonus. However you’ll need one of the Membership Rewards cards listed above to transfer points from that card into airline miles.
–Citi Thank You Premier, Prestige, and Chairman cardholders can also transfer points into Singapore at a 1:1 ratio.
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.
–Chase cards that can transfer points into miles includes Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus. Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash can also earn points, but you’ll need one of the aforementioned Chase cards to transfer points from those cards into airline miles.
Do you accrue Singapore miles when you fly on JetBlue, United, or Virgin America? Hit the comments!