Despite Singapore Airlines’ recent changes to its KrisFlyer scheme, SQ’s frequent flyer program remains a valuable tool in helping travellers circle the globe in business class – and even first class – by spending their frequent flyer points.
Better yet, you can even pick up a bonus 100,000 KrisFlyer miles via the AMEX Business Platinum Card; 80,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles through the AMEX Platinum Charge Card or 75,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles using the American Express Explorer Card, which could help you snag your next reward flight.
With so many ways to spend those KrisFlyer miles, Australian Business Traveller pins down the top five ways to turn your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into flights at the pointy end.
1. Take a round-the-world journey in business class
Having a quarter of a million KrisFlyer miles at your disposal lets you do something really special: a round-the-world trip in business class of up to 16 flights!
Regardless of where and when you fly, this costs 240,000 KrisFlyer miles (plus any applicable taxes, fees and charges payable using real money) – and you can fly up to 35,000 miles and break your journey in up to seven destinations.
However, this is one of the most difficult reward bookings you’ll ever make and relies on having business class reward seats available on every single one of your chosen flights (unless you downgrade yourself to economy!): so plan far in advance and then contact Singapore Airlines to book as early as you can.
2. Fly return to UK, Europe in business + first class
Don’t have time to circle the planet? You can keep things simple with a return trip from Sydney or Melbourne to UK/Europe, flying business class in one direction and first class the other way for a total of 253,000 KrisFlyer miles.
That’s a few thousand miles more than our 250k target, but remember that you can always convert any spare Virgin Australia Velocity points into KrisFlyer miles to make up the difference.
Brisbane and Adelaide flyers can book a similar journey for the same number of miles, but would need to fly between Australia and Singapore in business class both ways as SQ doesn’t offer first class to these cities.
3. Jet to Europe and back in Star Alliance first class
Another option for Europe-bound travellers: taking the full return journey in Star Alliance first class for a slightly higher 265,000 KrisFlyer miles.
However, unlike mixed-class bookings with Singapore Airlines as above, that’s 15,000 miles over our target and also attracts much higher taxes, fees and charges to pay on the side, including fuel surcharges which can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your journey.
But if you’re not fazed by that, one of these tickets could find you flying Singapore Airlines first class from Australia to Singapore and then Lufthansa first class from Singapore to Frankfurt – and if your travels took you across to London on the same trip, fly home in Thai Airways first class from the UK to Bangkok aboard the airline’s Airbus A380 and then continue the trip onward to Sydney aboard a Boeing 747 (below).
4. Take two return business class trips to Asia
Closer to home, a more favourable 232,000 KrisFlyer miles is enough for two return Singapore Airlines business class trips to many parts of Asia, or a single return business class voyage for yourself and a companion travelling together.
This rate applies when jetting to and from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, South China (excludes Beijing and Shanghai), Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, with all flights routing via Singapore but the same miles required regardless.
Have just a few thousand extra miles to spend? For a grand total of 254,000 KrisFlyer miles, one of those four one-way journeys can even be in Singapore Airlines first class – but you probably wouldn’t take this option when travelling with a partner, else one of you will sit further back than the other!
5. Convert your KrisFlyer miles into Virgin Australia Velocity points
Finally, it’s possible to convert your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Virgin Australia Velocity points at a 1.35:1 rate.
Chances are this won’t prove great value for your entire 250,000-point balance – fetching a lower 185,185 Velocity points in return – but it’s a good option to have if you’ve used your KrisFlyer miles to make a booking and have a handful of miles leftover, which may expire if left in your KrisFlyer account for too long.
For instance, if you began with 250,000 KrisFlyer miles and booked that round-the-world trip for 240,000 miles, you’d have 10,000 miles remaining: not much use on their own, but which could become 7,407 Velocity points – almost enough for a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne.