On Wednesday Chase announced that Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer would be the next program to partner with Ultimate Rewards, allowing members to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio.
This was great news since some of Chase’s best credit cards accrue Ultimate Rewards points, including:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — offers double points on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees, and a 7% annual points dividend (plus a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within three months)
- Ink Plus® Business Credit Card — offers 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services (plus a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months)
- Ink Bold® Business Charge Card — offers 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services (plus a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months)
Then on Thursday I shared some tips for redeeming Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles for travel on Singapore Airlines.
But Singapore Airlines is also one of the members of the Star Alliance, so what about redeeming KrisFlyer miles for travel on Star Alliance partner carriers?
As a reminder, Chase Ultimate Rewards also partners with United MileagePlus. As I explained in the last post, if you’re trying to redeem miles for travel on Singapore Airlines you’re much better off booking through KrisFlyer than through MileagePlus. But how about for travel on the Star Alliance?
Singapore KrisFlyer Star Alliance award chart
Singapore Airlines has separate award charts depending on whether you want to travel exclusively on Singapore Airlines, or on Star Alliance partners:
- KrisFlyer award chart for travel on Singapore Airlines
- KrisFlyer award chart for travel on Star Alliance
It’s worth noting that if you want to book travel on a combination of Singapore Airlines and their Star Alliance partners, then you’d be charged per the Star Alliance award chart.
Singapore KrisFlyer Star Alliance award chart regions
Here’s a breakdown of the regions KrisFlyer uses for their award chart:
Singapore KrisFlyer Star Alliance award fuel surcharges
It’s worth noting that KrisFlyer does impose fuel surcharges for award redemptions on all of their partner airlines. If the operating airline would impose a fuel surcharge on a revenue ticket, Singapore will impose it on an award as well.
All Star Alliance airlines impose fuel surcharges and do so in most markets.
For what it’s worth, United doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on domestic itineraries (including to Hawaii), so you shouldn’t have to pay them on those awards.
Singapore KrisFlyer Star Alliance award chart sweet spots
As a North American based flyer, the greatest value you’ll get out of KrisFlyer miles for redemptions on Star Alliance is for travel within the US, including Hawaii. Here are the redemption rates for travel within the US:
- Domestic lower 48 economy class award: 12,500 miles
- Domestic lower 48 business class award: 20,000 miles
- Lower 48 to Hawaii economy class award: 17,500 miles
- Lower 48 to Hawaii business class award: 30,000 miles
20,000 KrisFlyer miles for business class within the US, or 30,000 KrisFlyer miles for business class to Hawaii, is pretty tough to beat (United would charge 25,000 and 40,000 miles for the same awards, respectively).
Unfortunately the value for longhaul awards isn’t quite as good. For example, you’re looking at 175,000-195,000 miles for business class travel to Asia/Australia, while you’re looking at 200,000-255,000 miles for first class travel to Asia/Australia. Those rates are somewhat comparable to United’s Star Alliance award rates, except United doesn’t impose fuel surcharges.
The major exception is US to Europe, where they charge 80,000 miles one-way in first class. United charges 110,000 miles for Lufthansa first class. So you do save 30,000 miles by booking through Singapore, but would be hit with ~$400 in fuel surcharges.
The best option for Lufthansa first class to Europe remains Avianca LifeMiles (72,500 miles with no fuel surcharges) or Air Canada Aeroplan (62,500 miles with ~$400 in fuel surcharges), but neither of those are Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
Singapore KrisFlyer Star Alliance award routing rules
On top of the fairly high redemption rates, KrisFlyer also has strict routing rules. They’ll typically require you to take a published routing and expressly prohibit backtracking. So for example, you may have an issue booking something like New York to Frankfurt to London, even though it’s a published routing, since it includes backtracking.
Singapore KrisFlyer Star Alliance award ticket fees
Singapore has very reasonable KrisFlyer award change and cancellation fees:
So for Star Alliance award tickets, the fees are as follows:
- Change of flight, date, route, or carrier: $20
- Redepositing an unused tickets: $30
- Changing your ticket within 24 hours of departure or no showing: $75
It’s worth noting there are no phone ticketing fees and no close-in ticketing fees, so at least you’ll save a bit of money there.
How to search Star Alliance award space for KrisFlyer award
Singapore’s website doesn’t display award space for travel on partner airlines. So you can either inquire about Star Alliance award space by calling KrisFlyer (which I wouldn’t recommend), or by using another Star Alliance airline’s website to search space.
In particular I would recommend:
Do keep in mind that none will accurately display award space for travel on Singapore Airlines. So as frustrating as Singapore’s website can be for searching Singapore Airlines award space, it’s the only place to accurately do so.
The greatest value you’ll get out of KrisFlyer miles is for travel on Singapore Airlines. Which is a good thing, since their premium cabin products are otherwise pretty unattainable of miles.
The real “value add” here for travel on partner airlines are their great domestic business class award rates of 20,000 miles one-way for travel within the lower 48 (5,000 miles cheaper each way than United) and 30,000 miles one-way for travel between the lower 48 and Hawaii (10,000 miles cheaper each way than United).
(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through some of the above links. All are for the best available offers. Thanks for your support!)