Back in May I wrote a post about how to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for travel in Singapore Airlines premium cabins by transferring points to Singapore’s KrisFlyer program.
As it turns out there are some other great uses for Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, specifically for travel within the US (including Hawaii).
The KrisFlyer partner award chart reads in part as follows:
So through KrisFlyer a domestic US award costs 25,000 miles in coach or 40,000 miles in business class, while an award to Hawaii costs just 35,000 miles in coach or 60,000 miles in business class. Best of all, KrisFlyer allows one-way award redemptions for just half the cost.
As a point of comparison, United charges 25,000 miles in coach or 50,000 miles in business class for a domestic award (10,000 more than KrisFlyer), while to Hawaii they charge 40,000 miles in coach (5,000 more than KrisFlyer) or 80,000 miles in business class (20,000 more than KrisFlyer). Of course that’s not even an “apples to apples” comparison, given that American Express Membership Rewards points can’t be transferred to United anymore. The best comparison would be Aeroplan, which is also an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner. For domestic awards they charge 25,000 miles in coach and 50,000 miles in business class (10,000 more than KrisFlyer), while to Hawaii they charge 45,000 miles in coach (10,000 more than KrisFlyer) and 80,000 miles in business class (20,000 more than KrisFlyer). But most importantly (for many), Aeroplan doesn’t offer discounted pricing for one-way awards, so you’d be stuck paying the full roundtrip cost for a one-way award.
KrisFlyer has access to all the same award space that United offers on their website, so you can just use United’s website to search availability. These awards have to be booked over the phone via the KrisFlyer service center, though they don’t charge a booking fee. They’re open 24 hours a day and can be reached in the US at (213) 404-0301.
Despite the pain of booking over the phone, this is the cheapest option for using Membership Rewards points for travel to Hawaii in a premium cabin, and the only way to use Membership Rewards points for discounted one-way Star Alliance awards. I should also mention that they don’t impose fuel surcharges on domestic award redemptions, and also don’t allow stopovers for these redemptions.
The one “catch” is that Membership Rewards points take about 24 hours to transfer to KrisFlyer, and there’s no way to hold award space while the points transfer.
Anyway, hopefully this is something some of you guys can take advantage of. If you have any questions on the above, please let me know!