Chase Ultimate Rewards just added Singapore KrisFlyer miles as a transfer partner. The MileValue Award Booking Service is standing by to book your awards with Singapore miles!

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Ultimate Rewards transfer partners

Singapore miles are extremely valuable to fly within the United States on United flights, to fly to Hawaii on United flights, and to fly to Asia in Singapore Suites Class.

Membership Rewards and Starpoints already transferred 1:1 to Singapore miles, but this news just makes getting the miles easier than ever, since the Ink Plus and Ink Bold are offering humungous 60,000 point sign up bonuses until June 1, 2014.

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  • What are the sweet spots on the Singapore award chart?
  • When should you transfer Ultimate Rewards to Singapore miles instead of United miles?
  • When are fuel surcharges collected on Singapore awards?

Ultimate Rewards have always transferred to United miles, which is the United States’ representative in the Star Alliance. Singapore Airlines is also a Star Alliance member, so the big question when you want to book Star Alliance award space with Ultimate Rewards is: should I transfer to United miles or Singapore miles?

Singapore Award Chart Sweet Spots

Singapore has two award charts:

All Singapore awards can be booked as one way awards for half the price of roundtrip awards. You want to book Singapore’s own award flights at singaporeair.com to get the 15% discount for booking online. You can book Star Alliance partners by phone with no phone fee.

Great Use 1: Singapore Suites

The first great use of Singapore miles is to use them to fly Singapore Suites, the First Class product only on Singapore A380s that is only released to Singapore miles holders.

Booking Singapore Suites is rather expensive. The three main routes an American would book are probably New York to Singapore (via Frankfurt), Los Angeles to Singapore (via Tokyo), and Singapore to Europe (like Frankfurt, London, or Paris.)

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The award chart shows a price over 100,000 miles each way on each route, but you actually get a 15% discount in miles for booking online, so the actual prices are:

  • 91,375 KrisFlyer miles each way in Suites between Singapore and Los Angeles or Europe
  • 93,500 KrisFlyer miles each way in Suites between Singapore and New York

This is expensive, but could be worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime flight that we reviewed here.

In addition to the miles, Singapore Suites bookings incur government taxes and fuel surcharges. From Singapore to London, my booking had a $248 out-of-pocket charge.

For full details, please see “Booking Singapore Suites.”

Great Use 2: United Flights to Hawaii

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Singapore miles have access to the exact same Saver award space on United flights offered to non-elites and non-credit-card-holders with United miles. (ie The Saver space you see if you search united.com without signing in.)

But Singapore charges lower miles prices from the mainland to Hawaii.

United charges 22.5k/40k miles each way in economy/business from the mainland to Hawaii. Singapore charges 17.5k/30k for the exact same United flights.

Great Use 3: United First/Business Class within the U.S. 48

On two-cabin United domestic flights (99% of them), United charges 25k miles each way in the front cabin, which is called business or first class.

For the same flights, you can pay only 20k Singapore miles. This is especially awesome on United’s transcontinental p.s. flights with flat beds up front. (Although you can book those flights for only 17k Lufthansa miles.)

Great Uses 4-6: Other Improvements on United chart

Here are a few more awards that are cheaper on Singapore’s chart than on United’s:

  1. Business class to Brazil, Argentina, and Chile for 50k Singapore miles each way.
  2. Economy class to Europe for 27.5k Singapore miles each way.
  3. Economy class to Middle East/North Africa for 37.5k Singapore miles each way, business for 57.5k miles each way, and first for 75k miles each way.

Other awards are a better deal with United miles.

Fuel Surcharges on Singapore Awards

Singapore collects fuel surcharges on its own flights and on most partners. Estimate the fuel surcharges by finding them for the flight you want when it’s booked as a paid flight on ITA Matrix.

The big exception is that there are no fuel surcharges collected for United-operated flights booked with Singapore miles.

Great uses 2-6 above are really only great uses of Singapore miles if you book United flights to avoid fuel surcharges and receive the miles discount of booking the Singapore award chart sweet spots.

Getting Singapore Miles

Chase Ultimate Rewards from the Ink Plus, Ink Bold, and Sapphire Preferred transfer 1:1. The Inks have a limited-time 60,000 point sign up bonus that ends June 1.

American Express Membership Rewards from various personal and business cards like the Platinum, Gold, and Everyday transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles.

Starpoints from the personal and business version of the SPG card transfer 1:1 to KrisFlyer miles. Transfer 20k Starpoints and get a 5k mile bonus.

Booking Singapore Awards

Book Singapore Suites awards on singaporeair.com to get the 15% miles discount for booking online. Book partner awards by calling (800) 742-3333.

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