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The Ink Plus currently offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

That means you’d have at least 65,000 Ultimate Rewards after meeting the minimum spending requirement (60,000 for the bonus, and 5,000 for 1x spending), enough to fly several Korean and Singapore First Class routes with no additional miles.

You might qualify for a business card and not realize it, so don’t write off the possibility just because you don’t have your own booming startup. Before applying though, remember to consider the 5/24 rule that Chase apparently began enforcing for the Ink cards in March of this year. In short, if you’ve opened any five credit cards in the last 24 months, an application for a new Chase card will be denied.

So just what kind of First Class awards can you book with your 65,000 Ultimate Rewards? 

  • Transfer them to Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore Suites, which is possibly the most luxurious First Class in the world. It is the only First Class that allows two suites to be combined into a flying double bed. Singapore KriFflyer miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites.
    • Singapore First Class is also a world class product with many of the same amenities as Suites Class. It is also only bookable with Singapore miles.
  • Transfer them to Korean Air’s SkyPass program to book Korean First Class. Delta miles cannot book their partners’ First Class, so Korean miles are the main way to fly Korean First Class.

And when considering that United devalued its First Class awards in 2014, and American Airlines devalued its chart on March 22,  now Singapore and Korean First Class awards are looking a lot more reasonable.

Book Singapore Suites and First Class

Singapore Suites Class

Singapore’s A380s feature one of the world’s best First Class products that it calls Suites Class, and it is only bookable with Singapore miles as the airline doesn’t release Suites Class space to partners.

It is a fully enclosed suite with over the top service, fancy alcohol, and delicious food.

The cabin is laid out 1-2-1 and is most famous because the two suites in the middle can be combined into one double bed. If the cabin isn’t full, sometimes they even offer the double bed to a solo traveler!

This is one of the best, if not the best, product in the world.

Only the A380 planes feature Suites Class. Here is a list of routes that feature Singapore A380s (and thus Suites Class.)

Here are some deals I particularly like (I’ve bolded the ones you can get with just the Ink Plus’ bonus):

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo: 74,375 miles in Suites Class + $113
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore: 91,375 miles in Suites Class + $276
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles in Suites Class + $203
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles in Suites Class + $286
  • Singapore to Hong Kong: 31,875 miles in Suites Class + $30
  • Singapore to Mumbai: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Singapore to Beijing: 42,500 miles in Suites Class + $160
  • Mumbai to Beijing: 61,625 miles in Suites Class + $322
  • Hong Kong to Sydney: 63,750 miles in Suites Class + $188

And here is Singapore’s award chart to fly its own flights and its subsidiary SilkAir.

An important factor to note is that Singapore awards include fuel surcharges when an identical cash ticket would have fuel surcharges, as you can see from this list. They are a necessary evil though if you want to fly Singapore’s premium products, with the exception of flights originating in Brazil as fuel surcharges are illegal there.

Singapore First Class

Singapore First Class is available on routes that fly the Boeing 777–300ER and refitted Boeing 777–300 aircraft. Click here to see where you can fly Singapore First Class. It is also only bookable with Singapore miles as Singapore releases no First Class space to partners.

The product has many of the same amenities as Suites Class, and the “New First Class” has an even wider seat which is, according to Singapore, “progressively more available on our Boeing 777–300ER aircrafts”.

First Class seats are arranged 1-2-1, so everyone has aisle access.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.37 AM

They also feature a lie-flat bed with plenty of room to stretch out.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.28 AM

You can also “Book the Cook” just like you can in Suites Class, e.g. reserve your choices online from an array of dishes like these King Prawns before your flight:

IMG_8590

Since it avoids fuel surcharges, I think one of the best deals flying Singapore First Class is from Sao Paulo to Barcelona for 58,225 miles and only $37 in taxes.

Read this post about sweetspots with Singapore Krisflyer miles to learn more about the award rules and process of redeeming Krisflyer miles.

Book Korean Air First Class

Korean Air flies to more American cities (11) than any other Asian airline. Korean flies a modern First Class, which gets good reviews. Korean releases more First Class award space than any airline I’ve ever seen, and there is almost no competition for those award seats because Delta SkyMiles can’t book them.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 3.37.36 PM

The best one, the Kosmo Suites 2.0 was introduced in May 2015, and this blogpost (Google Translate) says they will be on the 747-8i, 787-9, 777-300ER, and A330-300. It looks like they will only be on new planes delivered, and other planes will not be retrofitted. I do not think all 777-300ERs or A330s will have them.

Read a full trip report here from a FlyerTalk contributor who flew from Seoul to San Francisco on a 747-8i featuring the Kosmo Suite 2.0.

Here are some deals I particularly like (I’ve bolded the ones you can get with just the Ink Plus’ bonus):

  • Los Angeles to Sao Paulo: 70,000 miles in First Class
  • Seoul to Los Angeles, stop up to a year, Los Angeles to Sao Paulo: 110,000 miles in First Class
  • United States to China, Japan, Korea, Northeast Asia: 80,000 miles in First Class
  • Japan, Korea, or China to Southeast Asia: 45,000 miles in First Class
  • Japan, Korea, or China to Southwest Asia or Maldives: 57,500 miles in First Class

And here is Korean Air’s award chart for flying its own flights.

There are fuel surcharges on some Korean Air awards but thankfully they are minimal.

Prices are about 50% higher during the peak window, which only affects 60-70 days a year. If you want to fly Off Peak, it is very easy to do. Just avoid these peak dates:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 4.10.14 PM

You can search and book Korean Air awards directly on koreanair.com. To search you’ll need to first sign-up as a member of Skypass. Read this post to learn more about sweetspots and award rules using Korean Air miles.

Bottom Line

Singapore Suites and First Class are impossible to book unless you have Singapore KrisFlyer miles, and Korean Air (member of SkyTeam alliance) First Class awards are not bookable with Delta miles. The Ink Plus Card has the ability to unlock fabulous First Class options because you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to Singapore Airlines and Korean Air.

Just getting the card and meeting its spending requirement earns enough points (65,000) for several long international routes in Korean or Singapore First Class.

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a best-ever bonus of 100,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points earned on dining and travel spend, this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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