See a newer version of this post here.

Monday I wrote about my experience flying Singapore First Class, which is one of the nicest five or so First Classes in the world.

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Some people even consider Suites Class on the Singapore A380 to be the nicest First Class in the world because of the available double bed that two people can share (or one person can get to himself if the flight isn’t totally full.)

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Singapore First and Suites Class are very easy for an American to book from the United States to Europe or Asia. You just have to collect the right miles and pick the right route for your goal.

  • What miles do you need to book Singapore First and Suites Class?
  • What cards offer points that transfer to Singapore miles?
  • What routes does Singapore fly to the United States with First and Suites Class? Where in Europe and Asia can you go?
  • What are the fuel surcharges on each route?
  • How can you search and book Singapore Suites award space?

You Can Only Book Singapore First and Suites Class with Singapore KrisFlyer Miles

Singapore only releases award space in longhaul First and Suites Class to its own KrisFlyer program. You need Singapore miles if you want to book a double bed in the sky. Luckily Singapore miles are extremely easy to get because every transferable points program transfers 1:1 to Singapore miles.

  • Citi ThankYou Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • SPG Starpoints (with the customary 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred)

The first three take about 36 hours to transfer. SPG transfers take about a week or two and seem to post on Tuesdays in Singapore.

Right now, the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier offer sign up bonuses of 40,000 and 40,000 ThankYou Points respectively after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You can get both as long as you apply 8+ days apart. The 88000 ThankYou Points are more than enough to book any award in this post, and even getting one card and getting to 44,000 ThankYou Points is enough to book Singapore Suites.

The Chase Ink Plus (business) and Sapphire Preferred (personal) have a combined 95,000 point sign up bonus after spending $9,000 in the first three months. That is another path to any Singapore Suites flight.

The Membership Rewards bonuses offered on the Premier Rewards Gold, Platinum, and business cards reach up to 50,000 points per card.

The New, Lower $3,000 Spending Requirement on SPG Cards means you can get 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 on the SPG personal card and the identical bonus on the SPG business card.

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What Routes Does Singapore Fly to the United States

Singapore Airlines flies to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and New York. But Singapore is too far away to profitably fly directly, so each route has an intermediate stop in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Frankfurt, or Moscow. Singapore has traffic rights on all individual segments, so you can fly from New York to Frankfurt, say, in Singapore Suites.

West Coast Routes

Singapore’s West Coast routes stop in Asia.

  • San Francisco to Seoul-Incheon to Singapore, 777-300ER
  • San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore, 777-300ER
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita to Singapore, A380

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Other American Routes

Singapore’s other American routes fly east and stop in Europe.

  • Houston to Moscow-Domodedovo to Singapore, 777-300ER
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore, A380

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If you don’t live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, or New York or don’t want to go to Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Moscow, or Singapore, you can connect to United flights in the United States or other Star Alliance partner flights in Europe or Asia. If you do that, you will have to book by phone, and you pay full price of 67,500 to 110,000 miles one way for your First/Suites Class award.

If you can just fly the Singapore routes, you can book online at singaporeair.com with an automatic 15% discount on the miles needed for the award. Below are the prices for one way awards after the 15% discount. (A380 flights, ie Suites Class, awards are in bold.)

  • San Francisco to Hong Kong: 70,125 miles + $49.60 (15 hours flying)
  • San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $263.30 (17:45 flying)
  • San Francisco to Seoul: 74,375 miles + $203.30 (12:50 flying)
  • San Francisco to Seoul to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $263.30 (19:20 flying)
  • Houston to Moscow-Domodedovo: 57,375 miles + $211.70 (10 hours flying)
  • Houston to Moscow-Domodedovo to Singapore: 93,500 miles + $271.70 (21:15 flying)
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita: 74,375 miles + $113.30 (11:45 flying)
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita to Singapore: 91,375 miles + $275.97 (19:20 flying)
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt: 57,375 miles + $203.30 (7:35 flying)
  • New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore: 93,500 miles + $285.85 (20:05 flying)

Four things that jump out at me:

  1. Singapore Suites and First Class are basically priced the same in miles and fuel surcharges, so book Suites Class all else equal.
  2. There are fuel surcharges on awards. ($23.30 of each award above is government taxes.) These vary greatly and seem to be a lot lower on routes with competition (SFO-HKG and LAX-NRT, though not SFO-ICN or JFK-FRA.)
  3. San Francisco to Hong Kong is fewer miles and lower fuel surcharges than San Francisco to Seoul despite giving you more time to enjoy First Class.
  4. 57,375 miles is a ridiculously low price to sample Singapore First or Suites Class from the United States to Europe. You might get more enjoyment flying Europe to the United States for the same price on a day time flight though.

Searching and Booking Singapore First and Suites Class

Award booking at singaporeair.com is easy. After signing in, check “Redeem award flight(s)”, type in your cities, dates, and cabins. Do not check “Pay with KrisFlyer miles” which is actually a scheme where you get a fixed value for your KrisFlyer miles that would never put a Suites Class award within reach.

Select the flight you want at the Saver level. Although the Saver level is listed as 107,500 miles, there is a 15% miles discount for booking online.

You can see the online price by clicking the “Display total cost” button below and to the right of the flights. In this case, the total cost is 91,375 miles for flights from Singapore to Europe in First or Suites Class.

Selecting a flight takes one to the pricing screen. The out-of-pocket costs are broken down into taxes and carrier surcharges. The currency for awards originating in the USA is dollars. Originating somewhere else will price the taxes/surcharges in the local currency.

Pay your award taxes and fuel surcharges with the Citi Prestige® Card. The first $250 in award taxes, fuel surcharges, airfare, or airline fees per calendar year are refunded to you as a statement credit. If you’ve already maxed out the statement credit, you will still earn 3x ThankYou Points on the award taxes.

Bottom Line

You can book Singapore First Class and Singapore Suites with Singapore miles, a transfer partner of every major transferable points currency. I recommend the Citi Prestige.

You can fly Singapore Suites or First Class from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, or New York to Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, or Singapore because all American routes have en intermediate stop in Europe or Asia. You can connect to other Star Alliance award flights, but doing so means having to pay the higher mileage prices on the Star Alliance award chart.

Award prices range from 57,375 to 93,500 miles for 7.5 to 21+ hours in Singapore First or Suites Class. Fuel surcharges range from $26 to $240 depending on the route.

Search for award space on singaporeair.com, transfer your points and wait about 36 hours for them to post, and book your award, paying the taxes and fuel surcharges with a Citi Prestige® Card to get an offsetting statement credit for the taxes and fuel surcharges.

Then go fly in your enclosed double flat bed!

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