How Much Are Your KrisFlyer Miles Worth?
Not everyone is lucky enough to win free tickets for a vacation. However, the next best thing is redeeming a ticket for free with your air miles.
You’ve probably come across ‘travel hack’ articles, where people boast about how they’ve managed to travel the world on frequent flyer miles redeemed from their amazing credit card spending.
The trick to this is to sign up for a frequent flyer programme that allows you to earn miles easily, and also gives you great value when it comes to redemption. For Singaporeans, the most obvious choice would be the KrisFlyer programme by Singapore Airlines.
Read on to find out if the KrisFlyer programme can really go the mile.
If you live in Singapore, then chances are you’ll be flying the most out of Changi Airport, and Singapore Airlines will offer you the most extensive coverage with direct flights. Besides, there really isn’t any national carrier in competition here and maintaining a foreign carrier’s membership only makes sense if you travel to that country or region very frequently.
In addition to flights on Singapore Airlines, Silkair, Scoot and Tigerair, your KrisFlyer miles can also be used to redeem flights from the member airlines in Star Alliance, such as Lufthansa, Thai Airways, and United Airlines.
Your KrisFlyer miles will expire after three years at the end of the month in which you accrued the miles. For example, if 10,000 miles were credited to your account in June 2019, they will expire on June 30 2022.
|Membership fee||Waived until further notice|
|Age limit||2 years and above|
|Earn miles||You can earn miles when you purchase air tickets with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, when you shop at KrisFlyer Spree and KrisShop, use their co-branded credit cards, as well as spend on selected car rental, hotels and serviced residences and retail.|
|Redemption||· Upgrade your travel class from Economy to Business or Business to First.
· A minimum number of miles is required in order to use KrisFlyer miles to pay for airfares purchased on singaporeair.com. The exact amount may vary according to the currency rate.
· Payment of services fees i.e. extension of expiring miles and change of redemption nominees.
· Payment for purchases on krisshop.com, excluding tax, delivery charge, custom duty and postal clearance charges.
Convert to loyalty points in partner programmes.
· Redeem vouchers from partners.
· Donate your miles.
|Expiry date||Maximum expiry period of 3 years and can extend up to another year for a fee.|
|Added benefits||Star Alliance Silver Benefits for Elite members.|
What are the differences among KrisFlyer, KrisFlyer Elite Silver and KrisFlyer Elite Silver?
There are three tiers of membership – KrisFlyer, KrisFlyer Elite Silver and KrisFlyer Elite Gold. The higher the tier, the more added benefits.
Under the tier scheme, you are entitled for 25% elite tier bonus for silver and gold levels.
Here are the differences:
|KrisFlyer||KrisFlyer Elite Silver||KrisFlyer Elite Gold|
|Star Alliance status||None||Silver||Gold|
|How to qualify?||Sign up for a membership.||Accumulate 25,000 Elite Miles within 12 consecutive months.||Accumulate 50,000 Elite Miles within 12 consecutive months.|
|Benefits||You can earn and redeem KrisFlyer miles.||· You get to enjoy Star Alliance Silver Benefits|
· Get 25% bonus on miles
Priority reservation waitlist
· Priority airport standby
· Reduced (or waived) KrisFlyer service fees
|· You get to enjoy Star Alliance Silver Benefits
· Higher baggage allowance
· Lounge access
· Priority baggage handling, boarding and airport check-in
When does it make sense to use your miles instead of buying a ticket?
Obviously, if you want to travel and spend as little cash as possible, then using your miles is always better than coughing up cash. However, in cases when you have both options, you are probably wondering when you should use their hard-earned miles.
Here are a few times where it makes more sense to use your miles:
1. Travelling during peak period
If you are travelling during peak seasons such as the mid or year-end holidays, then your air tickets are most likely going to cost more.
For KrisFlyer redemptions, however, the number of miles required doesn’t vary according to travel season, though redemption spaces may sell out quickly for very popular destinations.
For example, the cheapest fare for a round-trip ticket to London may cost at least S$300 more over the Christmas holiday week than in September. On the other hand, the number of miles required for redemption during both periods stays the same.
Hence, you might want to use your miles during popular holiday seasons and buy a ticket in cash for off-peak shoulder seasons.
2. Redeeming for a long-haul trip
When it comes to redeeming KrisFlyer miles, it’s a lot more ‘value-for-miles’ if you redeem for long-haul flights (e.g. Europe, U.S) compared to short or medium-haul (e.g. Thailand, Japan).
|Round trip||Paid Ticket|
|SG-Hong Kong||S$308.10||30,000 Miles + S$93.10 in taxes and surcharges|
|SG-San Francisco||S$2,375.10||76,000 Miles +S$135.10 in taxes and surcharges|
|Round trip||Value per mile|
|SG-Hong Kong||(S$308.10 – S$93.10)/30,000
|SG-San Francisco||(S$2,375.10 – S$135.10)/76,000
As you can see, your miles are worth more when you redeem for a long haul flight and it makes much more sense to purchase tickets for shorter flights and add on to your mileage instead.
3. Buying a last-minute flight
Generally, the longer you wait to buy your flight ticket, the more expensive it will be. However, with KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes, you can enjoy significant savings of up to 30% when you use your miles to redeem a flight for the following month.
How to rack up KrisFlyer miles
The most straightforward way to earn miles is to fly with SilkAir or their partner airlines. However, you can still earn KrisFlyer points even if you aren’t a frequent flyer. Here are a few ways:
- Book a hotel. Earn miles when you book a stay at chain hotels like the Hilton or Mandarin Oriental, or through booking sites like Agoda and Trip.com. Click here for a full list of participating hotels.
- Shop online. Earn miles when you shop at KrisShop or KrisFlyer Spree.
- Convert your bank reward points. If you have a participating bank account, you can convert your rewards points to miles.
- Take a Grab. You can convert your GrabRewards points to miles.
- Convert your groceries and petrol reward points. If you own a car, you can convert your Esso and Shell rewards points to miles. Otherwise, you can shop at Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant and Guardian with your PAssion Card to earn TapForMore Points, which can then be converted to KrisFlyer miles.
However, one of the best, hassle-free ways to earn points without having to fly is to sign up for a credit card that lets you earn miles on your spending. Here are some of the best cards you should consider:
1. American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card
The American Express KrisFlyer Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of up to 5,000 KrisFlyer miles upon first spend.
You’ll earn 1.1 KrisFlyer miles for every S$1 spent on all eligible purchases.
S$1 =1.1 miles (local spend)
S$1 = 2 miles (overseas spend)Welcome bonus of up to 5,000 miles
2. Citibank PremierMiles Visa Card
With this card, you’ll get a huge welcome bonus of up to 30,000 Citi Miles (equivalent to 30,000 KrisFlyer miles).
Every S$1 spent locally gives you 1.2 miles and every S$1 spent overseas gives you 2 miles.
Your points don’t expire, so you can take your time to accumulate miles to redeem for a longer-haul flight.
Although Citi Miles are not the same as KrisFlyer miles, you can convert them to KrisFlyer miles at 1 Citi Mile for 1 KrisFlyer mile!
S$1 =1.2 miles (local spend)
S$1 = 2.4 miles (overseas spend)Welcome bonus: up to 30,000 miles
3. Standard Chartered Visa Infinite
If your credit card spending is consistently at least S$2,000, then this card may be even more attractive. With a minimum spending of $2,000 in a statement cycle, S$1 spent locally will earn you 1.4 miles and S$1 spent overseas will earn you 3 miles.
The card offers a welcome bonus of up to 35,000 miles.
S$1 =1.4 miles (local spend)
S$1 = 3 miles (overseas spend)Welcome bonus: up to 35,000 Miles
Understanding how to earn and redeem your KrisFlyer miles can significantly reduce your travel expenses. By taking advantage of this system, you’ll be on your way to your dream vacation in no time.