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What are the KrisFlyer ‘sweet spots’, as Singapore Airlines heads to Gatwick?

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As we covered earlier this week, Singapore Airlines is heading to London Gatwick airport next year. There will be five flights per week, adding to the existing Heathrow services.

You might think that the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programme, which is part of Star Alliance and so accesses a different group of airlines to Avios, is irrelevant to you.

The KrisFlyer frequent flyer scheme has some interesting sweet spots in it, however. As the scheme is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, albeit at 3:2 and not 1:1, I thought it was worth looking at some of the best options today.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer best redemptions

If you want to learn more about the programmme I recommend the Mainly Miles website which is based in Singapore and is very similar to HfP in its content.

How can you earn KrisFlyer miles?

The obvious route is transferring American Express Membership Rewards pointsAs you can see here, it is a 3:2 airline partner from the UK scheme.

(Yes, 3:2. Singapore Airlines is the only UK Amex airline partner where the transfer rate is not 1:1.)

Here are the key Membership Rewards earning cards we cover:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

American Express Rewards

The only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

Other options include Heathrow Rewards and moving points from hotel schemes, in particular Marriott Bonvoy where the rate is 3:1 (3:1.25 if you move chunks of 60,000 points at a time).

Marriott Bonvoy points can be earned via the Bonvoy Amex:

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points for signing up and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

It is also a HSBC Premier credit card partner if you want a Visa / Mastercard option:

HSBC Premier Mastercard

Highest earning Visa or Mastercard for Avios, but hard to get Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

You can also earn KrisFlyer miles via the Currensea debit card.

We wrote a full article on how to earn Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles from UK credit cards which you can find here.

What are the KrisFlyer sweet spots?

Why might you want to redeem KrisFlyer miles if you live in the UK?

Here (click) is the Singapore Airlines reward chart for partner airlines.

The best deal is travel from the UK to the Middle East

The slam dunk best deal is ‘Europe to Middle East’ for 67,000 KrisFlyer miles RETURN in Business Class.

Remember that British Airways wants up to 120,000 Avios on a peak day for a return Club World flight to Dubai, Abu Dhabi etc. This number is even higher if you want the Reward Flight Saver option with £350 of add-ons.

You can use just 67,000 KrisFlyer miles, most likely routed on Lufthansa via Frankfurt or SWISS via Zurich, instead.  Other fun routings include Turkish Airlines via Istanbul and Egyptair via Cairo.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer best rewards

Here are some other good options

Here are other sweet spots for UK residents:

  • Europe to South East Asia, at 103,500 miles one-way in Business.  You can fly direct to Singapore on Singapore Airlines for the same 103,500 miles, but if you can’t find seats on your dates (not unlikely) then you should get something on partners such as Thai, Lufthansa, SWISS and Turkish Airlines.
  • Europe to South Africa for 60,000 miles one-way in Business.   Your primary choices would be Lufthansa, SWISS, Ethiopian and Turkish, given that South African Airways is not currently flying to Europe.
  • Europe to the Maldives is 61,500 miles one-way in Business.   Turkish Airlines is your likely carrier.  Sri Lanka and India are in the same pricing zone.
  • Domestic USA / Canada flights.  Whilst not as cheap as Avios for short hops, 14,000 miles one-way in Economy or 26,000 miles one-way in Business (domestic First in the USA is priced as Business, currently priced at 23,000 miles) can work out well.

And if you are prepared to start your trip in Turkey ….

Istanbul to Singapore is astonishingly cheap at 56,500 miles one-way in Business. Taxes are also exceptionally low – just US$24.60 last time I checked.

This is based on flying with Singapore Airlines itself, not a partner airlines, priced off the Singapore Airlines reward chart for Singapore Airlines flights.  You want Page 2 which covers ‘Saver Awards’ – look at Zone 1 to Zone 10 travel. OK, you need to position yourself in Istanbul first – but for a discount like this I think you could live with it.

Virgin Atlantic redemptions look like a great deal but ….

In theory, the biggest value for KrisFlyer miles from London comes from the Virgin Atlantic partner award chart.  You would pay 50,000 miles one-way Upper Class to any US destination.

These awards are not going up on 5th July but “Upward revisions will be made to Award Levels for flights on partner airlines and will be implemented progressively.”

There’s a big drawback though – Virgin Atlantic limits its award inventory to KrisFlyer so tightly it’s almost useless.  You cannot book online and the call centre finds it virtually impossible to find seats.  This may be some sort of retaliation by Virgin Atlantic for the rules that Singapore Airlines imposes on Virgin Flying Club members who want to redeem with them.

I hope this article has given you a few ideas for potential uses for the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programme, especially if you are sitting on a large pot of American Express Membership Rewards points.

Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • FatherOfFour says:

    Also, we’ll be using Currensea abroad so read the old article on that. I’m thinking the cash saving is probably preferable with no firm plans in place (3 years to top up via MR if needed)
    I was trying to work out the rate (or opportunity cost) of a KF point via Currensea.

  • Joe says:

    Need miles saver availability on United for it to show on *A partner’s.

    And yes ok as long as ticketed before the 3 years and you lose ability to cancel (not sure about changes)…

  • Stephen Griffiths says:

    Kris Flyer is a good option from Australia to Europe. Although Australian cities to Istanbul can be a great steal at 99k in J, availability is scarce, even 11 months out. They just get snapped up quickly. Someone else commented on the facing about involved in positioning flights and accommodation in IST. Is it really worth it? Last week, I booked Adelaide to AMS in J for 130,500 KF plus approx £60. Just a one hour wait in SIN. From there, KLM to Cardiff. Not bad, I reckon. Same price to LHR, I think.
    Kris Flyer can be good and SQ is up there for service and comfort, but they are VERY strict about the 3 year points expiry.

  • cin4 says:

    I really don’t get the point of not mentioning the total cost and just the points. Surely nobody makes purchasing decisions on just half of the price?

    • Rob says:

      Nice idea, except we’d need an SQ account with that many points in it to do that.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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