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Previously, Singapore Airlines customers couldn’t redeem their KrisFlyer miles for the airline’s new premium economy product. However, they could redeem those miles for Singapore Suites, first class, business class and economy awards. But that’s changing very soon — effective May 24, travelers will be able to redeem their KrisFlyer miles for the Singapore premium economy. In addition, customers will also be able to upgrade their seat using miles from a paid premium economy to business class or from a coach to premium economy seat starting on June 1.
Singapore’s new premium economy seats launched last year and are 19.5 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch, giving you roughly the same amount of space as a domestic first class seat within the US. Each seat comes with a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen for in-flight entertainment, additional meal and beverage options and more. The product is currently available on select Singapore Airlines A350, A380 and Boeing 777 flights.
With Singapore Airlines’ new award chart, it’s easy to tell just how many points an outright award booking or upgrade will cost you — here is the chart for award tickets (effective May 24 for premium economy), and here is the award chart for upgrades (effective June 1). In addition, the carrier will do away with its “Full” economy awards, instead offering only Saver and Standard levels as of May 24. If you have a “Full” award that was booked before May 24, it will be rebooked as a Standard award and you’ll be refunded the difference in KrisFlyer miles. Here are some sample award rates:
San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) One-Way
At the economy saver level, this ticket will cost you 35,000 KrisFlyer miles, and a cash ticket can be found for around $735. With the new premium economy award chart, you can book this route for 65,000 KrisFlyer miles or around $1,241. Based on TPG’s latest valuation of KrisFlyer miles at 1.5 cents apiece, you’d be best off booking both as an award ticket, even before factoring in the 15% mileage discount you’ll get for booking Singapore-operated awards online.
You could also choose to upgrade from economy to premium economy on this route for 32,500 miles (again, before the 15% online booking discount). Or, you could choose to upgrade from premium economy to business class for 45,000 miles. Or, a final option is to upgrade from economy to business class for 65,000 miles — an option that was already available prior to June 1.
Singapore (SIN) to Sydney (SYD) One-Way
At the economy saver level, this ticket will cost you 25,000 KrisFlyer miles, and a cash ticket can be found for around 400 SGD (~$292). With the new premium economy award chart, you can book this route for 45,000 KrisFlyer miles or around 1,387 SGD ($1,013). Based on TPG’s latest valuation, you’re probably best off paying cash for the economy ticket, but you’re much better off booking an award ticket for premium economy.
You could also choose to upgrade from economy to premium economy on this route for 22,500 miles. Or, you could choose to upgrade from premium economy to business class for 30,000 miles. Or, a final option is to upgrade from economy to business class for 45,000 miles — an option that was already available prior to June 1.
This is a great addition by Singapore Airlines, and one that is worth taking advantage of if you have plans to fly with the carrier any time soon. By getting rid of the “Full” fare, SQ is eliminating some alarmingly high rates — and, it doesn’t hurt that the airline’s refunding the difference for already-booked tickets, as well. TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen flew Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy product from Singapore to Hong Kong and enjoyed the product, but said it might not be worth the high price. That being said, it makes the new award redemption option that much more valuable.
Don’t forget that you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest to Singapore KrisFlyer. Although you can transfer points from all of the major points-earning programs, you’re probably best off transferring points from your Citi ThankYou account, as ThankYou points are worth the least in TPG’s latest monthly valuations at 1.6 cents apiece. Even if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints and get the 5,000-point bonus, you’re still coming out behind because Starpoints are worth so much — 2.5 cents apiece. You can earn ThankYou points with cards like the Citi Prestige, Citi ThankYou Premier and the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. Remember that Citi ThankYou points take two days to transfer to Singapore KrisFlyer.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards