Fly Singapore Airlines for Fewer Miles When You Add a Star Alliance Partner

Mar 2, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Hopefully Singapore Airlines is done with the devaluation announcements to its KrisFlyer program. Effective March 23, the 15% discount for booking online will be eliminated, and the carrier is increasing the price of several awards on its own metal. On the positive side, there will no longer be any fuel surcharges on Singapore and SilkAir flights. And thankfully, the devaluation didn’t include any changes to the Star Alliance partner award chart.

When I compared the Star Alliance award chart to some of the increased prices for Singapore-operated award flights, I found a few anomalies. As of March 23 it will cost fewer KrisFlyer miles to fly Star Alliance partners on some routings compared to flying Singapore.

According to the KrisFlyer program’s terms and conditions, any award itinerary with a mixture of two or more Star Alliance carriers (including Singapore) will be priced based on the carrier’s Star Alliance award chart. Simply put: For some routings, adding a segment operated by a Star Alliance partner to the beginning or end of a Singapore-operated itinerary will get you a lower award rate than if you were only flying Singapore Airlines.

Here are a few examples (all prices are one-way):

Route Class of Service Star Alliance Miles Required Singapore-Only Miles Required
North America – Singapore Business 97,500 92,000 from the East Coast
88,000 from the West Coast
First 112,500 120,000 from the East Coast
118,000 from the West Coast
Europe – Singapore Business 80,000 85,000
First 107,500 115,000
North America – Sydney Business 97,500 118,000 from the East Coast
110,000 from the West Coast
First 127,500 152,000 from the East Coast
154,000 from the West Coast
Singapore – Japan/South Korea Business 40,000 43,000
First 60,000 65,000

For example, based on the above prices, flying New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) to Singapore (SIN) in Singapore first class on both legs would cost 118,000 miles. However, flying JFK-FRA in Lufthansa first and then FRA-SIN in Singapore first would only cost 112,500 KrisFlyer miles. Adding an Atlanta-Newark segment on United to then catch the JFK-FRA-SIN all in Singapore first would also only cost 112,500 miles.

Similarly, you could fly SIN-Tokyo (NRT) in first class on Singapore and then add an ANA domestic Japan segment to a city like Sapporo (CTS). This would result in essentially being given a 5,000-mile reduction in order to add a second flight.

One opposite scenario I found: If you’re only looking to fly Singapore to Europe on the Houston-Manchester or New York-Frankfurt routes, the miles required in business are the same whether you add a United segment or not. If you want to fly first, adding a United segment to position for the Singapore operated flights will increase the price of a one-way award 4,000 miles from 76,000 to 80,000.

Bottom Line

Hopefully Singapore’s announced all the changes it intends to make come March 23 and we won’t see any surprises on that date. If that’s the case, in some instances you can pay fewer miles and no fuel surcharges to:

  • Include a positioning flight to connect to a Singapore-operated flight
  • Position further in a region after completing a Singapore-operated flight
  • Substitute a Star Alliance carrier for one leg of a Singapore-operated itinerary

Those abilities, in my opinion, make the announced changes to the KrisFlyer program positive.

Does this alter your opinion of the changes being made to KrisFlyer?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.