Recently I decided it was time to lock in the last “big” trip I wanted for my family in 2014. I like to plan way ahead, especially with some pending hotel and airline devaluations set to kick in shortly. For this last “big” trip I wanted to plan for next year I decided the best Star Alliance partner’s miles to use was Singapore Airlines. As you likely already know, the same redemption can cost different number of miles in different programs, so sometimes it can pay to book via a program that has a more favorable award chart for the trip you are after. I’ll talk more about the award itself and why I found Singapore miles to be the best option in a subsequent post, but you would be correct if you guessed that my Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account wasn’t exactly flush with miles. In fact, it was sitting at roughly 0 miles. However, if you have American Express Membership Reward points that is an easy problem to fix as they are a 1:1 transfer partner of Singapore Airlines.
Before I transferred miles I found the Star Alliance availability I was after using United.com. I made sure not to log-in to United.com while I was searching as it can show additional award availability on United flights if you are elite or even just have the United MileagePlus Explorer card, and I didn’t want to see any availability that I wasn’t going to be able to book via Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines. I had been watching the availability for the trip I wanted for a couple days and it seemed pretty constant….of course it could have changed the second after I looked, but that is a risk I was willing to take, especially since I did have some flexibility in my dates and could have made something else work. Singapore Airlines mileage transfers from Membership Rewards are not instant, but it was much faster that then stated three business days.
I already had a Singapore Airlines account, but if you didn’t have one then you would need to set it up before transferring Membership Rewards points in as you obviously need an account to transfer into before you can actually make the transfer. While you are setting up the account you might as well also add the people you plan to redeem miles for, if any. You can add up to five redemption desginees to your account to redeem miles for. You do this from your account my going to “My Profile” and then select “My redemption nominees”. In my case, I added my husband and daughter.
To transfer miles I simply logged to my Amex Membership Rewards account, then went to travel, airline partners, and selected Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. I put in the number of miles I needed for the award I wanted to book, and hit transfer. I actually used all of my husband’s Membership Reward points and then had to add to it from some from my account. I was able to transfer from both his Membership Rewards account and my own to the same KrisFlyer account without any problem.
The transfer process was completed within about four hours. In fact, it might have been less than that, but I know for sure the miles were in my account by the four hour mark. That is quite a bit faster than I was expecting, so it was a nice surprise to be able to go ahead and lock in the award space with just a minimal delay.
Since I wasn’t booking a flight operated by Singapore Airlines, but instead was booking a flight by a Star Alliance partner I had to call in to book the award. Don’t let this part scare you off as it was quite easy and there was no fee to book over the phone. The number you call to book your KrisFlyer award is 1-213-404-0301 and the award availability they were able to find matched up exactly with what I had seen at United.com.
I’ll post more about what I booked, and some different routes you can book using KrisFlyer miles that may require fewer miles than via some other programs soon. Have you done something similar? How long did it take your Membership Reward points to transfer into your KrisFlyer account?