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One of my very favorite types of points, Chase Ultimate Rewards, just became an even bigger favorite of mine thanks to the addition of a new airline transfer option! Yesterday Ultimate Rewards added Singapore Airlines to the their airline transfer options of United, British Airways, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic and Southwest Airlines.
Don’t assume this isn’t relevant to you just because you aren’t planning a trip to Singapore or otherwise don’t have plans to fly on Singapore Airlines. This is a big deal as it means, among other things, you can take advantage of the Singapore Airlines award chart (and its sweet spots) for booking on Star Alliance partners. Of course it also makes it pretty easy to rack up a nice pile of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to use for some fancy Singapore Airlines flights thanks to the Ultimate Rewards earning cards listed below.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 40,000 (+5,000 for Authorized User) Ultimate Reward points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
Ink Bold® Business Card
Ink Plus® Business Card
The Ink card offers have expired. For updated offers go to this page.
You can check out the Singapore Airlines partner award chart here, but I’ll highlight five reasons why I think the addition of Singapore Airlines to the Ultimate Rewards arsenal is a great thing.
- Good prices using Singapore Airlines partner award chart to fly to Hawaii on United Airlines for 35,000 miles round trip in coach (instead of 45,000 via United) or 60,000 in business class/first on a two cabin plane (instead of 80,000 via United). I wrote about this process here (though in the context of transferring American Express Membership Reward points). When you are booking multiple tickets for a family, saving miles by leveraging sweet spots in various award charts is super important.
- Easily rack up tons of Singapore miles thanks to multiple transfer partners. You can transfer into Singapore Airlines program from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and even Starwood Preferred Guest points, so it is relatively easy to get a big number of miles quickly.
- Save 15% mileage discount on KrisFlyer awards booked on their website. You can’t book partner awards on their website, but if you wanted to fly from say Houston – Moscow nonstop on Singapore Airlines then round trip in first class the 15% discount brings the mileage price down from 135,000 to 114,750 miles. Also don’t forget the fuel surcharges/taxes/fees of $475.10 for this specific route. You won’t pay fuel surcharges on domestic United redemptions using KrisFlyer miles (since United doesn’t charge fuel surcharges for those flights), but you will for many redemptions, such as on Singapore operated flights, or on partners flights where there are fuel surcharges.
- Domestic United operated flights are 25,000 KrisFlyer miles in coach and just 40,000 in business/first on a two cabin plane. The 25k price is the same as via United MileagePlus for the lower 48 and Canada, but it would be a lower price than booking to/from Alaska via United miles. The 40k price for business/first is 10,000 miles lower than if you booked using United miles, so that is a good option if you want to fly in a premium cabin domestically.
- Singapore operated flights are pretty great. I’ve only taken one flight on Singapore Airlines so far, and it was just a five hour segment, but it was still pretty good. I’m not going to be booking their first class suites very frequently (and remember the fuel surcharges if you do), but since availability for those premium flights is much better when booking from the KrisFlyer program than via a partner, I’m excited to be able to transfer in for the few times in my life I hope to take those special flights!
Being able to leverage the 2x and 5x bonus earning categories of the Ultimate Rewards cards to rack up Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles in a hurry that can go toward Singapore Airlines is pretty great.
A few other things to be aware of are: Singapore allows one-way redemptions for half the cost of a round trip (yay), historically transfers into Singapore have not been instant (though I will be testing the UR transfer speed today), you can redeem Singapore miles for up to five people you nominate, Singapore miles expire after 3 years (so don’t transfer miles in until you want to use them), they have very reasonable change/redeposit fees, and you will have to call (213)-404-0301 to book your partner awards (but there is no phone booking fee).
I’m really happy both for the specific addition of Singapore Airlines to the transfer list for Ultimate Rewards, as well as happy that the Ultimate Rewards program is overall continuing to improve! Will you be leveraging this new relationship to book some of your award flights?
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