Bad News for United Flyers Who Like to Earn Miles on Cheap Flights

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

For a couple of years, it has made a lot of sense for some travelers to credit inexpensive and lower United fare classes to Singapore Airlines instead of United MileagePlus in order to earn 100% of the miles flown instead of the 5 redeemable miles per dollar spent on the base fare that United awards non-elites. When we flew to Europe on cheaper United fares a little while back we had the choice of earning a few hundred redeemable miles from United or a few thousand miles for crediting to Singapore Airlines, However, effective today, October 1st, that has all changed for the worse.

 

While Singapore Airlines was busy announcing the good news with their new partnership with Alaska Airlines, the bad news for United flyers wasn’t delivered with quite as much enthusiasm. Beginning today, those who want to fly on lower United economy fare classes and credit the flights to the Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program will no longer earn 100% of miles flown for lots of fare classes, but instead, will find themselves earning as few as 25% of the flown miles in eligible fare classes.

For those curious, Alaska Airlines operated flights that are credited to Singapore Airlines currently earn 100% of the miles flown. 

The new earning rates for United flights credited to Singapore Airlines are:

  • 150% A, F
  • 125% C, D, J
  • 100% P, Z, B, E, H, M, U, Y
  • 75% Q, V, W
  • 50% L,S,T
  • 25% G, K

The United Basic Economy fare class, N, is not listed as earning any miles when credited to Singapore.

This is all bad news, but the fact that it kicked in with very little notice is probably the worst part as I know folks had planned to credit upcoming United flights to Singapore. If you are looking for a new place to credit your lower fare class United flights you could look to Air Canada that may award 50%, LifeMiles that bottoms out at 50%, or even to EgyptAir that offers an interesting path to Star Alliance elite status for families.

Of course do the math to make sure that crediting to United isn’t your best bet, especially for shorter or slightly more expensive flights. None of those other Star Alliance options are as good as getting credit for 100% of flown flights from Singapore Airlines, but at least they are better than getting just 25%.

United and Singapore don’t seem to have the best relationship given not only these new earning rates but also the reality that you can’t use your United miles to book many premium cabin Singapore awards at all, and even booking economy Singapore awards requires a phone call instead of just making the flights available online like most other partners.

How does this change impact you and where will you be crediting your inexpensive and lower fare class paid United flights?

Head here to learn more about available credit cards and their bonuses.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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.

Pingbacks

  1. […] Bad News for United Flyers Who Like to Earn Miles on Cheap Flights. – Posts like this reinforce my strategy of not chasing status with airlines.  Airlines invented loyalty programs and it seems like they are hell bent on destroying any concept of “loyalty.”  I almost exclusively use miles and points and choose the cheapest or fastest option available. […]

Comments

  1. A bit overblown – not really news for 95%+ who never plan to credit to SQ or any other program with a hard expiration date.
    Vast majority also prefer EQN on UA

      • Not really. I have a few flights booked and was going to credit to SQ, since Im a LT Gold on UA. After comparing what Id now earn on SQ , it comes out either equal or SQ still will earn me more. This is in regards to UAs L,S,T fares. MY NY-HKG trip will still yield me 1000s of more miles crediting to SQ over UA, Hawaii is equal so SQ will get it

        So yea 100% would have been better but 50% is still nice. Now comes do I go after SQ G for another year , knowing 100k will be needed to get to the 50k mark. Probably will go with whatever Carrier and Alliance or not has the cheapest fare. Its all about Loyalty = my pocket!

        Happy I didnt jump on the $400+ NY-SIN fares where it would have been just for the Miles, now Id rather go somewhere where Im interested in going.

        The 1 thing no one knows yet is if SQ cut both the RDMs and EQMs, my guess is yes, but till my next rev flight in Nov I wont know unnless someone elses posts it

  2. Posts like this reinforce my strategy of not chasing status with airlines.  Airlines invented loyalty programs and it seems like they are hell bent on destroying any concept of “loyalty.”  I almost exclusively use miles and points and choose the cheapest or fastest option available.

    • Oh agree but this was really a good option for those not chasing status but who just wanted to earn miles on their paid flights.

  3. As Isaac points out, do we know yet if SQ is applying this just to the RDMs or both that AND EQMs? was going to be over 50k after 3 more planned flights but if they won’t earn the EQM needed my 13k gain will only turn into 3500k.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *