The Chase Ultimate Rewards program has added Singapore Airlines to its list of partners. Yey!
I know. Every time anyone mentions Singapore Airlines, people think first class suite with the biggest bed in the sky. And then, they become all hazy.
Isn’t it great? Sure, any development that gives us more options is great. Singapore is a fantastic airline in every class of service. Many believe it’s the best airline in the world. And speaking of premium seats, it does not release their business and first class seats to Star Alliance, so getting the miles in your Krisflyer account is the only way to experience the superb Singapore product for free.
I’m sorry, did I say free? My bad! You won’t get it free, because Singapore Airlines feels compelled to add draconian “fuel surcharges” to your award ticket.
How draconian? Well, not as draconian as what our other old friend British Airways charges, but still. The numbers below are for one-way travel.
And this is why I am not going to join the Singapore Suite Mile High Club (and not because I’m a fattish, boldish middle-aged dude 🙂 ). Aside from the novelty of a double-bed in the sky, I don’t see the point. Of course, many folks will just shrug at my reasoning. Getting a $15,000 flight for about $740 (with taxes) doesn’t sound half-bad. Of course, there is also a slight matter of blowing over 200K miles in the process, but who’s counting, right?
Well, to each their own. As long as there is a way of getting to Asia comfortably for 110K-135K US Air or American miles on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines with zero fuel surcharges, I’m perfectly fine in my “narrow” flatbed, thank you very much!
It doesn’t mean that the Chase’s Krisflyer addition is useless–far from it! It’s just that in order to find real value, we need to think outside of the box–again! There is a couple of sweet spots in this program, but only a couple, from what I could tell.
If you use the Singapore miles on domestic United flights, you can get a first class transcontinental ticket for 40,000 miles, or the first class to Hawaii for 60,000 (and no fuel surcharges) on a two-cabin flights. That’s a fantastic deal, even though Lufthansa Miles and More beats it slightly (35,000 for domestic business-first)
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is not the only option that allows you to collect Krisflyer miles. Two other options are the AMEX Membership Rewards and SPG Preferred Guest. SPG lets you transfer any amount over 20,000 miles at 1:1.25 ratio.
If you know other ways of “gaming” Krisflyer, let me know. In the meantime, let’s hope that American Express whose business Chase is stealing, is thinking feverishly how to sweeten up the Membership Rewards program. I could use some interesting transfer bonuses. It’s been awhile. 🙂