Singapore Devaluation Loophole: Save Miles Booking First Class Awards By Adding a Domestic Positioning Flight

Singapore Airlines is eliminating fuel surcharges and increasing redemption prices when you use Krisflyer miles to book awards on Singapore itself.

Singapore’s Krisflyer program has separate award charts for travel on their own flights and for travel on partners.

Traditionally it’s been more miles to travel on partner airlines than to travel on Singapore itself.

With the devaluation, that no longer holds for first class awards between the US and Singapore.

  • The Star Alliance redemption chart will be cheaper starting March 23.

  • While Singapore will still add fuel surcharges to Star Alliance partner redemptions, they won’t add fuel surcharges to Singapore Airlines flights — because Singapore will no longer be filing fuel surcharges with their fares.

  • So you want to redeem for travel on Singapore Airlines while pricing using the Star Alliance chart.

Reward Flying points out that first clsass awards between the US and Singapore will be cheaper on the Star Alliance chart than the Singapore-only chart. US-Europe (New York JFK – Frankfurt) will be the same cost in business and only incrementally more in first.

Here’s his analysis:

All you have to do to get the partner redemption chart pricing is to include Singapore Airlines and a Star Alliance partner.

Traditionally it made sense to book a Singapore Airlines-only award, and then buy a domestic positioning flight to and from Houston, New York JFK, Los Angeles, or San Francisco (where Singapore flies from).

Now you want to include the US domestic flight, grab a United domestic flight to the international gateway city. Adding the flight in your award not only saves you the cost of buying the ticket to your Singapore Airlines departure city, it saves you miles. And you still don’t pay fuel surcharges because:

  1. There will be no fuel surcharges going forward on Singapore Airlines flights
  2. There are no fuel surcharges on US domestic flights

Singapore Airlines premium cabin awards from the US are among the most challenging ones to get (though business is easier than first). But it’s worth pointing out that the presumption in favor of not booking a Star Alliance connecting flight with your Singapore Airlines award may no longer hold now that Singapore-only redemption prices have gone up with Krisflyer’s Star Alliance redemption prices staying the same.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hey Gary,

    Do you know if the $100 stopover rule applies to awards in which you mix SQ and a partner? For instance, could you use Krisflyer to book SIN-BKK on SQ, then BKK-NRT on TG/NH with a stopover of a couple days in Bangkok?


  2. Ugh, I fly out of LAX so I can’t take advantage of this. I’m not going to do LAX-SFO hush to save 5k Miles.

  3. Lol, I’m pretty sure SQ will fix star alliance award chart soon, then it’ll be cheaper to use SQ-only award but who would pay 130-140k for SQ+*A trip. Little too rich for my taste, and probably keep old way aka buy a separate ticket if necessary.

  4. Gary, I haven’t found an answer to this online: When you have a mixed Singapore-Star Alliance award, do you need to find the Singapore flight at the Saver level or can it be at the Standard level?

    Thank you.

  5. Since I rarely redeem miles for TPAC or even TATL award flights (I arrange things so that I will require a paid flight to Asia at the end of the year, when I do the bulk of my award redemptions, in order to requalify my 1K status), my only interest in SQ awards is to be able to fly within Asia in premium cabins on either on SQ or on their subsidiary, Silkair, as a Krisflyer member. E.g. last year, I had to do ICN-PEK-SIN on CA and then TG, when I could have done ICN-SIN on SQ.

  6. Naive question: will this work, by phone, using UA miles? e.g. SFO-LAX-SIN-HND-…

  7. @James K. The $100 stopover rule applies to only all-SQ redemptions. I rang up multiple times trying to redeem mix-carrier itinerary, and the agents are not able to price that with $100 stopover.

  8. Alan I haven’t but Singapore no longer adds fuel surcharges as part of their fare construction on their own metal, you definitely pay fuel surcharges on star partners where applicable

  9. Thanks for the reply, Gary – that’s what I suspected but PointsHacks seems to have spoken to SQ agents when booking and been charged YQ. Will need to see what they say when I call I guess!!

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