Regarding my post yesterday on the 20% bonus for transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to Delta (after my comment earlier in the day about using Delta miles for Singapore Airlines redemptions), lucky comments that the 20% bonus
makes an F award on SQ <120K miles, which is cheaper than UA. Also, it seems like DL has much better SQ availability…..
I do wonder what’s going on in reports of better Delta availability for Singapore redemptions compared to what’s offered to Star Alliance partners. I’m not entirely convinced yet that this is real, and I wouldn’t want to get stuck with Delta miles.
It seems to me there are (3) downsides to building up a Delta Skymiles account for Singapore redemption:
- Taxes and fees are much higher using DL miles. Reports of as high as $750.
- I tend to think the Delta relationship is less stable than the relationship with Star Alliance partners, and it’s the only thing I’d want Delta miles for (it’s the one real international first class option and value in the Skymiles program), which suggests it can’t last. And the existence of the option is an historical anomaly, there was the old Delta-Singapore partnership that even involved a long-since divested equity stake in each carrier.
- There’s a real problem with booking flights beyond Singapore, where Delta seems to put folks in economy even when on first class awards (though some have had luck getting upgraded at checkin with Singapore).
On the other hand, there’s:
- Reports of better availability, which seems hard to understand, and hasn’t really been fleshed out or quantified
- Reports of being able to book awards TO INDIA via Singapore at the same mileage price.
But on the whole if I were transferring Amex points with the intention of Singapore redemption — and if I weren’t just topping off an account but transferring the full number of miles needed — I’d tend to prefer an Air Canada transfer than Delta transfer, even with the 20% bonus (which will take a LONG time to post).
Still, Singapore Airlines first class is the best Delta award there is, even if fuel surcharges, booking fees, and taxes could set you back $750 on top of the miles.