I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
One of the toughest awards in the world has been Singapore Airlines Suites from the U.S. to Singapore. There are only two U.S. routes with this product. The seats are only available to Singapore’s own members. And even then they’re scarce.
But right now we’re seeing plenty of dates in the future with 2 Suites Class saver awards departing the U.S. Using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, which are easy to get transferring credit card points, you can book awards in Suites Class on New York JFK – Frankfurt – Singapore.
Getting Singapore Airlines Miles
Singapore Airlines does not make these award seats available to partner frequent flyer programs like United MileagePlus or Air Canada’s Aeroplan. Instead, there’s generally much better award availability for long haul business and first class using Singapore’s own KrisFlyer miles.
Fortunately, KrisFlyer miles are easy to get because Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of all the major U.S. transferable points currencies.
Here’s where your Singapore Airlines miles come from:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months of account opening and another 5000 points for adding a no fee authorized user to the account and making a purchase within the same timeframe. The card’s annual fee is $0 the first year then $95, and it earns double points on travel and dining.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards: Citi Prestige Card offers 50,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months as a signup bonus. It offers triple points on air and hotel spending and double points on dining and entertainment. (Offer expired)
- Starwood Preferred Guest: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express earns the the single most valuable points currency.
- American Express Membership Rewards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Singapore miles don’t transfer instantly, in my experience with Chase points and American Express Membership Rewards transfers take 12-36 hours.
How Much Singapore Airlines Suites and First Class Awards Cost
Here’s the award chart for travel on Singapore Airlines (.pdf).
Awards aren’t the cheapest of any award chart, but in many cases they are reasonable. If you book on the Singapore website you get a 15% discount of the prices on the award chart. So, for instance:
- Los Angeles – Tokyo in suites class is 74,375 miles one-way
- Los Angeles – Singapore in suites class is 91,375 miles one-way
- New York JFK – Frankfurt in suites class is 57,375 miles one-way.
- New York JFK – Singapore in suites class is 93,500 miles one-way.
Worth noting for non-Suites first class:
- San Francisco – Hong Kong in first class is 70,125 miles one-way.
- Houston – Moscow in first class is 57,375 miles one-way.
You can have one enroute stopover on a roundtrip award (an additional stopover is available by phone at additional charge).
Singapore Airlines adds fuel surcharges to awards. That’ll vary by destination, they add what a paid ticket would have included, and some destinations like Hong Kong are cheaper than others.
Singapore’s miles expire three years after they are earned. So if you transfer points now, you need to use those points within three years.
General Principles for Booking Singapore Suites Awards
The U.S. routes operated by Airbus A380s are New York JFK – Frankfurt – Singapore and Los Angeles – Tokyo Narita – Singapore. (San Francisco and Houston flights are operated by a Boeing 777 with first class, not Suites Class.)
Traditionally availability of awards from the US to Singapore are almost non-existent. Even when a flight is almost completely empty on the day of departure Singapore Airlines may not release first class award space (although they may release space).
You’ll find award space frequently though not necessarily on a majority of dates Singapore Sydney. You’ll find fantastic space Singapore – Zurich, London, Mumbai and Shanghai to name a few.
Here are 5 things to know if you want to book Singapore Airlines A380 Suites:
- Availability is better when the schedule opens than several months out
- Availability is better from Singapore to the US than from the US to Singapore
- Availability is better on Europe/Oceania routes than US ones
- You can waitlist awards, indeed you can waitlist as many dates as you wish. Sometimes waitlists clear and sometimes they don’t.
- If you need 2 seats search for 1 saver award and book 1 saver and 1 standard award; the average price across the two may work for you.
Rules are Being Broken! Awards Are Available from the U.S.!
As of this writing there are Suites class saver awards for two passengers on New York JFK – Frankfurt – Singapore [note, this isn’t just the New York JFK – Frankfurt segment, this is all the way to Singapore] on the following dates far into the future:
- April 2017: 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28
- May 2017: 3, 9, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 27
There’s also some availability into the future for the return Singapore – Frankfurt – New York JFK. As of this writing two saver Suites class seats are availability for the full route:
- April 2017: 4, 6, 9, 17, 23
- May 2017: 5, 6, 7, 26
Earlier months have some availability, too, but not as many dates. Los Angeles – Tokyo Narita – Singapore and back have not opened up availability this way.
Other US routes have first class (non-Suites) availability as well, though, which is impressive in its own right because there’s only 4 first class seats on some Boeing 777s.
(HT: Lazy Travelers)