Starwood Brings Back 1:1 Points Transfers to Singapore Airlines

Reader Stephen M. emails to point out that transfers of points from Starwood to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer are back to 1:1.

They had previously been less valuable in transfers, requiring 2 Starpoints for a single Singapore miles (which also means that Starwood’s transfer bonuses were less valuable, with 1:1 transfer partners a 20,000 Starpoint transfer yields 25,000 miles… with 2:1 partners it takes twice as many Starpoints to generate the bonus).

This leaves United/Continental and Varig as the only airlines where transfers are not 1:1 or better (LAN is 1:2). Of course, there used to be plenty of programs where the transfer rates were 1:2, like Qantas which prior to that program’s award chart devaluation was a uniquely useful option. Plenty of people bought Inside Flyer subscriptions just for the bonus Starpoints, transferred them to Qantas and redeemed on British Airways for Concorde one way transatlantic and first class the other direction. Sadly those days are long gone.

With Continental/United, Chase bank clearly doesn’t like another card – in this case the Starwood American Express card – being a better way to earn miles than their own co-branded Visa/Mastercard products.

The return to 1:1 transfers from Starwood to Singapore is useful, there are times when actually flying Singapore on an award is desirable and there are plenty of routes where Singapore offers better availability to their own members than they do to Star Alliance partners. Singapore offers one-way awards and 15% (or better) discounts for online booking, and for some flights their award chart can be relatively reasonable. Of course, Starwood points don’t transfer instantly so you can’t set up an award and do the transfer in real-time, there’s always risk that availability disappears while you’re waiting for points to show up. And at the same time you don’t want to transfer points and let them sit — Singapore miles expire after three years regardless of additional activity in an account.

Still, improvements in the value of points are always welcome!

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. […] Singapore: They don’t make premium cabin awards available to their partners at all on the 777 and A380 aircraft, and among US departures only the JFK-Frankfurt-Singapore route is operated by the old-style 747. That flight has pretty good availability a few days before flight. In advance of that is tough, and then only one seat at a time per cabin mostly. If you want Singapore first class, you usually need to be redeeming Singapore Krisflyer miles (an Amex transfer partner, and Starwood Preferred Guest has restored 1:1 transfers). […]

Comments

  1. The Inside Flyer -> Starpoints -> Qantas -> BritishAir deal actually let us fly the Concorde both ways TATL, not just outbound.

    Yes, those were the good old days…but the huge credit-card signup bonuses available now are going to be the good old days of the future.

  2. @Miles I didn’t mean to suggest you couldn’t do Concorde both ways, just that many folks sampled both Concorde and BA first class.

  3. Very useful, sing airs mle service has much more availability to kris flyer members than it does to partners

  4. That is awesome news!!!! I’m SQ gold but LAX based so now I can finally put my SPG points to good use.

  5. For whatever reason, I’ve never pulled the trigger on this card. Is the card affiliated with any bank (and just Amex-branded, like the Citi AAdvantage Amex), or is it offered by Amex directly?

  6. Nice to see a positive change, more options is a good thing. I know it will never happen (unless UA/CO’s banking relationship changes), but I would so love to see 1:1 transfers to UA/CO.

  7. @brad – the SPG Amex is offered by Amex directly, and is a credit card, which allows you to carry a balance from month to month (not that you should).

    They are running an offer of 30k and have just extended the sign up til 7/31 – it’s a great time to sign up for both business and personal cards on the same day, which results in just 1 hard credit pull. See the View from thwe Wing post today 7/14

  8. OK, I’ll be the dissenter- even at a 1-1 exchange rate, I think the KF points are poor value.

    Except for the often touted F redemptions from FRA to SIN, most other KF redemptions require a lot more points than other *A carriers. For example, SIN-PEK is 40K RT in Y (34K after 15% discount), plus another few hundred dollars for fuel surcharges and fees. I booked the same SQ flight in C using MP miles for 30K miles round trip, no fees.

    I even find better redemption availability using *A miles than I do using SQ miles. I admit I am an odd case, since I’m typically booking Y fares on older planes- if you want the 380 or the 77W’s, you will need KF miles to redeem.

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