FULL TABLE: How Singapore Airlines is raising the points Australians need for reward flights
Business and first cost more, but we've found the new sweet spots.
It's not a happy way to start the frequent flyer new year: from 24 January 2019, Singapore Airlines will be increasing the number of KrisFlyer miles you need for reward flights.
The table below shows the old and new totals you'll need to book one-way Saver Awards flights from most Australian cities or New Zealand. (Darwin and Perth are in a separate zone, and are largely serviced by Singapore's SilkAir subsidiary.) Click on the column headings to sort, or use the search option to filter the table for a particular destination or flight class.
|Destination||Class||Old rate||New rate||% change|
|South China/Hong Kong/Taiwan||Economy||28,000||28,000||0.00%|
|South China/Hong Kong/Taiwan||Premium||45,000||49,000||8.89%|
|South China/Hong Kong/Taiwan||Business||58,000||65,000||12.07%|
|South China/Hong Kong/Taiwan||First||80,000||88,000||10.00%|
|USA (West Coast)||Economy||55,000||55,000||0.00%|
|USA (West Coast)||Premium||90,000||95,000||5.56%|
|USA (West Coast)||Business||110,000||121,000||10.00%|
|USA (West Coast)||First||154,000||167,000||8.44%|
|USA (East Coast)||Economy||60,000||60,000||0.00%|
|USA (East Coast)||Premium||95,000||99,000||4.21%|
|USA (East Coast)||Business||118,000||129,000||9.32%|
|USA (East Coast)||First||152,000||167,000||9.87%|
First up: redemption rates for economy aren't changing. While most frequent flyers aim for the pointy end of the cabin, economy can be a valid choice. Singapore Airlines service is exceptional even in economy, and you might choose (for instance) to combine an economy flight to South Asia with a better reward seat with another airline to Europe or the USA.
Also note that as before, the points cost to fly to most destinations in south-east Asia is the same as the cost simply to get to Singapore, so you'll get better value by going further afield. Flights to Hong Kong and Taiwan are now marginally more expensive (previously, they also fell in the same category as flights to Vietnam, the Philippines and other closer countries to Singapore).
The biggest increases are actually in business seats, rather than first. Singapore does have some availability for first class (which is a frequent flyer rarity), but you're still more likely to find reward seats in business. The average increase in points required for business is 9.41%, while for first it's 8.29%. The single biggest increase is on business flights from Australia to Hong Kong or Taiwan, up 12.07%.
So should you rush to book seats before the change on 24 January? If you can find availability for a planned trip, then it might make sense, but the increases aren't so enormous that I'd compromise on your overall flying goal.
The changes are potentially annoying if you've recently shifted points from Velocity to KrisFlyer to avoid the lowered redemption rates for those transfers that took effect at the beginning of January, alongside new carrier charges. Despite those changes, moving Velocity Points to KrisFlyer does give you a wider range of potential reward options (see our full guide to those transfers to learn more).
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.