How to maximise KrisFlyer redemptions by using free or additional stopovers

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: August 4, 2017
UPDATED: November 13, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
STATUS: The transfer rate between Velocity and Krisflyer is set to increase by about 15% from January 2019 onwards. Read more here.

We love KrisFlyer’s frequent flyer program here at Point Hacks thanks to its great value redemptions on Singapore Airlines flights in Business and First Class.

One of the best ways to maximise a one-way or roundtrip award redemption on Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer program KrisFlyer is to add stopovers, usually in Singapore but now available in most cities as you make your way to your final destination.

With some savvy planning of a routing like New Zealand to Singapore, Frankfurt and New York, then returning from New York to Tokyo to Singapore back to New Zealand, stopovers in all of those destinations could be possible.

You could even stopover in Canberra if you really felt the need to, now that Singapore Airlines fly from Wellington via Australia’s capital city!

In New Zealand, KrisFlyer is a transfer partner of American Express, with American Express Membership Rewards cards like the Platinum Charge and Platinum Edge providing the ability to earn up to 1 and 1.5 mile per $ respectively.

Another unique feature of the KrisFlyer program is also the ability to transfer your Virgin Australia Velocity points into KrisFlyer miles at a rate of 1.35 Velocity point = 1 KrisFlyer mile.

Stopover possibilities

Your stopover options originating from Singapore are:

In Asia

  • Tokyo on the way to/from Los Angeles
  • Seoul on the way to/from Los Angeles
  • Hong Kong on the way to/from San Francisco

In Australia

  • Canberra on the way to/from Wellington

In Europe

  • Frankfurt on the way to/from New York
  • Milan on the way to/from Barcelona
  • Manchester on the way to/from Houston
  • Moscow on the way to/from Stockholm

In South Africa

  • Johannesburg on the way to/from Cape Town

Why consider adding a stopover?

A free stopover on a roundtrip allows you to visit more than one city for the same amount of KrisFlyer miles.

This is another handy reminder for Velocity members, if you have a big Velocity points balance and want to book flights on Singapore Airlines, because Velocity does not allow stopovers.

Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class Cabin

Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class flying between Los Angeles/San Francisco and Tokyo/Seoul/Hong Kong

Let’s start with the basic stopover rules when flying on Singapore Airlines:

 Free/Paid stopover
One-way Saver Award0 free, additional @ $100 USD each
One-way Advantage Award1 free, additional @ $100 USD each
Roundtrip Saver Award1 free, additional @ $100 USD each
Roundtrip Advantage Award2 free, additional @100 USD each

Ideally, you’ll want to book your ticket as a Saver Award because it is cheaper than an Advantage Award (but has less availability.)

Here’s my take on the most popular Singapore Airlines routes used by New Zealand-based travellers:

Saver award RouteEconomyBusinessFirst
New Zealand to Europe53,000105,000148,000
New Zealand to US West Coast (Los Angeles or San Francisco)55,000110,000154,000
New Zealand to US East Coast (New York or Houston)60,000118,000152,000

Looking at the above table, one of the best value redemptions would be:

  • New Zealand to East Coast US (including New York and Houston) with a stopover in Singapore and/or Frankfurt/Manchester
  • New Zealand to West Coast US (including San Francisco and Los Angeles) with a stopover in Singapore and/or Seoul/Tokyo/Hong Kong

These are all flown by Singapore Airlines, with an A380 on the Singapore – Frankfurt – New York route.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Cabin (1)

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class flying between Frankfurt and New York

Now, this is why KrisFlyer stopovers are so useful: reduced pricing versus booking independent flights between each of these cities.

Auckland to Frankfurt, one-way costs 105,000 KrisFlyer miles in Business Class and 148,000 in First Class.

If you redeemed Auckland to New York, one-way costs 118,000 miles in Business and 152,000 miles in First.

Using the free stopover, you could fly to New York and stopover in Frankfurt, and use Frankfurt as your European launch pad for just 13,000 miles more in Business Class with Singapore Airlines!

The difference is even less in First Class – only 4,000 miles difference!

So you could redeem a roundtrip ticket to New York and fly First Class between Frankfurt and New York, which is a nine-hour flight (18 hours return), for an extra 8,000 miles.

Remember this is for a nine-hour flight which Singapore Airlines normally charges 65,000 miles in Business and 76,000 miles in First Class one-way for just that segment.

Not that we’d pay it but a round-trip First Class retail fare between Frankfurt and New York costs around $8,300-$12,500.

Using multiple stopovers at additional cost

Singapore Airlines gives you one complimentary stopover on a roundtrip Saver award but you can add a maximum of two additional stopovers for $100 USD each.

Looking at the example above, you can fly return from New Zealand to New York and stopover in Singapore and Frankfurt for an extra $100 USD.

How to book

KrisFlyer no longer offers a 15% discount to book online, so you can book an award online or via the telephone. If you are booking a return saver award, the Singapore Airlines site will prompt you on your stopover preference:

SQ Stopovers on Website

However multi-city/stopover KrisFlyer redemptions with more than one stopover aren’t available through the Singapore Airlines website. Furthermore if you wanted to book a stopover on a one-way award, you need to call KrisFlyer.

Short some KrisFlyer miles?

If you have at least 50% of the miles required for an award booking, Singapore Airlines allows you to top up any shortfalls at $40 USD per 1,000 miles or 4 USD cents per mile.

It is not cheap but if you are short of just a few thousand miles, it’s not worth risking missing out on an award redemption so buying KrisFlyer miles is a viable option.

Summing up: using KrisFlyer stopovers to maximise the value of your KrisFlyer miles

KrisFlyer is a great program for award redemptions on Singapore Airlines flights, and miles are readily available through everyday spend with American Express Membership Rewards credit cards, as well as through the Velocity partnership.

Using stopovers to literally travel further with your miles is a great way to push the boundaries of what you can do with your KrisFlyer balance, with Singapore flying to a few appealing midpoint cities including Tokyo, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Milan.

You may also be interested in reading our guide on how to combine travel on Singapore Airlines and its partners to maximise stopovers.

How to maximise KrisFlyer redemptions by using free or additional stopovers was last modified: November 13th, 2018 by Nelson Yap