When does it make sense to transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer for Singapore Airlines redemptions?

A comparison of pricing between Velocity and KrisFlyer

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: September 12, 2017
UPDATED: February 20, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
STATUS: Krisflyer announced changes coming into effect from 24 January 2019, which include an accross-the-board increase in the number of miles required for premium cabin redemptions.

I’d imagine that most of us have faster-growing balances with Velocity Frequent Flyer than we do with KrisFlyer, given the wider breadth of Velocity points earn opportunities in and around New Zealand, including those who frequently fly Trans-Tasman and to the South Pacific.

A unique feature of Velocity and KrisFlyer is the ability to transfer points between the two programs at a ratio of 1.55:1.

However, whether you use one program or another will depend on the specific Singapore Airlines redemption you have in mind – and you’ll need to compare the costs in both Velocity and KrisFlyer to calculate. This guide aims to show you how.

We have updated this guide to reflect the recent devaluation between the transfer rate of Velocity Points and Krisflyer Miles.

Two important points

Firstly, Singapore Airlines releases more award space to its own KrisFlyer members than to its partners, e.g. Air New Zealand and Velocity, so what you see as available on the KrisFlyer website might not be bookable elsewhere.

That means while it may not make sense by a points-by-points comparison to transfer your points to KrisFlyer, limited availability through Velocity may mean that you have to transfer your points to KrisFlyer in order to secure that seat.

Secondly, on the routes researched, taxes charged by KrisFlyer were less than $5 above those charged by Velocity, so we can just make a comparison based on the difference in points pricing.

From 1 January 2019, Velocity award redemptions on Virgin Australia became more expensive due to added ‘Carrier Charges’.

Singapore Virgin Australia

First and Suites Class

If you want to travel in Singapore Airlines First Class or Suites Class, it definitely pays to do your calculations comparing what it would cost to redeem directly through Velocity versus transferring to KrisFlyer.

As you can see from the table below, there is no hard-and-fast rule:

From Singapore toKrisFlyer miles neededVelocity points neededVelocity points transferred to KrisFlyer
Hong Kong37,50056,00058,125
New York120,000203,000186,000
Between Frankfurt and New York76,00095,000102,600

You can find more information in our full guide on using your points to book Singapore Airlines First Class/Suites Class

Note that if you don’t have a substantial Velocity Points balance from flying, and you hold your points in another currency (i.e. American Express Membership Rewards), you’ll see from the above that you’ll always be better off converting your points to KrisFlyer direct – and it goes without saying that you should be skipping Velocity altogether.

Business and Economy Class

To work out which airline is best for redeeming your points for these cabins, I’ve compared the pricing of one-way Singapore-operated flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to three destinations: Singapore, Tokyo and London.

Singapore Airlines 777-300 Business Class Cabin - SQ211 Business Class

An example of what we’re aiming for: the best value way to travel in Singapore Airlines Business Class, here one of their regional Boeing 777s

From Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch toKrisFlyer miles neededVelocity points neededVelocity points transferred to KrisFlyer
Singapore (Economy)28,00035,00043,400
Singapore (Business)58,00065,00089,900
Tokyo (Economy)42,00056,00065,100
Tokyo (Business)83,000104,000128,650
London (Economy)53,00075,00082,150
London (Business)105,000139,000162,750

My conclusions

Based on these examples, it seems that:

  1. On a points-by-points basis, KrisFlyer redemptions on Singapore Airlines flights are always cheaper than Velocity redemptions.
  2. While keeping your points in Velocity for First and Suites Class redemptions seems to work most of the time, transferring them to Krisflyer can sometimes be cheaper

How to do your own comparison: an example

Step 1: Find your desired route and cabin on the Velocity award chart (Table 2 for Singapore Airlines redemptions) and KrisFlyer award chart

Step 2: Write down the two prices, e.g. a one-way Business Class seat to London will cost you 139,000 Velocity points or 105,000 KrisFlyer miles

Step 3: Multiply the KrisFlyer price by 1.55 to see how many Velocity points you’d need to transfer, i.e. 105,000 KrisFlyer miles x 1.55 = 162,750 Velocity points

Step 4: If that pricing is higher than booking through Velocity, then you should book through Velocity. If it is lower, then you should transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer. In the London case, a Business Class redemption is best booked through Velocity directly but an Economy Class ticket is cheaper by transferring to KrisFlyer

Summing up

It pays to do your research for Singapore Airlines redemptions, as they are quite variable from New Zealand.

However, if you’re lucky enough to have a KrisFlyer balance, such as from spend with an American Express Membership Rewards credit card, then you’ll (almost always) pay less overall then redeeming through Velocity.

When does it make sense to transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer for Singapore Airlines redemptions? was last modified: February 20th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt