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Singapore Airlines changes award pricing
Early this morning Singapore Airlines ( SQ) sent out an email announcing changes to it’s award pricing. The long and short of it: The number of miles are going up, the 15% online discount is being done away with, AND the fuel charges are going away. One of the biggest deterrents to booking tickets on SQ were in fact the fuel surcharges, and they’re eliminating those. That’s a positive. The biggest positives to SQ were the 15% discount and attractive award levels, and they’re devaluing those. Negative Let’s take a look at the changes and get a feel of the changes.
Here’s a look at the email sent out:
- Award prices are going up. Specifically in Zones 7, 9, 11, 12, 13
- 15% online discount is dead
- Fuel surcharges are gone.
2 negatives and 1 positive. Could have been MUCH MUCH MUCH worse.
One, I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone as the program has been at its current rates since 2012. Singapore miles are really valuable as they can be accumulated with 4 transfer partners ( Citi Thank You, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Starwood), so there are a lot of them floating around. While 3 weeks isn’t really a lot of time, they’ve done a huge favor to us by not devaluing the partner flights, and the devaluations that occurred aren’t CRAZY. It would have been nice to have a bit longer to get ducks in a row, they have added value to the program by stripping out the YQ ( fuel surcharges).
As you can see, the new prices only affect Singapore Airlines award tickets on their metal. As I mentioned above, Partner award prices aren’t changing. View from the Wing even pointed out a loophole in new program by adding a partner, like United, on a domestic route you end up getting partner award pricing. With the new chart in place, the partner pricing is sometimes more lucrative than the SQ chart. That great trick was found by Reward Flying and one I’ll DEFINITELY make use of.
Here’s a look at the new charts that are effective March 23, 2017:
And Standard awards:
Where are the biggest changes?
The actual devaluations aren’t really that bad. Where it really stings is comparing the effective rates when factoring in the 15% discount. The elimination of that perk is, by far, the biggest devaluation. Here’s a quick look at the saver level prices to or from Singapore in the zones that are changing.
*(current online 15% off price)
Zone 1 to Zone 7
- Econ – 22.5 (19.1) to 25
- Biz – 40(34) to 43
- First – 60(51) to 65
Zone 1 to Zone 9
- Econ – 25(21.25) to 28
- Biz – 55(46.75) to 58
- First – 75(63.75) to 80
Zone 1 to Zone 11
- Econ – 35(29.75) to 38
- Biz – 80(68) to 85
- First – 107.5(91.375) to 115
Zone 1 to Zone 12
- Econ – 35(29.75) to 38
- Biz – 80(68) to 88
- First – 107.5(91.375) to 118
Zone 1 to Zone 13
- Econ – 37.5(31.875) to 40
- Biz – 85(72.25) to 92
- First – 110(93.5) to 120
As you can see, the actual prices aren’t hugely impacted, but rather the effective pricing after the online 15% discount is quite a bit.
What isn’t changing?
- Partner award pricing
- No phone booking fees
- No fees for booking last minute
- Stopovers on saver flights for $100 look to be staying in place
This could have been MUUUUUUUCH worse. While it would have been nice to have more warning, I don’t think the deval is that bad. The 15% online discount was dope, but it’s removal isn’t that surprising and can be attributed to most of the deval. The new prices aren’t terrible, and seeing as though Singapore Miles are easier to accumulate than most any other currency, it’ll be easier to shore up accounts to the new rates. Leaving the partner chart in tact was quite nice as well, and we all know fuel charges are BS. Removing them at the same time was a nice wink to the consumer.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.