The Secret Of Flying Singapore Suites

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Unless you’ve been flying regional jets with no wifi this week, you’ve probably seen the “$23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class” trip report circling around social media. As interesting as the report itself are the claims that some of the text and pictures were stolen from other bloggers. I’m not sure whether that’s the case or not, though it has added a fun twist to this report.

Singapore-Suites-Class-2
Singapore Airlines Suites Class

What’s amazing to me though is the comments this story has been getting! Things like:

That’s an insane amount of money! You could buy a car!

We should do this! But we’d have to rob a bank first…

Too bad I’ll never be able to afford that!

I often forget how insular our hobby is, but for anyone who is newer to miles and points, here’s a tip:

You don’t have to be rich to fly Singapore Suites!

In all honesty, Singapore KrisFlyer has actually gotten themselves into a difficult situation. They are now transfer partners with all four of the major flexible points currencies in the US, which is probably going to put a strain on the frequent flyer program.

In the meantime though, Singapore Suites are one of the best values in the mileage game, and the points are relatively easy to accrue.

How many miles do you need for Singapore Suites?

If you can plan ahead, not that many! It’s just 91,375 miles one-way between Los Angeles and Singapore (when factoring in the 15% discount for booking on singaporeair.com), that’s a heck of a deal for 21 hours in A380 Suites Class.

Singapore also flies from Houston to Moscow and from New York to Frankfurt — Suites Class between North America and Europe is just 57,375 miles one way!

Singapore-First-Class-Meal
Singapore Airlines caviar service

So how do you get Singapore KrisFlyer miles?

As I mentioned above, Singapore is a transfer partner with all four of the main points currencies in the US. That means if you have American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points (some cards), or Starwood Preferred Guest points, you can transfer those at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore.

And there are tons of options for accruing points in these programs! Here are just a few of the offers out there right now:

CardCurrent BonusDetails
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within three months• $95 annual fee, waived the first year
• No foreign transaction fees
• 2x points on travel and dining
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
• No foreign transaction fees
• 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services; 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and on hotels
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American ExpressAmex EveryDay:Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
Amex EveryDay Preferred: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
Terms and Conditions apply
Amex EveryDay:
• Get 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X). Earn 1X points on other purchases.
• Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
Amex EveryDay Preferred:
• Earn 3X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X). Earn 2X points at U.S. gas stations. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
• Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 within three months
Terms and Conditions apply
• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195
• Earn 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within three months
Terms and Conditions apply
• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
• 3X points on one category of your choice from the following: Airfare purchased directly from airlines; U.S. purchases for advertising in select media; U.S. purchases at gas stations; U.S. purchases for shipping; U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 2X points on the 4 remaining categories. 1Xpoints on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter.
Mercedes Benz Platinum Card from American Express50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 within three months
Terms and Conditions apply
Annual fee: $475
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass Select, and others; access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts; a $200 annual airline fee credit, 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
The Platinum Card® from American Express40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months
Terms and Conditions apply
Annual fee: $450
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass Select, and others; access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts; a $200 annual airline fee credit, 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months
Terms and Conditions apply
• Annual fee: $450
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass Select, and others; access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts; a $200 annual airline fee credit
Citi ThankYou® Premier CardCurrently expired
40,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first three months the account is open.
• $95 annual, waived the first year
• No Foreign transaction fees
• Earn 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Travel including Gas, 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on Dining Out and Entertainment, and 1 Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Citi Prestige® Card40,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first three months the account is open.• Annual Fee: $450
• No Foreign transaction fees
• 3x points on air travel and hotels; 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment; and one point for all other purchases
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express30,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
• Get a 25% bonus when transferring 20,000 points to an airline partner
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express30,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months• $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
• Get a 25% bonus when transferring 20,000 points to an airline partner

To simplify this further, if you sign up for the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card and complete the minimum spend you’d have at least 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points. That’s more than enough for a one-way Suites Class ticket between New York and Frankfurt, which would retail for almost $7,000USD.

Singapore-Suites-Price-1

Want a longer experience in Suites Class? If you pick up both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card and complete the minimum spend you’d have at least 123,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which is more than enough for a one-way Suites Class ticket between Los Angeles and Singapore, which retails for almost $9,000USD.

Singapore-Suites-Price-2

Or you’d have more than enough miles for a one-way Suites Class ticket between New York and Frankfurt for two people. And yes, that double bed is intended to be occupied by two people. 😉

Singapore-Suites-Class-1
Singapore Airlines Suites Class double bed

For more information on redeeming KrisFlyer miles (and just how easy the process can be), see my primer on Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

And if you’re curious how much award redemptions cost for different regions, here’s a chart with Singapore Airlines’ award redemption rates for various routes out of the US in Business, First, and Suites Class:

RouteBusiness Class (One-Way)First Class (One-Way)Aircraft
San Francisco to Hong Kong63,750 miles + $112.40 70,125 miles + $112.40Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore68,000 miles + $312.5091,375 miles + $325.50Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Seoul65,875 miles + $205.5074,375 miles + $218.50Boeing 777-300ER
San Francisco to Seoul to Singapore68,000 miles + $312.5091,375 miles + $325.50Boeing 777-300ER
Los Angeles to Tokyo65,875 miles + $172.8074,375 miles + $172.80Airbus A380
Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore68,000 miles + $327.9691,375 miles + $340.96Airbus A380
New York to Frankfurt48,875 miles + $205.5057,375 miles + $218.50Airbus A380
New York to Frankfurt to Singapore72,250 miles + $340.8193,500 miles + $353.81Airbus A380
Houston to Moscow48,875 miles + $213.9057,375 miles + $226.90Boeing 777-300ER
Houston to Moscow to Singapore72,250 miles + $320.9093,500 miles + $333.90Boeing 777-300ER

And if you’re looking for more Singapore Airlines trip reports, you can check out my reviews of previous flights:

Bottom line

You don’t have to be a billionaire to fly Singapore Suites. With a bit of work, just about anyone can do it — yes, it’s that easy.

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Comments

  1. “Singapore also flies from Houston to Moscow and from New York to Frankfurt — Suites Class between North America and Europe is just 57,375 miles one way!”

    Worth repeating that IAH-DME is on 777 and only A380 has suites.

  2. Singaporeans, however won’t have access to such good credit card sign ups, which is why most of us can only gaze enviously at one of our own flying on the flagship product of our national carrier (admittedly Derek seems to have some exposure to US credit cards).

  3. Any idea how long UR-SQ transfers take? My Amex posted almost immediately, but Chase is holding up the show…

  4. Lucky – I want to book a one way ticket for two from Frankfurt to New York in first class next summer but my dates aren’t 100% locked. Do you know if Singapore will charge me for moving my flight? Or do they usually don’t charge anything like AA?

  5. @ Bob — Typically if there’s an empty set of two seats in the center they’ll gladly make a double bed for you. 🙂

  6. I’ve been following this since Tuesday and yes, he did plagiarize. Here are more info:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/2huw34/what_its_like_to_fly_the_23000_singapore_airlines/ckwlxpl

    Yes, he did take the flight, and yes, most of the photos and contens are his original work, but he did steal photos and writing from two other trip reports. I watched him delete stolen content after being called out. I refreshed his post, and suddently the contents are gone, and I watched him delete comments to his facebook post calling him out on it. I compared the contents to the source, I have no doubt he stole the content.

    Here’s the thing:

    1. Plagiarism is plagiarism. Doesn’t matter if he stole one picture of all of the picture.

    2. His trip report, even without stolen content, was already pretty strong. Lucky, you and Gary and Brian and other bloggers already write fantastic trip reports, but this guy had a good trip report from an excited newbie’s point of view, which is always fascinating even for us seasoned travel junkies. This makes it all the more mind boggling that he feels the need to steal content, which didn’t really add much to an already strong trip report.

    I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage from the travel blogger comunity about this.

    It is really frustrating to see some content thief gets all the exposure, partially by stealing contents from bloggers like you and others who do this for a living and produce equally (if not more) compelling content for years.

  7. does SQ still give online award booking discounts or are the miles in the above chart including online discounts?

  8. @ Jon — Book far in advance. There’s a ton of space if booking far out, while space is tough to come by close to departure.

  9. “a fun twist to this report”??? fun?

    kinda surprised at that statement. you yourself earn your living as someone creating original content. you wouldn’t like it too much if someone else lifted it for their own benefit, i’m guessing?

    I feel bad for Andy (and the others) who have to go and tell the news sources that a lot of this material was lifted. and i roll my eyes that derek not only hasn’t apologized, but is trying to cover it up.

  10. Having flown SQ F and Suites A380, I prefer F on the 777-300ER.

    I still prefer Cathay Pacific or Emirates F regardless.

  11. @ james — You’re right, “fun” probably isn’t the right word. “Interesting” is probably better. I was trying to say that it’s slightly amusing (or something) that the one review that goes viral was (at least) partly lifted from elsewhere.

  12. are there better routes than others in terms of finding 2 first class suites seats at the cheapest redemption level?

  13. Might have accidentally joined the MHC during my Suites trip for my honeymoon :}..i mean, they are kinda asking for it. Has anyone else?

  14. Do you think SQ KrisFlyer may be rethinking its strategy after that blog post went viral? For example, perhaps requiring folks to be SQ elite member to redeem Suites, or increase the price back to the original 1 million mark, or do what Delta recently did and put a cap on the # of miles you can transfer into their FF program.

  15. @ Joey — I don’t see why they would. If anything, they’re enjoying their free press on the product, in my opinion.

  16. Great post about this trip report that’s making the rounds. At least 4 people sent it to me, thinking I had never heard of Suites Class. It’s amazing how little the average person knows about miles/points/premium travel. I know a ton more than the average person, but way, way less than the bloggers.

    I do wonder if the free advertising for Singapore is going to put a strain on award availability…

  17. I actually really enjoyed his report, notwithstanding some of his “borrowed” parts.

    He had great, high quality photos, the words part wasn’t “overdone” and it wasn’t terribly long. All in all, I really liked his style.

  18. I wouldn’t worry about award availability. SQ only flies to JFK, LAX, and SFO.

    You have to call in to book awards with partner airlines so someone would have to manually piece together partner (likely UA) flights and availability.

    So that really limits it to people who don’t mind booking multiple PNRs or calling into SQ, and people who live in CA and NYC.

  19. @ Lucky : great post, can you please also do ultimate guide to find and book an award on Singapore Suites? Because it’s the important part to get into the Suites, I meant, this is a great post/guide on how to start to get and earn miles/points needed to get our way into Suites but this is only the beginning or first half, the other half and most important is to find and book the award availability on Suites, would you mind to kindly compile this guide on how to find and book SQ Suites, it would greatly help me and other people who dream of flying in Suites and complete this guide as a whole. Thank you so much in advance for your consideration and help.

  20. Yeah, can’t quite figure out what made this one go “viral” as it isn’t that remarkable in comparison to many other trip reports put up daily. Perhaps due to the age and strong first-person tone of the writing?

    At any rate, the author is, in my opinion, a jerk for lifting material without attribution. At the very least he could have said, “some of the lounge pictures are borrowed from _” which happens quite often from many posters including frequent posters such as SFO777.

  21. Question. How do you sign up for the Ink Business Credit Card, is BoardingArea a business?

  22. Forgive my ignorance, but if I book one (1) one-way on suites class, I get the double bed? So, both me and my wife can fly on a single one-way suites class ticket?

  23. @ P.L — Nope, you would need to book two award tickets for two people. If the cabin is empty they’ll let one person take the center two seats, but if two people are flying you would need two tickets.

  24. @ Lauren — The A380 has Suites Class, while the 777 only has First Class (which is still very nice).

  25. I was scratching my head too why that post went viral. It’s not like these suites just came out. It’s not like he’s the first person to ever fly it.

    It’s not like he had an orgy in the suites either. If that was the case, then yes please go viral.

    Not in this case.

  26. Hey Lucky, I know you read every comment. Any idea how did the person in the SQ trip report have an UA award ticket according to his boarding pass? If it is redeemed via SQ it should be SQ KRFL followed by krisflyer account number (and elite status if any) correct?

  27. @ Xiaoran — It was definitely a KrisFlyer award. Seems he just put his United frequent flyer number on the reservation.

  28. Hi, I keep trying to search for available reward seats (economy, first/suite,etc) on their website, but it keep coming up with Dollars, not points. Is it because I have Zero points in my Krisflyer account? I clicked on the “pay with Krisflyer miles” also.

    thanks.

  29. @ Son — Make sure you select the “Redeem KrisFlyer Miles” option and aren’t just searching for revenue fares.

  30. Points
    by the artist formerly known as snic

    You don’t have to be rich to fly in Suites
    You don’t have to be cool to rule my plane
    There’s no particular mileage currency I’m more compatible with
    I just want your extra time and your
    Points

  31. Hi Lucky, thanks for answering my previous question. I have one more question.

    Is it possible to book LAX to Narita to Singapore with a 1 week stopover in Japan?

    Or would I have to call in?

  32. @ Son — If you do a roundtrip you can do a stopover, but on a one way saver award you can’t do a stopover.

  33. For people new to SQ, it bears repeating that Suites are available only on A380 which they currently fly out of JFK and LAX; SFO and IAH get “regular” First product on 773 which is still very, very good. There are plans for IAH construction to accommodate more A380s and for DME to start accepting A380s, so eventually that route may be on A380 as well.

    Insofar as booking two Suites, Lucky has written about it multiple times. From personal experience, a Saver-level Suite (even just one) is easier to come by on LAX-NRT. Was able to find space about 4 weeks out for early October (NRT-LAX); due to the events in Chicago we had to postpone that trip until 2015 — when searching late-March through April, found 3 dates about a week and a half ago. So the space is there if you are flexible.

    P.S. On revenue ticket side, LAXNRT on SQ J or F can be quite a bit cheaper than other carriers. If only Amex partnered with them on 2-for-1 tickets 🙂

  34. Lucky, do you have any insight on booking a stopover online? It doesn’t seem like there’s an option for that online? Are you forced to call and forego the 15% online booking discount? Also, I was looking at booking next summer to MLE. There’s only regional business class to MLE and the online booking forces the A380 (NRT to SIN) segment to be business as well (NRT to SIN has F available and bookable when you just look up NRT to SIN). Any recommendations? Thanks so much

  35. Hi Ben

    Is it possible to find 2 award seats at the saver level and if so what routes do you recommend looking?

  36. @ danny — Yes, if you plan in advance it should be possible to find two Suites seats on any route with flexibility.

  37. Hi Lucky,

    2 questions:

    1) If I am originating in Chicago (which isn’t a hub singapore flies out of), but wanted to do an award to Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur, do I select the “pay with krisflyer miles” option so I can route from Chicago? And then from there, can I use my krisflyer miles to redeem the domestic U.S. partner award to LA or SF and then continuing on? Will it receive the 15% online discount or will the award redemption be out of whack since it has to price a domestic connector?
    2) How far in advance would you have to book to get 2 seats on either route at the saver level?

    Thanks! I love you blog!

    Justin

  38. Thanks, Lucky.

    One more question. If it was 2 seats in business, do you think availability would be more abundant and require less in advance booking? Like 7-8 months?

  39. @ Justin — It all depends on when you’re looking to travel. Sometimes you’ll see space in both cabins 7-8 months out, sometimes closer to that, etc. With a bit of date flexibility booking closer to departure shouldn’t be too tough.

  40. Hi Lucky,

    If i’m flying Suites, and my partner is in Economy, would I be able to invite her to have a meal with me in Suites?

    Thanks. Great blog by the way!

    Tim

  41. Hi Lucky,

    I just want to thank you for your excellent travel tips!

    I booked suites for SIN-LHR but I’m actually from Malaysia. When I try to redeem KUL-SIN-LHR for Suites, the system just shows error and shows me KUL-SIN-LHR options on Business Class instead. Since I was worried about availability, I quickly book the SIN-LHR flight first.

    Any advise on this how i can “claim” the KUL-SIN leg without paying extra miles? Obviously I will have to pay the taxes/surcharges.

    Thank you!

  42. Hi, I noted that it is very difficult to redeem a business class seats using krisflyer miles. For example, to fly between Singapore and New York, seats become wait listed 1 year in advance!

    Any idea what time do SQ start releasing seats for booking redemption and any better chance to be the first to take up the business class seats?

  43. @lucky – Just wanted to follow up that it worked for me. They had to do it manually over the phone to add the KUL-SIN leg without extra miles but I did have to pay for the airport tax, naturally. What a shame I had to cancel the whole trip due to work commitments. It’s so hard to get suites seats!

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