Fly Singapore Suites Class With One Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

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With the Citi Prestige Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card both offering increased sign-up bonuses, racking up ThankYou points has never been easier.

I applied for both of the cards in the past couple of months, and the first card for which the sign-up bonus posted was the Citi Prestige Card. Specifically, the sign-up bonus was 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within three months.

The card offers the following earnings on everyday spend:

  • 3x points on air travel and hotels
  • 2x points on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • 1x point for all other purchases

For reaching the minimum spend on the Prestige Card, virtually all my spend was on hotels and airfare (after all, the card offers a fourth night free benefit on hotels, which I’ve used several times).

Once my first statement on the Citi Prestige Card posted, I had 58,000+ ThankYou points.

Citi-Prestige-Sign-Up-1

So how did I redeem them? As I’ve said before, I don’t think ThankYou points are quite as well diversified as American Express Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or Starwood Preferred Guest points (which are the other three major transferable points currencies).

While the ThankYou program has about a dozen transfer partners, there are two ways I see myself mostly redeeming ThankYou points earned with the Citi Prestige Card:

The timing of this worked out quite well. I needed to fly to Germany, and one of my favorite ways to get there is in Suites Class on the Singapore Airlines A380. KrisFlyer is a 1:1 transfer partner with ThankYou. And they have exceptionally reasonable redemption rates between New York and Frankfurt, as they charge just 57,375 KrisFlyer miles one-way for Suites Class on the route (there are also ~$180 in carrier imposed surcharges, which I’ll easily drink in Krug, and then some). 😉

Citi-Prestige-Sign-Up-2

I requested the transfer of 58,000 points…

Citi-Prestige-Sign-Up-3

And those points transferred to my KrisFlyer account less than 24 hours later.

KrisFlyer-4

At the time I initiated the transfer, there actually wasn’t any saver level award space available through KrisFlyer on the route. That being said, I’ve found that lately Singapore is fantastic about making last minute saver level award space available between New York and Frankfurt, and sure enough the space opened up less than a day after the points posted to my account:

KrisFlyer-Redemption

And as usual, the Singapore Airlines Suites Class experience between New York and Frankfurt is pretty darn tough to beat.

From their use of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in New York, which is one of my favorite lounges

Clubhouse-JFK

To the choice between Krug and Dom…

Singapore-Suites-2

To the caviar…

Singapore-A380-Suites-Class-53

To the double bed, assuming you are traveling with someone or have a not quite full cabin…

Singapore-Suites-1

I was traveling with my parents on this trip, and all three of us were on the same flight. The great thing about Singapore KrisFlyer is that they’re transfer partners with all four major transferrable points currencies, so I transferred points from Chase Ultimate Rewards for my parents’ tickets (which I earned using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card).

Oh yeah, I left out the best part of the trip, for me at least. I had convinced my mom that I was in Dubai, and that I’d meet her in Frankfurt. In reality I had booked myself on the same flight as them from New York to Frankfurt. Suffice to say she was in shock/outrageously confused when I picked her up from her JetBlue flight in New York and accompanied them on the rest of the journey.

Bottom line

There’s something to this day which gets me super excited when I get such amazing value out of credit cards. It’s still incredible to me to think that I can sign up for a card like the Citi Prestige Card or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, complete the minimum spend, and have enough points for a ticket in Singapore Airlines Suites Class, which would retail for nearly $7,000 one-way.

Suites-Price

And that doesn’t even account for the fact that the card has a lot of long term value

If you’ve signed up for the Citi Prestige Card or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, how did you (or how do you plan to) spend the sign-up bonus?

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Comments

  1. Lucky, this is a bit of an all encompassing question really…but do you not think you’d get better value just flying business class all the time, rather than spending the extra miles to go (almost) everywhere in First?

    Obviously you think it’s worth the extra premium, but I was thinking that when you add up all the flights, you’d probably get a couple of extra long haul legs by the end of a year if just using business class.

  2. @ Mark — This is definitely a case of “your mileage may vary” (quite literally), but in my case I think the answer is “no.” I earn a lot of miles, and I redeem a lot of miles. Typically the premium for first class is minimal. For example, redeeming American miles between the US and Asia, it’s an extra 12,500 miles for first class over business class. For this particular flight between New York and Frankfurt, it’s fewer than 10,000 extra miles for first class over business class.

    I value those miles at ~1.6 cents each, so to me it is worth paying an extra $160 for a much better ground experience, better onboard experience, better food, service, drinks, etc.

    I earn and burn miles at a pretty constant rate, and I tend to end each year with roughly the same number of miles which I started it. So I’m not really every “short” on miles, if that makes sense.

    Of course the equation would change if I had kids, was in a relationship, didn’t earn so many points, etc.

    But in my case I consider the modest premium for first class over business class to be worthwhile.

  3. Thanks Lucky, interesting. I would have thought the premium would be a lot more (in line with the fact that cash fares are). Any idea why they aren’t a lot more than in J?

  4. I transferred my points for SQ suites from NRT – SIN. The flight time is approximately the same as JFK – FRA, but it cost fewer Kris Flyer miles (only 51,000 from NRT – SIN). I’m assuming I’ll get all the same service/product as the JFK – FRA flight, right?

  5. Is it extra miles to connect on *A to elsewhere in Europe? And you mentioned SQ is good at releasing last minute space, what website do you use to track it?

  6. @ John — Assuming it’s a daytime flight on the A380 then yes, it should have a full dinner service, though won’t have breakfast (not that most people eat it on such a short transatlantic flight anyway).

  7. @ Mark — The same is true for economy vs. business class (the premium is quite small). Ultimately it’s because airlines are releasing less award space than before on the whole, and ultimately these are largely seats which otherwise wouldn’t have been sold. Given that the marginal cost of putting passengers in empty seats isn’t that high, the cost of premium cabin awards often isn’t that much more than economy.

  8. @Ben – the flight is on the A380, which leaves NRT at 8:50 pm and arrives SIN at 3:40 am. What kind of service should I expect?

  9. This is great and all, but there is basically no availability until a day or two before departure on this route or any route in the F suite.

  10. You talk about Champagne a lot, but you rarely talk about Champagne on Etihad – how does First Class Champagne on Etihad compare?

  11. Lucky, I say this as someone who visits your blog nearly daily, and has been doing so for the last 2-3 years; the Citi Prestige posts are getting to be a bit much. I’d suggest you reduce the frequency of these posts.

    In addition, the premise of this post is a bit of a stretch – it could have easily been “look what 58k Kris Flyer miles can get you”, and shoehorning Citi Prestige in there was, in my opinion, unnecessary. This post is definitely not representative of the utility and quality that your regular readers are used to.

    madhu

  12. @Madhu,

    Unfortunately Ben is like a lot of the U.S. based airline bloggers, referrals from the c/c companies form part of his income (we don’t know how much and it is really none of our business) so I am afraid it is some thing we just have to put up with.
    It is annoying especially for those of us who don’t live in the US and get nothing like the good deals available over there.

  13. @Mark I also chose first class whenever it is avalaibe. Because airlines nowadays realize it is really hard to sell first class and revenue of first class isn’t good. Many airlines have already chose to opt out their first class product (TAM for example). New aircrafts like 787 and A350 are most likely be two cabin configuration. Even airlines with lots of profits (Lufthansa for example) are complianting about the first class revenue loss.
    There will be less and less oppturnities to fly in first class in future, so try it while it last. All I can say is first class is like the luxury service in old times (Panam or TWA), it is good but it just doesn’t fit into today’s economy. Selling expensive first class product is really really really hard for airlines.

  14. Ben,

    My flight from NRT – SIN is on the A380 departing NRT at 8:50 pm and arriving in SIN at 3:40 am. Do I just get dinner in SQ Suites or dinner and breakfast? A 3:40 am arrival time is a weird time of the day so not sure what kind of service they will have?

  15. @John – Seriously? Stop asking the same question over and over again. You will get food and be fine. You will have dinner then an on demand menu. Relax.

  16. Lucky, a while ago you posted that the unusual design of the TY Prestige card was causing you problems in terms of the cashiers swiping the card. Has that situation improved at all?

  17. @ Lucky — did you actually manage to secure 3 Suite awards on this flight? That’s pretty impressive.

    @ JMR — a review will come later. Lucky usually posts first impression/quick post soon after a flight and then starts posting review some time after a trip is fully complete.

    WTR to availability, the name of the game is waitlisting which, of course, can be rather stressful.

  18. @ Robbie — And for what it’s worth there were an additional two seats available even after I booked!

  19. @ Brian L. — Funny enough I’ve been in Europe for a while now, and every time I’ve used it they’ve swiped it without me even having to clarify… which is sort of surprising. But even when I do have to explain it, it’s a two second explanation and leads to a funny conversation.

  20. @ jmr — Planning on it, though it is a route I’ve reviewed before a couple of times. 🙂

  21. @ Jubbin — Etihad has rotating smaller vintages, which are also typically excellent though don’t have as much name recognition.

  22. @ madhu — I appreciate the feedback, and I appreciate you reading. Personally I’ve found the Citi Prestige to be a card really worth getting excited over, which is why I’ve written so much about it. Sorry if it has become repetitive.

  23. Thanks Lucky!!! You just got my Premier business for my 42nd approval. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time you take replying to all our questions!!!!

  24. I was denied the Premier card when you first posted about it. I have an excellent credit score, but many inquiries. Any thoughts on how soon should I reapply?

  25. @ mangoceviche — Hmmm, were the reasons for denial the number of inquiries you had? If so, any clue how many you’ve had in the past two years, ballpark?

  26. Hi Lucky,

    In terms of searching for available award space in SQ, does one have to have the amount of miles in their KF account in order to see availability results? Every time I try searching for award seats the site says I don’t have enough miles and gives me only cash results for a particular search. Am I missing something here?
    Thanks for the best travel blog in the Internet!
    Rob

  27. The reason was too many recent inquiries. 18 apps in the past two years, six of those in the last six months, including the denied one (which was card #5 in the last six months). I was approved for a Chase card two weeks after that.

  28. Just wanted to post an update: I went ahead and applied (through your link, of course!), and got approved! I read somewhere that one should wait 65 days after a denial before re-applying but it’s only been six weeks for me.

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