Thursday, 1 March 2018

How I Earned 180,000 Airmiles With Singapore Airlines and Flew Around The World In First Class.

In my review of Singapore Airline's First Class Suites recently, I promised I would tell you all how I earned enough airmiles to buy a First Class Suites ticket from Sydney to New York City (40 hours total flying time). So here we go! Now, you can definitely earn those miles purely from credit card sign-up bonuses (key ones are the SPG Amex and AMEX Gold Card), however I did earn a lot of my miles through my normal flying. I earned 120,000 miles within one year, and then a further 65,000 in the second year, totaling 185,000 Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles. This post is mainly aimed at residents in the UK and Australia.

I used these airmiles in two ways. I spent 118,000 on my First Class Suites flight from Sydney to New York (and yes, I scored the famous double bed), which went via Singapore and Frankfurt (if you have more time than I did you can stop over in both cities). I booked this in December 2016, and flew in December 2017 - I booked so early because the First Class and Suites tickets go so quickly! I then also spent 62,500 on a business class flight with Singapore Airlines from Perth to Dubai which I'll be taking later this year.

Earlier in 2017 Singapore Airlines changed their points system, so you now generally need a lot more miles than you used to when I booked my NYC flight, but the taxes are much lower than they were. As a comparison, I had to pay $700AUD (around £400) in taxes for me NYC flight, compared to just $91AUD (£50) for my Dubai one.

Please remember that with the flights, the amount of miles you earn depends purely on the class you fly in, and the fare class you book. I just thought it might be interesting for some of you to see just how I earned the points, and what sort of travel and spending you have to do to earn the same.

I have a rule when it comes to earning miles. I will never purposely spend more than I normally would just to earn miles - they're not worth it and that's how people get into credit card debt. I will also never fly with a partner airline or Singapore Airlines if there is a significant (over £50) price difference with a cheaper non-partner airline. Again, the points likely aren't worth it. Be sensible and you will reap huge rewards just from your normal everyday spending and travel!

But without further ado, let's get down to how I actually earned all of those airmiles. 

Earning Starpoints with the AMEX SPG Card

I signed up to the AMEX SPG Credit Card when there was a 20,000 point bonus. There's a £75 pro rata fee per year, but because SPG give you a free 5,000 bonus points when transferring 20,000 points to a partner airline, I actually got 25,000 Singapore Krisflyer miles. 

Over the course of a year I used the credit card as I would a debit card, I paid for everything with it, and just paid it off in full every month. By the end of the year I'd earned an extra 15,000 or so points through my day-to-day spending, 

If you apply for a SPG Amex through my referral link you get 11,000 SPG points instead of 10,000 if you spend £1000 within the first three months. Click here to apply

Buying Starpoints with SPG

At the end of 2016 Starwood had an offer where they were offering 30% off Starpoints. I needed an extra 8,000 or so to book my First Class flight, so I purchased an extra 5,000 to round my number up to over 40,000 points which then got another 5,000 bonus points. Also for simplicity I've rounded them to the nearest 0, rather than being finickity about exact numbers etc (ain't nobody got time for that).

The Starpoints took about two days to transfer over to my Singapore Airlines account, so make sure they're in your account when you want to book your reward flight.

Total Points: 40,000
Total Bonus Points: 10,000
Total: 50,000 Krisflyer Points

Earning Singapore Airmiles Through Star Alliance Partners

A great way to earn Singapore Airmiles is through their huge range of Star Alliance Partners. There are partner airlines all over the world. Just be careful about what fare class you're travelling in, as some fare classes aren't eligible. Do your research before you book.

I earned miles from the following Star Alliance Partner flights:

One return business class flight with Thai Airways from Paris to Chiang Mai (press trip paid)
One return economy flight with United Airways from London to NYC 
One return economy flight with Swiss Air from London to Geneva
One return economy flight with Air New Zealand from Sydney to Dunedin

Earning Singapore Airmiles Through American Partners

Singapore also have a partnership with Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue. Again, it depends on the fare class you purchase. When you book your flight just make sure to input your Krisflyer membership number into the frequent flyer box.

I earned miles from the following Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue flights:

One return premium economy flight with Virgin Atlantic from London to NYC
One return economy flight with Virgin Atlantic from London to Antigua (press trip paid)
One one-way economy flight with JetBlue from NYC to Orlando

Earning Singapore Airmiles Through VA's Velocity Program

Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic's frequent flyer programs are surprisingly seperate. They have different names, and you have a different membership profile as they are completely unconnected. However, unlike Virgin Atlantic, you can open a Velocity account and credit miles to it, and then transfer the Velocity miles to Krisflyer. You can't move miles from Virgin Atlantic to any other partner program. 

With Velocity you can also assign your miles to your Krisflyer account immediately, but it depends on your fare class as to which option is best. Also by opening a Velocity account and assigning your miles to that, it makes it easier to transfer your Flybuys points to Krisflyer (see below).

I earned miles from the following Virgin Australia flights:

One one-way business class flight with Virgin Australia from Perth to Sydney (read the review)
One return business class flight with Virgin Australia from Sydney to Perth
One return economy flight with Virgin Australia from Sydney to Cairns

Earning Singapore Airmiles Through Flybuys

Flybuys is a bit like the Australian version of Tesco Clubcard or Sainsbury's Nectar. They often have offers where you can earn extra points. For example I earned 10,000 points just from spending $100 a week for 4 weeks on my food shop at Coles (which is a standard food shop in Australia - I spend this amount every week anyway). You can also earn Flybuys points by shopping at Target which came in handy when I moved to Australia and had to be household items. 

I ended up with around 12,000 Flybuys points which I transferred to Velocity at a 2:3 ratio. This gave me around 4,000 Velocity points from memory. Added to my Velocity points I then transferred all of these to Krisflyer at another 2:3 ratio. 

Earning Singapore Airmiles Through Singapore Airlines

And then of course there's actual Singapore Airlines flights! I didn't even fly with Singapore for the first year of my membership, so the First Class flight I booked with 118,000 Krisflyer miles was booked without stepping foot on a Singapore Airlines plane. I have flown with them many, many times before, but all of those flights had been between 1997-2013. 2017 was the first time I flew with them in about 4 years. I think this just goes to show that it is possible to earn enough airmiles for a reward purely from Credit Card bonuses and partner airlines without even flying with the actual airline!

I earned miles from the following Singapore Airlines flights:

One one-way economy flight with Singapore Airlines from Perth to Singapore
One one-way economy flight with Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Phnom Penh
One one-way economy flight with Singapore Airlines from Siem Reap to Hong Kong
One one-way economy fight with Singapore Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore
One one-way economy flight with Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Perth
One one-way economy flight with Singapore Airlines from London to Sydney

I got double airmiles from all of the above Singapore Airlines flights aside from the London one, due to a promotion for joint Krisflyer and Shangri-La members. Obviously this was very handy!


PIN FOR LATER: How I earned 180,000 Singapore Airlines airmiles, and flew around the world in Singapore's First Class Suites!


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