Singapore Airlines has devalued the rate for redeeming KrisFlyer miles under the miles + cash scheme, effective 17 August 2021. KrisFlyer members will now need to redeem 1,050 miles to offset S$10 of fares or payments, instead of the previous 980 miles.
This was added, almost as a postscript, in an email sent out yesterday announcing the launch of KrisFlyer for Families.
I can’t say they’ve given a whole lot of notice here, but frankly speaking, this would never have been an option for any serious miles collector anyway.
KrisFlyer Miles + Cash Devaluation
|Miles + Cash Redemptions|
|Until 16 Aug 2021||➤||From 17 Aug 2021|
|980 miles= S$10||1,050 miles= S$10|
|1.02 cents/mile||0.95 cents/mile|
Effective 17 August 2021, KrisFlyer members can offset fares or ancillary expenses at a rate of 1,050 miles= S$10, instead of the previous 980 miles= S$10. Singapore Airlines has mentioned that the actual rate might be a little lower or higher, depending on currency fluctuations.
As it stands, the revised rate represents a decrease in value per mile from 1.02 cents to 0.95 cents each, or a 6.7% devaluation.
But this move shouldn’t come as a surprise if you hold the AMEX SIA Business Credit Card. Cardholders were previously informed that the rate for offsetting S$10 of Singapore Airlines expenses would be devalued from 980 HighFlyer points to 1,050 HighFlyer points effective 17 August 2021, and it looks like Singapore Airlines is simply bringing the two in line.
What is Miles + Cash?
For the uninitiated, Miles + Cash is different from an award redemption.
|Miles + Cash||Award Redemption|
|Seat Availability||Any seat available for sale||Award inventory only|
|Miles Required||Depends on cost of ticket||Fixed based on award chart|
|Value Per Mile||Fixed at 0.95 cents each||Variable|
With Miles + Cash, your seat comes out of total available inventory, which means that so long as a seat is available for purchase, you can pay for it with Miles + Cash. Each mile has a fixed value, regardless of what cabin or route you choose.
With award redemptions, your seat comes out of award inventory, which is a subset of total available inventory. It’s perfectly possible that a given flight has seats for sale, but none open for awards. The number of miles required will vary depending on your cabin and route, as will the value you derive per mile.
To put it another way, if you want to use Miles + Cash, get to the end of the booking process and check the “pay with KrisFlyer miles” box.
If you want to redeem an award ticket, click “redeem flights” at the start of your booking process.
Should I be using Miles + Cash?
In so many words, no.
The best use of KrisFlyer miles is for a flight redemption, preferably in First or Business Class. Redeeming them for anything else entails a massive haircut in value, as the table below shows.
|KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Options|
|Redemption Option||Value Per Mile|
|✈️||Award flights||2-6 cents|
|🏨||Shangri-La Golden Circle conversion||1.1-1.4 cents|
|✈️||Pay for flights with miles (Miles + Cash)|
|🚘||KrisFlyer vRooms||0.8 cents|
|🏬||CapitaStar conversion||0.7 cents|
|⛽||Esso Smiles conversion||0.33- 0.67 cents|
Granted, going down the Miles + Cash route is still better than spending them on KrisShop or via Kris+, but that’s like saying a kick in the head is better than a kick in the crotch.
The only situation where I could sanction using Miles + Cash is if you have a small balance of miles that’s going to expire soon- and even that won’t be an issue for a while, given how Singapore Airlines has extended all miles until at least April 2022.
While some Cassandra types like to declare every KrisFlyer adjustment as the harbinger of an award chart devaluation (and if it makes them happy, they’ll eventually be proven right), I’m relatively more sanguine about the changes.
Miles + Cash was never a good option for using KrisFlyer miles, and while some additional notice of the devaluation would have been nice, it’s ultimately of little consequence.