KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide: How to Start Playing the Miles Game in Singapore

Image: Giphy / The Comeback

So, you’ve finally decided to become a full-fledged travel hacker – to start collecting miles in order to fulfill to your dream of travelling the world. You’ve told all your friends and posted an Instagram story—no, Instagram post about it to really seal the deal. But, erm…now what?

Before you start texting your boss to ask for a sabbatical and applying for the best air mile credit card there is, read this 5-step guide to figure out how exactly you can earn, calculate and redeem your KrisFlyer miles.

(Note: This article talks about KrisFlyer miles as it’s the most popular frequent flyer programme in Singapore. General principles apply for other programmes like Asia Miles, but the specifics differ.)


  1. Step 1: Sign up for KrisFlyer membership
  2. Step 2: Earn KrisFlyer miles with your regular spending
  3. Step 3: Convert your rewards points to KrisFlyer miles
  4. Step 4: Calculate how many KrisFlyer miles you need for your trip
  5. Step 5: Do the actual KrisFlyer miles redemption (finally!)
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. KrisFlyer contact details


Step 1: Sign up for KrisFlyer membership

First of all, if you aren’t a member already, you’d need to sign up for KrisFlyer membership. You just need to fill in the registration form online. KrisFlyer membership is free.

Psst, you may want to check the Singapore Airlines website for a sign-up promotion, which is rare but does happen once in a while. There’s a field at the bottom of the sign up page for you to enter a promo code, if you have any. 

KrisFlyer is a loyalty programme that primarily rewards customers for spending on the following airlines:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Scoot
  • Star Alliance airlines (e.g. ANA, Thai Airways, Lufthansa, SWISS, United Airlines)
  • Star Alliance connecting partners (i.e. Juneyao Air, the only one so far)
  • SQ partner airlines (Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Olympic Air, Virgin, Vistara)

For most of these, you’d earn 50% to 100% of the actual miles flown, known as KrisFlyer miles. For example, a return trip from Singapore to Bangkok is 1,760 miles.

Now comes the confusing bit.

Assuming you’re flying Economy on Singapore Airlines, you can earn 50% (880 miles), 75% (1,320 miles) or 100% (1,760 miles) in KrisFlyer miles, depending which fare class you book your tickets under. The fare class is indicated as a letter of the alphabet when you book.

If you fly Premium Economy, Business or First class, you can get 100% to 200% in KrisFlyer miles. On the other hand, if you take the same flight on Scoot, you earn only 10% to 25% of the mileage in KrisFlyer miles. Again, there’s a range because it depends on which fare class you buy.

It also means that if you’re very serious about earning miles, you might not want to fly budget.

You can refer to this KrisFlyer miles chart for earning miles to see the miles accrual rates. KrisFlyer also has a miles calculator to help you figure out the mileage for your flight.

Other ways to earn KrisFlyer miles are by spending on KrisShop and with SQ’s partners, such as hotel chains and car rental companies.

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Step 2: Earn KrisFlyer miles with your regular spending

Obviously, you can earn KrisFlyer miles by buying air tickets…but that kinda defeats the point a little, right? The whole point of earning miles is to NOT pay for your flights!

What you really want is to earn KrisFlyer miles with your regular spending. That way, you’d be getting your flights for “free”.

Ideally, you would put every single dollar of expenses towards earning KrisFlyer miles. This takes commitment. It’s a lot more than just picking one credit card and hoping for the best. To play the whole miles game properly, you need to really geek out and do lots of reading up on the following ways to earn miles.

Rewards programmes: Browse through the KrisFlyer partner pages and find out which rewards programmes you can sign up for. This includes not just travel/hospitality, but also stuff like petrol kiosks, supermarkets and telcos.

KrisShop: About to check out your shopping cart? HALT RIGHT THERE. Before you buy a single thing online, make sure you go through the KrisShop to earn miles on a whole bunch of beauty, health, pets, sports, travel items and more.

Air miles credit cards: A good miles credit card is a must-have for any miles chaser—even more so if you travel a lot and/or have high local expenses. Consider getting a card with a welcome miles promotion to kick-start your KrisFlyer account balance.

Check out these cards with welcome miles promotions:

American Express logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Convenience & Perks for Frequent Flyers
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2 Miles
on Eligible Grab transaction, capped at $200 per month
S$1 = 3.2 Miles
Receive an American Tourister Hypebeat Spinner 79/29 Exp TSA luggage (worth S$239) and up to 20,300 KrisFlyer miles from Amex when you apply and pay the card's annual fee in the first billing statement. T&Cs Apply.
Valid until 31 Oct 2023
UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and KrisShop
S$1 = 3 Miles
on dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel, and transport spend
S$1 = 3 Miles
on all other spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[MoneySmart GIVEAWAY]
Stand to receive a ASUS Vivobook x BAPE ® (worth S$2,349) OR a Sony PlayStation®5 Disc Console (worth S$799) OR a Nintendo Switch OLED (worth S$549) when you successfully apply for an eligible UOB Credit Card through MoneySmart and meet the Giveaway eligibility criteria! T&Cs apply. 

PLUS Get up to 31,000 Miles plus first year annual fee of S$194.40 (inc GST) waived when you spend a min. of S$2,000 within 60 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 17 Oct 2023
Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Annual Fee Waived
for every S$1 spend on Transportation, Food Delivery & Online Grocery merchants. Capped at 3,000 Miles in a statement cycle
S$1 = 3 Miles
for all Eligible Foreign Spends
S$1 = 2 Miles
for all Eligible Local Spends
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
Earn up to 35,000 Miles when you meet the eligible spends AND have your first year Annual Fee waived when you sign up for the Journey Credit Card. T&Cs apply.

OR, earn up to 45,000 Miles when you meet the eligible spends and pay your card's first year Annual Fee when you sign up. Click here to apply.
Valid until 31 Oct 2023

Rewards credit cards: Pair your miles credit card with a rewards card to get the most out of your shopping and day-to-day purchases. The right one can let you earn up to 4 miles per $1 spent.

Standard Chartered logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Earn up to 6% Cashback
Cashback from Netflix, Spotify, fast food joints and more. *T&Cs apply.
Annual Fee
Minimum Spend
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get S$250 Cash via PayNow or an Apple AirPods 3rd Generation (worth $261.40) or a Nintendo Switch Lite (worth S$309) when you apply and spend a min. of S$250 in Eligible Transactions. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 31 Oct 2023
Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption
on Online Spend*
S$1= 10X Points
on Shopping Spend
S$1= 10X Points
on All Other Spend
S$1 = 1 Point
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get an Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$575) OR a Nintendo Switch OLED Gaming Console (worth S$549) OR a S$450 Amazon SG Gift Card OR S$300 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$500 in "Qualifying Spends" within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply

Valid until 15 Oct 2023
DBS logo
Online Promo
Online Shopping
on Online Spend
S$5 = 5 DBS Points (2 Miles per S$1)
on All Other Spend
S$5 = 1 DBS Point (0.4 Miles per S$1)
Rewards to Miles Conversion
1 Point = 2 Miles
Online Promo:
Get S$150 Cashback when you apply with promo code 150CASH and make the min. spend of S$800 within 60 days of card approval. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 Jan 2024

Here’s how you can optimise your spending for different spending categories:

Spending category How to optimise for KrisFlyer miles
Online shopping Shop via KrisShop + use a rewards card geared towards your spending categories
Dining Earn Chope dollars (1,200 Chope-Dollars convert to 1,000 KrisFlyer miles) + earn 100 KrisFlyer miles per reservation you make on Quandoo + combine with dining credit card rewards points
Petrol Earn Esso Smiles or Shell Escape points
Grab rides Charge to Amex KrisFlyer + earn Grab Rewards points
Other day-to-day expenses Use a rewards credit card for contactless payment
Travel spending Book KrisFlyer partner hotels + use a miles card with high overseas earn rate
One-off expenses (e.g. home renovation, LASIK surgery) Get a miles card with big sign-up bonus
Massive expenses (e.g. wedding banquet) Pay with a miles card with high local earn rate

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Step 3: Convert your rewards points to KrisFlyer miles

While you go crazy optimising your life for KrisFlyer miles, don’t forget that you’ll be earning a lot of these KrisFlyer miles indirectly, in the form of rewards points or bank points.

This means that at some point, you need to convert your points to KrisFlyer miles.

I can’t cover the conversion procedure of every rewards programme known to man here, but here’s a checklist of general things you should note before signing up, so you can plan your miles collecting journey properly.

Expiry date: Every rewards programme has different validity periods or expiry dates. You must know these and set a reminder to yourself to redeem them before they vanish. Don’t let your hard-earned points go to waste!

Denominations: Familiarise yourself with the rewards catalogue of all the rewards programmes you’re enrolled in. KrisFlyer is supposed to be impartial towards all their partners, so you don’t need to compare the “exchange rates”. However, the important thing to note is the denominations. Make sure you can collect enough points for the denominations offered within the time frame.

Conversion fee: If you’re converting bank points such as Citi Miles or DBS Points to KrisFlyer miles, you usually need to pay a conversion fee of $25 each time you do so. This will eat into your costs, so obviously you should accumulate as many points as possible and convert them in one shot.

Lead time: Few rewards points allow for instantaneous conversion into KrisFlyer miles. You shouldn’t convert your points just before you book your round-the-world trip and expect to see them in your KrisFlyer account right away. Buffer about a week or more.

KrisFlyer miles expiry: Whether you’re earning KrisFlyer miles directly or converting them from rewards points, they have a shelf life of 3 years. Because COVID-19 was a thing, Singapore Airlines implemented a rollover scheme that extended or rolled over points based on one’s membership cycle. Check here for more details.

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Step 4: Calculate how many KrisFlyer miles you need for your trip

As you get into the swing of earning miles or rewards points, it’s worthwhile to know how many KrisFlyer miles it’ll take to get you on that flight of your dreams. This helps you identify a specific target that you can work towards. 

Just to give you an idea of things, here’s how many miles you’d need to redeem an Economy Saver (i.e. cheapest) return trip to the following destinations: 

Return flights KrisFlyer miles needed
Singapore to Bangkok 25,000
Singapore to Hong Kong 30,000
Singapore to Dubai 50,000
Singapore to Melbourne 56,000
Singapore to London / Paris / Los Angeles 76,000
Singapore to New York 80,000

This table is actually a simplification. In fact, there are several factors that determine the “cost” of your flight in KrisFlyer miles.

Zone: The number of miles needed is not based on the actual distance but by zones. For example, all of Europe is in Zone 11 so it costs the same whether you fly to Greece or Sweden.

Cabin class: It’ll cost you more to fly Premium Economy, even more to fly Business, and the most to fly First Class or in the coveted Singapore Airlines Suites. That said, lots of miles chasers would rather save their miles for Business or Suites, because they’re so expensive you’d never pay for them in cash.

Saver or Advantage: These are the 2 rates for redeeming flights. As the name suggests, Saver flights cost less in miles, but they’re limited in availability. If you want more options, you’ll need to spend almost double the miles for Advantage.

All the information is readily available on the KrisFlyer redemption charts. Quick links here:

But let’s be real—your brain is probably too fried to understand charts right now. Use Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer miles calculator to figure out where you can fly for free instead.

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Step 5: Do the actual KrisFlyer miles redemption (finally!)

Here’s a list of what you can do with those KrisFlyer miles you spent all that time collecting, with quick links to the relevant pages:

Redeem free flights: You can redeem free flights, known as “award flights”, on Singapore Airlines through Star Alliance airlines and SQ partner airlines, however, are only integrated with KrisFlyer miles to some degree. If you cannot redeem your flight online, you can fill in a reservation form or call KrisFlyer to book.

Upgrade paid flights: If you don’t have enough KrisFlyer miles for the flight you want, you can use your miles to upgrade your (paid) flight to the next cabin class, i.e. upgrade to Premium Economy or Business.

Use KrisFlyer miles to pay for Scoot: Singapore Airlines has discontinued vouchers for Scoot flights, but you can still use your KrisFlyer miles as “cash” to pay for your Scoot airfare. (You’ll definitely get judged by fellow travel hackers, but hey, it’s your life.)

Use KrisFlyer miles to pay for other stuff: It’s hardly worth mentioning, but you can also use KrisFlyer miles as money to pay for stuff like KrisShop purchases or to KrisPay merchants. I guess it’s a nice way to use up random leftover miles that are expiring soon.

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FAQs about KrisFlyer miles redemption & fees

If you’ve followed this guide all the way through, you should be all set for your free trip! Or perhaps some questions popped into your head:

Are there any costs when you redeem KrisFlyer miles for flights?

Yes, your award flights won’t be 100% free. You need to pay taxes and miscellaneous charges in cash. This is only a fraction of the airfare anyway, but it’s something to bear in mind.

Don’t forget you can earn miles on those extra costs if you use your air miles card to pay for that final bit of your flight!

Can you transfer KrisFlyer miles to anyone else?

No, you can’t transfer your miles to anyone else. So if you and your partner are both chasing miles, you might want to consolidate everything in one account.

That said, KrisFlyer members can select up to 5 people to form your “Redemption Group”. These KrisFlyer nominees are allowed to use your account to book flights and collect tickets, so you can “share” your account in this way with friends/family.

Selecting your KrisFlyer nominees is a commitment because if you ever change your mind, it’ll cost you US$30 or 3,000 miles each time you make changes.

What if you don’t have enough KrisFlyer miles for the flight you want?

Tough luck. Consider changing your destination to a cheaper one, flying on a lower cabin class, or waiting till you have more miles.

But if all these are out of the question, there is the option to top up extra miles with cash. It’ll cost you though. Top ups are sold in blocks of 1,000 miles and they cost US$40 per block.

Another way to “buy” KrisFlyer miles is to pay the annual fee on certain miles cards. For example, if you pay the annual fee of S$194.40 on the Citi PremierMiles or DBS Altitude, you get 10,000 miles. That’s less than S$20 for 1,000 miles, which is way cheaper than KrisFlyer’s top up rate!

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = Up to 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel Bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

Get an Apple iPad Wi-Fi, 64GB 9th Gen (worth S$503.65) OR a Nintendo Switch OLED Gaming Console (worth S$549) OR S$450 Amazon SG Gift Card or S$300 Cash via PayNow when you apply and spend a min. of S$500 in "Qualifying Spends" within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 15 Oct 2023
DBS logo
Online Promo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles
Overseas Spend
S$1 = 2.2 Miles
On Travel Spend at Expedia & Kaligo
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
Online Promo:
Get up to 40,000 miles when you apply for an eligible DBS Altitude Credit Card and charge a min. spend of S$2,000 within 30 days from card approval date. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 30 Nov 2023

What if you want to make changes to your award flights?

Book your award flights carefully, because there’s pretty much no turning back once you’ve booked. (Unless you booked Advantage, which allows you to change the date/time to suit your schedule.)

Here’s a table of fees you’ll have to pay if you want to make changes to your flight:

Fee Cost (Saver) Cost (Advantage)
Change date or time (Singapore Airlines or SilkAir) US$25 Free
Change route, cabin class or award type (Singapore Airlines or SilkAir) US$25 US$25
Change date, route, flight or carrier (partner airlines) US$50 N/A
Cancellation / refund of miles US$75 US$50
No show penalty US$100 (Economy) / US$200 (Premium Economy) / US$300 (Business or First)

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KrisFlyer contact details

For enquiries and certain award flight bookings (e.g. on SQ partner airlines), you will need to contact KrisFlyer Membership Services the old school way – by phone.

Tel: +65 6223 8888 (24 hours)

2 Orchard Turn
#04-05 ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

For non-urgent enquiries, there’s also an online feedback form.

Alternatively you can try to call Singapore Airlines’ ticketing office or go down to the counter to bang table, though I’m not sure how effective they’ll be at addressing KrisFlyer-specific issues.

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Want to start collecting miles now? See some of the best miles card in Singapore and apply with MoneySmart today. Share this article with a friend and start earning miles together!