First of all Happy Labour Day to all our readers in Singapore. This month proves to be a busy one for KrisFlyer miles hoarders and Singapore Airlines fans with a number of attractive miles earning deals running and a flurry of fleet and route activity.
Here’s our summary of what not to miss in May.
|Mileslife OCBC Titanium Rewards Offer|
|The Deal: 6mpd on all Mileslife transactions for the next two months if you switch your payment method to your OCBC Titanium Rewards MasterCard (see our review here). Better still there are no caps and wallet top-ups (starting at S$125 each) are also eligible.|
|The Detail: Bonus miles paid as OCBC$ and are in addition to the regular miles you’ll earn through Mileslife for the transaction (e.g. 3mpd at selected restaurants).|
|The End: 30th June 2018, so you’ve got 2 months to take advantage.|
|Our Tips: For restaurant bookings, use Chope to book where possible and apply promo code CHOPEKF to get 200 Chope Dollars (equivalent to 167 KrisFlyer miles) for every booking in addition to the miles earned by paying with Mileslife.
As the bonus is unlimited – consider a wallet top-up, especially towards the end of the promotion so payment is deferred to your July OCBC statement. Top-ups are also accompanied by a Mileslife bonus, and you’ll still earn miles as normal through the app as you spend from your wallet after that.
|Citi Credit Card ApplePay Transactions Bonus|
|The Deal: 8mpd on all ApplePay transactions with Citi ULTIMA, Citi Prestige and Citi Rewards credit cards, or 4mpd for the same transactions with the Citi PremierMiles card, with no cap in all cases. If you’re holding one of these cards this bonus is a no brainier – so make maximum use of your card for these transactions right up to the end of July.|
|The Detail: Bonus Miles are paid as 20x Citi Dollars for Citi ULTIMA, Citi Prestige and Citi Rewards credit cards, or as 4x Citi Miles for the Citi PremierMiles card.|
|The End: 31st July 2018, so you’ve got 3 months to take advantage.|
|Our Tips: Remember ApplePay is not the same as PayWave, you don’t have to tap or present your physical card to pay – just your phone (having stored the relevant Citi card in your ‘wallet’). Look out for the ApplePay logo, but it should work anywhere that accepts PayWave transactions. Awareness among retail staff can be poor, so if in doubt try it with your phone first before resorting to other means.
ApplePay online is also included – so you can earn the bonus miles for transactions with companies like Deliveroo and Foodpanda too.
Personally I hold the Citi PremierMiles card, which only offers 4 mpd under the current promotion – the same as I get from my OCBC Titanium Rewards card anyway, however I’m still switching to Citi for this promotion because:
Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
Unfortunately it remains a quiet month so far with only a few credit cards offering miles sign-up bonuses, mostly the high income / high fee ones at that. Here’s what’s on offer:
|HSBC Visa Infinite|
|Sign-up Bonus:||35,000 miles|
|Cost per mile:||1.86¢|
|Standard Chartered Visa Infinite|
|Sign-up Bonus:||35,000 miles|
|Cost per mile:||1.68¢|
|Citi Prestige MasterCard|
|Sign-up Bonus:||25,000 miles|
|Cost per mile:||2.14¢|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Amex|
|Sign-up Bonus:||20,000 / 26,000 miles|
|Cost per mile:||1.69¢ / 1.30¢|
|Min Spend:||S$5,000 / S$10,000 in 3 months|
|OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite|
|Sign-up Bonus:||15,000 miles|
|Cost per mile:||3.25¢|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Amex|
|Sign-up Bonus:||13,000 miles|
|Annual Fee:||Free in Year 1|
|Cost per mile:||Zero|
|Min Spend:||S$2,500 in 3 months|
|American Express Rewards Card|
|Sign-up Bonus:||11,666 miles|
|Cost per mile:||0.46¢|
|Min Spend:||S$500 per month for first 3 months|
Remember to keep an eye on our Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses page, which is regularly updated with all the latest offers for miles earning cards in Singapore.
Miles and Points Purchase Offers
If you’re interested in schemes other than KrisFlyer, there are a few offering bonus or discounted miles purchase this month:
- SPG Points are selling at a 35% discount between now and 31st May 2018. Blocks of 20,000 points can be converted to 25,000 frequent flyer miles with a variety of airlines. While this is not a good way to accrue KrisFlyer miles (effective purchase price of 2.4 cents each if you go for the 20,000 > 25,000 option), there may be value in other airline schemes like Alaska Miles, or to use for SPG redemptions, or for conversion to Marriott Rewards (1:3 ratio) especially if you’re close to one of their Travel Packages which represent excellent value – 7 nights in a hotel plus a stack of airline miles to use as you wish. Purchase here.
- British Airways are offering 50% bonus miles when you purchase their Avios between now and 8th May 2018. Not a steal – they’re overpriced by about that much at regular rates – but there is some value here especially for intra-Asia travel for example with Cathay Pacific from Singapore to Bangkok or Hong Kong, Malaysia Airlines to KL and Qantas to Australia. Redeemable with all oneworld airlines with excellent online search and redemption functionality. Purchase here.
- An Avianca LifeMiles sale should start tomorrow, these can be useful for Star Alliance and some Singapore Airlines redemptions at better than usual rates you’d be charged using KrisFlyer miles. Keep an eye out if you’re interested.
Singapore Airlines News
New Regional Business Class Ramp-Up
May is set to be the busiest month yet for new 787-10 deliveries to Singapore Airlines. That means more routes and more flights with the new regional business class seats (2018 RJ) will be added to the network.
Two aircraft are already in service – 9V-SCA and SCB. SIA’s third aircraft 9V-SCC is due to leave Charleston on Friday this week (4th May) for its delivery flight to Singapore. 9V-SCD is due to follow on Monday next week (7th May) with 9V-SCE delivering a week later on 14th May.
There’s then a gap of about a month before the sixth aircraft 9V-SCF is delivered in mid-June.
Flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur continue to operate throughout May, with the following services also starting this month:
- Osaka from 3rd May
- Perth from 7th May
- Tokyo-Narita from 18th May
For full details of the 787-10 flight schedules – see our 2018 RJ Tracker page.
Singapore Airlines is the sole operator of the 787-10 – and will remain so until Etihad receive their first example in October 2018, followed by United in November 2018.
New A380 Suites and 2017 Business Class
Later today the departure of SQ317 marks the last A380 on that flight number with the old 2006 Suites leaving London Heathrow for Singapore. From now on the SQ322 / SQ317 flight pairing will be served by the A380 Version 3 aircraft on a daily basis, featuring the new 2017 Suites and 2017 Business seats.
From this morning the Hong Kong SQ856 / SQ861 is also now permanently served by the A380 Version 3, meaning daily flights with the new seat products to London, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Zurich should be the next route once the fourth new aircraft 9V-SKY arrives – 3 days per week from 2nd July 2018. Finally with the arrival of 9V-SKZ we’ll see Zurich upgraded to daily service from 1st August 2018, and Shanghai flights from 3rd August 2018.
Keep an eye on our 2017 R & J Tracker page for the latest routes and launch dates.
SilkAir 737 MAX Routes
The latest SilkAir planes, Boeing 737 MAX 8s, are now operating exclusively on Bengaluru, Cairns, Darwin, Fuzhou, Hiroshima and Hyderabad, and on selected flights to Chongquing, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket and Pnomh Penh.
See our article from yesterday for details of the full schedules for this month.
Not ‘news’ really in that nothing particularly new has been announced but The Straits Times ran a piece last week which was picked up by a number of blogs and news outlets. Plans now appear to be for this ultra long-haul aircraft, which started test flights in Toulouse last Monday, to start serving New York later this year – a re-commencement of the world’s longest non-stop flight.
Non-stop Los Angeles services will apparently now follow in early 2019 – but none of this has been confirmed by the airline yet.
Singapore Airlines will be keen to start selling the New York flights at least 6 months out if they can, so we expect a formal announcement as early as this month. We’ll be keeping a close eye on it so stay tuned for updates.
Lots to digest this month – some great miles earning opportunities out there and we’re hoping for more credit card sign-up bonuses to be announced too.
If you’re lucky you might even get yourself booked on one of Singapore Airlines’ latest premium cabin products which are appearing on more and more routes.
Happy miles earning and safe travels in May!
(Cover Photo: Julian Herzog)