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KrisFlyer’s new ‘vRooms’ – up to 2 cents per mile off hotels

At first glance - an awful way to use your KrisFlyer miles - valuing them at less 0.8 cents each. There are small exceptions though.

vRooms Hotel Room

Singapore Airlines launched a new way to spend your hard-earned KrisFlyer miles yesterday – called ‘vRooms’. We first noticed it on their website over the weekend in fact so we knew it was coming, but they released the info by email to members yesterday morning and the dedicated website is now live.

What is ‘vRooms’?

An online hotel and car hire booking portal where you can pay all or part of the total cost using your KrisFlyer miles.

vRooms Home.jpg
The krisflyervrooms.com homepage

It’s run by points.com under their Points Travel platform, so despite heavy branding the back end is largely independent of Singapore Airlines.

Hotels: Is it good value?

If you want to pay for your entire hotel booking using KrisFlyer miles it’s awful value.

That’s not entirely unexpected though as it’s common whenever the option exists to convert your miles into cash value against a product, like at the KrisShop (remember 265,000 miles for an iPhone?), or as money off a firm flight ticket with Singapore Airlines (1.02 cents per mile) or Scoot (0.95 cents per mile).

It won’t surprise you then that if you choose to go full whack and pay for an entire hotel stay using your KrisFlyer miles it works out in all the examples we looked at as a terrible deal – something close to 0.8 cents per mile in value.

If you part pay with miles however, especially at the lowest end where you only pay a relatively small KrisFlyer balance and cover the lion’s share with your own cash, we found some examples where the KrisFlyer miles value was actually rather acceptable.

The golden rule though it that it’s only good value at certain properties if you use it to pay the minimum number of miles on a hotel booking, then pay the remainder in cash.

Hotel examples

For each hotel booking made through vRooms you have 10 part-payment options where you’ll contribute increasing levels of KrisFlyer miles and decreasing amounts of cash towards the booking. It works on a sliding scale as shown below.

vRooms Scale.jpg

Finally the 11th option is to pay fully using miles with no cash element. As we’ve already alluded to above, don’t do this.

Here are five examples where we genuinely picked random hotels in random cities on random dates to check how the value of your KrisFlyer miles differs when using them for hotel bookings through vRooms.

To make the valuation we compared with the cheapest online rate available for these properties, either directly with the hotel or through an online travel agent (OTA) like Expedia or Agoda.

Singapore

A 2-night ‘staycation’ next weekend.

  • Hotel: Andaz Singapore
  • Dates: 25th – 27th May 2018 (2 nights)
  • Room Type: 1 King Bed, non-refundable
Andaz Singapore.jpg
Andaz Singapore
(Photo: agoda.com)
Best Online Rate Source
S$753.28 agoda.com

KrisFlyer vRooms payment options:

Cash Miles Saving Value per mile
S$700.08 2,700 S$53.20 2.0¢
S$630.07 11,500 S$123.21 1.1¢
S$560.06 20,200 S$193.22 1.0¢
S$490.06 29,000 S$263.22 0.9¢
S$420.05 37,700 S$333.23 0.9¢
S$350.04 46,500 S$403.24 0.9¢
S$280.03 55,200 S$473.25 0.9¢
S$210.02 64,000 S$543.26 0.8¢
S$140.02 72,700 S$613.26 0.8¢
S$70.01 81,500 S$683.27 0.8¢
90,200 S$753.28 0.8¢

London

A mid-week 1-night stay in London in November.

  • Hotel: Crowne Plaza Kings Cross
  • Dates: 13th – 14th November 2018 (1 night)
  • Room Type: 1 Double Bed, non-refundable
Crowne Plaza London Kings Cross.jpg
Crowne Plaza London Kings Cross
(Photo: agoda.com)
Best Online Rate Source
S$319.38 Crowne Plaza Website

KrisFlyer vRooms payment options:

Cash Miles Saving Value per mile
S$299.52 1,700 S$19.86 1.2¢
S$269.57 5,500 S$49.81 0.9¢
S$239.62 9,200 S$79.76 0.9¢
S$209.66 13,000 S$109.72 0.8¢
S$179.71 16,700 S$139.67 0.8¢
S$149.76 20,400 S$169.62 0.8¢
S$119.81 24,200 S$199.57 0.8¢
S$89.86 27,900 S$229.52 0.8¢
S$59.90 31,700 S$259.48 0.8¢
S$29.95 35,400 S$289.43 0.8¢
39,200 S$319.38 0.8¢

Perth

A 4-night stay in Perth, Australia in August.

  • Hotel: Mercure Perth
  • Dates: 15th – 19th August 2018 (4 nights)
  • Room Type: Standard Room, non-refundable
Mercure Perth.jpg
Mercure Perth
(Photo: agoda.com)
Best Online Rate Source
S$584.50 Accor Hotels

KrisFlyer vRooms payment options:

Cash Miles Saving Value per mile
S$531.02 2,700 S$53.48 2.0¢
S$477.91 9,300 S$106.59 1.1¢
S$424.81 15,900 S$159.69 1.0¢
S$371.71 22,600 S$212.79 0.9¢
S$318.61 29,200 S$265.89 0.9¢
S$265.51 35,900 S$318.99 0.9¢
S$212.41 42,500 S$372.09 0.9¢
S$159.30 49,100 S$425.20 0.9¢
S$106.20 55,800 S$478.30 0.9¢
S$53.10 62,400 S$531.40 0.9¢
69,000 S$584.50 0.8¢

As you can see in both the Singapore and Perth examples it’s not a terrible deal to use your KrisFlyer miles at 2 cents value each to bring the price down to a slightly more palatable level. Beyond that though it gets much worse and in the London example it wasn’t worth using KrisFlyer miles at all with a maximum value of 1.2 cents.

In a couple of other examples – Los Angeles and the Maldives, we found a much poorer situation. By virtue of the best available rate being better than the points.com rate the value per mile was actually worse if you started at the base level then increased towards the (still awful) 0.8 cents per mile valuation for a full miles redemption.

See below.

Los Angeles

A 2-night weekend stay.

  • Hotel: Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown
  • Dates: 7th – 9th September 2018 (2 nights)
  • Room Type: Standard Room, refundable until 48h before
InterCon LA Downtown.jpg
Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown
(Photo: agoda.com)
Best Online Rate Source
S$804.62 Intercontinental Website

KrisFlyer vRooms payment options:

Cash Miles Saving Value per mile
S$794.65 2,700 S$9.97 0.4¢
S$715.19 12,600 S$89.43 0.7¢
S$635.72 22,600 S$168.90 0.7¢
S$556.26 32,500 S$248.36 0.8¢
S$476.79 42,400 S$327.83 0.8¢
S$397.33 52,400 S$407.29 0.8¢
S$317.86 62,300 S$486.76 0.8¢
S$238.40 72,200 S$566.22 0.8¢
S$158.93 82,200 S$645.69 0.8¢
S$79.47 92,100 S$725.15 0.8¢
102,000 S$804.62 0.8¢

Maldives

A 5-night stay in the Maldives in January

  • Hotel: Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
  • Dates: 7th – 12th January 2018 (5 nights)
  • Room Type: Sunrise Overwater Suite, non refundable
Anantara Dhigu Maldives.jpg
Anantara Dhigu Maldives
(Photo: agoda.com)
Best Online Rate Source<