If you’re ever flying on paid fares with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or a Star Alliance carrier, chances are you’re crediting the miles to your KrisFlyer account. What to do then when your paid travels take you on oneworld, SkyTeam or even non-aligned airlines like Emirates?
The obvious answer is to credit into that individual airline’s frequent flyer program – but that can lead to small balances of little long-term use especially if your paid trip with that carrier is likely to be a one-off.
Enter wheretocredit.com, an invaluable tool to help you know which frequent flyer schemes you can credit miles to based on the airline you’re flying with – and crucially which will give you the most miles based on your class of travel.
The Where to credit website isn’t particularly flashy or advanced – but the key is that the user interface is clean and simple to use. Just let it know which airline you are flying with and in what booking class. The booking class can usually be found on your e-ticket receipt.
Here’s an example where you might not have thought it possible but you can earn Alaska Miles – Fiji Airways. They are flying twice a week from Singapore to Nadi and they have some competitive fares even in business class.
If the fare code for this booking isn’t made clear on the site you’re booking with (actually the Fiji Airways site does show it – under ‘Fare Rules’) you can always check it on Google’s ITA Matrix – not the simplest tool to use at first but you soon get the hang of it. As it shows here this deal books into fare code ‘I’.
Then it’s simply a case of checking which frequent flyer programs you can credit miles to on this flight using wheretocredit.com. This time we’ll check the result on the iPhone app, which is just as easy to use as the desktop version.
As you can see there are a few options including crediting to American Airlines as well, but the best option here is to credit to Alaska Airlines if you use those miles and have a reasonable quantity already.
wheretocredit.com also has a handy calculator you can use to estimate the number of miles you’ll earn on a specific route with a specific airline in a given fare class. It’s an easier alternative than calculating the mileage yourself through gcmap.com or a similar tool, especially if you’re travelling on a mixed-class booking or more complex itinerary.
23,200 Alaska miles would cost you about S$610 to buy even in one of their top 50% bonus miles promotions, so you’re getting some real value back from the fare here. It’s almost enough miles to achieve the JAL stopover ‘trick’ we mentioned in our recent overview of the Alaska scheme.
Take an Emirates example. You’re flying from Singapore to Melbourne and back in their business class cabin on a paid ticket. If you’re lucky your company is paying for it. Here’s how the earning table looks from wheretocredit.com:
Assuming it’s a Business Saver fare (code I), you’d get 11,750 Emirates Skywards miles for the booking, or 10,000 Qantas points (those don’t show on wheretocredit.com because they are variable based on your frequent flyer status – in our calculator blue tier is assumed for Skywards and bronze for Qantas).
Here again you’re better off crediting to Alaska miles if you collect and use those points as these earn 225% of flown mileage on Emirates business ‘I’ fares. TAP Portugal also has a generous earn rate here – but that’s unlikely to be useful to our readers.
Remember of course by moving away from Skywards you’ll forgo any Emirates status credits earning for the journey – if those are important to you it may shift the decision.
Also if you already hold status in the scheme, Skywards Gold for example, you’d earn 16,450 miles for this trip and wouldn’t be able to take advantage of your tier benefits by crediting instead to Alaska.
You can use wheretocredit.com to help you make up a shortfall in miles with a frequent flyer scheme you use but find it difficult to transfer miles into in Singapore. For example you might be short of a couple of thousand LifeMiles for a specific redemption, but you have a paid Singapore Airlines flight to Manila coming up.
A quick check on wheretocredit.com shows you can earn the same number of LifeMiles as KrisFlyer miles for the flight – so just switch your frequent flyer program to your Avianca account for the booking. You’ll lose out on SQ Elite miles for tier qualification but that might well be outweighed by your desire to secure the LifeMiles redemption.
Be careful not to be tempted by frequent flyer programs simply because they are offering the highest earning rate for a flight you’re taking. It should be a scheme you use or know you will use in future and the number of miles should be sufficient for you, otherwise you run the risk of never using them (which makes them worthless).
Better to have a smaller number of miles in a scheme you will use than risk effectively forfeiting the whole lot.
We think wheretocredit.com is a really useful tool to use whenever you’re travelling on a paid fare with a full-service carrier. When flying a paid ticket with an unusual carrier many people automatically assume their only option is to open a frequent flyer account with that specific airline and credit miles there – but that’s rarely the case and may work out far less useful than crediting to a scheme you already use.
It’s also a great way of checking whether you can earn a lot more miles by transferring into an alternative program – just make sure you’ll definitely be able to use them!
Airlines around the world often partner with a surprising list of other carriers (we’re crediting an upcoming jetBlue flight to KrisFlyer) so there can be good ‘arbitrage’ to be had here for regular fliers.