Whenever you use your KrisFlyer miles to get a cash equivalent saving, such as on Kris+ or at the KrisShop, you’re almost always looking at a pretty abysmal return of 0.6 to 0.8 cents per mile, far worse than you’ll achieve with Business Class or First Class Saver redemption awards on SIA.
KrisFlyer vRooms is no exception, with the site typically offering 0.8 cents per mile when you redeem in full for a hotel stay, hardly worth considering especially given that you’ll also sacrifice loyalty points accrual at chain properties.
It isn’t always a terrible idea though, with a little quirk offering superior value year-round, and a new offer just released that can potentially make it sweeter still.
25% discount offer
From 19th August 2022 to 30th September 2022, vRooms is offering a 25% discount on the number of KrisFlyer miles you need to redeem hotel stays (and car hire for that matter), for stays completed by 31st March 2023.
That means instead of redeeming hotel stays at around 0.8 cents per mile in most cases, you’ll be getting closer to 1.1 cents per mile, which is still poor, but arguably more palatable when compared to other cash alternatives for your miles, as shown below.
Cash alternatives for KrisFlyer miles
|Method||Min. miles||Value per mile|
|Redeem a vRooms hotel stay
(25% discount promotion)
|Credit towards an SIA or Scoot cash ticket||1,050||0.95¢|
|Redeem a KrisShop purchase||1,000||0.80¢|
|Redeem a vRooms hotel stay
|Transfer to Shangri-La points for hotel stays||20,000||0.75¢|
|Transer to Kris+||15||0.67¢|
|Transfer to LinkPoints||3,000||0.65¢|
|Transfer to Esso Smiles points
The vRooms ‘secret’ for best redemption value
If you cast your mind back to mid-May 2018, we wrote about the launch of KrisFlyer vRooms, and we identified there was one way to get outsized value for your miles – upwards of 2 cents per mile or more.
The golden rule? Redeeming KrisFlyer miles on a vRooms booking is 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.
That’s because vRooms allows you to make payment for your hotel stay either purely in miles, or on a 10-stage sliding scale of miles + cash, and if you whack the scale to the far left (i.e. minimum miles, maximum cash), it can work out as a very nice saving on a per-mile basis.
The top (11th) option is to pay fully using miles, with no cash element. As we’ve already alluded to above, don’t do this if it’s value per mile you’re looking for.
Here’s an example for a three-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Bangkok in mid-September.
- Hotel: Hyatt Regency Bangkok
- Dates: 14th – 17th September 2022 (3 nights)
- Room Type: 1 King Bed, refundable
|Best Online Rate||Source|
Here’s how the KrisFlyer vRooms payment options break down, including the impact of the current 25% redemption discount.
|Cash||Miles||Saving||Value per mile|
As you can see with the minimum miles option you’re potentially saving S$74.31 on this hotel stay for an outlay of only 2,900 KrisFlyer miles during the promotion, equivalent to getting 2.56 cents per mile (usually 1.91 cents per mile pre-discount).
For comparison, to make an in-store purchase of S$74.31 at a Kris+ merchant using miles (which of course we never recommend anyway), you’d need 11,146 miles to offset the same payment, so 2,900 miles is starting to look seriously competitive, provided you’ve priced up the best hotel rate correctly.
Things to bear in mind
Using KrisFlyer vRooms to make a hotel booking during this promotion won’t always get you north of 2.5 cents per mile in value, even when you use the ‘min miles, max cash’ strategy outlined above.
There are a few things to research and be aware of before you commit to booking:
- Remember to thoroughly research the best rate for your chosen hotel through their own site, OTAs like Agoda, and even miles-earning sites like Kaligo and Rocketmiles, before making your decision to use vRooms.
- In some cases the maths does not add up, and using vRooms can even mean parting with miles while also actually paying more cash than via other available options!
- If you’re booking a chain hotel you won’t get any points or status credits in the hotel loyalty scheme for your vRooms booking. That makes vRooms more useful if you’re staying at an independent property, or at a chain you don’t bother collecting points or status with.
- Some hotels will still honour your status benefits during your stay, even though you won’t accrue points for OTA bookings (Marriott properties typically do this, in our experience).
Arguably if you have already secured the status level you desire with a particular hotel chain, vRooms may make more sense for your booking if the discount from using a small number of miles works out much better than accruing the hotel points, provided the hotel will still honour your status perks during your stay.
Which card to use
If you do find a KrisFlyer vRooms deal that makes sense to book during this promotion, and assuming like most of our readers you are based in Singapore, you’ll want to achieve the maximum number of credit card miles for the cash element of the booking itself.
That’s important because we’re actually advocating “mostly cash” for vRooms bookings, to unlock the best value per mile.
The transaction will be processed by points.com, who run the vRooms platform.
You can earn the most extra miles for the purchase transaction by using one of the following Singapore issued credit cards, if possible:
|Card||Miles per S$1||Notes|
(see our review)
|4.0||4 mpd on all online spend in a statement period, capped at S$1,000 per card.|
(see our review)
|4.0*||4 mpd on all online spend in a calendar month, capped at S$2,000.|
Note: Our readers have reported that using the DBS WWMC card via points.com does not automatically award the higher 4 mpd earn rate. You must usually appeal and claim the bonus miles later, which you may consider too much hassle.
As far as we know, vRooms (Points.com) purchases do not classify as travel spend, instead falling under MCC 7399: Business Services Not Elsewhere Classified.
It’s possible to use KrisFlyer vRooms for hotel bookings and achieve good value per mile, but it usually only makes sense to do so at the lowest end of the sliding payment scale, with minimum miles and maximum cash outlay.
If you’re staying at a non-chain property and the maths works out when comparing with both direct and OTA rates for your proposed stay, this is certainly a booking method worth considering during the 25% discount promotion.
Remember you’ll have to book by 30th September 2022, for stays completed by 31st March 2023, for the 25% redemption discount to apply.
(Cover Photo: UNICO Hotel)