Thursday, April 9, 2015

Should I redeem KrisFlyer miles for Scoot or TigerAir vouchers?

As you might already know, Singapore Airlines is actually a conglomerate (of sorts) of four different airlines - Singapore Airlines, Silk Air (the regional arm), Scoot (long haul low cost carrier) and a substantial shareholding in Tiger Airways Singapore (short haul low cost carrier). Up until recently however you could only spend KrisFlyer miles for flights on the two main carriers.

Well, a while ago Singapore Airlines announced that they would soon extend KrisFlyer miles spending to the two LCC's, and now that the redemption rates are out for cash-equivalent vouchers, the question is should you redeem your miles on Scoot or TigerAir vouchers?

Singapore Airlines Scoot TigerAir Vouchers KrisFlyer miles

The short answer is no. With these voucher redemptions, you're geting 0.9 cents per KF mile of value. While you might be tempted to think that's still better than nothing, KrisFlyer miles can be worth a lot more on paper when used for flight redemptions on the two main carriers.

For example, a return flight to Bali costs $210.00 in fare + $152.60 in taxes and surcharges:

Singapore Airlines Scoot TigerAir Vouchers KrisFlyer miles

With a KrisFlyer miles flight redemption, you need 12,750 miles + $152.60 in taxes and surcharges. This represents 1.6 cents per KF mile of value.

Singapore Airlines Scoot TigerAir Vouchers KrisFlyer miles

This is just one simple example for a short, two-and-a-half hour flight. In general, award flight values go up as you fly longer distances and/or step upwards in booking class (i.e. premium economy, business, first class). In fact, long haul first class redemptions come close to hitting 9 cents per KF mile.

Now, one caveat here. The "Value per KF mile" figures are all paper/theoretical values. You will need to adjust them for your own personal view of what each particular flight is worth. For example, you can fly to Sydney on Scoot for $509, or on Singapore Airlines for $843. Are the extra perks on the Singapore Airlines flight worth the 60% increase in airfare? In other words, if you are planning to book a Scoot flight, how much extra would you pay to fly Singapore Airlines instead?

Finally, if you only have a minimal amount of KrisFlyer miles and don't accrue them regularly (whether via flights or credit cards), then it may make sense to use up whatever miles you have on some Jetstar/Scoot vouchers to at least get some value out of them.

Let us know in the comments if this write-up was useful for you, and if you'd be interested in reading a longer blogpost on the best sweet spots for KrisFlyer miles redemptions. Happy flying!

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