Redeem Velocity Points for Singapore Airlines & Star Alliance flights

This article was published some time ago and content may be out-of-date.  Airlines are continually changing their loyalty programs. Always double-check with the airline. 

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Overview

Although Velocity Frequent Flyer members can redeem their points for Singapore Airlines flights directly, there’s a major issue with this approach – availability.

Unfortunately, reward seats are very limited in high-demand cabins like Premium Economy and Business, making it difficult to use your Velocity points for high-value redemptions. This is especially for long-haul flights to continental Europe and the UK – which are easier to secure by transferring your points.

Why? Singapore Airlines only provide limited reward availability to their partners, like Velocity (they keep it for their own members). However, there’s a way around this bottleneck! Due to Virgin Australia’s strong partnership with Singapore Airlines, Velocity members can transfer their Velocity points directly to Singapore Airlines’ popular KrisFlyer program.

You’ll also gain access to a host of ‘sweet-spot’ rewards not only with Singapore Airlines but 25 additional Star Alliance carriers. Learn more about using your Velocity points for Star Alliance flights in our dedicated guide.

Stand-outs include long-haul trips to Europe (better availability than Velocity) and cheap redemptions from and within Asia. Singapore’s monthly Spontaneous Escapes promotion can also be a winner, offering major discounts on selected rewards when booking on short notice.

Another benefit is that KrisFlyer do not force fuel surcharges on Singapore Airlines operated reward flights.

Velocity – Star Alliance Rewards

Send your Velocity points to KrisFlyer and redeem cheap Star Alliance rewards across the world’s largest airline network.

Velocity Reward Seats

Reward seats allow you to apply for a seat on Virgin Australia, or one of Virgin’s international partner airlines, with your Velocity points. However, there are only a set amount of reward seats allocated for any particular flight, so availability is limited.

Velocity Seat Upgrades

Upgrade your existing, fully-paid Virgin Australia seat to a higher cabin-class.

Value vs Velocity

So, you can transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines, where availability is good, but how does the value stack up? You can transfer your Velocity points at a ratio of 1.35:1 (multiply your Velocity points by 0.74 to calculate the conversion. e.g 100,000 Velocity points equals 74,000 KrisFlyer miles). Don’t let the ratio put you off, there are some amazing KrisFlyer redemption opportunities that present some of best Velocity point value we’ve seen, even after the conversion!

Singapore Airlines own a large chunk of Virgin Australia, which paves the way for the transfer feature.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is itself a great value program, which we recommend joining (you can register for free). In fact, if you join and earn points directly via the growing number of membership partners Australia, you’ll be even better off than transferring them at the reduced ratio.

How to transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines

First, create a KrisFlyer account. Simply visit the Singapore Airlines website and register for free.

Once your KrisFlyer account is active, you can transfer your Velocity points online via the Virgin Australia website. Simply log-in, navigate to your account and click on the ‘Points Transfer – Airlines’ item in the side menu. First, you’ll have to ‘Link’ your Velocity account with KrisFlyer by adding your account number. Your accounts must be in the same name – you cannot transfer your Velocity points to a KrisFlyer account in another person’s name. A minimum of 5,000 Velocity points is required.

To transfer, simply select the number of points and confirm. View our conversion rates below to determine the number of Velocity points required for popular Singapore Airlines rewards.

You can search for KrisFlyer reward seats on the Singapore Airlines website.

To begin, make sure you select ‘Redeem Flights’ before adding your flight information, dates and cabin class.

Your search results will be displayed on the next screen. Singapore structures its reward seats a little differently than Qantas and Velocity, offering two main reward tiers, ‘Saver’ and ‘Standard’.  Saver is what you should be looking to target, as it is the cheapest KrisFlyer miles seat, however it’s sometimes not available on high-demand flights.

We’ve selected a Sydney – London return flight in Business. As you can see, the available rewards are listed in the right columns. For return flights, the miles requirement is total trip’s sum (210,000 miles).

A tip when searching for multi-flight sector long-haul flights. If you’re struggling with availability, try searching for each sector individually (For example, Flight 1) Sydney – Singapore and Flight 2) Singapore – London). If you find individual availability, note down the flight information (dates, times and flight number) and contact the Australian KrisFlyer call centre to book.

And now for our flight back home.

After selecting all acceptable flights we’re again shown a total KrisFlyer miles requirement, along with the tax co-payment.

We’re also prompted with the option to add a free stopover with our round-trip Saver reward, which is an additional feature of transferring your points to Singapore Airlines. Both Qantas and Velocity do not offer this benefit, which is another great feature of this redemption method.

You can also redeem on Star Alliance airlines, including a ‘Round The World’ reward!

By transferring your Velocity points to KrisFlyer, you also open the door to Star Alliance flight rewards.

The Star Alliance includes 27 of the world’s biggest airlines, like Air Canada, All Nippon Airways (ANA), United, SAS and Swiss. Learn how to secure Star Alliance flights across Australian, US and European travel in our dedicated guide or find out more about the ‘Round The World’ reward.

Booking

You can book Singapore Airlines reward seats online or via Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer call centre.

KrisFlyer charges an ‘Additional service fee’ for any call centre bookings ($25 USD), however, this will be waived if you are booking a Star Alliance partner reward that doesn’t appear on the Singapore Airlines website.

Availability

Improved availability is a major advantage of transferring your Velocity points to KrisFlyer. You’re just not going to find the same reward availability with Velocity.

As an example, you can redeem Sydney to London return in Business Class for 210,000 KrisFlyer points (multiply this 1.35 for the Velocity points requirement, which is 283,500). This is decent value considering availability is much better than Velocity and Qantas on this route. Singapore Airlines tax co-payments are also in line with Velocity’s – much cheaper than Qantas. In this example, the co-payment is $485 return (approaching $1,000 with Qantas), due to the UK’s unavoidable APD tax in premium cabins, but it’s the same on all airlines.

Generally speaking, Saver rewards are widely available on long-haul flights to continental Europe, the UK and the US. Likewise, you’ll find more seats on short-haul Asian flights from Australia. There’s generally even better availability if you’re departing outside of Australia. For certain flights, you may need to spend marginally more points than the equivalent Velocity redemption, however, if the reward seat isn’t available in the first place it’s hard to secure it!

Routing rules & features

Main rules

Singapore Airlines’ reward itineraries must be the most direct route (e.g. you can’t manufacture a blatantly indirect route yourself to house additional stopovers).

Itineraries cannot backtrack. However, there are exceptions if the only routing available goes backwards. Contact the KrisFlyer call centre to see if they can help you.

Book one-way or round-trip

You to book both one-way and return Star Alliance trips at the same rate. Transit-flights incur no additional cost as long as they use the most direct route (which always appear in the Singapore Airlines reward seat search).

For example, a return (round-trip) booking could be: FLIGHT OUT: Singapore – Johannesburg (layover) – Capetown; FLIGHT BACK: Capetown – Johannesburg (layover) – Singapore.

Book an ‘open jaw’ round-trip

KrisFlyer permits ‘open jaw’ itineraries for round-trips. This is a nice feature, which allows you to either return to your starting location from a port other than your original destination, or when to return to a port that is different to your original departure location.

For example, an open jaw booking could be: FLIGHT OUT: Singapore – Johannesburg (layover) – Capetown; FLIGHT BACK: Capetown – Johannesburg (layover) – Singapore (layover) – Bali.

Your ‘open jaw’ must sit within the same region or it’ll cost you a lot more. Although our itinerary started in Singapore (Southeast Asia 1) and returned to Denpasar (Southeast Asia 2), these regions chart the same miles cost (90,000 KrisFlyer miles return) we won’t pay any more for the open jaw!

All open jaw round-trip flights will need to be booked via the Krisflyer call centre.

1 x free stopover + 2 x paid stopovers

When you book a round-trip reward with Singapore Airlines, you’re entitled to one free ‘stopover’. A stopover is any stop within your itinerary over 24 hours. This is usually a paid-for option with airlines. Making similar changes to your Qantas or Velocity reward itinerary would come at a significant cost (where you’d effectively be required to book two separate rewards, which piles on the points). You can even purchase two additional stopovers at connection points for just $100 USD each. This allows you to construct lengthy multi-stopover trips!

To add the stopover, simply select follow the prompts on the Singapore Airlines website.

For example, let’s build a free stopover into our return ‘open-jaw’ trip: FLIGHT OUT: Singapore – Johannesburg (free stopover) – Capetown; FLIGHT BACK: Capetown – Johannesburg (layover) – Singapore (layover) – Bali.

This particular return itinerary, from the ‘Southeast Asia’ zone to ‘South Africa’, would cost just 90,000 KrisFlyer miles in Business (121,500 transferred-in Velocity points) or 55,000 miles in Economy (74,250 Velocity points), with stopovers in Singapore and Capetown. We also get the benefit of stopping in a destination different to our departure port, Bali. With this particular itinerary setting you back about $7,000, the GRV for this redemption is over 5.5c/pt!

Cash co-payment: Government taxes only

KrisFlyer generously does not apply any fuel surcharges to Singapore Airlines operated reward flights. The cash co-payment is only made up of government and airport taxes. For Asian flights, these are quite reasonable. Generally speaking, their cash co-payments are in line with what Velocity charges (considerably lower than Qantas). Learn how to minimise taxes below.

Star Alliance redemptions, on the other hand, do attract fuel surcharges, however, they can be minimised by flying with our recommended partners. Read more in our full guide over here.

Any required cash co-payment will display on the Singapore Airlines reward seat search results.

Avoid high-tax transit hubs

It’s handy to know what transit hubs to stick with, along with some itinerary planning tips to help you minimise your costs. Below, we’ve provided some comments on notable regions, and how to get around any high taxes. Click on each region to find out more.

 

Asia
UK
Europe
US/Canada
South America
Asia

Singapore and Japan are great Asian hubs with low government and airport charges. Singapore Airlines (Singapore hub) and Nippon ANA (Tokyo) are great Velocity – Star Alliance Round The World redemption options.

UK

All departures from UK based airports are charged an Air Passenger Duty. This is a significant part each airline’s co-payment that you’ll pay when flying out of UK airports. The tax is obscenely large if you’re in a premium cabin, like Business. The higher taxes is significantly smaller for short flights (0-2,000 miles), and they are not charged for transit flights (flights with a connection in London).

Europe

Ireland, Poland and to a lesser extent Scandinavia and Italy are low-taxing hubs. These can be great options as European entry/ exit points. German and French airports can be expensive options.

US/Canada

Flying in, within, and out of the US is generally cost effective. You won’t experience too much damage here.

South America

South American airports generally attract very low government fees and charges. Brazil is a great hub for departing long-haul flights as the nation prohibits carriers from applying surcharges. Be careful of flights departing, Panama, however, as there’s VAT, along with departure taxes to contend with.

‘Spontaneous Escapes’ reward seat discounts

Singapore Airlines’ monthly Spontaneous Escapes promotion is another great KrisFlyer’s feature. The popular promotion offers major discounts on selected reward Singapore Airlines operated flights.

Simply transfer your Velocity points over to Krisflyer and redeem via the Singapore Airlines website.

If you’re booking short-notice travel, there are some great deals to be had even with the 1.35:1 Velocity point – Krisflyer mile transfer ratio.

30% Discount Example: Syd/Mel/Bris to Singapore

30% off the popular Syd/Mel/Bris to Singapore route compares favourably (‘Transfer’ in the table below) against the same flight redeemed with Velocity directly (‘Direct’), and you’ll likely enjoy much better short-notice availability.

KrisFlyer Transfer Direct
Bus 40,600 54,810 65,000
Econ 19,600 26,460 35,000

You can off course redeem of a host of other flights that aren’t even available via Velocity. These include routes to and within Asia, and on to Europe.

Learn more about this promotion in the Promotions Hub.

Popular Examples (Dept. AU): Cost, value & availability summary

In this section, we published a number of popular Singapore Airlines flights departing Australia to display their point costs. These tables also summarise required tax co-payment contributions, ‘GRV’ (Guide Redemption Value) analysis, and a generalised comment on availability. All content is indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Velocity’s own reward seats are generally recommended for Economy redemptions. They’re generally cheaper and availability is pretty good (but not always, so it may still be good to check other Economy destinations before you make a decision). However, there is one clear exception. That being Australian east coast flights to London, where it will set you back fewer Velocity points converting to Krisflyer that redeeming the same flight direct.

Business redemptions are usually slightly higher than booking directly via Velocity, however, the real benefit is much better availability along with the option to add stopovers (1 included free for round-trip rewards).

The important column here is ‘Transfer’. This is the about of Velocity points required to transfer to KrisFlyer miles for each direct Singapore Airlines redemption.

Learn more here about how we calculate the ‘GRV’ (Guide Redemption Value). If browsing on mobile, click on each row (+) to view the GRV, along with the estimated cash fare, taxes and a comment on this flight’s redemption availability.

Economy

Business


Value Examples

Although the redemptions above are great options against the Aussie programs due to better availability, the real sweet-spots within the Singapore Airlines reward chart depart from Asia.

Below we provide some commentary on some of the ‘sweet-spot’ Singapore Airlines rewards that you can book with Velocity points.

Asia (Dept. AU)

Australia-Asia direct and single-stopover Singapore Airlines rewards aren’t amazing value. However, there are still some opportunities. The key is locating an itinerary that requires two connections, which allows you to book cheap stopovers. Although there aren’t many of these, one option is Syd/Mel/Bri/Ade to Chi Mai, Thailand (via Singapore and Davao City). Most of the time this flight requires two connections, which means you can add stopovers at both Singapore and Davao, before arriving in Chai Mai. That’s three in one!

View these in the International (Dep. Australia) Reward Ranker.

Intra-Asia

Intra-Asian travel yields plenty of valuable reward options, offering more generous charting than Australia-Asia flights. Plenty of these depart accessible Aussie ports like Singapore, Denpasar and Jakarta.

As above, you can add a free stopover to flights with a connection to drum up even more value!

View all of our examples in the Asian Reward Ranker.

Southeast Asia to South Africa

Southeast Asian ports (Singapore, Denpasar and Jakarta) to South Africa (notably Capetown) is a great Singapore Airlines/ KrisFlyer sweet-spot.

For example, book a cheap cash flight to the easily accessible Bali and fly all the way to Cape Town with stopovers in Singapore and Johannesburg for just 90,000 KrisFlyer Miles in Business (121,500 transferred-in Velocity points) or 55,000 miles in Economy (74,250 Velocity points). The co-payment is also dirt-cheap – just $85 for the entire trip, plus $100 USD in stopover fees. Ticketed at over $6,500 in Business, this Velocity reward offers a massive GRV of 5.5c/pt. It’s also one of the most impressive Economy redemptions we’ve seen!

Our itinerary looks like this: FLIGHT OUT: Bali – Singapore (free stopover) – Johannesburg (paid stopover) – Capetown; FLIGHT BACK: Capetown – Johannesburg (layover) – Singapore (layover) – Bali. As you can see, the stopovers extend this already valuable trek into a very impressive holiday!

You will need to book this one ahead of time, however. Look for 9-12 months from scheduled departure.

View more examples in the Asian Reward Ranker.

Tips for securing Singapore Airlines reward seats

In the next section, we’ll look at the top tips for securing Singapore Airlines reward seats directly via KirsFlyer.

Be flexible

You’ll improve your chances if you are flexible. However, availability is generally much better than Velocity, so you’re less likely to have issues.

Travel times, days & dates
Book ahead
Keep Searching
Travel times, days & dates

If you’re flexible with travel times, dates and days, you’ll be more likely to secure a redemption. Try non-peak times. We’ve also found connecting flight itineraries with a longer layover to be more widely available. For example, Singapore offers a wide-range of layover options in Singapore on their popular London route – a day-trip or longer layover may suit you.

Book ahead

Singapore Airlines reward seats come online about 350 days before scheduled departure. Search early and then often (see below). It may be beneficial to book your flights separately if only one leg is available (before making the return booking when you can locate the other seat). KrisFlyer’s great change/cancellation flexibility gives you this option.

Keep Searching

Reward seats don’t all become online at the 350 day mark, with many appearing as more capacity becomes available.

Consider KrisFlyer’s great reward seat flexibility

Although most frequent flyer program’s reward seats come with good change/ cancellation flexibility, Singapore Airlines redemptions are a stand-out. Changes and cancellations made 24 hours prior to departure attract a $25US/$75US charge.

Flight time & date changes
Route changes
Cancellations
Flight time & date changes

Allowed. Must be requested at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure. $25US per guest per booking. Fare differences payable.

Route changes

Allowed. Must be requested at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure. $25US per guest per booking. Fare differences payable.

Cancellations

Allowed up until 24 hours prior to scheduled departure of each. $75US fee is payable for redepositing of KrisFlyer miles into your account.

Contact Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer redemption team

KrisFlyer’s Customer Support can be very helpful in providing assistance with Singapore Airlines reward seat availability. Australian customers are serviced directly by phoning (02) 8228 1188. You can also email your enquiries direct via KF_contact@singaporeair.com.sg.

 

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