Cheapest ways to fly between Singapore and US/Canada using Miles/Points from Singapore cards

Have you been accumulating a lot of miles/points by using the best cards for your spending? In this article, I’ll be ranking the cheapest award flights to/from the USA & Canada, that you can redeem your hard-earned credit card miles/points for.

Have a look at the other versions of this article, for the cheapest award flights to/from:

  • North Asia (Japan, South Korea, China etc.)
  • Europe (Italy, United Kingdom, Spain etc.)

Singapore Credit Card Transfer Partners

Miles/Points from most credit cards can be transferred to KrisFlyer and Asia Miles. However, as shown in the table below, Citibank cards have many more transfer partners than most others, giving cardholders fantastic flexibility when redeeming for an award flight.

In the Miles Game, flexibility is very important. For this reason, when deciding which card to transact with (between cards with similar earn rates), I recommend picking Citi and HSBC cards over the others.

P.S. Although AMEX has many transfer partners too, they do not have any good cards for earning miles/points.

Frequent Flyer
Program
CitibankHSBCOCBCDBSUOBMaybankAmerican
Express
Standard
Chartered
Singapore Airlines
KrisFlyer
Cathay Pacific
Asia Miles
EVA Air
Infinity
MileageLands

     
Qatar Airways
Privilege Club

      
British Airways
Executive Club

    
Finnair
Plus


      
KLM/Air France
Flying Blue

     
Qantas
Frequent Flyer

    
Turkish Airlines
Miles&Smiles

      
Thai Airways
Royal Orchid
Plus

      
Etihad
Guest

     
Malaysia Airlines
Enrich
      
Vietnam Airlines
Lotusmiles
 
      
Air Canada
Aeroplan
 
      
United Airlines
MileagePlus
 
     
Hainan Airlines
Fortune Wings
Club
 
      
Vistara
Club Vistara
 
      
Japan Airlines
Mileage Bank
 
      
Emirates
Skywards
       
China Airlines
Dynasty Flyer
       
Marriott Bonvoy 

    
Hilton Honors       
Accor
Live Limitless
 
     
IHG
One Rewards

     
  = Poor transfer ratio
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Frequent Flyer Programs and Partner Airlines

These are the top 5 Frequent Flyer Programs (FFPs) that Singapore credit cardholders should consider, when booking award flights between Singapore and US/Canada:

Frequent
Flyer
Program
AllianceBooking
Link
Singapore Airlines
KrisFlyer
Star
Alliance
All airlines
Cathay Pacific
Asia Miles
oneworldAll airlines
EVA Air
Infinity
MileageLands
Star
Alliance
EVA Air
Star Alliance
Finnair
Plus
oneworldWebsite
or Call/Chat
Qatar Airways
Privilege Club
oneworldWebsite
or Call

Miles/Points from every airline’s FFP can also be redeemed for flights on partner airlines.

For example, miles in EVA Air Infinity MileageLands can be redeemed for flights on its Star Alliance partners like Singapore Airlines, United and Air Canada.

Star Alliance

Here are some Star Alliance airlines that you can fly in, between Singapore and US/Canada:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • United
  • Air Canada

oneworld

Here are some oneworld airlines that you can fly in, between Singapore and US/Canada:

  • Cathay Pacific
  • Qatar Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • Finnair

Cheapest ways to fly between Singapore and US/Canada

The award rates shown below are only for the lowest rates available on each FFP, ignoring low-value “Advantage”, “Flexi” or “non-promotional” rates that some FFPs offer.

Definitions

West Coast

East Coast

Los Angeles
San Francisco
Seattle
Vancouver
etc.

New York
Chicago
Montreal
Miami
Houston
Toronto
etc.

Economy Class

Travellers are usually advised against redeeming miles/points for Economy Class flights, as they can often get far better value on Premium classes. For example, Business Class flights from Singapore to US/Canada cost as much as 500% more in cash (vs Economy), but only require as little as 50% more in miles.

However, travellers who can only travel during peak holiday seasons (when Business Class availability is bad), or have a large family to redeem for can still get good value by redeeming their miles/points for Economy Class flights on some airlines/FFPs, especially when the cash fares are very high.

Here are the cheapest ways to travel between Singapore and US/Canada, in Economy Class, using miles/points from Singapore credit cards:

Frequent
Flyer
Program
AirlineMiles
(one-way, Economy)
Taxes/
Fees
(estimated)
West
Coast
East
Coast
Finnair
Plus
Cathay
Pacific
35k35k~S$350
Asia
Miles
Cathay
Pacific
38k38k~S$350
KrisFlyerSingapore
Airlines
42k44k~S$65
Asia
Miles
Finnair47k47k~S$160
Privilege
Club
Qatar
Airways
47.5k –
57k
47.5k –
57k
~S$260
Infinity
Mileage-
Lands
EVA Air50k55k~S$240
Infinity
Mileage-
Lands
Singapore
Airlines,
United
60k60k~S$65
Finnair
Plus
Finnair60k60k~S$200

Premium Economy

This is a smaller list, as not all airlines have Premium Economy seats on flights to/from Singapore. On top of that, not all FFPs have the Premium Economy class listed in their award charts.

Here are the cheapest ways to travel between Singapore and US/Canada, in Premium Economy Class, with miles/points from Singapore credit cards:

Frequent
Flyer
Program
AirlineMiles
(one-way,
Premium Economy)
Taxes/
Fees
(estimated)
West
Coast
East
Coast
Infinity
Mileage-
Lands
EVA Air55k60k~S$240
KrisFlyerSingapore
Airlines
75k80.5k~S$65
Asia
Miles
Cathay
Pacific
75k75k~S$350
Finnair
Plus
Finnair87k87k~S$230

Business Class

Here are the cheapest ways to travel between Singapore and US/Canada, in Business Class, with miles/points from Singapore credit cards:

Frequent
Flyer
Program
AirlineMiles
(one-way, Business)
Taxes/
Fees
(estimated)
West
Coast
East
Coast
Infinity
Mileage-
Lands
EVA Air75k80k~S$240
Finnair
Plus
Cathay
Pacific
75k75k~S$350
Privilege
Club
Qatar
Airways
95k –
114k
95k –
114k
~S$360
Infinity
Mileage-
Lands
Singapore
Airlines,
United
97.5k97.5k~S$65
KrisFlyerSingapore
Airlines
107k111.5k~S$65
Asia
Miles
Cathay
Pacific
110k110k~S$350
Asia
Miles
Finnair115k115k~S$160
Finnair
Plus
Finnair125k125k~S$310
Redeem miles for EVA Air Business Class (read my review)
Redeem miles for Qatar Airways Business Class (read my review)
Redeem miles for Cathay Pacific Business Class (read my review)
Redeem miles for Singapore Airlines Business Class (read my review)

Why are some taxes/fees so high?

The taxes and fees on award flights depend on a number of factors:

  1. Airport fees
  2. Whether the airline carries fuel surcharges (e.g. Singapore Airlines and Finnair do not)
  3. Whether the FFP passes on fuel surcharges (e.g. KrisFlyer does not, but only on Singapore Airlines flights)
  4. The amount of fuel surcharges (e.g. EVA Air has fairly low fuel surcharges, but Turkish Airlines has much more, for the same flight distance)
  5. Other additional FFP/airline fees

Should you only aim for redemptions with low taxes/fees? The short answer is no.

In some cases, the FFP-airline combination that has low taxes/fees, also has a much higher award rate.

For example, to travel to New York in Business Class, a traveller can redeem just 75k miles + ~S$240 in taxes/fees, for EVA Air flights with Infinity MileageLands. With KrisFlyer, the traveller needs 107k miles + ~S$65. That’s S$175 less cash for 32k more miles (worth S$510)!

While Infinity MileageLands looks like a clear winner here, there are also other factors that can influence your decision, as everyone’s a different traveller:

  1. Do you care about the values of miles?
  2. Is there award availability for your preferred route/date?
  3. Do you only want to fly direct?
  4. Are you earning miles much faster than you have time to redeem them?
  5. Do you only want to fly for (close to) “free”?
  6. Does the airline fly to your preferred destination?
  7. Do you have miles that are expiring very soon?
  8. Are there any special transfer bonus or award discount offers?
  9. Do you prefer the seat/food/service on some airlines?
  10. Do you feel the need to “make good use” of your airline status by sticking to a particular airline/alliance?

How to search for award space

To check if there is award availability, travellers can visit the respective FFPs’ website. However, most of them are slow as they only allow users to search date-by-date or week-by-week.

Search faster with calendar views

For oneworld flights, travellers can search for partner award availability much faster through the calendar view on American Airlines’ website.

For Star Alliance, this can be done on Lifemiles or United‘s websites.

Use these websites only as a guide and ignore the mileage requirements that are listed. When you see availability, repeat the search on the website of your preferred FFP.

Do note that some FFPs, like KrisFlyer and Infinity MileageLands, may release more award seats on their own airlines. This means that members will not be able to see the additional award availability on partner websites like AAdvantage or Lifemiles.

Independent award search engines

Travellers can also find near-term award availability across different FFPs, airlines or alliances through independent search engines like seats.aero and awardfares.com.

Again, use these websites only as a guide and repeat the search on the website of your preferred FFPs.

Get alerted when there is award space

Travellers can also receive alerts when there is award availability on their preferred date and route, with paid services from websites like expertflyer.com and seatspy.com.

Bottom line

The “best” award redemption depends almost entirely on your preferences. There is no right answer, as everyone’s a different traveller.

Travellers who earn flexible miles/points through their credit cards will always have the upper hand in finding award availability across multiple FFPs.

I hope that this article gave you the required knowledge to make the best decisions to suit your travel needs, when redeeming miles/points for flights between Singapore and US/Canada.

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