Why you probably shouldn’t transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer for most Singapore Airlines redemptions

A comparison of pricing between Velocity and KrisFlyer

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: April 6, 2017
UPDATED: April 21, 2017
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

I’d imagine that most of us have faster-growing balances with Velocity Frequent Flyer than we do with KrisFlyer, given the breadth of Velocity points earn opportunities in Australia in and beyond Velocity credit card partners.

A unique feature of Velocity and KrisFlyer is the ability to transfer points between the two programs at a ratio of 1.35:1.

Given KrisFlyer’s pricing changes in March 2017 and the removal of fuel surcharges on award tickets, meaning the taxes charged by both programs are now basically the same, I’ve updated this guide to show that now it doesn’t really make sense to transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer for most Singapore Airlines redemptions.

However, whether you use one program or another will depend on the specific Singapore Airlines redemption you have in mind – and you’ll need to compare the costs in both Velocity and KrisFlyer to calculate. This guide aims to show you how.

Two important points first

Do keep two things in mind:

  • you can’t use Velocity Points for First Class redemptions on Singapore Airlines – only Business and Economy
  • Singapore Airlines releases more award space to its own KrisFlyer members than to its partners, e.g. Velocity, so what you see as available on the KrisFlyer website might not be bookable through Velocity. That means while it may not make sense by a points-by-points comparison to transfer your points to KrisFlyer, limited availability through Velocity may mean that you have to transfer your points to KrisFlyer in order to secure that seat

Singapore Virgin Australia

Route comparisons

To work out which airline is best for redeeming your points, I’ve compared the pricing of one-way Singapore-operated flights from Sydney and Melbourne to three destinations: London, Singapore and Tokyo.

The points needed for each destination are the same from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra – figures from Perth and Darwin are lower.

On these three routes, taxes charged by KrisFlyer were less than $5 above those charged by Velocity, so we can just make a comparison based on the difference in points pricing.

Singapore Airlines 777-300 Business Class Cabin - SQ211 Business Class

An example of what we’re aiming for: the best value way to travel in Singapore Airlines Business Class, here one of their regional Boeing 777s

To London

ProgramClassPoints required for redemptionPoints required if transferred
Velocity (VA)Economy 75,000 VA101,250 KF
Business139,000 VA187,650 KF
KrisFlyer (KF)Economy 53,000 KF71,550 VA
Business105,000 KF141,750 VA

To Singapore

ProgramClassPoints required for redemption Points required if transferred
Velocity (VA)Economy 35,000 VA47,250 KF
Business65,000 VA87,750 KF
KrisFlyer (KF)Economy 28,000 KF37,800 VA
Business58,000 KF78,300 VA

To Tokyo

ProgramClassPoints required for redemption Points required if transferred
Velocity (VA)Economy 56,000 VA75,600 KF
Business104,000 VA140,400 KF
KrisFlyer (KF)Economy 42,000 KF56,700 VA
Business83,000 KF112,050 VA

My conclusions

Based on these three examples, it seems that:

  1. On a points-by-points basis, KrisFlyer redemptions on Singapore Airlines flights are nearly always cheaper than Velocity redemptions

  2. If you don’t have enough KrisFlyer miles to complete your booking, then it will usually make sense to book a Singapore Airlines redemption through Velocity rather than transferring your Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles (however, there is one exception amongst these six cases)

How to do your own comparison: an example

Step 1: Find your desired route and cabin on the Velocity award chart (Table 2 for Singapore Airlines redemptions) and KrisFlyer award chart

Step 2: Write down the two prices, e.g. a one-way Business Class seat to London will cost you 139,000 Velocity points or 105,000 KrisFlyer miles

Step 3: Multiply the KrisFlyer price by 1.35 to see how many Velocity points you’d need to transfer, i.e. 139,000 x 1.35 = 141,750

Step 4: If that pricing is higher than booking through Velocity, then you should book through Velocity. If it is lower, then you should transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer. In the London case, a Business Class redemption is best booked through Velocity directly but an Economy Class ticket is cheaper by transferring to KrisFlyer

Summing up

It pays to do your research! If you don’t have the time to though, chances are you’re better keeping your Velocity points where they are for Singapore Airlines redemptions.

However, if you’re lucky enough to have a KrisFlyer balance, then you’ll pay less overall then redeeming through Velocity.