For many globe-trotting Australians, Singapore Changi Airport can feel like a secondary home airport. Unless you’re flying to the Americas from Australia, there’s a reasonably good chance you will spend some time at Changi during transit.
That is, of course, if you don’t make Singapore your final destination – which we highly encourage. If you haven’t already, make sure to read about our latest Singapore experience, including our in-depth travel guide.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the best ways to fly to Singapore using frequent flyer points or miles, plus how to earn and redeem those points and miles. We also cover some of the best ways to earn and redeem points when staying in Singapore, before finishing up with some handy tips and tricks every point hacker should have up their sleeve.
Flying to Singapore on points
The three main airlines flying between Australia and Singapore are Qantas, Jetstar and Singapore Airlines. So if you’ve got a stash of Qantas Points, Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles, you’re in luck!
The number of points or miles needed to fly to Singapore from Australia is shown below, based on which of the main airlines you choose to fly.
Flying Qantas or Jetstar
If you’re looking to redeem Qantas or Jetstar reward seats, you can use Qantas Points. The number of points required is shown in the tables below.
using Qantas Points
|Perth & Adelaide||20,300||42,200||57,000||85,500|
|All other capitals||25,200||51,300||68,400||102,600|
using Qantas Points
|Perth & Adelaide||18,000||N/A||42,200||N/A|
|All other capitals||21,500||N/A||51,300||N/A|
Ways to earn Qantas Points
The best way to earn Qantas Points quickly is to successfully sign up for a Qantas Points-earning credit card that has a large sign-up bonus attached to it. You can find our latest bonus points offers at Best Qantas Points credit card deals.
The number of bonus Qantas Points you can earn from these deals is usually more than enough points to get you to Singapore and back in style. And yes, we’re talking Business Class!
Nearly all Qantas Points-earning credit cards automatically transfer Qantas Points from your credit card spend into your Qantas account on a monthly basis. So there’s no need to worry about transfer rates and manually transferring points into your account.
There are also many other ways to earn Qantas Points. Make sure to read our guide to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to ensure you’re not missing out on any earning opportunities.
Flying Singapore Airlines
When looking to redeem Singapore Airlines reward seats, you can use either Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles. We take a look at both options for you.
Using Velocity Points
The number of Velocity Points needed to fly Singapore Airlines is shown below.
using Velocity Points
|Perth & Adelaide||28,000||42,000||53,000||78,000|
|All other capitals||35,000||52,500||65,000||95,000|
Ways to earn Velocity Points
There are a number of lucrative credit card sign-up bonus promotions for Velocity Points-earning credit cards. To check these out, make sure to visit our Best Velocity Points credit card deals page.
Often, you can earn up to 150,000 Velocity Points – again more than enough to jet you to Singapore and back in style. Most Velocity Points-earning credit cards are part of a bank’s flexible reward program, meaning that you manually transfer your bank reward points into your Velocity Frequent Flyer account when you choose. Note that each bank has a different rate, so the number of Velocity Points added to your Velocity account may be different to the number of bank points transferred.
For example, American Express Membership Rewards (MR) transfers MR points to Velocity at a rate of 2:1. So if you transfer 100,000 MR points to Velocity, you’ll receive 50,000 Velocity Points. You can check your card’s transfer ratio to Velocity using the ‘Best Velocity Points credit card deals’ link above.
And like the Qantas program, Velocity also has many different ways to earn those valuable Velocity Points. Make sure to read our Velocity Frequent Flyer guide for more information.
Using KrisFlyer miles
The number of KrisFlyer miles needed to fly Singapore Airlines is shown below.
using KrisFlyer miles
|Perth & Darwin||20,000||N/A||36,500||57,500|
|All other capitals||28,000||47,000||62,000||85,000|
Ways to earn KrisFlyer miles
Many banks in Australia count Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer as a travel partner in their flexible rewards program, so it isn’t too hard to earn KrisFlyer miles in Australia from credit card spending. You can find our latest KrisFlyer credit card deals on our Best KrisFlyer credit card deals page.
Like Velocity, KrisFlyer miles-earning credit cards are generally part of the bank’s flexible rewards program. So again, the choice of when to transfer your bank reward points to your KrisFlyer account is up to you. And the transfer ratios are also very similar (and in many cases the same) as with transfers to Velocity. You can use the above link to see the current transfer ratios for your card to KrisFlyer.
Note that KrisFlyer miles expire three years after they have been credited to your account, so make sure to strategically transfer your credit card reward points to your KrisFlyer account. We recommend only converting your reward points into KrisFlyer miles when you are ready to book travel.
Exploring Singapore Changi Airport
Arriving and departing at Changi
I recently returned from a luxurious trip to the Lion City for Point Hacks. As I land at Singapore Changi Airport, I’m surprised to see that I’m one of only a few passengers from a full A350 flight making my way to immigration. Most people make a beeline for the transit board, likely en route to Europe, the Middle East or other cities in Asia.
The good thing is I have no immigration lines to contend with. In fact, the immigration officer looks relieved that he’s going to have something to do. Though given COVID testing requirements have only recently ended in Singapore, it’s perhaps unsurprising that visitor numbers are still quite low.
Aside from presenting my passport, the only additional document request is proof of my COVID vaccination status. I’m required to have a full regimen of WHO EUL Vaccines. The whole immigration process takes about five minutes and before I know it, I’m on my way to the bag carousel.
I can see from a distance that my bag (and literally just my bag) is rotating on the baggage belt, making my Priority Baggage tag from flying Business Class quite redundant! I pick up my bag and make a beeline for the taxi rank. Before I know it I’m on my way to the Hilton. All up, 15 minutes from de-boarding to taxi. Not bad at all.
Transiting through the airport
If instead you’re transiting through Changi Airport, there are plenty of flight monitors around the airport to guide you towards your connecting flight. There are four terminals at Changi, and depending on which terminal you land in you may have a long walk to your next flight. Luckily, the airport is very well connected, with automated people movers and shuttle buses ferrying passengers from one terminal to the next.
Lounges at Changi
Changi Airport is home to many airline and third-party lounges, so I won’t go through all of them here.
But for elite Qantas and oneworld members – plus passengers on a First or Business Class oneworld ticket – make your way to either a Qantas or British Airways lounge.
If you’re a Velocity or KrisFlyer elite member, you’ll have access to one of the Singapore Airlines lounges instead.
Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, oneworld Emerald & First Class (oneworld airline)
Qantas Gold, Qantas Club, oneworld Sapphire & Business Class (oneworld airline)
- British Airways Lounge
First Class (Singapore Airlines flights only)
- The Private Room
KrisFlyer Solitaire PPS Club (not flying SQ First Class)
KrisFlyer PPS Club, Star Alliance Gold & Business Class (Star Alliance airline)
Velocity Platinum, Gold & KrisFlyer Gold
The Jewel is undoubtedly the jewel of Singapore Changi Airport. Once home to a long-term carpark, the area now boasts a five-story shopping complex complete with high-end retailers that will satisfy even the most ardent shopaholic.
But The Jewel is so much more than just a shopping centre. It’s arguably best known for the HSBC Rain Vortex, which sits at the centre of the complex and gushes water down 40 metres to the basement of the complex. It’s a stunning display both day and night. My tip? Make sure to view the vortex from different levels, including from two floors below ground. The viewpoint is simply magical.
The other striking feature of The Jewel is the Shiseido Forest Valley, a lush tree-filled garden with picturesque walking trails. Each trail takes about 30 minutes – factoring in necessary photo time – and there’s ample space en route to sit and soak it all in.
Other attractions within The Jewel are mostly located on the top floor. These include the Mirror Maze, the Hedge Maze, the Canopy Park and the Manulife Sky Nets (walk or bounce – it’s your call). I also traversed the glass Canopy Bridge, which offers spectacular views of the Rain Vortex and Forest Park. But if you’re scared of heights as I am, you may want to think twice before looking down!
Leaving and entering The Jewel
Just note that The Jewel is located outside of immigration, so make sure you have plenty of time between connections – as well as the appropriate paperwork – to get out and then back into the terminal.
If you have a short connection but are itching to see The Jewel, you can take a people mover between Terminals 2 and 3, which travels straight through The Jewel without the need to pass immigration. On my visit in May 2022, the track between Terminals 2 and 3 was suspended due to limited airline operations in Terminal 2. But it’s expected to open later this year as travel demand increases.
Earning and using points on hotels in Singapore
Being a global city, Singapore has no short supply of accommodation options. Many of the large hotel chains are represented here. But you’re certainly not limited to just those chains should you be looking for a niche hotel experience.
We run through your accommodation booking options below, and when it pays from a points-perspective to choose one option over another.
Book directly with the hotel
Booking directly with the hotel is generally the safest bet if you’re looking to accrue points. After all, if the hotel loses your booking, it’s their fault! But there are also specific situations where you definitely want to book directly -and alternatively, times when you probably don’t. So we’ll look at each in turn.
If you hold elite status in any of the major hotel chain loyalty programs, then you will nearly always want to book directly with the hotel. This is because tier-status benefits are provided only when you book directly. Book using a third-party provider and your tier benefits are forfeited, no matter how many times you flash your shiny membership card at check-in.
There may be times when booking directly is not the preferred option, such as when third-party booking providers are offering sale prices not offered by the hotel, or when you’re looking to earn a points currency from your stay that is different to the hotel program’s currency. As such, we take a look at your third-party provider options below.
Book using a third-party provider
Aside from the few reasons above, a clear benefit of using a third-party provider is that you’re not locked into just the chain’s hotel brands. If you’re after a unique hotel experience or want to stay at the closest possible location to where you need to be, then third-party providers will offer you more options. But large hotel chains are generally also bookable with these providers.
While this list is not exhaustive, the following are likely to be the main providers to consider for your next stay in Singapore.
If you want to earn Qantas Points
If you’re looking to earn Qantas Points from your next hotel stay in Singapore, then this one is a no-brainer: head over to the Qantas Hotels site. Qantas members can earn three Qantas Points per dollar spent on hotels in Singapore, while Points Club members earn 25% more points, and Points Club Plus members an impressive 50% more.
At various times, there are Qantas Hotels offers available where you can earn bonus points on your hotel stay when booking during a sale period. A popular offer is earning triple points, allowing you to earn nine Qantas Points per dollar spent, so make sure to look out for these promotions.
And you can also redeem your Qantas Points for hotel stays. While redeeming points for hotel stays was never a good use of your points, Qantas recently made this redemption option much more appealing. In February 2022, they announced that they will permanently reduce the number of points needed for Qantas Hotel redemptions by 30-45%.
If you want to earn Velocity Points
Should Velocity Points be more your thing, then make sure to visit the Velocity-Expedia portal. Velocity members can earn three Velocity Points per dollar spent on all hotels in Singapore. And like Qantas Hotels, triple points promotions are consistently offered, allowing members to earn nine Velocity Points per dollar spent.
If you want to earn KrisFlyer Miles
For those looking to add to their KrisFlyer account balance, Rocketmiles is your best bet. Rocketmiles allows you to book accommodation and earn rewards points, which can be transferred to one of over 50 reward programs. While Qantas and Velocity don’t feature on the partner reward list, KrisFlyer certainly does. So this program is a great way to earn KrisFlyer miles from your future hotel stays.
If you want to earn bonus Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles
For readers who hold a Commonwealth Bank Credit Card, then Kaligo can be a good choice for you. This is because Kaligo is a bonus partner of the Commbank Awards Program. Card members can earn up to 15 Commbank Award Points per dollar spent at Kaligo, which transfers to between six to 9.375 Velocity Points and five to 6.25 KrisFlyer miles.
If you want exclusive benefits at luxury hotels
If you are lucky enough to sport an American Express Platinum Card or Centurion Card in your wallet, then you are eligible to take advantage of Fine Hotels + Resorts. Not only do you get great deals on room rates at premium properties, but also a bundle of perks such as room upgrades, complimentary breakfast for two guests, a US$100 property, F&B or spa credit and a guaranteed 4 pm late check-out – just to name some.
And of course, you’ll earn American Express Membership Rewards Points, which can be transferred to one of nine leading airlines (and 10 including Qantas if you hold a Platinum or Centurion Card).
If you want to save on the cost of accommodation
Eligible guests can save on the cost of their accommodation by taking advantage of a free night or travel credits.
If you hold certain American Express Cards that offer a travel credit, you can use this credit against the cost of the accommodation. In many instances, this will cover a full night’s accommodation, or at the very least, substantially reduce the cost. The current Amex Cards that offer travel credits are:
- American Express Platinum Card – $450
- The American Express Explorer Card – $400
- The American Express Platinum Edge Card – $200
Also, if you hold an Accor Plus membership, either by paying for the program or as a benefit of the American Express Platinum Card, then you will receive a ‘Stay Plus’ free night at any Accor-branded hotel in Singapore (and over 800+ properties in 18 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific).
Point Hackers’ tips and tricks
Finally, looking for some tips and tricks to maximise the value of your points on your next trip to Singapore? Or what to do if you have a long transit at Changi Airport? Then make sure to keep these points in mind.
- Compared to other airlines, Singapore Airlines has relatively low fees and charges, as they don’t add fuel surcharges to their award redemptions. So while the points cost may be similar to other airline loyalty programs, the overall cost is much cheaper with Singapore Airlines when you factor in the fees and charges.
- Notwithstanding the recent changes to KrisFlyer, Singapore Airlines continues to offer complimentary stopovers for return Saver Awards, allowing members to take a break in between flights while paying the lower one-way award rate throughout. Stopovers, however, are now limited to a maximum of 30 days, which is still quite generous and allows plenty of time to explore a new destination.
- Make sure to check the aircraft you’re on when redeeming points for your flight. The cabin seats can differ greatly – even within the same cabin. This is especially the case with Singapore Airlines. Be sure to read our Business and First Class seats and suites guide for more information.
- To find the best seats for your Singapore journey, make sure to check out SeatGuru. Just select your airline and the aircraft you’ll be flying in and SeatGuru allocates each seat a red, yellow, green or neutral grey-coloured rating. As you’d expect, you want to aim to snag a green seat and stay away from the red.
- If you have a long transit at Changi, don’t forget to take advantage of the early check-in and baggage storage facilities at the Jewel. You can then enjoy hours of shopping or just casually walking around unencumbered, freeing you up to take in the sights of the scenic rainforest and Rain Vortex.
- If shopping and walking aren’t your thing but sipping wine and tasting good food is, you may want to consider lounge hopping. This is generally possible when you hold a Business or First Class ticket, or have top-tier status with either a oneworld or Star Alliance airline like Qantas or Singapore Airlines. Given that Changi Airport is a popular transit hub, many airlines have their own lounges, which provide a great range of options for eligible passengers and some awesome lounge-hopping opportunities.
And there concludes our Point Hackers guide to Singapore! Time to put those hard-earned points to good use.
* Featured image courtesy of Kin Pastor/Pexels.