Traveling to Singapore with points and miles in 2024


This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with The Points Guy.

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From its impressive hotels and gardens to the many sites and museums highlighting the area’s fascinating World War II history, Singapore has long deserved a spot on your travel bucket list. 

And don’t get me started on the food, with rich blends of local Peranakan, Malaysian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian cuisine found at hawker centers (food halls) all over the country. 

It’s easy to stick to your budget in Singapore, whether you’re relying on public transportation over ridesharing services and rental cars or using points and miles to score free flights and hotel stays, thus freeing up your funds for other fun activities, like visiting the Botanic Gardens or embarking on a night safari at the Singapore Zoo.

Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Singapore with points and miles, whether it’s your first trip or you’re a repeat visitor.

How to get started with travel points and airline miles

The grand welcome when you land in Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport © Bởi Sing Studio / Shutterstock

The cheapest award flights to Singapore

Americans can visit Singapore visa-free for 90 days or less, making it a great jumping-off point for larger trips around Southeast Asia. You’ll also be flying into one of the greatest airports on earth, Singapore Changi, known for its style, ease of navigation and stunning artistic and natural features.

Nonstop flights from the U.S. to Singapore are some of the longest in the world — roughly 17.5 hours from the West Coast or 18.5 hours from the East Coast — so using points and miles to score a lie-flat business-class or first-class seat is ideal. That said, economy awards are much easier to find.

  • Cheapest economy class ticket to Singapore: 55,000 to 70,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip (on ANA metal, varies by season)
  • Cheapest business-class ticket to Singapore: 100,000 to 115,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip (on ANA metal, varies by season)
  • Cheapest first-class ticket to Singapore: 195,000 to 210,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip (on ANA metal, varies by season)

The best travel credit cards

The Singapore Airlines business class on the Airbus A350
The Singapore Airlines business class on the Airbus A350 © Zach Griff / The Points Guy

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

While Singapore Airlines releases plenty of economy award seats to its many Star Alliance partners, the only way to redeem miles for its world-renowned business- and first-class products is through its KrisFlyer loyalty program. 

  • Economy Class: 84,000 (West Coast) or 88,000 (East Coast / Houston) miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 214,000 (West Coast) or 223,000 (East Coast / Houston) miles round-trip
  • First Class: 293,000 (West Coast) or 297,000 (East Coast / Houston) miles round-trip

If you wanted to use KrisFlyer miles to book award tickets with Singapore Airlines’ Star Alliance partners, you’d need:

  • Economy Class: 121,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 238,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 335,000 miles round-trip

While it’s not the most affordable redemption, it’s still worthwhile if you have your heart set on experiencing the carrier’s premium-class seats long-haul. 

It’s also pretty easy to accumulate KrisFlyer miles since you can transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio or any of the major travel rewards programs — Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards or Citi ThankYou Rewards — at a 1:1 ratio.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express*: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 within the first six months of opening your account.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express*: Earn 120,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Earn three free nights (worth 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card*: Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card*: Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

How to make a travel budget using points and miles 

Use your MileagePlus miles to fly to Singapore
Use your MileagePlus miles to fly to Singapore © The Points Guy

United Airlines MileagePlus

If you’re looking for a straightforward award redemption, even if it’s not the cheapest, MileagePlus miles are the way to go. Just be aware that the only nonstop flight from the U.S. on United flies from San Francisco (SFO).

United’s dynamic rates can change based on availability and the season and have increased slightly thanks to a 2023 devaluation. A recent search for a March 2024 United flight from SFO to Singapore revealed the following:

  • Economy Class: 110,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 200,000 miles round-trip

To quickly earn MileagePlus miles, transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio or from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Or, maximize the generous welcome bonus from a United cobranded credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • United Gateway℠ Card: Earn 30,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $1,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer extended until March 13, 2024.
  • United℠ Explorer Card: Earn 60,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer extended until March 13, 2024.
  • United Quest℠ Card: Earn 70,000 United MileagePlus Miles and 500 PQP after spending $4,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer extended until March 13, 2024.
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card
  • United℠ Business Card: Earn 100,000 United MileagePlus Miles after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer ends April 3, 2024.
  •  United Club℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 United MileagePlus Miles and 1,000 PQP after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer ends April 3, 2024.

The best credit cards for airport lounge access

Fly ANA's esteemed “The Room” business class from 100,000 miles round-trip to Singapore
Fly ANA’s esteemed “The Room” business class from 100,000 miles round-trip to Singapore © Eric Rosen / The Points Guy

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club

Since ANA is part of Star Alliance, you can use Mileage Club miles to book flights with partners like United Airlines. Search for availability on United’s website first, then confirm it with ANA to snag a seat.

There are a few things to keep in mind. ANA only allows round-trip redemptions, so you can’t book one-way award flights. Besides that, you’re only allowed to book awards for you or your family (not friends) and redemption rates on its own aircraft vary by season (low, regular or high).

Here’s what you’ll need for a one-stop flight aboard ANA aircraft (with a layover in Tokyo, depending on the season):

  • Economy Class: 55,000 to 70,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 100,000 to 115,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 195,000 to 210,000 miles round-trip

Here’s how many you’ll need to fly with ANA’s Star Alliance partners:

  • Economy Class: 80,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 136,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 240,000 miles round-trip

The welcome bonus offered by The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express provides enough points to cover a round-trip flight.

To rack up more ANA Mileage Club miles, transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio or from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio.

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Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles can be used to book flights on Star Alliance partners like United Airlines (though finding award space on Singapore Airlines is nearly impossible).

  • Economy Class: 76,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 156,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 198,000 miles round-trip

Avianca LifeMiles can be transferred from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio or from Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Earn three free nights (worth 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card: Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 within the first six months of opening your account.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express*: Earn 120,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of account opening.

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American Airlines AAdvantage

When it comes to the Oneworld alliance, it’s all about partners — AAdvantage miles can be used to book redemption flights with Cathay Pacific, which has one of the best premium products in the skies.  

  • Economy Class: 75,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 140,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 220,000 miles round-trip

While this isn’t the best redemption rate you’ll find, it’s pretty easy to rack up AAdvantage miles, especially if you maximize the welcome bonus from a cobranded credit card. You can also bump up your balance by transferring points over from Bilt Rewards.

  • Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 within the first six months of account opening.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Mastercard®: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

Should you book travel with cash or points?

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska Mileage Plan miles can be redeemed for one-stop flights to Singapore via Hong Kong on its partner, Cathay Pacific. Search for award availability on the British Airways website, then call Cathay Pacific to book your trip.

Starting in 2024, Alaska Airlines’ redemption rates will be slightly higher:

  • Economy Class: 85,000 miles round-trip
  • Business Class: 170,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 260,000 miles round-trip

To accumulate Mileage Plan miles quickly, transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio or maximize the welcome bonus from one of the airline’s cobranded credit cards, listed below.

  • Alaska Airlines Visa® card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening — and earn Alaska’s $99 Companion Fare (fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each year after you spend $6,000.
  • Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles, plus Alaska’s $99 Companion Fare (fare plus taxes and fees from $23), after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Earn three free nights (worth 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card: Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Should you book travel with cash or points?

Singapore's Gardens by the Bay
Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay © Moment RF/ Getty

Singapore hotels you can book with points

You’ll find points properties all over Singapore from loyalty programs like World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, IHG One Rewards, Hilton Honors, Accor Live Limitless and Wyndham Rewards.

Most hotels are located in the southern half of the country or to the east, near the airport. Robertson Quay and Orchard Road are great areas for shopping and dining, while other popular spots include the Gardens by the Bay complex and Sentosa Island, home to Universal Studios Singapore.

For a real treat, stay in a historic neighborhood — like Katong, Geylang, Little India, Kampong Glam or Chinatown — full of hawker centers (food halls), beautiful temples and mosques and great restaurants to explore. 

To help cut costs, consider signing up for a cobranded hotel credit card so you can maximize the welcome bonus and put it toward a free night or two. 

Some credit cards go out of their way to help you save on resort fees and other hotel-related expenses. A $300 annual statement credit is included as a benefit of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, while the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card provides a $200 statement credit meant to cover on-property expenses twice per year when you stay at Hilton hotels.

How to use points and miles to save money on travel 

World of Hyatt

Enjoy epic city views from the infinity pool at Andaz Singapore, located in Kampong Glam, home of the magnificent Sultan Mosque. Rates start at 20,000 points per night.

Closer to Chinatown and the bustling business district, Hotel Telegraph offers old-world charm and a relaxing rooftop infinity pool retreat, with rates from 20,000 points per night. The Grand Hyatt Singapore, located near the Orchard Road shopping district, is also expected to reopen in 2024 after extensive renovations, with rates from 20,000 points per night.

The welcome bonus from the World of Hyatt Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, offers enough points to pay for a three-night stay at either hotel. If your balance is low, transfer points over from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt Rewards.

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Marriott Bonvoy

There are several Marriott Bonvoy properties to choose from, including two new hotels — the Singapore Edition (from 43,000 points per night) and the Aloft Singapore Novena (from 20,000 points per night).

Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio Hotel Collection includes The Serangoon House (from 31,000 points per night) and The Vagabond Club (from 30,000 points per night), both great options in Singapore’s lively Little India neighborhood.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card’s welcome bonus would be enough to cover a three-night stay at each of these hotels (rooms worth under 50,000 points per night). Bump up your balance by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards or Bilt Rewards.

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Singapore's famous rooftop pool at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong
Singapore’s famous rooftop pool at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong © Ria de Jong / Lonely Planet

IHG One Rewards

Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong is known for its rooftop pool and centralized location, with affordable nightly rates from 27,000 points. Other notable properties include the InterContinental Singapore, with nightly rates from 50,000 points, the InterContinental in Robertson Quay, with nightly rates from 34,000 points and the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, with rooms from 40,000 points per night.

The welcome bonus from either the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers enough points to pay for one or two nights in any of these hotels. Boost your points balance by transferring some from Bilt Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

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Hilton Honors

The Conrad Singapore Orchard and the Conrad Centennial Singapore offer nightly rates from 70,000 points, while the Hilton Singapore Orchard’s start at 65,000 points and the Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon’s begin at 38,000 points per night.

The welcome bonus from the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or The Platinum Card from American Express provides enough points to cover one to four nights, depending on the hotel. You’ll also earn two Hilton Honors points for every Amex Membership Rewards point that’s transferred.

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Haji Lane in Singapore's Kampong Glam quarter is famous for its cafes, restaurants and shops
Haji Lane in Singapore’s Kampong Glam quarter is famous for its cafes, restaurants and shops © Brostock / Getty

Activities and ground transportation

Renting a car means driving on the left side of the road from the right side of the car. The rideshare service Grab works the same way as Uber or Lyft. 

It’s also easy to get around via public transportation. Singapore Tourist Passes provide unlimited bus and metro rides for about $22 SGD, or $16 USD. Spend a day neighborhood hopping through Katong, Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown for the best sightseeing and food in Singapore.

Having the right credit card can make a difference if you’re traveling to Singapore on a budget. For instance, the Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One Venture X cards let members use the points they’ve earned to cover their travel expenses at a one-cent-per-point value.

You can also save on guided tours and car rentals by booking them through the Chase travel portal. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, your points are worth 1.25 cents per point, while they’re worth 1.5 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

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Marina Barrage Park, Singapore
Marina Barrage Park, Singapore © DoctorEgg / Getty

Bottom line

Whether you’re visiting for business, a family vacation, or as part of a larger Southeast Asia adventure, a trip to Singapore doesn’t have to break the bank. Having the right travel credit cards can help you save on flights and hotels, and let you earn more points and miles to put toward future trips.

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*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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