Singapore Air Spontaneous Escapes February 2023: When Miles is Better Than Cashback

Once a month, Singapore Air has this Spontaneous Escapes promo where one can get 30% off selected Saver award tickets. Eligible flights for the following month are announced during the middle of each month, so it’s mid-January 2023 now.

You can view the full list here, but I have selected a few interesting spots that you and I could possibly consider for good value.

My valuation of flights redeemed with KrisFlyer miles

As I have done a couple of times before, I’d be providing my valuation of each flight redemption to give a better sense of how much these flights truly cost… as opposed to “free” lots of miles people like to portray it as. Miles are NOT free because… aiya watch this video.

I personally value each mile at around 1.25 cents i.e. if you spend 100,000 miles on a flight, it will cost you S$1,250.

Seth
Seth

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Interesting redemptions

Here are some of the more interesting redemptions that I think are worth considering:

DestinationClassMilesTaxesCost of Flight*
BaliEconomy5,950 × 2S$79.90S$228.65
Ho Chi Minh City Business16,800 × 2S$88.50S$508.50
Hong KongBusiness23,800 × 2S$116.20S$711.20
San FranciscoPremium Economy52,500 × 2S$89.80S$1,402.30
*If each mile is worth 1.25 cents

These are pretty good redemptions. Bali is around S$275 to S$300 even on low cost carriers, so paying S$228.65 worth of miles and taxes to get a Singapore Air economy flight is indeed a bargain. Who said that economy flights can’t be a good deal for miles?

Return flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong in business class is possible for cheap, and while they are relatively short flights, they can be a good starter to experiencing business class flights before deciding whether the whole miles game is worth it.

If you are truly spontaneous enough for a US trip next month, going to San Francisco would set you back at least S$1,100 to S$1,400 when you pay cash for economy flights. Paying S$1,402.30 mostly in miles for premium economy on Singapore Air doesn’t seem that bad a deal in comparison.

How much is each mile worth?

Again, these valuations assume that your cost of acquiring these miles is at 1.25 cents per mile. This rate is possible with a promo like CardUp, or even lower with the current Citi PayAll promo. 1.25 cents is also your cost per mile each time you ignore a 5% cashback card, opting for a 4 miles per dollar card instead (giving up 5 cents per dollar spent ÷ 4 miles = 1.25 cents per mile).

How much value can you now get from your miles? Imagine if you were going to Bali next month and about to spend S$300 on a budget airline, you could instead spend 11,900 miles and $79.90 in taxes to go on Singapore Air.

Instead of paying S$300, you spend S$79.90 instead, making a difference of S$220.10. When this S$220.10 is offset by 11,900 miles, each mile is now worth 1.85 cents. This valuation makes a 4 mpd card closer to a 7.4% cashback card, and we are ignoring entirely that you are now on a better flight class.

This is, of course, a great use case for miles during a promotional period, and cash tickets do get great promos from time to time. During those times, your 4 miles per dollar card still have a minimum earn rate like a 3.8% cashback card (you use KrisFlyer miles as if they were cash to buy Singapore Air tickets at a rate of 1 mile = 0.95 cents).

6 to 8% cashback cards now make more sense, and you can start to see why my card strategy is the way it is. It’s a discussion worth an entire video/post on its own, but to keep things simple: just pick whichever would give you more value when it comes to choosing a cashback or miles card for your use. If you follow my philosophy, go for 6 to 8% cashback that suits your spend, followed by 4 miles per dollar cards.

Conclusion

To use this promo, go to Singapore Air’s website and log in to your KrisFlyer account. Search for February flights to the eligible destination, and look for the “Promo” column.

Do note that blackout dates apply, and such bookings cannot be refunded or changed unless Singapore Air cancels the flight. You should buy insurance that covers flights booked by miles since you are not refunded miles even if you are unable to travel due to contracting Covid-19.

Okay now that I’m done with this post, time to book some flights.

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