garuda-indonesia-first-class

Valuable Airline Miles If You Are Based in Indonesia

Those who came across my previous blogs were wondering whether it was possible to collect and use miles to score a seat in premium cabins if you were based in Indonesia.

Well the good news is you definitely can!Here are some information you might find useful….

Garuda Indonesia's Business Class (photo credit: Garuda Indonesia)Garuda Indonesia Business Class (photo credit: Garuda Indonesia)

Garuda Miles

In recent years, Garuda has definitely stepped up their game in improving their cabin service and retrofitting their hard product making them one of the most attractive international airlines out there.

Garuda Indonesia currently serves 40 domestic and 18 international destinations in Asia, Australia and Europe.

While domestic airfares within Indonesia can get very competitive between the local airlines, I would say Garuda miles is best used for medium to long-haul International flights, like scoring a Business or First Class seat from Jakarta to Amsterdam in their new retrofitted 777-300ER cabin.

Garuda Indonesia’s First Class Cabin on 777-300ER (photo credit: Garuda Indonesia)

Credit Cards for Garuda Miles 

If you don’t fly very often, one way to top up your  miles will be through regular credit card purchases.

If you visit Garuda Miles Credit Card Reward Partners, you can see that all the major banks in Indonesia have existing reward programs where you can convert credit card points into Garuda Miles.

The most valuable will be a 1:1 ratio where you can convert 1 point into 1 mile such as the ANZ Travel Card or the BII Platinum & Infinite Card.

Please always confirm with the respective bank about their reward programs before you sign up for a new credit card.

Another way is to sign up for a co-branded credit card where purchases will automatically get converted to airline miles, again don’t forget to check the conversion rate from credit card points to airline miles since you want to avoid any devaluation on your purchases.

While these banks currently do not offer a lucrative sign-up bonus points like what the credit cards in the US are offering, some of them do offer some kind of bonus points on certain purchases, for example the Garuda Indonesia Citi Card privileges that offers 3x miles on Garuda Indonesia ticket purchase transaction.

Redeeming Garuda Miles on Partner Airlines

Click here for a complete list of Garuda Indonesia Partner Airlines

Garuda Miles can be quite valuable if you know when and how to use it. For example you can book an award flight to Europe with Etihad Airways or Air France or KLM.

Distance from Jakarta to Paris for example is a little over 7,000 miles, you would require 52,500 miles for an Economy Class Award Ticket and 95,000 Garuda Miles for a Business Class Award Ticket.

Bear in mind you can also redeem Garuda miles on any Etihad’s available route not just originating from Jakarta, it could also be a route from London or New York to Abu Dhabi where they fly the new A380 fleets.

Etihad Airways Business Class A380 

Check award availability for Etihad seats from Etihad’s website .

My previous blog on how we flew Etihad Airways Business Class from Paris to Jakarta for USD 106.50

Redemption cost using Garuda Miles

The same requirements applies if you want to fly with Air France. You should be able to check on Award Flight availability on Air France and Garuda Indonesia’s flights using Air France’s Flying Blue Website.

Air France Business Class on 777-200

Here is the link to find out the list of Garuda Indonesia’s partner airlines and click on the airline to find out how many miles are required to redeem on each respective airline.

Garuda Indonesia has not indicated on their website how many miles is required to redeem a First Class seat for a long-haul flight such as the Jakarta-Amsterdam route, please call Garuda directly to confirm.

 Garuda Indonesia First Class 777-300ER

 

However, if you are determined to fly in business / first class at a ridiculously low cost (or almost for free) then you will  be required to do some legwork at a certain point.

Here’s a link to The Points Guy review on Garuda miles, note that he blogs for US-based audiences in general, however there are some useful information that you can pick up on how to earn / maximize your Garuda miles. Please visit Garuda Miles website for other ways to earn miles such as car rentals, insurance and shopping.

 

 

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer

Singapore Airlines Suites – Jakarta to Tokyo for 51,000 Krisflyer miles

Singapore Airlines premium cabin is undoubtedly one of the most desirable hard products in air travel and fortunately can be quite attainable to score using points.

There are several ways for you to maximize your Krisflyer miles other than flying SQ religiously.

Their website has great information on how to achieve this using credit cards, co-branded cards, shopping or hotel stays. Link to website here. 

Some of the participating banks – one great way to earn Krisflyer miles

The only co-branded Krisflyer credit cards is from BCA 

I know for a fact that Indonesians love to treat themselves by staying in luxury hotels (without going out of town), whether to celebrate a special occasion or simply to unwind. While this has become a common Indonesian norm, it helps to pay attention on what sort of points you can collect from these sporadic hotel stays especially when you can convert them into airline miles and use it to redeem an International Business or First class seat.

You can even ‘double-dip’ the points by earning the hotel stay points and by earning the credit card points to pay for the hotel stay (You feel me?).

 Some of Krisflyer Hotel Partners, visit website for complete list

Redeeming Krisflyer miles 

SQ being their practical-self makes redeeming miles very straightforward from their website, plus they give you a further 15% discount when redeeming online.

You can immediately check redemption flight availability under 3 different levels, Saver, Standard and Full. Most people will generally aim for the Saver level which often have to be waitlisted when it is a popular long-haul routes.

Jakarta to Tokyo route often have open availability on Award Saver level.

You can get yourself waitlisted on as many flights as you want as long as you have enough miles in your account, they will not deduct the miles until your flight is confirmed.

Bear in mind, waitlisted redemption flights can sometimes fall through or they can confirm your seat up until the day of departure, so flexibility certainly helps and always have a back-up plan if you’re on a waitlist and need to fly out on a specific date.

Flying in SQ Suites from Jakarta to Los Angeles for USD 355

 SQ Business Class, Jakarta to Tokyo for 34,000 Krisflyer miles

Singapore Airlines is also part of the Star Alliance group, which means you will be able to redeem your Krisflyer miles (or use it for an upgrade) for airlines such as ANA, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Lufthansa, United.. just to name a few.

You can also redeem Krisflyer miles for several other non-Star Alliance members such as Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and Virgin Australia.

Click here for list of SQ Airline Partners. 

 All Nippon Airways (ANA) Business Class Seat

Lufthansa First Class Bed on A380

Now you know that there are ways to strategize your credit card purchase habits and hobbies so the next time you travel overseas you can sit in business or first class for an absolute bargain.