$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: Next Goal - Star Alliance Round the World (RTW) in Business Class!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Next Goal - Star Alliance Round the World (RTW) in Business Class!

3 years ago, we made the switch from collecting cashback to accumulating miles when I was first introduced to Milelion by a colleague. I then went on to convince CZM and trained her vigorously on when to use the correct credit card for payment. lol. She still complains to her friends and colleagues about it till today.

Snapshot of our KrisFlyer miles collection as of 5th June 2019

Our KrisFlyer miles collection has already exceeded our 2018 Net Worth. I guess we should consider changing our goal to become a millionaire in miles instead since it is a lot easier to achieve. lol. As you can probably tell, we optimized our spendings such that we are getting close or more than 4 mpd (miles per dollar) through signup bonus or specialized spendings. Those that dropped below 4 mpd are due to the general spending cards earning 1.2 - 1.5 mpd.

Our journey first started on 4th March 2016 and our first miles credit card was Amex Ascend. Back then I was planning to propose to CZM overseas and had no issue meeting the minimum spend for its very impressive signup bonus. Anyway, assuming the value of a mile is $0.02, the estimated cashback we are getting will be ~ 9.72% ((741,217 * 0.02) / 152,467) which is pretty neat as we get to experience and enjoy life along the way too. Having said that, I prefer to value miles differently based on the cost/retail price of the actual flight. We have made 2 redemptions so far:
KrisFlyer 50% Redemption Promotion on SilkAir: 15,000 miles for  2 x SilkAir Economy return tickets to Bandung at ~ 6.5% cashback
Redeeming KrisFlyer Miles for Singapore Airlines Suites = 38.6% Cashback!: 240,000 miles for 2 x Singapore Airlines Suites one-way tickets to New York

Our initial plan was to fly to Africa in Business (180,000 miles for 2 x return tickets) this year but when the Cathay blunder happened at the start of the year, everything changes. Given more time to accumulate more miles, we were thinking we should try something more adventurous...

Star Alliance Round The World (RTW) Award
Introducing the Star Alliance Round The World (RTW) Award where one can literally fly around the world with a ticket (technically there will be multiple tickets) through any of the airlines under Star Alliance. Such ticket costs around $20k each for business flights and there are certain restrictions such as flying in one direction (either eastbound or westbound), the total flights have to be within a certain mileage, etc.

Instead of paying for the above ticket, one can also redeem the RTW award using KrisFlyer miles (with more restrictions). It was pretty annoying that there is a lack of information (no FAQs or T&Cs) on the SIA site so I emailed them and got the following:

As of now, the mileage requirement (*per passenger) for a round the world itinerary is as below:
- 180,000 KrisFlyer miles on Economy Saver
- 240,000 KrisFlyer miles on Business Saver (our goal - 240k * 2 = 480k miles)
- 360,000 KrisFlyer miles on First Saver

Your booking must comply with the following restrictions and conditions:
1. You must travel in a continuous eastbound or westbound direction, beginning and ending in the same country. You must make only one crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and only one crossing of the Pacific Ocean. You are allowed an origin open-jaw in the same country.

2. Your total travel distance must not exceed 35,000 miles. You are allowed a maximum of 16 segments in your itinerary.

3. You may include a maximum of seven complimentary stopovers in your itinerary. The same stopover restrictions for Star Alliance Awards apply for Round the World Awards. In addition, you may stopover only once in each city and no more than twice in any one country. You may not purchase additional stopovers. Surface sectors are permitted but count as stopovers.

4. Normal Star Alliance Award travel restrictions apply. You may refer to the below link for more information under G. Star Alliance Awards and Star Alliance Upgrade Awards - http://www.singaporeair.com/jsp/cms/en_UK/ppsclub_krisflyer/termsconditions-kf.jsp

5. A maximum of 16 flight sectors

6. A maximum of 1 stopover per city

7. A maximum of 2 stopovers per country

8. A maximum of 7 en-route stopovers

9. No stopover allowed in the country of origin

10. For travel to or from Central America, no stopover is permitted in Continental USA including Canada

11. No code-share flights

When you are ready to book, you may check the list of operating carriers on your preferred flight route via Star Alliance website at www.staralliance.com.

Based on your itinerary, we will assist to check on the seat availability. We wish to highlight waitlisting is not allowed on Star Alliance award booking and the seat will be subject to availability at the time of the request. All flight segments must be confirmed before ticket issuance. Travel or destination change is only allowed before the first flight departure.

Once the first flight commences, travel date change and ticket re-issuance are not permitted. Flights not used in sequence will also cause the subsequent flights to be automatically cancelled.

What's Next?
To see the Wonders of the World

We have enough miles now but we do not have the time... The time to start planning for it as well as the time to travel in such a manner. How long will it take to travel around the world? 1, 2 or 3 months? This is the most challenging problem to solve. Plan it on Dec and Jan to utilized 2 years of leaves? Take no pay leave? Quit our jobs? lol. Regardless, our miles will start expiring in 2 - 3 years time so that will be our deadline.

Will we be able to do it?

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  1. Eye-watering total spent :D Congrats!


    1. Hi Kevin,

      Haha. I know right. It looks like we spent a lot but considering all the things that happened in the last 3 years (the big ticket items - wedding, vacation in Iceland and US), it is pretty reasonable ~.~"