What is the best way to redeem Krisflyer miles - one way or return flights?

Right now I am looking to book a flight in sigapore airlines using my krisflyer points.
The flight that I am looking for is for MEL-CMB sector which requires 86K points but I only have about 50K points.
Is it better to book the trip as 2 trips (1 inbound and 1 outbound) or use the return option and book it in one go?

If I use the first option I will be able to use miles and only pay for the taxes in the outbound flight and then pay with cash + points for the inbound

Hello and welcome @sanath.kodikara !

A one-way economy Saver redemption between Melbourne and Columbo is 43,000 points. So if you were to make the booking now, you’d have no choice: you only have enough points to redeem a one-way flight. You would then have to use money to pay for the leg in the other direction.

The other option is that you can wait until you have the 86,000 points you need for a return trip redemption. The only advantage I can think of, of booking a return ticket with points, is that it would entitle you to a free stopover in Singapore on the way there or back.

Hope this helps!

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I believe that Singapore Airlines has a points plus pay option.
If you wish to get a return ticket while there are award seats available, it may be an idea to book a return ticket now, use as many points as you have and pay the shortfall in cash.

Let us know how you go.

the seats have not yet opened (returning on early feb 2025) that’s why I was thinking about a booking the first leg only, which is open now.

Unless you really value the Singapore stopover option, I’d book what’s available now. You don’t want to wait until next month, only to discover that the outward bound trip is no longer available.

Alternatively, if the taxes and carrier charges for flying out of Sri Lanka are cheaper than for flying out of Australia, you might save yourself a bit of money if you can manage to use money (or points plus pay) for the MEL-CMB flight, and points for CMB-MEL.

Your call!

One of the issues with booking a return flight using Krisflyer points is that once the forward journey has commenced you cannot make changes to the return flight. In other words, you are locked into that flight.
However, that is not the case with two one-way flight redemptions.
So, as stated above, unless you want the free stopover in Singapore given to return flight redemptions, you might as well book two one-way flights and keep the flexibility to change them later.

Thanks for reiterating this Penny.

I am traveling to SE Asia on SQ in March 2014 and did that as two separate tickets. It was easier to book as the arrival city and departing city on the return were different (another advantage of 2 separate tickets).