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Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Credit Card Review

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Who Is the SkyBlue SKYPASS Card Good For?

Korean Air offers several co-branded credit cards to U.S. residents. The SkyBlue SKYPASS credit card is the only one without an annual fee. As you might expect, the card doesn’t have all the benefits that come with the premium SKYPASS Visa Signature card, which has a $75 annual fee. But the SkyBlue card is a good fee-free choice for collecting Korean Air miles.

Korean Air also has a U.S.-based mile transfer partner, Chase Ultimate Rewards. So you have a few options for collecting miles with the SKYPASS frequent flyer program without having to fly. The Korean Air SKYPASS award charts can be conservative, but there are some redemption bargains, including flights between the U.S. and Europe, and flights within Korea.

Sign-Up Bonus:

The standard sign-up bonus is 5,000 miles after your first purchase, but periodically it will go up to 10,000 miles.

Miles Earned:

  • 1 mile per $2 in purchases

What Do Your Miles Get You?

Korean Air is the largest airline in South Korea, flying to 130 cities in 45 countries. In addition to its own extensive network, the carrier is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, which gives you access to 20 partner airlines. Korean Air also has three nonalliance partners: Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Emirates.

Usage Perks:

  • No annual fee
  • One stopover and one open jaw allowed per roundtrip
  • One-way flights available on Korean Air
  • Miles don’t expire for 10 years
  • Excess baggage and lounge access can be purchased with miles

Usage Quirks:

  • Low sign-up bonus
  • Mediocre mile-earning rate
  • Relatively high 5,000-mile cancellation and change fee
  • Fuel surcharges on most award flights
  • No one-way redemptions on partners

How Far Do Your Miles Go?

Korean Air offers cheap domestic flights in Korea, starting at 10,000 miles roundtrip. That’s a great value, since flights within Korea are typically very expensive.

The airline’s partner award chart has a few excellent redemptions that beat U.S. programs on the following routes:

  • Flights between North America and Hawaii cost 25,000 miles in economy and 45,000 miles in business
  • Flights between the U.S., including Hawaii, and Europe cost 50,000 in economy and 80,000 miles in business
  • Flights between North America and Tahiti cost 60,000 in economy and 90,000 miles in business


Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Free FICO score
  • Zero liability
  • $250,000 in travel accident insurance
  • Online purchase security
  • EMV chip technology
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Warranty manager service

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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