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Korean Air SKYPASS Visa Signature Credit Card Review

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Who Is the SKYPASS Visa Signature Card Good For?

Korean Air has several credit cards available to U.S. residents, all issued by U.S. Bank. Although the SKYPASS Visa Signature card has the highest annual fee of any of the offerings, it’s worth the extra cost if you’re serious about earning Korean Air miles. It has a higher sign-up bonus, better earning potential and more benefits.

SKYPASS, Korean Air’s loyalty program, offers competitive redemption rates to most locations across the Pacific, and a few excellent deals on partner airlines. It also offers plenty of first class availability and affordable premium cabin redemptions on its own flights. If you’re planning to travel to areas served by Korean Air, it’s worth collecting miles with the airline.

SKYPASS has one U.S.-based transfer partner, Chase Ultimate Rewards. Between the SKYPASS card and point transfers from Chase, you can collect a lot of Korean Air miles quickly without flying.

One nice perk with this card: the two free lounge passes that you receive every year. Keep in mind, though, that you must fly on Korean Air in order to be able to use them, and they’re only valid in Korea and the Americas.

Sign-Up Bonus

The standard bonus is 15,000 miles after your first purchase, plus a 2,000-mile anniversary bonus. However, you should keep an eye out for special promotions, as bigger bonuses are typically offered two or three times a year. You can get an additional 5,000 miles for referring a friend.

Miles Earned

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on Korean Air
  • 1 mile per dollar on everything else

What Do Your Miles Get You?

In addition to being a SkyTeam member, Korean Air is a partner with Alaska Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, GOL, Hawaiian Airlines and Jet Airways.

Usage Perks:

  • One stopover and open jaw per round-trip ticket
  • One-way redemptions on Korean Air flights
  • Miles don’t expire for 10 years
  • Can pay for excess baggage and lounge access with miles
  • Two free lounge passes annually
Apple Pay is available with the SKYPASS Visa Signature card
Apple Pay is available with the SKYPASS Visa Signature card

Usage Quirks:

  • High cancellation and change fee of 10,000 miles
  • Low standard sign-up bonus
  • Fuel surcharges on Korean Air and some partner flights
  • No one-way redemptions on partner airlines

How Far Do Your Miles Go?

It’s not unusual for foreign airlines to price their own awards higher than awards on partners. The Korean Air SKYPASS program is no exception. Most of the best deals are on SkyTeam partner airlines:

  • Continental U.S. to Hawaii costs 25,000 miles in economy and 45,000 in business
  • North America to Europe costs 50,000 miles in economy and 80,000 miles in business
  • North America to Tahiti cost 60,000 miles in economy and 90,000 miles in business

Domestic round-trip flights in Korea on Korean Air are an exception to this rule. They only cost 10,000 to 15,000 miles in economy.

The SKYPASS Visa Signature card offers bonus miles for referrals
The SKYPASS Visa Signature card offers bonus miles for referrals

Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Free FICO score
  • Zero liability
  • Apple Pay available
  • Travel delay and luggage insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Visa concierge service and travel assistance
  • Special offers from hotels, resorts and retail merchants
  • Access to ticket packages to sporting events
  • Exclusive movie ticket discounts
  • EMV chip technology
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranty 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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