SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card
The Korean Air Skypass Visa Signature card earns miles in the Skypass frequent flyer program. Those miles can be redeemed for flights on Korean Air and other SkyTeam alliance member airlines.
Korean Air utilizes a zone-based award chart, and the card’s sign-up bonus of 15,000 miles is enough to book at least one economy round-trip flight within Korea. Unfortunately, the earning rate with this card could be better. You’ll earn double miles with Korean Air, but all other purchases earn just one mile per dollar.
The card is a decent option for travelers who frequently fly with Korean Air, but casual consumers might be better off with a more flexible rewards credit card. For example, a card in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program would give you the option to transfer points to Korean Air and six other airline partners, as well as the ability purchase a wide variety of award travel through the program’s travel center.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card offers and the value of the U.S. Bank SKYPASS miles you earn.
Most co-branded airline credit cards set a spending threshold for the bonus to be earned, but not this one. The Skypass Visa Signature card comes with a sign-up bonus of 15,000 miles after the first purchase. That’s right, buying a pack of gum at a gas station will qualify you for the welcome offer. Additionally, cardholders receive an anniversary bonus of 2,000 miles every year they renew their card and pay the annual fee.
The card also comes with two KAL lounge passes each year. Passengers can use the passes when flying on Korean Air from any gateway city in Seoul, North America and South America. Not bad, for a recurring perk.
What You Get
- Earn 15,000 miles after you spend $1 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Get an annual 2,000 miles anniversary bonus
- Enjoy 2 free KAL lounge passes every year you have the card
Skypass miles do not expire for 10 years, which is a generous timeframe compared to many airlines. Miles earned with the card or by flying Korean Air or one of its partners can be combined and redeemed within a 10-year period after posting to your account.
What is the value of the SKYPASS Miles?
The Korean Air Visa Signature card earns miles that are redeemable for flights on Korean Air and with SkyTeam member airlines, as well as with the carrier’s non-alliance partners. The airline uses a zone-based award chart, and the value of the miles will vary, based on the dates booked. Off-peak dates offer cheaper redemption opportunities, so it might be a great use of miles for those who want to avoid busy travel times. One-way awards can only be booked on flights operated by Korean Air. All SkyTeam redemptions must be booked as round-trip journeys.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Skypass Miles
Even if you do not fly Korean Air often, there’s still something to be said for Skypass miles. Because the airline is part of the SkyTeam alliance, the miles can be redeemed for flights on a variety of partner airlines.
One sweet spot for travelers based in North America is a vacation in the Aloha State. The Skypass program requires just 25,000 miles for a roundtrip in economy class between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii on Delta. Compared to booking through Delta itself, which charges 45,000 miles for the same flight, it’s a bargain. As long as there are saver level awards available on Delta, you can book them via Korean Air’s website for fewer miles.
New York–HoustonEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$546
San Francisco–MiamiEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$250
Los Angeles–Las VegasEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$280
New York–SeoulEconomy classMiles price70,000miles+$86.92 feeDollars price$1,237
Las Vegas–BusanEconomy classMiles price65,000miles+$106.0 feeDollars price$1,319
San Francisco–JejuEconomy classMiles price80,000miles+$94.35 feeDollars price$1,176
Los Angeles–SeattleBusiness classMiles price45,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$497
Dallas–San FranciscoBusiness classMiles price45,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,145
Denver–HoustonBusiness classMiles price45,000miles+$23.7 feeDollars price$1,364
Los Angeles–SeoulBusiness classMiles price125,000miles+$244.22 feeDollars price$3,833
Seattle–BusanBusiness classMiles price137,000miles+$252.98 feeDollars price$252
Atlanta–JejuBusiness classMiles price137,000miles+$252.98 feeDollars price$4,960
Other ways you can redeem miles
Hotel Stays17 partners17 part.
Skypass members can redeem their miles for hotel stays at 12,000 to 29,000 miles per night, depending on the property.
Car Rental7 partners7 part.
Skypass members can also redeem miles for car rentals while traveling in Jeju, South Korea. Redemptions range from 6,500 to 13,000 miles a day.
Everyday Earnings with SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card
The Skypass Visa Signature card earns two miles per dollar spent directly with Korean Air and one mile per dollar spent on everything else. While the earning potential isn’t great, it’s typical for co-branded airline cards. As with most cards, there’s no limit to the number of points you can earn, and they do not expire for 10 years.
- Car Rental
- Korean Air Purchases
- All Other Purchases
Receive two complimentary KAL lounge passes annually.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You’ll never pay extra to use your Skypass card while traveling abroad.
Earn Elite Status Fast
Korean Air’s Morning Calm Club offers elite privileges, such as special counter check-in, lounge benefits, additional baggage allowances and more. In order to become a member, you must fly a total of 50,000 miles or 40 flights on Skypass partner airlines, and at least 30,000 of those miles must be flown with Korean Air.
Skypass Visa Signature cardholders can earn status faster. You can get up to 20,000 miles toward Morning Calm Club membership via card spending. The remaining 30,000 miles must be accumulated by flying Korean Air.
- Earn up to 20,000 miles toward Morning Calm Club elite status with your Skypass card
Fees: the cost of Having SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card
The Skypass Visa Signature card charges an annual fee of $80, which is not waived for the first year. If you value the miles at 1.5 apiece, you’d have to spend at least $5,334 on the card annually to justify the annual fee. Your results may vary, depending on your redemptions and their value.
This card’s annual fee is $80. If you make $5,334 in purchases a year, you’ll cover the cost of the card. That’s because you’ll earn at least 5,334 miles, and they’re worth at least 1.5 cents each. If you spend about $1,000 a month, you’ll pay off the card in 6 months.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or$5 minimum, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $38
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $1,778 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Skypass Visa Signature card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Skypass Visa Signature Card
The Skypass Visa Signature card is not the most interesting co-branded airline card on the market, but it offers several perks for cardholders. Below are the top benefits of the Korean Air rewards card.
- Great Sign-Up Bonus: Although it’s not the biggest bonus, it’s enough for a domestic round-trip ticket in Korea. What really sets it apart from other cards, though, is the minimal requirement to earn it. All you have to do is use the card once, and 15,000 miles are yours.
- KAL Lounge Access: Lounge access keeps you away from the busy terminal full of noisy kids and cranky parents. Two annual Korean Air lounge passes is a great perk for those who fly with the airline with some regularity.
- Anniversary Bonus: Every year you renew your card you’ll receive an anniversary bonus of 2,000 miles.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Foreign transaction fees can be as high as 3 percent per transaction. This card waives those fees to help you save money when traveling overseas.
- Fast Track to Elite Status: Skypass members need to fly at least 50,000 miles to qualify for elite status. Up to $20,000 spent on the card counts toward Morning Calm Club membership and lowers the miles requirement to 30,000.
Should You Get the Skypass Visa Signature Card?
The Skypass Visa Signature card is a decent option for someone who flies to South Korea frequently and lives in one of the U.S. cities served by Korean Air, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
The earning rate isn’t great, but it’s comparable to what you’ll get with most other co-branded airline cards. The low spending requirement of just one purchase makes the welcome bonus easy to attain, and the free lounge passes may come in handy when flying with Korean Air.
However, casual flyers probably won’t benefit as much since the perks are restricted to Korean Air. Holding a card that offers point transfers to Korean Air, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, might be a better option for many.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
You do not have to live in South Korea to apply for the Skypass Visa Signature card. In fact, only U.S. residents can qualify for this credit card because U.S. Bank, the card’s issuer, is based in the United States. The bank is able to verify the necessary application information of U.S. residents only and will not approve you without verification. Please note that the Korean Air rewards card is a Visa, and you can rest assured that most merchants worldwide will accept the card.
Once you meet the Morning Calm Club membership requirements, it is valid for two years. It is possible to re-qualify for elite status within those two years by either flying 30,000 miles on Skypass partner airlines (at least 20,000 miles must be flown on Korean Air) or 20 qualifying flights (at least 15 of which must be flown on Korean Air). As long as one of the conditions is fulfilled, you can retain your status for another two years.
Yes, the Skypass Visa Signature card comes with an embedded microchip. The purpose of the chip is to provide enhanced security and fraud prevention when using your card. If you’re at an establishment that does not have a chip reader and cannot process your card that way, do not worry. The card still has a magnetic stripe on the back, and you can swipe the card the old-fashioned way to pay for your purchase.
Compare Korean Air Cards
Other Korean Air cards
Besides the Skypass Visa Signature card, U.S. Bank issues a few other co-branded Korean Air credit cards. Let’s take a look at some other options.
|Sign-up bonus||5,000 miles||15,000 miles||5,000 miles||5,000 miles|
|APR On Purchases||17.49% Variable±||14.24% to 21.24% Variable±||14.24% to 21.24% Variable±||14.24% to 21.24% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$340||$360||$163||$340|
The Skypass Visa Secured card charges a $50 annual fee and comes with a slightly lower welcome bonus of 5,000 miles. The card earns one mile per dollar for all spending categories and awards an anniversary bonus of just 1,000 miles.
The SkyBlue Skypass Visa card comes with no annual fee. It is the most basic Skypass card in the line-up, earning just one mile for every $2 spent. It does not have an anniversary bonus.
The Skypass Visa Classic card is incredibly similar to the Skypass Visa Secured card. It earns one mile per dollar spent on everything, comes with a 5,000-mile welcome bonus, earns an anniversary bonus of 1,000 miles and charges an annual fee of $50. The difference is that the Secured version is funded with a checking or a savings account.
Compare Skypass Visa Signature Card to Other Cards
The Skypass Visa Signature is not the best co-branded airline rewards card. Let’s review a few other airline cards that might fit your travel needs.
The Delta Reserve card from American Express comes with a high annual fee of $450, but it offers cardholders complimentary access to Delta Sky Club, an annual companion certificate, free checked bags on Delta flights and 40,000 miles toward elite status qualification. This card is good for a frequent Delta flyer who values lounge access.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card from Bank of America is a great choice for travelers who fly Alaska or Virgin America. The card comes with 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 and earns triple miles with both airlines, which is above average when it comes to co-branded airline cards. Additionally, the card offers a companion fare which allows primary cardholders to buy a ticket for a friend or a family member on the same flight for just $99 plus taxes.
The British Airways Visa Signature card from Chase offers 50,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus and earns three Avios per dollar with British Airways, which, again, is a high return compared to most co-branded cards. It is a great card for those who often fly with British Airways or one of the many other oneworld alliance members, such as American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or Iberia.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Skypass Visa Signature card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Visa Signature card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 14.24% to 21.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 24 - 30 days
- Warranty Manager Service:
- Get up to one additional year added to your warranty when you use your Visa card.
- Purchase Security:
- Visa will replace, repair or reimburse you for items purchased with your card. Good for 90 days and up to $500.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 25.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either 4% of the amount of each advance or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
With a microchip for added security abroad, zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions and fraud protection, the Skypass Visa Signature card is competitive when it comes to security features. You can also access your account online or via the app for easy banking on the go.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to get notified when a large transaction posts to your account, there is an unauthorized withdrawal, or if your bill is due.
- Control accounts on the go:
- Track all your Chase accounts with Chase Mobile app.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
Near-field communication (NFC) payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Visa Checkout, are available with the Skypass Visa Signature card. The feature allows card members to pay for purchases by simply tapping their device at participating merchants.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Card members who decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver and pay for the rental with their Visa Signature card receive collision and theft coverage. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance within the U.S. and primary for international rentals.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Cardholders can receive up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Call 1-800- 847-2869 for roadside assistance available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Service includes towing (up to 5 miles), tire changing, jump-starts, lockout service, fuel delivery (up to 5 gallons) and winching. Service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Card members can receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation when you charge the fare to their Visa card.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Cardholders can receive services, such as pre-trip assistance, emergency transportation assistance, legal referrals, emergency cash disbursement and lost luggage locator. Card members are responsible for service costs.