You don’t need to fly to Korea frequently to find value in the Korean Air SKYPASS program. Easily earn miles on flights with partner carriers or with a co-branded credit card. Then use those miles to book flights all over the world with Korean Air or one of their many airline partners.
Check out our best credit card bonuses here.
Read below for more information on their frequent flyer program.
Table of Contents
SKYPASS Quick Facts
|Hubs||Seoul-Incheon (South Korea)|
|U.S. Destinations||Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.|
|Credit Cards||SKYPASS Select Visa Signature Card
SKYPASS Visa Signature Card
SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card
SKYPASS Visa Business Card
|Redemption Options||Award flights, upgrades, lounge passes, excess baggage, luxury bus transportation, airport coat check, hotel stays, rental cars, Korean Air merchandise, Jeju activities|
|Average Mile Value||$0.017|
SKYPASS Elite Status
Like any other frequent flyer program, you’ll want to move up elite status tiers. With every tier you’ll unlock perks that are made to make your travels much easier and comfortable. SKYPASS has 3 status tiers: Morning Calm Club, Morning Calm Premium Club, and Million Miler Club.
Earn SKYPASS status when you meet the following requirements:
|Morning Calm Club||50,000 Korean Air miles, 40 qualifying flights, or
50,000 Korean Air & SKYPASS partner miles*
|Morning Calm Premium Club||500,000 Korean Air & SkyTeam partner miles|
|Million Miler Club||1,000,000 Korean Air & SkyTeam partner miles|
To maintain your Morning Calm Club membership for an extra 2 years, you must fulfill one of the following during your membership period:
- Accumulate at least 30,000 flown miles on Korean Air
- Fly 20 or more qualifying segments on Korean Air
- Accumulate at least 30,000 combined flown miles with Korean Air and partner airlines (at least 20,000 miles or 15 qualifying flight segments on Korean Air).
After you achieve Morning Calm Premium Club and Million Miler Club, you’ll keep this status for live.
Unlock VIP benefits when you move up in the SKYPASS elite status ranks. Notable benefits are:
Morning Calm Club
- Special check-in counter
- Additional baggage allowance
- Priority baggage
- Priority waitlist
- SkyTeam Elite membership
- Lounge access
Morning Calm Premium Club
- Morning Calm Club benefits
- Exclusive check-in counter
- Unrestricted lounge access
- Off-peak redemption mileage during peak times
- Reissue fee waived on bonus tickets
Million Miler Club
- Morning Calm Premium Club benefits
- Exclusive hotline in Korea
- Waived award ticket change fees
- Special gifts
Earning SKYPASS Miles
Gain SKYPASS miles when you fly on Korean Air. The amount will depend on the route and booking class. Remember, you won’t earn miles on award tickets, bay tickets and some discount tickets.
You’ll also be able to earn SKYPASS miles on flights with partner carriers such as:
SkyTeam Member Airlines:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air Europa
- Air France
- China Airlines
- China Eastern
- Czech Airlines
- Gaurda Indonesia
- Kenya Airways
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Korean Air
- MEA (Middle East Airlines)
- Vietnam Airlines
- Xiamen Air
Check out their list of current members:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- China Southern
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Japan Airlines
Be sure to book with your SKYPASS number and present your SKYPASS card when you check-in at the airport. Hold onto your ticket and boarding pass until the miles post to your SKYPASS account (up to 14 after travel).
U.S. Bank issues four co-brand credit cards that earn SKYPASS miles. See what they are below:
- SKYPASS Select Visa Signature Card ($450 annual fee). Earn 30,000 bonus miles ($510 value) when you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days. You’ll also get 10,000 bonus miles at renewal if you spend at least $35,000 annually. Get 2x miles on Korean Air ticket purchase, 2x miles on airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel stays, and 1x miles for all other purchase.
- SKYPASS Visa Signature Card ($95 annual fee). Earn 30,000 bonus miles ($510 value) when you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days. You’ll receive 2,000 bonus miles every year at renewal. Get 2x miles at gas stations and hotels, and 1x miles for all other purchases.
- SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card ($0 annual fee). Earn 5,000 bonus miles ($510 value) after your first purchase. Get one mile for every $2 you spend in eligible purchases.
- SKYPASS Visa Business Card ($95 annual fee). Earn 30,000 bonus miles ($510 value) when you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days. Additionally, you’ll get 2,000 bonus miles every year at renewal. Get 2x miles on Korean Air ticket purchases, 2x miles at gas stations and hotels, and 1x miles for all other purchases.
Korean Air ended their partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards SKYPASS is now down to one flexible point program partner which is Marriott Bonvoy. This partnership enables you to earn points on Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, and transfer them to your SKYPASS account. Read more belowe for more information on Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.
Marriott transfers to SKYPASS at a 3:1 ratio. For every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer directly to your SKYPASS account, you’ll receive 25,000 miles.
Earn SKYPASS miles when you travel with the hotel partners listed below:
- KAL Hotel
- Hotel Nikko & JAL City
- Okura Hotels & Resorts
- Seoul Shilla Hotel
- Shangri-La Hotels
- Waikiki resort Hotel
- Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- Lotte Hotel
- Marriott Bonvoy
And the following car rental partners:
- AJ (Korea)
- Han Hin (Korea)
- Lotte (Korea)
Earn SKYPASS miles when you:
- Shop on Korean Air SkyShop (earn SkyPoints that you can convert to SKYPASS miles)
- Follow the Korean Air Facebook and Twitter accounts
- Hosting an event at Marriott
- Participate in a Korean Air limited-time promotion.
For all the ways you can earn SKYPASS miles, check this out.
Earning SKYPASS Miles with Marriott Bonvoy Points
Marriott transfers to SKYPASS at a 3:1 ratio. For every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer directly to your SKYPASS account, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus points. So, instead of 20,000 SKYPASS miles for 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll get a total of 25,000 miles.
Chase offer two personal credit cards that earn Marriott points. Meanwhile, American Express (Amex) offers on personal and on business card. If you want to apply for a Marriott credit card remember:
- The Chase 5/24 rule. If you opened 5+ credit card in the last 24 months (from any bank), you won’t be approved for a new credit card from Chase.
- The Amex once-in-a-lifetime welcome bonus rule. You can only qualify for the introductory offer on each Amex personal and business card once in your life.
The Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card offers 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
In addition, you can enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program.
With this card, you'll earn:
• 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program.
• 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
• 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
This card comes with a $450 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. However, you can receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Furthermore, enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass Select membership.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
You'll earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott BonvoyTM & 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
You gain an automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
You'll receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year & an additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
This card does carry a $95 fee; there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold offers 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This card earns up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott BonvoyTM & 2X points for all other travel purchases. You’ll receive 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
This card comes with no foreign transaction fees and you'll get 15 elite night credits each calendar year!
The Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card offers offers 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You can enjoy a complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
You'll earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program, 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, & 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
For each card account anniversary, you'll receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
This card does carry a $125 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
Redeeming SKYPASS Miles
The best way to redeem your SKYPASS miles is to fly with Korean Air or one of their airline partners. When pricing out an award flight, remember:
- On-peak and off-peak travel dates
- Award charts show roundtrip pricing
- Korean Air flights can be booked one way
- Partner flights are always charged roundtrip pricing
You’ll want to make use of the Korean Air award chart, the SkyTeam award chart, and the non-alliance award chart.
Use your SKYPASS miles to make your travel more enjoyable, including:
- Korean Air upgrade awards
- SkyTeam member airline upgrade awards
- Korean Air Lounge passes
- Excess baggage rewards
- KAL luxury bus awards
- Coat check awards
Besides Korean Air and SkyTeam partner awards, trade in your SKYPASS miles for:
- Hotel stays
- Rental cars
- Korean Air merchandise
- Hanwha Aqua Planet Jeju passes
- Jeju Island Folk Village Museum passes
Keep in mind that SKYPASS miles are valid for 10 years.
SKYPASS Tips & Tricks
SKYPASS has 3 different award charts that can be a little difficult to understand when you’re trying to price out awards. Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you. Here are some of our favorite SKYPASS sweet spots:
|North America – Europe | Roundtrip | SkyTeam | Business||80,000|
|North America – Africa | Roundtrip | SkyTeam | Business||120,000|
|North America – Hawaii | Roundtrip | Delta | Economy||25,000|
|North America – Hawaii/Mexico/Puerto Rico | Roundtrip | Delta | Business||45,000|
|North America – Northeast Asia | One Way | Korean Air | First||80,000|
|North America – Australia | One Way | Korean Air | Business||97,500|
|North America – Australia | One Way | Korean Air | First||120,000|
Remember, Korean Air allows one complimentary stopover on one-way awards, so you get two complimentary stopovers on roundtrip awards. This is a generous and rare thing to have in the frequent flyer world.
Book a Round the World award for just 140,000 miles in economy or 220,000 miles in business. Your itinerary must:
- Pass through the Pacific and the Atlantic
- Must be a continuous route, either East or West
SKYPASS members will be able to transfer their miles to registered family members to redeem for awards. Here are some of the family plans rules:
- Up to 5 family members are allowed to redeem rewards through the Family Plan at a time.
- Authorization from family members is needed
- Family members are defined as: spouses, children, parents, siblings, parents-in-law, children-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren.
Apply for a Family Plan here.
Even though Korean Air is no longer partnered with Chase Ultimate Rewards, their loyalty program still comes with lots of earning potential. You’ll be able to earn and burn miles easily when you know how to work with their award system.