Contrary to the name, you don’t have to fly to Korea to take advantage of the perks and benefits that the Korean Air SKYPASS program has to offer. With this program, you can easily earn miles on flights with partner carriers or with a co-branded credit card. Afterwards, use those miles to book flights to anywhere in the world with Korean Air or one of their many airline partners.
See our best credit card bonuses here.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Korean Air’s frequent flyer program.
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
As with any other frequent flyer program, you’ll want to move up elite status tiers. With each tier, you’ll unlock benefits designed to make your travel easier and more comfortable. SKYPASS has three status tiers: Morning Calm Club, Morning Calm Premium Club and Million Miler Club.
In order to reach elite status, you’ll need to 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|
In order to maintain your Morning Clam Club membership for another two years, you will need to 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)
Once you achieve Morning Calm Premium Club and Million Miler Club, you’ll keep that status for life!
As you move up in SKYPASS elite status, you will unlock special VIP perks.
|Morning Calm Club||Special check-in counter
Additional baggage allowance
SkyTeam Elite membership
|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
Earning SKYPASS Miles
Earn SKYPASS miles when you fly on Korean Air. The amount that you earn will depend on your route and booking class. Please not that, you won’t earn miles on award tickets, baby tickets and some discounted tickets.
Additionally, you can earn SKYPASS miles by flying with partner airlines, including:
SkyTeam Member Airlines
*Visit skyteam.com for the current list of members
Be sure that you type in your SKYPASS number and present your SKYPASS card when you check in at the airport to make sure you get your rewards. Hold onto your ticket and boarding pass until the miles post to your SKYPASS account. It may take up to 14 days after travel to post.
SKYPASS Select Visa Signature Card ($450 annual fee). Earn 30,000 bonus miles ($510 value) when you spend $3,000 within your first 90 days. You’ll also receive 10,000 bonus miles at renewal if you spend at least $35,000 annually. Get 2x miles on Korean Air ticket purchases, 2x miles on airline tickets, car rentals and hotel stays, and 1x miles for all other purchases. Extras include an annual $200 travel credit, TSA Precheck/Global Entry credit, an annual $100 Korean Air ticket coupon, two annual Korean Air in-flight duty free $25 coupons and two annual KAL Lounge coupons.
SKYPASS Visa Signature Card ($95 annual fee). Earn 30,000 bonus miles ($510 value) when you spend $3,000 within your first 90 days. You’ll also receive 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. Extras include an annual Korean Air ticket $50 coupon and two annual KAL Lounge coupons.
SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card ($0 annual fee). Earn 5,000 bonus miles ($85 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 within your first 90 days. You’ll also receive 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. Extras include an annual Korean Air ticket $50 coupon and two annual KAL Lounge coupons.
As of recently, Korean Air has ended their partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards making them down to one flexible point program partner: Marriott Bonvoy. Use this partnership by earning points on Marriott Bonvoy credit cards and transferring those point to your SKYPASS account when you’re ready to fly.
Marriott transfers to SKYPASS at a 3:1 ratio. And for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer directly to your SKYPASS account, you’ll get a 5,000-point bonus. So instead of 20,000 SKYPASS miles for 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll receive a total of 25,000 miles.
You will be able to earn SKYPASS miles by staying with the following hotel partners
- KAL Hotel
- Hotel Nikko & JAL CityCars & Transport
- Okura Hotels & Resorts
- Seoul Shilla Hotel
- Shangri-La Hotels
- Waikiki Resort Hotel
And through the following car rental partners
Other methods of earning SKYPASS miles include:
- Shop on Korean Air SkyShop (earn SkyPoints which you can then 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, click here.
Earning SKYPASS Miles With Marriott Bonvoy Points
As mentioned previously, Marriott transfers to SKYPASS at a 3:1 ratio. And for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer directly to your SKYPASS account, you’ll get a 5,000-point bonus. So instead of 20,000 SKYPASS miles for 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll receive a total of 25,000 miles.
Chase offers two personal credit cards that earn Marriott points, while American Express (Amex) offers one personal and one business card. If you’re looking to apply for a Marriott credit card, keep in mind:
- The Chase 5/24 rule. If you opened five or more new credit cards in the past 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 lifetime.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms apply.
• 4X Membership Rewards Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.,
• 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
• 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
$120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
Earn 4X Membership Rewards(R) Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards(R) points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
Earn 3X Membership Rewards(R) points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
• 1.5X Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
• 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
• $189 CLEAR Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR membership. CLEAR is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
• Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
• Get $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
This card does come with a $695 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
The American Express® Business Gold Card offers 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You'll earn more rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month** (**4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*). In addition, you'll get an airline bonus; 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
This card does carry a $295 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Redeeming SKYPASS Miles
Use your SKYPASS miles for award flights on Korean Air. Choose from three different award types.
- 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 utilize the Korean Air award chart, the SkyTeam award chart, and the non-alliance award chart.[/su_table]
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
- Hotel stays
- Rental cars
- Korean Air merchandise
- Hanwha Aqua Planet Jeju passes
- Jeju Island Folk Village Museum passes
Asia Miles Tips & Tricks
SKYPASS has three different award charts that goes with their three tiers. However, we’ve created a much easier chart for you to read and here is what we’ve concluded are some 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
Keep in mind, Korean Air allows one complimentary stopover on one-way awards, so you get two complimentary stopovers on roundtrip awards. That’s both generous and rare 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 can transfer their miles to registered family members to redeem for awards. Below are some notable Family Plan rules:
- Up to 5 family members are allowed to redeem rewards through the Family Plan at a time
- Authorization from family members is required
- Family members are defined as spouses, children, parents, siblings, parents-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren
Although SKYPASS miles can no longer be earned from Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Korean Air loyalty program still has some great perks for all kinds of travelers. The best part is that it is easy to earn and use with great value.
In the case that you don’t often travel with Korean Air often, be sure to check out our page for more travel tips from other loyalty programs like Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan or Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. For more posts like this, check out our list of credit card bonuses.