16 Best Ways To Earn LOTS of Korean Air SKYPASS Miles [2017]

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Korean Air is a founding member of the Sky Team Alliance that includes Delta, KLM, Air France, and other well-known airlines. It serves 45 countries with its fleet of 159 aircraft and has a hub at Incheon International Airport.

SKYPASS, Korean Air’s frequent flyer loyalty program, provides members many opportunities to earn SKYPASS Miles. Members also enjoy other benefits and discounts.

This guide will detail the many ways to earn SKYPASS Miles. When you finish reading, you’ll be prepared to accrue SKYPASS Miles as quickly as possible.

Then it’s simply a matter of redeeming them for award travel!

The Korean Air SKYPASS Loyalty Program

1.  Join Korean Air SKYPASS

korean air skypass program
Earn SKYPASS Miles by flying Korean Air, Sky Team airlines, and other affiliated carriers.

Sign up for Korean Air SKYPASS to begin earning miles based on the following factors: route flown, booking class, and cabin. It’s important that the name you use for your account matches the name on your passport.

Unlike some airline loyalty programs, you can’t claim miles for flights you took before enrolling in SKYPASS. In addition, miles aren’t earned for award flights, discounted flights, and infant tickets.

Korean Air SKYPASS does have elite membership tiers, but they don’t earn bonus miles. However, if you think you’d enjoy perks like lounge access, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling, you’ll want to qualify.

korean air skypass elite status
Elite status comes with a variety of perks like access to lounges operated by Korean Air!

Plus, members who have elite status with any Sky Team carrier (including Korean Air) are eligible for a Sky Team elite membership without meeting any other requirements.

2. Book a Korean Air Flight

korean-air-flights
Flying on Korean Air flights is the basic way you can begin earning points in SKYPASS.

A great reason to fly Korean Air is its first-class award availability. However, with regular tickets, you can still earn points for travel on Korean Air and its partner airlines.

Miles earned are determined by the route and booking class of each ticket. Here is the mileage chart for North America to give you an idea of distance traveled.

korean air skypass miles americas
Total mileage for flights from South Korea to North American destinations.

The table below shows the accrual rates for each fare class.

korean-air-mileage-accrual-rates
The mileage you earn depends on which class you book, denoted by a letter code.

Earn SKYPASS Miles With Credit Cards

3. Korean Air Credit Cards

While there is no shortage of Korean Air co-branded credit cards, unfortunately most of them are from Korean and Japanese banks.

Still, there are several credit cards to choose from in the U.S., shown in the table below:

Korean Air Credit Card Earned Miles
SKYPASS Visa® Business Card 1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card 1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
SKYPASS Visa Classic® Card 1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa® Card 1 mile for every eligible $2 spent
SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card 1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
The #1 Travel Rewards Credit Card [50k Sign Up Bonus]
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

4. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Much easier, in our opinion, is to earn Ultimate Rewards points with the 6 credit cards below. These points can be transferred to Korean Air SKYPASS at a 1:1 ratio, and you’ll also get the flexibility to use them elsewhere if necessary.

Transfer 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points in exchange for 1,000 SKYPASS Miles.

Loyalty Program Credit Card
Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Review Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
Chase Freedom®
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Ink Cash® Business Credit Card

5. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Cards

korean air skypass spg
Transfer 20,000 Starpoints to SKYPASS in 1 transaction and get a 5,000-mile bonus!

Transfer Starpoints from the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program, including Starpoints earned with the credit cards in the table below! Each Starpoint equals 1 SKYPASS mile.

Also, enjoy an extra bonus. For every 20,000 Starpoints transferred in the same transaction, get 5,000 bonus points.

You may transfer Starpoints once every 24 hours with a maximum of 94,999 miles per transfer (including the bonus).

Loyalty Program Credit Card
Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Korean Air SKYPASS Travel Partners

6. Fly Sky Team Carriers

korean air skyteam partner airlines
There are 19 Sky Team partner airlines. Partners can be used to earn miles in other partners’ loyalty programs, or for award travel.

Fly with carriers in the Sky Team network and earn up to 150% in mileage bonuses! Each airline has its own earnings rate, which can be found under terms and conditions.

You must show your SKYPASS card for mileage bonuses and discounts from SKYPASS partners.

The Mileage Accrual Chart by Route displays all domestic and international routes.

It’s a good idea to keep your ticket receipt and boarding pass until the miles are applied (typically 3-14 days from the date of travel). SKYPASS and Sky Team Miles expire 10 years from accrual.

Code-share flights must be issued on a KA flight number to get miles if serviced by partner carrier. Also, you cannot transfer miles between carriers.

7. Fly Other Partner Airlines

Other Korean Air-affiliated carriers also offer up to 150% in mileage bonuses. Click on an airline in the chart for more information about that carrier’s policies.

Alaska Airlines American Airlines Jet Airways
Emirates GOL Hawaiian Airlines

Mileage can only be credited to 1 frequent flyer program at a time. Miles are not earned on complimentary, award tickets, any tickets discounted 50% or more, or other special discounts.

earning miles for korean air partner travel
Similar to most other airlines, you can earn miles on any of the alliance partners or on flights operated by Korean Air; you will not be able to earn miles for flights otherwise.

8. SKYPASS Car Rental Partners

Choose from a variety of rental car partners to earn additional SKYPASS miles: Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and National. Each car rental agency offers 500 miles per rental. Hertz and Avis also offer 250 miles per rental for commercial contract rates.

As always, provide your SKYPASS membership number when making reservations and show it at pickup. Miles are credited to the renter (driver) only, 2-4 weeks from the date of service. Again, hang onto your receipt or voucher until the miles are credited to your SKYPASS account.

korean air skypass car rental partners
Earn 500 SKYPASS Miles per rental when booking a car with one of the SKYPASS rental car partners.

9. SKYPASS Hotel Partners

Stay at SKYPASS partner hotels in the table below and receive miles! It takes 2-4 weeks for miles to be applied to your SKYPASS account.

Hotel Offer Hotel Offer
KAL HOTEL* 500 miles/stay InterContinental Hotels Group 500 miles/stay
Hotel Lotte* 500 miles/stay Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Up to 500 miles/stay
The Shilla Seoul* 500 miles/stay Waikiki Resort Hotel (Hawaii) 500 miles/stay
Marriott International: 1-2 miles/$1 Fairmont 500 miles/stay
Hilton Worldwide 1 mile/ $1 Raffles 500 miles/stay
Swissotel 500 miles/ stay Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group 500 miles/stay
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group 500 miles/ stay Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts 500 miles/ stay
Preferred Hotels & Resorts 500 miles/ stay Okura Hotels & Resorts 500 miles/ stay
Nikko Hotels International 500 miles/ stay Hotel JAL City 250 miles/stay

10. Book a Room Through Hotels.com

Another way to earn SKYPASS Miles for hotel stays is to book directly through Hotels.com, a global hotel reservation service. Receive 1 mile per $1 spent. You must book through the Hotels.com partnership page linked to the Korean Air website to qualify!

korean air hotels dot com
Get points for booking rooms directly through the SKYPASS Hotels.com link.

11. Transfer Points From a Hotel Loyalty Program

We already discussed how you could earn Starpoints with Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards and then transfer those points to SKYPASS miles. You can also transfer miles from 2 other loyalty programs: AccorHotels and Marriott Rewards.

Every 4,000 Le Club AccorHotels points convert to 2,000 SKYPASS miles. The Marriott Rewards points conversion rate varies.

To earn extra Marriott points, you could use one of the Marriott credit cards:

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review
Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Special SKYPASS Programs

12. Pool Family Points

With the SKYPASS Family Plan, up to 5 members (including the SKYPASS member) can pool miles and redeem awards. You must register family before endorsing an award to them or redeeming an award through the Family Plan.

Members must be immediate family, including spouse, children, parents, siblings, parents-in-law, children-in-law, grandparents, or grandchildren.

Applications with family proof documents can be submitted through the website, fax, or a local office.

13. Host an Event

korean air marriott events
Earn 1 mile per $1 spent when hosting an event at a Marriott hotel.

Hold a Marriott Rewards Rewarding Event to earn 1 mile per $1 spent, with a maximum of 15,000 miles per event.

14. Book International Services

If you are in Korea, there are several opportunities to earn SKYPASS Miles. 

For instance, exchange or transfer money, participate in the SKYPASS mileage credit tour program through Hanjin Travel, or convert miles from OK Cashbag. Find a complete list here.

15. Ongoing SKYPASS Promotions

Participate in ongoing SKYPASS promotions to earn additional miles. Check the Korean Air website for updates.

Shopping for Miles

16. The Cyber SkyShop

korean-air-cyber-skyshop-products
The Cyber SkyShop earned an estimated $200 million in 2014.

Earn SkyPoints for duty-free purchases you make at the Cyber SkyShop! Then transfer 1,000 points to 500 SKYPASS Miles.

Duty-free shopping is also available on Korean Air International Flights onboard the fleet of 10 A380 aircraft from Seoul to Bangkok, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris.

If you prefer to preorder, this service is available for Korean Air only (not codeshare flights) at cyberskyshop.com.

Here are the shopping channels and methods:

korean-air-cyber-skyshop
Earn additional miles in the Korean Air SkyShop.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles, whether booking travel with Korean Air and its partners or participating in non-travel partner opportunities.

Of course, one of the quickest ways to accumulate SKYPASS Miles is by transferring points earned with credit cards.

For example, Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Freedom Unlimited℠, and more.

SPG credit cards include the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Discover How To Stay Safe While Traveling >

Photo Credits:
Korean Air Featured Photo: Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.com

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  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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FAQ

What is Korean Air SKYPASS?
SKYPASS is the frequent flyer loyalty program of Korean Air. Members earn SKYPASS Miles and redeem them for travel rewards.

How do you earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles?
Earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles by booking flights on Korean Air and its partner carriers, including Sky Team members. Other ways to earn miles include booking with travel partners (hotel, car rental, etc.) and shopping at the Cyber SkyShop.

How do you sign up for Korean Air SKYPASS?
Register for Korean Air SKYPASS on their website.

What is the Korean Air SKYPASS Family Plan?
The Korean Air SKYPASS Family Plan is a program that allows up to 5 members to pool their miles. It’s open to immediate family members. Members can also endorse awards to family members.

The application is available here along with terms and conditions.

Does Korean Air SKYPASS offer a sign-up bonus?
There is no sign-up bonus for joining Korean Air SKYPASS.

How can I contact Korean Air SKYPASS?
Contact Korean Air SKYPASS customer service from the U.S. and Canada by calling 1-800-438-5000. Customer service is available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

What are the Korean Air SKYPASS partner airlines?
The Sky Team partner airlines are as follows:

Sky Team Partners
Aeroflot Garuda Indonesia
Aerolineas Argentinas Kenya Airways
Aeromexico KLM
Air Europa Korean Air
Air France Middle East Airlines
Alitalia Saudia Airlines
China Airlines Tarom
China Eastern Vietnam Airlines
China Southern Xiamen Airlines
Czech Airlines Delta Air Lines

Other affiliated airlines include Alaska Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes, Jet Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines.

Does Korean Air SKYPASS have transfer partners?
Transfer Starpoints from your SPG account at a 1:1 ratio after earning them with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

AccorsHotels points, Marriott Rewards points, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points can also be transferred to SKYPASS miles.