13 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Korean Air SKYPASS Miles [2019]

How to Earn Korean Air SKYPASS Miles

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Korean Air is a founding member of the SkyTeam Alliance that includes Delta Air Lines, KLM, Air France, and other well-known airlines. It serves 50 countries with its fleet of 180 aircraft and has a hub at Incheon International Airport (ICN).

SKYPASS, Korean Air’s frequent flyer loyalty program, provides members many opportunities to earn SKYPASS miles, 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
Earn SKYPASS miles by flying Korean Air, SkyTeam airlines, and other affiliated carriers. Image Credit: Korean Air

Sign up for Korean Air SKYPASS here 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 has 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. Image Credit: Korean Air

Plus, members who have elite status with any SkyTeam carrier (including Korean Air) are eligible for a SkyTeam 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. Image Credit: Korean Air

A great reason to fly Korean Air is its first-class award availability. However, with cash 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 Mileage Accrual Chart North America
SKYPASS mileage accrual chart for Korean Air flights from North America. Image Credit: Korean Air

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

Korean Air Mileage Accrual by Class
Korean Air mileage accrual by class. Image Credit: Korean Air

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, so they aren’t availability in the United States.

Here are the co-branded Korean credit cards that can be used to earn Korean Air SKYPASS miles:

Korean Air Partner Credit Card Companies in Korea
BC CardLotte Card
Hyundai CardNH Card
Jeju Bank CardSamsung Card
KB CardShinhan Card
KEB Hana CardSuhyup Bank Card
Korea Citibank Card

Here are the co-branded Japanese credit cards that can be used to earn Korean Air SKYPASS miles:

Korean Air Partner Credit Card Companies in Japan
DC CardJCB Card
Diners Club InternationalMUFG/AMEX Card

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

Korean Air Credit CardEarned Miles
SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa® Card1 mile for every eligible $2 spent
SKYPASS Visa® Business Card1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
SKYPASS Visa Classic® Card1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card1 mile for every eligible $1 spent
SKYPASS Visa Signature® Card1 mile for every eligible $1 spent

The U.S.-issued Korean Air credit cards are from U.S. Bank. For the vast majority of us, earning Korean Air SKYPASS miles via transfer partners is much more viable.

Luckily, Korean Air partners with Marriott Bonvoy.

4. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those points to Korean Air at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 SKYPASS miles bonus. The time it takes to transfer Marriott points to Korean Air can vary wildly from 1 business day up to 3 weeks!

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

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Korean Air SKYPASS Travel Partners

5. Fly SkyTeam Carriers

Korean Air SkyTeam Partner Airlines
There are loads of SkyTeam partner airlines. Partners can be used to earn miles in other partners’ loyalty programs, or for award travel. Image Credit: SkyTeam

Fly with carriers in the SkyTeam alliance 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 include your SKYPASS number when booking to receive mileage bonuses and show your SKYPASS card to receive 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 SkyTeam miles expire 10 years from accrual.

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

Hot Tip: Need help finding award space? Check out our guide to searching for SkyTeam award availability.

6. Fly Other Partner Airlines

Korean Air Non-Alliance Partners
Korean Air non-alliance partners. Image Credit: Korean Air

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

Korean Air Non-Alliance Partners
Alaska AirlinesEmiratesHawaiian Airlines
American AirlinesEtihadJapan Airlines
China SouthernGOLJet Airways

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

Korean Air Mileage Accrual Policy
Similar to most other airlines, you can earn miles on any of the alliance partners or on flights operated by Korean Air, but you will not be able to earn miles for flights otherwise. Image Credit: Korean Air

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our in-depth guide to help you know where to credit your airline miles.

7. SKYPASS Car Rental Partners

Choose from a variety of rental car partners to earn additional SKYPASS miles, including Alamo, AvisHertz, National, and Rentalcars.com.

Here is the earning structure for all car rental partners with SKYPASS:

Car Rental CompanyEarning StructureCar Rental CompanyEarning Structure
AJ Rent-A-Car100 miles per 24 hours with a maximum of 1,000 miles per rentalHanjin Rent-A-Car (Jeju only)100 miles per 24 hours with a maximum of 1,000 miles per rental
Alamo500 miles per rentalLotte rent-a-car100 miles per 24 hours with a maximum of 1,000 miles per rental
Avis500 miles per rentalNational500 miles per rental
Hertz500 miles per rental, 250 miles per rental in some Asian countries (Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand), and 250 miles for commercial contract ratesRentalcars.com500 miles per rental

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.

Car Rental
Earn up to 1,000 SKYPASS miles per rental when booking a car with one of the SKYPASS rental car partners. Image Credit: Shutterstock

8. 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.

HotelOfferHotelOffer
AccorHotelsCan only transfer at a 4,000:2,000 ratioLotte Hotel (in Korea)500 miles per stay
Hotel Nikko & JAL City500 miles per stay at Nikko Hotels and 250 miles per stay at Hotel JAL CityMarriott Hotels1-2 miles/$1 spent. Can also transfer at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000 mile bonus
Hotels.com1 mile/$1 spentOkura Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay. Can also transfer at a 5,000:2,000 ratio.Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts500 miles per stay
InterContinental Hotels Group500 miles per stayThe Shilla Seoul500 miles per stay
KAL Hotel (Jeju/Seogwipo)500 miles per stayWaikiki Resort Hotel (Hawaii)500 miles per stay

Special SKYPASS Programs

9. 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. The U.S. and Canada fax number is 310-417-5696 for reference.

10. Host an Event

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

Hold a Marriott Bonvoy Rewarding Event to earn 1 mile per $1 spent, with a maximum of 20,000 miles per event if you also booked at least 10 room nights on a single night (catered-only events are at certain participating hotels).

This includes most properties under the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio.

11. 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 agencies like Hanjin Travel, or convert miles from OK Cashbag.

Specifically, if you exchange or transfer money from these partners, you can also earn Korean Air SKYPASS miles:

Money Exchange/Transfer CompanyOfferMoney Exchange/Transfer CompanyOffer
Citi BankEarn 1 mile for every $3 (cash) or $4 (traveler’s check) when buying U.S. dollars.

Earn 1 mile for every $15 when the 3-month balance is over $1,000 for money transfers (limited to $75,000 per quarter).

NongHyup BankEarn 1 mile for every $5 when exchanging over $500 and 1 mile for every $20 when transferring over $1,000.

Also, earn 1 mile per $10 through online money transfers or overseas automated transfers when transferring over $500.

You are limited to 2,000 miles per transaction and 100,000 miles per year.

KB Kookmin BankEarn 1-3 miles for every $5 when exchanging over $500 and 1-3 miles for every $10 when transferring over $1,000 with a maximum of 30,000 miles per transactionShinhan BankEarn 1 mile for every $5 when exchanging over $500 and 1 mile for every $2 when exchanging over $300.

Also, earn 1 mile for every $3 and 1 mile for every $10 when the complimentary exchange rate is applied for internet money transfers.

The miscellaneous companies you can earn SKYPASS miles with are:

CompanyEarning StructureCompanyEarning Structure
Cyber SkyShopTransfer at a ratio of 1,000:500Lotte MembersTransfer at a ratio of 220:10 with a limit of 120,000 miles per year and 1 transaction every 24 hours
H.PointTransfer at a ratio of 22:1 with a limit of 1 transaction every 24 hoursOK CashbagTransfer at a ratio of 22:1 with a limit of 120,000 miles per year and 1 transaction every 24 hours
Hanjin ExpressEarn 50-200 miles for delivery service (when paying over 50,000 KRW or $50)S-oilTransfer at a ratio fo 20:1 with a limit of 10,000 miles per year
Hanjin TravelEarn 1 mile per 1,000 KRW spent on the “SKYPASS mileage credit tour program”

12. Ongoing SKYPASS Promotions

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

Shopping for Miles

13. The Cyber SkyShop

korean air cyber skyshop products
The Cyber SkyShop is accessible easily with Korean Air SKYPASS — earn miles for shopping online! Image Credit: Korean Air

Earn SkyPoints for duty-free purchases you make at the Cyber SkyShop, then transfer 1,000 points for 500 SKYPASS miles.

Duty-free shopping is also available on Korean Air International Flights on board the fleet of 10 A380 aircraft from Seoul to New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. If you prefer to pre-order, this service is available for Korean Air only (no codeshare flights) at cyberskyshop.com.

Here are the shopping channels and methods:

Korean Air In-Flight Shopping
Image Credit: Korean Air

Final Thoughts

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. SKYPASS is transfer partners with Marriott Bonvoy, so that’s probably going to be the go-to method for many U.S.-based travelers. Happy earning!


FAQ

What is Korean Air SKYPASS?

SKYPASS is the frequent flyer loyalty program of Korean Air. Members earn SKYPASS miles to redeem 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 SkyTeam 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 immediate family members to pool their miles. 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 800-438-5000. Customer service is available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

What are the Korean Air SKYPASS partner airlines?

The SkyTeam partner airlines are as follows:

SkyTeam Partners
AeroflotDelta Air Lines
Aerolineas ArgentinasKenya Airways
AeromexicoKLM
Air EuropaKorean Air
Air FranceMiddle East Airlines
AlitaliaSaudia Airlines
China AirlinesTarom
China EasternVietnam Airlines
Czech AirlinesXiamen Airlines
Garuda Indonesia

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

Does Korean Air SKYPASS have transfer partners?

Marriott points can be transferred to SKYPASS miles.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions in a six-figure job, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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2 comments

  1. Chase Ultimate Rewards points can no longer be transferred to Korean Air, right? Then, I wonder why you commend the card to earn KAL miles.

    • Stephen Au · May 22, 2019 · Reply

      Kay,

      It’s true that Korean Air was removed as a transfer partner from Chase. However, our post is updated and doesn’t contain any information regarding Chase as a transfer partner. Rather, the only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy.

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