visa skypass

Visa skypass

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US Bank is presently offering an increased sign-up bonus on their co-branded Korean Air SkyPass Visa Card.

Why I love Korean Air SkyPass miles

So far this year I’ve redeemed more Korean Air SkyPass miles for my own travel than any other mileage currency:

Korean Air A380 first class

Korean Air SkyPass miles are among my favorite mileage currencies due to how good first class award space is through the SkyPass program.

Korean Air belongs to SkyTeam, and the great thing (or horrible thing, depending on how you look at it), is that members of most programs (including Delta SkyMiles) can’t redeem miles for international first class.

As a result, award space is excellent, and it’s not too tough to find 2-4 first class award seats on most flights. It comes down to supply and demand.

The increased sign-up bonus on Korean Air SkyPass Visa

The ordinary sign-up bonus on the Korean Air SkyPass Visa Card is 15,000 miles after completing the minimum spend, though through May 31, 2014, the sign-up bonus has been doubled to 30,000 SkyPass miles after your first purchase. They offer both a personal and business version of the card, so you can potentially rack up 60,000 SkyPass miles this way.

Visa skypass

It’s worth noting that the annual fees on the personal and business cards are $80 and $75, respectively, and they’re not waived for the first year.

This isn’t a mega sign-up bonus or anything, though it’s a valuable mileage currency and you just need to make one purchase on the card to activate the bonus. So if you’ve applied for most other cards out there, this is a nice sign-up bonus, in my opinion.

You’re still better off earning Korean Air miles through Ultimate Rewards

I don’t actually have a personal or business Korean Air Visa Card. Instead I’ve earned all of my SkyPass miles through Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers.

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a 1:1 instant transfer partner, so it’s tough to beat earning Korean Air miles through the following cards:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers double points on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees
  • The Ink Plus® Business Credit Card,which offers 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services

The sign-up bonuses on all three of those cards are substantially better than on the Korean Air Visa, and on top of that the annual fees are waived the first year. That being said, the cards do have a $3,000-5,000 minimum spend requirement.

If I could only have one US Bank Card, it would be the Club Carlson Visa

US Bank can be tricky with approvals sometimes, so if I could only have one US Bank credit card it would still be the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card:

  • The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after the first purchase, and an additional 35,000 points after spending $2,500 on the card within 90 days
  • You get 40,000 points on your account anniversary each year, which more than justifies the $75 annual fee
  • You get Club Carlson Gold status for as long you have the card, which most notably offers free internet and room upgrades, along with some other perks
  • You earn five points per dollar spent on everyday purchases
  • The second night of every award redemption is free, basically meaning you get “buy one get one free” award redemptions, assuming you stay in two night increments

Bottom line on the Korean Air Visa Card

I get comments all the time from people that have run out of credit cards to apply for, and for them the Korean Air SkyPass Visa is a decent option. That being said, the best way to accrue Korean Air SkyPass miles is still through Chase Ultimate Rewards. ∙ The Best Points & Mileage Credit Cards

US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card | Need Korean Customer Care?

If you are a frequent traveler to Korea, the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card offers a no-nonsense solution to some commonly experienced hassles. With every purchase, you can build miles points that are redeemable toward your next flights on Korean Air. There are no double-point deals available with SkyBlue; just one half of one mile point earned per $1 spent.

There are 3 separate types of the KAL Visa: Classic, Platinum and SkyBlue SKYPASS. While the Classic has a $50 annual fee and the Platinum has an $80 annual fee, the SkyBlue has no annual fee at all. You get one half of point per dollar spent. There are no limits to the number of points you may accumulate and the points never expire.

The purchase APR for the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card is a straight 9.99% above the Prime Rate. US Bank uses the Average Daily Balance method, commonly used by most credit card issuers, to determine the minimum monthly payments you will owe.

Other APRs associated with this card include an 11.99% above Prime APR on cash advances. Balance transfers will incur and APR of 9.99% above Prime. And if you ever are unfortunate enough to incur the Penalty APR, it’s a fixed 23.99%. US Bank promises a minimum of 20 days grace to pay your monthly bill. If you incur interest charges, there is a minimum charge of $2.

Fee Schedule for the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card:

  • Late payment fees of either $29 or $38, depending on how many times you’ve been late in the past 12 billing cycles;
  • $35 fee for going over your credit limit;
  • No foreign currency conversion fess;
  • Cash advance fees are 3% or $5, whichever is more;
  • Balance transfer fees are 3% or $5, again, whichever is more;

There’s never an annual fee to enjoy the benefits of the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card. You will get an automatic credit of 5000 SKYPASS Bonus Miles when you complete your first purchase with the card. You can redeem your SKYPASS miles for travel credits and ticket upgrades at Korean Air and other SkyTeam partners. Also, cardholders are positioned for acceptance into the Morning Calm Club (see below).

Other automatic benefits of the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card:

  • Friendly bilingual customer care representatives;
  • 24/7/365 automated bilingual account access;
  • Zero Fraud Liability;
  • ID Theft & Fraud Protection;
  • Emergency Assistance services;
  • Collision Damage Waiver for rental cars;
  • Online banking services;
  • Traveler’s accident insurance;
  • Automatic bill payment services;

US Bank says that they care about their customers a great deal, and that they are constantly developing new features and benefits to make the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card even better. The two newest improvements are geared at making travel abroad much more easy and convenient for cardholders. Let’s take a look:

  1. There are absolutely no foreign transaction fees while traveling abroad. Most other cards will charge roughly 2 to 3 percent of the converted US dollar amounts for these transactions.
  2. Visa payWave technologies are in effect to make purchasing a breeze. Microprocessors inside the cards enable cardholders to just “wave” the card to electronically submit payments directly at the point of sale. This is quick and easy, and that makes business happen more efficiently and accurately. The Visa payWave technology incorporates multiple layers of security with every transaction initiated.

For cardholders of the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card with US Bank checking and/or savings accounts, there are other benefits available. For instance, you can link your card to your checking account to cover any checks that you have out without adequate funding. You card will cover excessive check charges to cover any overdrafts, in increments of $25, up to your credit limit. These overdraft charges incur the same APR as your purchases. You can also use any touch-tone phone to initiate transfers between your US Bank accounts and your SkyBlue card. This makes it a cinch to pay your monthly bill on time and avoid ever incurring a penalty APR.

Your US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card will enable you to gain and maintain membership in the ever-popular Morning Calm Club. This membership grants members privileges including rapid exclusive check-in services at Korean Air. You’re also entitled to bring along more baggage than non-member travelers (unless they pay extra). Also, you receive Priority Baggage Handling services any time you fly KAL. Additionally, you will benefit from Priority Reservation Waitlist services as well as being eligible for SkyTeam privileges.

And finally, the most coveted Morning Calm benefit of all: the gift of Lounge Usage! Up to four times during the 2-year membership period, you will permitted to enjoy the delights of Prestige Class Lounges that are ran by KAL. And the benefit extends to any traveling companions you may have. However, each passenger that uses a lounge with you counts as one lounge usage off of your allotted four per 2 years. Honestly, this does not seem very impressive to me.

You have to earn membership privileges by racking up at least 50,000 flown miles on Korean Airlines. Alternately, you can achieve membership by flying on at least 40 eligible KAL flights. Further, you may also gain membership status by redeeming 20,000 SKYPASS partner’s miles plus having flown at least 30,000 miles on KAL. All I can think to say is that those Prestige Lounges must be awfully nice. 4 times in 2 years? Check the website for more information.

So what are cardholders of the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card saying about it? Good question, I surfed through several forums dedicated to this card, as well as the testimonials on the card’s website, and found that the general feeling is one of acceptance and appreciation. The bilingual Korean/English customer care services are very much valued, especially by those who dominantly speak Korean. So, the US Bank Korean Air SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card is definitely a short-list option for frequent travelers to Korea, particularly if they have difficulties with English.