Thanks to reader James that suggested to include the U.S. Bank Korean Airline SkyPass Select Credit Card in my optimal perpetual preferred card portfolio. I had sadly never heard of this card because U.S. Bank is not really know for their premium products, nor for their MLA annual fee waivers. The card was launched May 2018 and was dubbed the “Worst Premium Credit Card” by the people at one mile at a time, and this is when they were offering 30K points for $3k spend (now only 15k for $1.5k spend).
I have never flown Korean Airlines, but enjoyed their lounges when flying to Seoul from Okinawa. Since U.S. Bank waives the $450 fee per the MLA, I just see the following benefits of the card as free perpetual benefits:
- 15,000 Skypass miles after spending $1,500 in 90 days
- $200 on travel purchases, resets on card anniversary
- A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit every four years
- 2 Korean Air Lounge passes every year
- 2 Korean Air in-flight duty free vouchers of $25 each on $50 spend
- $100 discount on a Korean Air ticket, valid for 90 days
The 15k initial sign up bonus is pretty useless according to their redemption chart below. However the Korean Airlines considers Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to be part of North America.
I am thinking of hitting all their 30k point cards and then pooling the points, that’s 75k, which is good for first class to Hawaii! They have so very many obscure U.S. Bank products:
The two current offers for 30K are for these cards:
One good thing is you can use MR, UR to transfer to Marriott Points, then transfer again to Korean Airlines Skypass at a 3:1 ratio to book a flight. Although that would be a terrible use of points in my opinion. The $200 travel credit and the two free lounge passes are the only thing that appeals to me. Keep in mind they consider travel to be: airlines, hotels, or car rental companies.
Valid lounges can be found at these locations:
- Seoul (Incheon, Gimpo)
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Honolulu?? (Korean Air considers HI to be part of North America for the purpose of SkyTeam awards)
The Chicago Lounge closed in 2018, but mainline KAL metal flight to Seoul still departs out of Terminal 5:
The card can be referred! Please post a referral code or link so we can all get in on this action. I am planning on doing it for the sake of the yearly $200 credit to use on the Minibar on my points stays!