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If you like to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for award travel, now’s the time to take a look at Korean Air miles. You can score excellent deals for low prices on several routes.
On August 25, 2018 (one week!), Chase will lose Korean Air as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. And while it’s certainly a bummer, it’s not catastrophic.
There are still lots of ways to accomplish the same travel goals. But it will become a LOT harder to collect Korean Air miles. The last day to make a transfer is August 24, 2018.
I’ll point out the best deals and remind you how to use Korean Air miles!
The Best Sweet Spots With Korean Air Miles
August 24, 2018, is the last day to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air – that’s one week away!
Before you transfer a ton of points, there are a few things you should know about Korean Air miles. Let’s start with the bad news, then move to the good news.
The biggest downside is you can only book award seats for yourself and family members with Korean Air miles. That’s right – no award trips with your boyfriend/girlfriend or best pals.
And, you must supply documents that prove your relationship. So if you don’t want to travel solo or with immediate family, the mileage program won’t be useful to you.
Plus, there are several cheap awards where Korean Air miles really shine, like North America to:
- China, Japan, South Korea, and Northeast Asia in Korean Air First Class for 80,000 Korean Air miles each way
- Anywhere in Europe in Business Class on partner airlines including Air France and Alitalia for 80,000 Korean Air miles round-trip
- Anywhere in Europe in coach on partner airlines for 50,000 Korean Air miles round-trip
- Hawaii in coach on Delta for 25,000 Korean Air miles round-trip
- Hawaii in coach on Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines for 30,000 Korean Air miles round-trip
You can also fly from the US to Tahiti round-trip in coach on Air France for 60,000 Korean Air miles.
And if you want to see more of a particular country, domestic flights are cheap. For example, you can fly within China or Hong Kong for 20,000 Korean Air miles round-trip in coach. Or travel within Indonesia in coach for the same price.
That’s helpful if you want to explore a region in-depth. And distances can be vast, so this is a fantastic deal!
Should You Transfer Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Korean Air?
Personally, I’d say it’s a safe bet Korean Air will keep their current award prices for at least another year. That said, they could change it any time.
Historically, they’ve been good about announcing changes in advance, so you’d likely get a heads up if prices increase.
However, I would only transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air if you have a particular award in mind.
Finally, Korean Air miles expire after 10 years. That’s an extremely generous policy. But of course, there are no guarantees prices will stay the same.
So if you do make the transfer, book as soon as you can.
How Can You Collect Korean Air Miles After Next Week?
Apply Here: Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card
Apply Here: Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
Apply Here: SKYPASS Visa® Signature Credit Card
You’re now able to transfer Marriott points directly to a long list of partner airlines, including Korean Air. For every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll earn 20,000 Korean Air miles, plus a 5,000-mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 Korean Air miles.
You can earn Marriott points with these cards:
- Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card
- Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
There’s also the SKYPASS Visa Signature Credit Card, which earns 2 Korean Air miles per $1 spent on Korean Air tickets, and 1 Korean Air mile per $1 spent on other purchases. I’d only recommend this card if you REALLY want Korean Air miles, because there are much better cards out there.
Don’t Fret If You Have Lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are valuable because of how flexible they are. And while losing an award option sucks, you can still achieve your travel goals with Chase points.
For example, if Hawaii is on your radar, you can visit using 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles for a round-trip coach award ticket on United Airlines. Or fewer on Alaska Airlines with Singapore Airlines miles, or American Airlines with British Airways Avios points from the west coast.
And you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to visit Europe on dozens of airlines.
Some of the awards cost more points with Chase’s other travel partners. So you can still make your travel dreams a reality using Chase Ultimate Rewards points – just not quite as easily as before the August 24, 2018, deadline to transfer to Korean Air – depending on your destination.
As of August 25, 2018, Chase Ultimate Rewards points will no longer transfer to Korean Air. If you have an award in mind, August 24, 2018, is the last day to request a transfer. So you have one week to decide if transferring your Chase points to Korean Air is worth it.
Some of the best awards include:
- 80,000 Korean Air miles one-way to China, Japan, South Korea, and Northeast Asia in Korean Air First Class
- 80,000 Korean Air miles to Europe in Business Class round-trip with partner airlines
- 25,000 Korean Air miles for round-trip coach award seats to Hawaii on Delta
- 30,000 Korean Air miles for round-trip coach award seats to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines
Keep in mind, you can only book award tickets for yourself and immediate family members. And Korean Air miles expire after 10 years.
I wouldn’t transfer now unless you have a specific award in mind, as prices can increase any time.
While losing Korean Air as a transfer option is a bummer, there are still lots of ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But starting next week, it won’t be quite as easy as it is right now.
Will you transfer your Chase points to book a trip with Korean Air miles? Or wait and see if Chase will add a new airline partner?