Ultimate Rewards Transfer to Korean Air Active Again!

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Great news, Chase Ultimate Rewards point transfers to Korean Air are back up again as of today!  This means that those of us here in the US who have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Plus Business Card, or even the Chase Freedom® (if you or your partner have one of the other previously mentioned cards), can again take advantage of some very nice Korean Air award charts and rules using your Ultimate Reward points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Korean Air

Korean Air Charts Very Good for Domestic US Travel:

As I wrote yesterday, this is something you need to pay attention to even if you have never, or will never, go to Korea, fly on Korean Air, or even eat Korean food as you can use their miles to book partners like Delta, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines at good values compared to other options.  Yesterday I highlighted using 25,000 miles round trip to fly on Delta operated flights to Hawaii.  Except possibly for those on the West Coast or in Phoenix who can use 25,000 British Airways Avios to fly round trip to Hawaii, this is the very best deal on miles to Hawaii in North America.

Fly on Alaska Airlines Starting at 20,000 Miles Round Trip:

To celebrate the return of Korean Air as a transfer partner, today I’ll remind you of another good redemption option here in the United States.  You can fly on partner Alaska Airlines for just 20,000 miles round trip via the Alaska Airlines Korean partner chart and get a free stopover.  This means you could fly from Houston – Seattle (stopover for a few days) – Anchorage (destination) and then fly back home to Houston all for just 20,000 miles.  To do that in first class will cost you 40,000 Korean Air miles.  Booking directly with Alaska would cost you 25,000 in economy, 50,000 in first. 

Korean Air Alaska Award Chart

If you want to fly on Alaska Airlines to Hawaii or Mexico, you can do so for 30,000 miles in economy or 60,000 in first class.  Booking awards to Hawaii directly with Alaska would cost at least 40,000 miles round trip in economy, and at least 80,000 miles in first.  Even though this option with Korean is pricier than to fly on Delta operated flights via the SkyTeam partners chart, it is a good option for some who can’t find the availability on Delta operated flights.  Keep in mind again that those who live on the West Coast will likely do better booking via the British Airways distance based program on their partner Alaska Airlines to places like Hawaii and Mexico.

Korean Airlines Hawaii

60k miles via Alaska, 40k miles via Korean

Book Partners Over the Phone, and with Some Strange Rules:

If you want to book partner awards, first you need to go to the partner’s site and find availability at the lowest saver level.  You will need to call Korean at 1-800-438-5000 to make the award booking (or as they like to call it, bonus ticket booking).  They are a bit different to work with from what I hear, as you can only book for immediate family members, and will have to submit things like copies of passports/photo IDs and a redemption form to complete the booking.  That’s an extra PITA for sure, but worth it if it gets your family where they want to be for fewer miles.

I recommend reading this post by One Mile at a Time for more details on the exact booking process.  Note that you can put tickets on hold while completing their booking process and transferring in points from Ultimate Rewards, which helps tremendously.  I hope to use this program myself to book some awards to Hawaii!  Anyone else transferring some points to Korean in the near future?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: The comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


    • Ben, where are you wanting to go? I’m sure their partner Delta serves Tampa, but you aren’t going to find those flights on Korean’s website. Partner flights will have to be searched elsewhere and booked over the phone.

    • Nick, it works, but the price is higher for “Central America” at 35,000 RT in economy for the following countries: Guyana, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Grenada, Nicaragua, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Montserrat, Barbados, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Belize, British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts-Nevis, Suriname, Aruba, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Antilles, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, French Guiana.

      US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Mexico are grouped with North America at 25k RT.

    • You can mix SkyTeam partners for a SkyTeam award, but not non-alliance partners, so the rules state you could not have Delta and Alaska on the same award.

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