Confirmed: Instant Korean Airlines mile transfer from Chase Sapphire Preferred
That means you can use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points to fly on just about any major airline in the world via mile transfer and partner redemption. Korean Airlines was a welcome addition to Ultimate Rewards in 2011, offering SkyTeam airline access, but it’s remained a mystery as to whether the mile transfers would be instant, like they are for United, Continental, Southwest, and British Airways.
Well, we tried it for ourselves…and the answer is YES.
Just did a test 1,000 point mile transfer from a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Ultimate Rewards account, and the points posted immediately to a brand new Korean Airlines SKYPASS account. As an FYI though — sometimes Korean merges your first and middle name as your first name in their records. So if you try the transfer and it gives you an error for an invalid account, try putting both your first and middle names in the ‘first name’ field of the mile transfer.
No fees for changes or cancellations
Korean Airlines miles are intriguing because there are no fees for cancelling or changing an award ticket before departure. They let you fly on any SkyTeam carrier (includes Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, and more) as well as their non-SkyTeam partners including Alaska Airilnes, Hawaiian Airlines, and Emirates with some interesting reward values like:
- 80,000 miles roundtrip in business class US–>Europe on Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, and other Sky Team partners. It’s usually 100,000 miles minimum when you use Delta miles
- 50,000 miles roundtrip in economy class US–>Europe on the same airlines above, usually 60,000 miles minimum on Delta
- 70,000 miles roundtrip in economy US–>Middle East on Emirates vs 80,000 with other programs/carriers
- 20,000 miles roundtrip in economy class, 40,000 in first class for any USA/Canada Alaska Airlines flights
- 30,000 miles roundtrip in economy class, 60,000 in first class for any USA – Hawaii flight on Hawaiian Airlines vs 40,000 miles economy / 75,000 first class on Delta, or 40,000 miles / 80,000 mile using Hawaiian’s own program. This is a great value — check Hawaiian’s website for days with low award availability.
All in this looks pretty promising for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card credit card holders, especially with the no change fees part of the deal. Here are links to Korean Airlines with more details on their program: