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SPG Starpoints now transfer to 33 airlines with the addition of Korean SkyPass Miles to the list. Korean SkyPass is a 1:1 transfer partner, and, as with all 1:1 transfer partners, for every 20,000 points transferred, you get 5,000 bonus miles.

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  • 15,000 Starpoints = 15,000 Korean miles
  • 20,000Starpoints = 25,000 Korean miles
  • 25,000 Starpoints = 30,000 Korean miles
  • 60,000 Starpoints = 75,000 Korean miles

You can transfer Starpoints to airline miles here. Transfers take several days to post as mile, and one transfer to Asiana miles took two weeks to post.

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Korean SkyPass Miles at a 1:1 ratio. Those transfers are instant.

Here are some quick things to know about the Korean program:

Best Uses

  • Redeeming for SkyTeam First Class like Korean First Class and China Southern First Class. Delta SkyMiles cannot be redeemed for international First Class.
  • Redeeming to Hawaii on Delta for 25,000 Korean miles roundtrip in economy and 45,000 Korean miles roundtrip in First Class. Redeeming to Hawaii on Hawaiian or Alaska costs 30k/60k roundtrip in economy/First

Award Charts

All award charts list roundtrip prices. You can fly awards with only Korean Air flights one way for half price. All other awards must be booked roundtrip.

Weird Rules (Some Good)

  • No close-in booking fee
  • No award change fee
  • No award cancellation fee
  • Free five day award holds
  • With your miles, you can only book an award for yourself, grandparents, parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, parents-in law, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law
  • Convoluted award ticketing requires sending a copy of your passport
  • Korean collects fuel surcharges on award tickets. (There are no fuel surcharges on flights on Delta, Hawaiian, or Alaska within North America.)
  • You get one stopover per one way award on Korean flights in addition to the destination
  • There are peak and off peak award dates for Korean flights (not SkyTeam or other partner awards)
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  • You get two stopovers per roundtrip SkyTeam award in addition to the destination

Korean First Class

Korean Airlines First Class is excellent, especially on its A380, which features a fully flat enclosed suite.

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Award space is wide open in the cabin, since there is little competition for the seats with miles. Fuel surcharges between the United States and Korea are about $162 roundtrip.

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You can search Korean First Class award space on ExpertFlyer. Here’s how. You can search the fuel surcharges on ITA Matrix. Here’s how.

Getting SPG Points

The Starwood Preferred Guest personal and business credit cards from American Express now come with 30,000 bonus Starpoints, up from the normal sign up bonus is 25,000 points. The personal card requires spending $3,000 in the first three months, and the business card requires spending $5,000 in the first three months to unlock the bonuses.

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The increased bonus is only for applicants approved by September 14, 2015.

Application Links:

Bottom Line

SPG adding Korean as a transfer partner is awesome news, and further cements Starpoints’ status as the most valuable transferable points. Transfer your Starpoints or Ultimate Rewards to Korean miles to book trips to Hawaii or Korean First Class.


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