How to Quickly Earn and Spend 144,000 Ultimate Rewards

The glory days aren't over. You can get two cards right now with no annual fee for the first year and rack up 144,000 Ultimate Rewards after meeting their minimum spending requirements.

Then you can redeem those points for $1,800 in flights on any airline, five roundtrips flights to Hawaii or Europe, getting three people into Thai or Korean First Class, or up to 32 award flights.
The Cards
The classic Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months.

Guide to Booking Delta Flights to Hawaii for 25,000 Korean Miles Roundtrip, 45k in First

Updated heavily 1/13/17 since you can now book these awards online.

It is cheaper to book the exact same Delta flights to Hawaii with Korean miles than with Delta miles.

Delta charges 22,500 miles each way in economy and 40,000 miles in First Class between the mainland and Hawaii or 50,000 in flat bed Delta One
Korean charges 25,000 miles roundtrip in economy and 45,000 miles roundtrip in First Class or Delta One between the mainland and Hawaii

That’s a humongous difference.

Korean.com Now Allows SkyTeam Bookings [HUGE!]

You can now book SkyTeam partner airlines' award seats on koreanair.com; previously you had to call in.

This is huge news because it makes booking 25,000 mile roundtrip awards to Hawaii much easier! This is also the new easiest way to book China Southern and China Eastern First Class.

Korean SkyMiles--a 1 to 1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards--is mainly famous for two things:

Ridiculously cheap awards on Delta planes to Hawaii. Korean charges just 25,000 miles roundtrip in economy and 45,000 in First Class including flat beds.

Miles With Free (or Almost Free) Change & Cancellation Fees

There are lots of obvious reasons why miles are better than cash, like the ability they give us to book mini palaces on planes that look like this...

Etihad First Class Apartment on an A380

...or the loose routing/stopover/open jaw rules of some programs that allow us to see more places on one trip.

But what about the smaller perks we often overlook? Like free or nearly free change and cancellation fees?

Tons of Award Space Direct from New York to Honolulu for 25,000 Miles Roundtrip

Delta will operate a nonstop flight between New York (JFK) and Honolulu from December 17, 2016 to March 25, 2017 five day a week (not Tuesday or Wednesday.)

Delta doesn't publish its award chart, but it still has a secret award chart. The cheapest awards from the mainland United States to Hawaii are 22,500 Delta miles one way. But we can do a lot better than that.

Every day that Delta offers award space on this route for 22,500 miles one way, we can book it for 25,000 Korean miles roundtrip.

Devaluations Make Korean and Singapore Miles Relatively Better for Premium Awards

Korean Airlines releases the most First Class award space of any airline for a fantastic First Class product. All five possibilities are fully flat beds. Korean miles are the main way to book Korean First Class. (Delta miles cannot book partner First Class.)

Singapore Suites is even more luxurious, possibly the most luxurious First Class in the world, and the only one that allows two suites to be combined into a flying double bed. Singapore miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites.

In my mind, the problem with Korean First Class and Singapore Suites is the cost.

Fly China Eastern Double (!) Bed to Asia with Miles

China Eastern flies its 777-300ER with flat beds in Business Class and a flat double bed in First Class for two people to share between several American cities and Shanghai with connections throughout Asia.

You can book Business Class for 77,500 Korean miles or 80,000 Delta miles, and you can book First Class for 100,000 Korean miles. If you book two First Class award seats, you can combine your beds into one large double bed.

Fly All These International First Class Routes by Opening One Credit Card

The Ink Plus currently offers:

60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
$95 annual fee

That means you'd have at least 65,000 Ultimate Rewards after meeting the minimum spending requirement (60,000 for the bonus, and 5,000 for 1x spending), enough to fly several Korean and Singapore First Class routes with no

Devaluations Make Korean and Singapore Miles Relatively Better for Premium Awards

Korean Airlines releases the most First Class award space of any airline for a fantastic First Class product. All five possibilities are fully flat beds. Korean miles are the main way to book Korean First Class. (Delta miles cannot book partner First Class.)

Singapore Suites is even more luxurious, possibly the most luxurious First Class in the world, and the only one that allows two suites to be combined into a flying double bed. Singapore miles are the only way to book Singapore Suites.

In my mind, the problem with Korean First Class and Singapore Suites is the cost.

How to Be Targeted to Get 91,000 Korean SkyPass Miles

Korean SkyPass offers co-branded business and personal credit cards to Americans through US Bank. The standard sign up bonus on the cards is a paltry 15,000 miles.

Because of the small sign up bonus, if you want Korean miles, you're normally better off getting a card that earns Ultimate Rewards or SPG Starpoints and then transferring them to Korean miles.