Chase Ultimate Rewards is Ending Transfers to Korean SkyPass effective August 25, 2018, a significant blow to the value of Ultimate Rewards points. Just a little over a couple weeks ago Korean SkyPass eliminated award holds, but concern over this now seems quaint compared to the elimination of Ultimate Rewards transfers altogether.
Over time, as it's become much more difficult to book Singapore Suites at the saver level with Singapore KrisFlyer miles, with British Airways Avios and United partner awards pricey, and high taxes/surcharges with Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Korean Air has become my favorite Ultimate Rewards transfer partner for first class award travel between the U.S. and Asia and Oceania. For example, these are the off-peak Korean Air First Class award rates:
- U.S. to Korea, Japan, China (including Hong Kong): 80,000 miles each way
- U.S. to Southeast Asia (BKK, HAN, DPS, MNL, SIN, etc.) : 95,000 miles each way
- U.S. to Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji): 120,000 miles each way
If you're planning to book Korean Air Skypass awards soon, by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to SkyPass, be sure to transfer points soon and no later than August 24, 2018. For ourselves, I've transferred enough for a couple of one way first class awards.
I'm disappointed to see this partnership end, and certainly hope that Ultimate Rewards will add another Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partner of equal or better value soon, as otherwise this does reduce the value of Ultimate Rewards points.
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