Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly
The SKYPASS Visa Secured Card is best for people who are building credit but also want to earn miles for travel. The SKYPASS Visa Secured Card stands out as a card that earns miles. If you won’t use the miles you earn, you’re better off applying for a secured card without an annual fee.
Potential to upgrade to an unsecured card after a year
Earn SKYPASS miles
Foreign transaction fee
- Potential upgrade to an unsecured card after a year: While it’s credit dependent, US Bank may consider transferring you to unsecured card after one year of on-time payments.
- Earns SKYPASS miles: SKYPASS miles may be Korean Air Lines’ program, but you can both earn and redeem points on over a dozen airlines, including U.S. carriers, like Delta Air Lines.
- Annual fee: The annual fee is $50, while many other secured credit cards have lower or no annual fees.
- Foreign transaction fee: The card has some strong travel benefits, but you will pay a foreign transaction fee that will add 2%-3% to the cost of foreign purchases.
SKYPASS Visa Secured Card Sign-Up Bonus
You’ll earn 5,000 SKYPASS miles after your first purchase and 1,000 miles every year you renew your card. This is a great deal for the first year, particularly because there's such a low spending requirement to earn the bonus.
However, the purpose of a secured card is to build or rebuild credit. If your credit improves, you’ll want to consider a card with an airline you may fly more often and allows you to earn more miles per $1 you spend.
Earning Points & Rewards
The SKYPASS Visa Secured Card has a simple rewards structure. You earn one mile per $1 you spend. The frequent flyer number provided must belong to the primary cardmember and has to be provided within 120 days of when the account opens.
You have a wide variety of options for redeeming SKYPASS miles:
- Book flights with Korean Air
- Book flights with SkyTeam alliance airlines
- Book flights with non-SkyTeam Korean Air partners
- Book hotel stays with Korean Air partners
- Rent cars or book limousines through Korean Air
- Redeem miles for a visit to the Jeju Folk Village Museum in South Korea
Rewards are earned as mileage and are redeemed for travel through the SKYPASS program.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Getting the most out of this card is about both building good credit and scoring travel rewards—major U.S. airlines don’t offer secured cards, so this is rare combination. To build good credit, keep charges below 30% of the limit (even better, keep your balance below 10% of your credit limit). While the miles you could earn may seem attractive, make sure they’re something you’ll really use. It doesn’t matter how many miles you earn, if you can never use them.
There are a handful of credit card benefits The Balance’s editors deem exceptional, because of the outsize value they provide cardholders. This card has one of them:
- Travel accident insurance: This is really a travel life insurance product for yourself and dependents with an altogether maximum value of $250,000. All tickets must be purchased with the card to qualify.
This card offers rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy).
US Bank, the company that issues this card, is ranked eighth out of 11 credit card issuers in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. It scored 785 out of 1,000 points, which is a tad less than the industry average.
U.S. Bank has a mobile app and offers bilingual customer service in Spanish and English. You’ll also get a free credit improvement tool from TransUnion called CreditView. The credit score provided is from VantageScore, not FICO, the score used by most credit card and other companies to make decisions. However, the scores broadly consider the same factors, so the Score Simulator will be quite useful in showing which actions will help your score improve.
You can’t access your VantageScore from your SKYPASS card via the bank’s app.
Fees to Watch Out For
The biggest fee to watch out for, but also to research, is the foreign transaction fee. The general 3% foreign transaction fee is standard among cards that do have one. But there’s also a 2% version if you make the purchase in U.S. dollars. (Merchants sometimes ask if you want to process a credit card transaction local or U.S. currency.)
Regardless, there are plenty of secured cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, so this isn’t a great card to use abroad. That’s ironic, given it’s an airline credit card.