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Most travel credit cards require good credit to earn valuable rewards. This makes it harder for consumers with troubled credit to earn miles and points toward a free vacation. The SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card from U.S. Bank gives travelers a way to earn airline miles and other benefits while helping to build their credit.
Here’s how to get the most from this secured credit card.
Ways to maximize the SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card
Deposit more to receive a larger credit limit
With the SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card, your credit limit is based on the size of your deposit. The minimum deposit amount is $300 to open your secured credit card, while those who have the ability to make a larger deposit can receive a credit limit up to $5,000.
With a larger credit limit, you have the ability to make bigger purchases and earn more miles.
Earn the welcome bonus
Though many secured credit cards don't offer a welcome bonus at all or require spending a certain amount to earn a reward, it's not the case with the SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card. New accounts can earn 5,000 SKYPASS bonus miles after your first purchase. Your bonus miles will post to your account within six to eight weeks.
Renew your card to receive 1,000 miles every year
Each year that you renew your SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card, you’ll receive 1,000 miles. The renewal bonus miles post to your Korean Air loyalty account eight to 10 weeks after renewing your card. These miles bring extra value to the card to help offset the $50 annual fee.
Get or maintain Korean Air elite status
Travelers can earn and maintain elite status — known as a Morning Calm Club membership — faster with the SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card, as the miles you earn on purchases can cover up to 40% of the miles needed to earn or renew elite status.
Morning Calm Club membership includes exclusive check-in services, priority baggage handling, additional checked bags, access to the airline's Prestige Class lounge and more.
» Learn more: Your guide to SkyTeam
Earn unlimited miles on every purchase
You’ll earn 1 mile for every dollar that you spend with the SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card. Although it doesn’t offer any bonus categories, there is no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
While there are other secured cards out there that offer cash back or other rewards, few can match the rewards and additional perks that come with this card.
Lean on travel protections
When you use the SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card to pay for your travel, you receive complimentary protections as a benefit. You and your eligible dependents are each covered by $250,000 in accidental death and dismemberment insurance when you charge your entire cost of the fare to your card.
Rental car reservations include secondary collision damage protection as well. This benefit covers damage to the vehicle after your primary insurance has paid.
Build your credit over time
Responsible use of your SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card will build your credit as your payment history is reported to the three credit bureaus.
Your payment history shows lenders how you handle your finances and is 35% of your credit score. Making your payments on time shows that you can meet your financial obligations without being late.
Utilization is the second-largest factor (30%). Keeping your balances low, relative to your credit limit, shows lenders that you aren't overextended and can resist spending your cards to their max. In general, the lower your utilization, the higher your score.
Get your credit score for free
The SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card helps you track your progress in building your credit with free tools. You'll receive free access to your VantageScore credit score, credit alerts and a credit score simulator through TransUnion's CreditView Dashboard. This dashboard is an exclusive benefit to U.S. Bank online banking customers.
Convert the card to unsecured after 12 months
After your account has been handled responsibly for 12 months, not only will you be building a better credit score, but you also may be able to convert your account to an unsecured card. U.S. Bank offers one business and three consumer credit cards for Korean Airlines, so you have several to choose from once you can upgrade.
Since not every secured credit card offers this feature, this can be an attractive benefit.
The bottom line
Consumers with bad credit have few choices to earn airline miles while building their credit. The SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card earns unlimited miles on purchases, helps to earn or maintain elite status and provides additional travel protections. Your credit limit is based on your deposit, so consumers who can afford a larger deposit will benefit the most. After responsible use of the card, not only can your credit score improve, but you also may be eligible to convert it to an unsecured card and receive your deposit back.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card