Bank of America issues an Asiana Visa Signature Card, and it now comes with 30,000 Asiana miles after spending $3,000 on the card within three months of opening it. I bet you weren’t aware this card existed since the prior sign up bonus was a meager 10,000 Asiana miles. It’s actually worth some attention now.
- Sign Up Bonus: 30,000 Asiana miles after $3,000 in spending in the first three months
- Category Bonuses:
- 3x on Asiana purchases
- 2x on gas station and grocery store purchases
- $100 rebate on Asiana purchases annually
- Cardmember anniversary retention bonuses: 10,000 Asiana Mile Bonus Certificate and two Asiana Lounge invitations
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual Fee: $99
This is a Bank of America Card
Before I dive into the specifics of the sign up offer, I want to point out that this card is issued by Bank of America, and Bank of America is known for relatively easy approvals. For example, people have been getting multiples of the same Alaska Airlines cards for years now. These type of loopholes tend to tighten over time, but at least for now the Alaska Airlines cards still look churnable. Does this mean the Asiana card is churnable? Maybe. We won’t know until we see more data points.
For those of you getting tripped up by Chase 5/24, Citi’s new sign up bonus rule, or Amex’s once in a lifetime bonus rule, getting the Asiana card should still be pretty easy.
Sign Up Bonus
You will earn 30,000 Asiana miles after spending $3,000 on the card within three months of opening it. Scott values Asiana miles very highly at 2 cents each, making this sign up bonus worth approximately $600.
Asiana has the best award chart in the Star Alliance. That means that you can book any of the 27 Star Alliance airlines, including United, for fewer miles on many routes with Asiana miles than with better known programs like United, Lufthansa, LifeMiles, Singapore, and Air Canada.
Unfortunately some Asiana awards have fuel surcharges. But not all of them do, and some are worth it anyways because of the dirt cheap mileage price.
Here are some examples of high value Asiana awards:
- USA to Southern South America in Business Class for 35k Miles and no fuel surcharges. I love flying to South America, and no Star Alliance flights to South America have fuel surcharges, meaning I get the insanely good award chart without having to pay much cash out of pocket.
- With the sign up bonus from this card + the spending it takes to unlock that bonus ($3,000) + at the most $2,000 more in spending, you’d have 35,000 Asiana miles. You probably wouldn’t even have to spend an extra $2,000 if your expenses are heavy on groceries and gas like most people, since there’s a 2x category bonus for those types of purchases. 35,000 Asiana miles is enough for a Business Class ticket to Southern South America (i.e. Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, etc.).
- USA to Europe in Lufthansa First for 50k Miles Plus Fuel Surcharges. To some regions, Asiana’s award chart is so under-priced that some awards are a good deal even after fuel surcharges.
- With the sign up bonus from this card + the spending it takes to unlock that bonus ($3,000) you’d have at least 33,000 Asiana miles. Like I said above, if you spend a lot at grocery stores or at gas stations, you’ll probably earn miles at an even higher rate than that. You can make up the difference in what you’d need by transferring SPG points to Asiana at 1:1 (remember you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred) and be flying to Europe in Lufthansa First Class by next month.
Read Scott’s post about Asiana Sweet Spots to learn more.
Category bonuses included 3 Asiana miles per dollar spent on Asiana Airlines purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent on gas and at grocery stores.
What merchants are included in the category of gas and grocery stores? The following is from the card offer’s terms & conditions:
Earn 2 miles (consisting of 1 bonus mile and 1 base mile) for every $1 spent on purchases at eligible gas and grocery store merchants. Eligible merchants for the Bonus Categories include:
- (a) Gas (representing Service Stations & Automated Fuel Dispensers – please note that superstores and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered service stations)
- (b) Grocery Store (representing Grocery Stores/Supermarkets, Freezer/Meat Lockers, Candy/Nut/Confection Stores, Dairy Product Stores, Bakeries, and Misc. Food Stores– please note superstores, discount stores and warehouse clubs are not included in this list).
$100 Rebate on Asiana Purchases
You will get a $100 rebate (credited back to your Asiana card after purchase) when you buy an Asiana Airlines ticket (purchased through Asiana) on your card.
It looks like it’s possible to get two $100 rebates before your second annual fee hits, as this user on Flyertalk commented that how often you get the rebate is based on the calendar year as opposed to card anniversary.
10,000 Asiana Mile Bonus Certificate
They should really call this benefit a 10,000 Asiana Mile Discount Certificate. The way it works is that you will receive a certificate in the mail during the month of your card membership anniversary every year, and you can choose to use the certificate for 10,000 Asiana miles off of an Asiana Airlines international or Korea domestic air ticket, cabin class upgrade, or excess bag allowance. You fax it Asiana Reservation center, 213-380-1688, and then they credit you back your miles if you choose to use it as a discount on an Asiana award or cabin class upgrade. If you want to use it to cover excess baggage costs you just present the certificate at the counter when you check in.
I tend to agree with Doctor of Credit that this annual benefit will most likely not be available the first year of card membership, because the terms and conditions state …”One (1) 10,000 Bonus miles Certificate every year in the month of your anniversary date.”
So this benefit is probably only valuable to you if you’re going to keep the card for a second year and you fly Asiana.
Two Asiana Lounge Invitations
You get two Asiana Lounge passes every year in the month of your anniversary date.
It’s not exactly clear whether you can get this benefit in the first year of card membership, but the wording in the terms and conditions makes me think that you won’t and that you have to wait until the first anniversary.
You have to present your card with the lounge pass, and terms state that “only one invitation per person per visit allowed to the Asiana lounge”.
This Asiana Visa Signature Card card could easily be worth it to you if:
- you value Business and First Class awards to Europe and Southern South America, because Asiana miles are extremely valuable to those regions.
- if you fly Asiana often, because the annual $100 Rebate on Asiana Purchases and the 10,000 Asiana Mile Bonus Certificate more than negate the $99 annual fee.
- you’re locked out of other sign-up bonuses on cards from other issuing banks.
BONUS tip: It requires some paperwork, but you can actually pool Asiana miles between five family members for free.------------------------------------------------------------
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
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Plus the card offers $300 in credits toward any travel purchase each calendar year, which is $600 in your first 12 months of cardmembership, $100 toward Global Entry, and worldwide lounge access. Basically it's the best credit card ever, even with a $450 annual fee.