The LANPASS Visa Card from US Bank is a straightforward travel credit card with a simple rewards system. Cardholders earn 1 mile for each net $1 they spend, regardless of spending category. These reward miles can then be used with LAN Airlines or any other oneworld airline. As with most rewards cards, the LANPASS Visa comes with some bonuses. Cardholders can earn a one-time bonus of 15,000 miles with the first purchase they make with the card. In order to reward loyal customers, LANPASS also grants an additional 2,000 bonus miles with each renewal. The card’s outstanding feature is its 10% discount the first LAN or TAM purchase made each year.
Review: A Great Way to Save on Flights to South America
As far as travel credit cards go, the LANPASS Visa faces some stiff competition. There are many travel cards which offer greater flexibility and utility as everyday cards. With so many better choices, it is difficult to recommend the LANPASS Visa card as a primary card. It is not, however, without its merits. Anybody who finds themselves frequently traveling to South America can find this card worthwhile as a secondary card. Due to the card’s affiliation with LAN and TAM Airlines, it offers a fantastic discount to cardholders. Some shoppers can expect discounts of up to $500, which is the maximum allowable savings with this offer.
A major component of what makes the LANPASS Visa card a good secondary card is its low upkeep cost. The annual fee for this card is just $45, which is low compared to other travel rewards cards. As long as the cardholder is taking advantage of the aforementioned discount by spending at least $450 on a LAN or TAM airline purchase, the card will pay for itself. To gain a better understanding of the aforementioned discount and how it can help pay for the card’s annual fee, look to our detailed breakdown of rewards and benefits section below.
Outside of this specific case, however, the LANPASS Visa is not recommended for use as an everyday primary card. The top of the line travel credit cards will generally offer a lot more flexibility to consumers in terms of rewards spending. Credit cards such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card also offer better point bonuses. The LANPASS Visa card does not offer much in terms of special perks and bonuses, unless you upgrade to the Visa Signature edition.
LANPASS VISA Benefits & Features
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3%|
Cardholders earn 1 LANPASS mile for each net $1 they spend, regardless of spending category. These reward miles can then be used with LAN Airlines or any other oneworld airline. As with most rewards cards, the LANPASS Visa comes with some bonuses. Cardholders can earn a one-time bonus of 15,000 miles with the first purchase they make with the card. In order to reward loyal customers, LANPASS also grants an additional 2,000 bonus miles with each renewal.
What are LANPASS Miles worth?
Through the use of some simple math, we derived the value of 1 LANPASS Mile to be $0.015. To calculate this, we studied the prices of 98 flights across different cities and dates.
Average cost of our sample flights in LANPASS Miles: 73,011
Average cost of those same flights in dollars: $1,128
$1,128 / 73,011.12 = 0.015 dollars per mile
Below you’ll find some of the sample flight data we collected in order to calculate the value of LANPASS miles.
|Flight: Miami to Santiago|
|Departure||Return||LANPASS KMS||LANPASS MILES||Flight Cost|
|Flight: New York City to Lima|
|Departure||Return||LANPASS KMS||LANPASS MILES||Flight Cost|
There is also a large degree of variation between the prices of flights. A savvy card user, who is looking to get the most out of their reward miles, will be interested in knowing shopping for the right flight might mean the difference between a mile being worth as much as $0.023 or as little as $0.009.
In order to develop a general idea of how much cardholders can earn per dollar spent, we studied a sample individual who spent $20,000 using his LANPASS Visa card, earning him 20,000 LANPASS miles.
On average, this 20,000 points had a value of $300. Therefore, if you earn $300 in rewards per $20,000 spent this results in a 1.5% rewards rate. However, this is just the average rewards rate. An individual looking to maximize savings buy booking flights which cost less miles on a particular day can see rewards rates of up to 2.3%. Over the 98 flight studied, our researchers found the rewards rate to vary from 0.9% to 2.3%.
LANPASS Miles vs Kilometers
An important aspect of the LANPASS Visa card is the difference between miles earned and the way in which they are redeemed. Each dollar spent with the card earns 1 LANPASS mile. However, the LAN Airlines website, where you can redeem your LANPASS miles, operates in KMS (kilometers). The conversion is as follows.
1 Mile = 1.60934 KM.
There is another key distinction to be aware of when redeeming miles on the LAN Airlines Website. The website follows a different scheme of separating values than what is taught in U.S. schools. On the LAN website 100.000 km would be read as one hundred thousand kilometers. The character separator “.” should be read as “,”. To clarify, this means that 100.000 = 100,000 on the LAN website.
10% Discount on First LAN and TAM Purchase
This benefit offered to LANPASS Visa cardholders is far and away its best feature. Each year, the first LAN or TAM purchase made with the LANPASS card receives a 10% discount, which is capped at $500. The discount is applied to an entire one-time transaction, regardless of number of tickets purchased. This is a fantastic offer for individuals who plan on travelling to South America using either airline associated with the offer. The LANPASS Visa has a relatively low upkeep cost. The card’s annual fee is just $45, which is low compared to most travel cards. As long as a consumer spends at least $450 on a flight offered by LAN or TAM airlines each year, the discount will cover the annual fee. The discount continues to be beneficial for purchases of up to $5,000.
Bonus Miles On First Purchase
The LANPASS Visa card offers two ways of gaining bonus miles. Whenever you make your first purchase with the card you will earn 15,000 miles – there is no minimum purchase requirement, meaning you get the points for any purchase. This bonus is a one-time offer. Each year you renew your LANPASS Visa card you will be rewarded with 2,000 bonus miles. Assuming these renewal miles are redeemed for rewards, this bonus translates to a value of approximately $30.
Comparing The LANPASS Visa Other Credit Cards
In order to paint a clearer picture of how the LANPASS Visa preforms when stacked up against other travel credit cards, below we provide a detailed comparison of this card to some other potential choices. Overall, the card does not come out on top in any match-ups.
LANPASS Visa vs. LANPASS Visa Signature
The most obvious point of comparison is whether there is a significant advantage in opting for the Signature variation of the LANPASS Visa card. The Signature card comes with some hefty advantages. Firstly, the major 10% discount which was previously discussed is twice as good with the Signature edition. LANPASS Visa Signature cardholders receive a 20% discount on their first LAN or TAM purchase of the year. This offsets the only major drawback of the Signature card – namely the higher annual fee. At $75 per year, the LANPASS Visa Signature card is 66% more expensive annually than the LANPASS Visa card. Using the same minimum cost efficiency benchmark as before, we look at a consumer who spends $450 annually on a flight to South America. With the LANPASS Visa card this was enough to offset the annual fee by saving the consumer $45 on their purchase.
The LANPASS Visa Signature card, on the other hand, saves $90 with the same purchase. Not only does that cover the card’s $75 annual fee but puts an additional $15 in your pocket! The increased discount also comes with a higher savings cap – LANPASS Visa Signature cardholders can save up to $1,000 on their purchases. The LAPASS Visa Signature card also offers a better rewards rate. Cardholders can earn double the miles when making purchases from LAN Airlines or its affiliates. For all its benefits, the LANPASS Visa Signature credit card can be more difficult to obtain. In order to get approved for this card, consumers may need a better credit score than they would for the regular edition LANPASS Visa card. It is worthwhile applying for the LANPASS Visa Signature, since US Bank takes a single application for both editions of the LANPASS credit card. If you do not qualify for the LANPASS Visa Signature you will be automatically considered for the LANPASS Visa card.
LANPASS VISA vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Another top-tier travel credit card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This credit card, like the Barclays Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, offers more flexibility than the LANPASS Visa card. Consumers who are willing to put in the extra work can earn more points through, for example, shopping using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Additionally, Chase Sapphire users earn double the points when spending money on travel and restaurant dining. The LANPASS Visa card does not offer any extra features when it comes to gaining rewards. The miles earned with the LANPASS remain at a fixed 1:1 ratio, where each dollar spent will translate to 1 mile regardless of spending category.
The Sapphire Preferred credit card also offers bonus points. As long as a Chase Sapphire Preferred user makes any purchase using this card within the first 3 months of opening up a new account, he or she will receive 5,000 bonus points. Additionally, if within those first 3 months the cardholder has at least $4,000 in spending receive a bonus 50,000 points, for a grand total of 55,000 bonus points! When used towards airfare, hotels or the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal these points have a value of over $625. These types of savings highlight the drawbacks of the LANPASS Visa credit card’s restrictive rewards miles usage. On average, LANPASS miles only carry a value of 1.5 cents per which, coupled with the fact that the card offers very few bonus miles, makes the LANPASS Visa card is inadequate to the Sapphire Preferred and many other travel credit cards when it comes to bonus points and value.
Finally, just like the Barclays Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, Chase Sapphire Preferred outshines the LANPASS Visa in terms of international usage. The Chase credit card allows its users to shop internationally free of any foreign transaction fees – a much welcome money saving feature, common in top ranking travel credit cards.
LANPASS Visa vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
If we look at card offers from banks outside of US Bank, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card credit card is a standout choice. Consumers who choose this card over the LANPASS Visa can enjoy greater flexibility when it comes to reward spending, making the Venture a better general use credit card. This is due to the ability to convert rewards points to statement credits which can cover travel expenses. The Venture has a fairly broad definition of what it considers travel expenses, including things such as buses and taxi costs. On top of this, Venture cardholders will earn rewards points at twice the rate of LANPASS Visa card members.
One additional consideration when it comes to travel cards is international card usage. If a LANPASS cardholder finds themselves having to use their credit card on their travels to South America, the transaction will be accompanied by a 3% fee for using the card outside of the United States. The Venture offers 0 foreign transaction fees, making it an attractive card for individuals who find themselves having to make purchases abroad.
Another thing to consider is bonuses. The Venture offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles to cardholders who spend $3,000 in their first three months. When used as statement credits for travel expenses, these 50,000 points have a value of $500. The LANPASS Visa offers 15,000 bonus miles, with no minimum spending requirement. The preference in this category comes down to individual spending patterns. If you will normally spend $3,000 within a 3 month period the Venture is clearly the better choice. The Venture’s ability to use points as statement credits makes their points a lot more flexible than the LANPASS miles, which can only be redeemed on air travel. At the end of the day, the Venture credit card offers more points which also carry more value than those offered by LANPASS Visa.
Is the LANPASS Visa Credit Card Worth Getting?
Whether or not applying for this particular credit card is worth your time comes down to how you answer a simple question. Do you have annual travel expenses with LAN Airlines exceeding $450? If the answer is yes, then this card provides a fantastic discount on one flight a year, which in the very least will cover the cost of maintaining the card. The LANPASS Visa is not a great primary card, but as long as a consumer falls within the specific case where he or she can take advantage of the 10% discount it is worth keeping around for this one specific purchase. As long as the LANPASS Visa card sounds appealing, the Signature edition of the card is always a better choice between the two.
LANPASS Visa Resources and F.A.Q.
How Do I apply for the card?
To apply online follow this link, or call 866-401-6046 to apply over the phone.
How Do I redeem my LANPASS Miles?
Once you receive your LANPASS VISA card you will be assigned a LANPASS member number. You can use this number on the LAN Airlines website, where you can redeem your miles.
Can LANPASS Miles be used with airlines other than LAN or TAM?
LANPASS miles can be transferred to any one of the airlines which belong to the oneworld group. Below you can see a complete list of all airlines which participate in the program.
|oneworld Member Airlines|
|airberlin||Cathay Pacific||Japan Airlines|
|British Airways||Iberia||Malaysia Airlines|
|S7 Airlines||Sri Lankan Airlines||TAM Airlines|
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