South Korea Now Has the World’s Most Powerful Passport

Feb 23, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

All eyes are on South Korea this month as the country hosts the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. But as the games wind down, South Korea has another cause for celebration: It was just awarded the most powerful passport in the world by The Passport Index.

For the first time ever, South Korea tops the index, which calculates the number of countries a passport holder can visit without a visa required. South Korea (and Singapore, which is tied for the top spot) has visa-free access to 162 countries.

“We are currently seeing not one but two Asian countries with the most powerful passports in the world,” Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, told PR Newswire. “This is a testament to the increased global respect and trust Asian countries are commanding.”

Germany was most recently ranked as the world’s most powerful passport by a different index. But, in the last year, Asian countries across the board saw a boom in business and relaxed visa policies toward certain Asian countries, which let South Korea and Singapore snag the top spot from Germany.

Both countries were able to move up in the rankings after Uzbekistan granted visa-free access to them, as well as changes made to Somalia’s visa policy.

Japan also moved up in the index to tie Germany at the number two spot with visa-free access to 161 countries. The U.S. was fifth in the rankings, along with Switzerland, Ireland and Canada, which all have visa-free access to 158 countries.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.