Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Loyalty Program Review

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Loyalty Program Review

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Cathay Pacific Summary Table

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

The Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program makes it easy to earn points by partnering with 3 out of the 4 flexible point programs.

Cathay Pacific Credit Cards

The Cathay Pacific credit card is issued by Synchrony Bank and currently offers a respectable sign-up bonus.

If you apply for the credit card by October 31, 2018, you’ll earn 40,000 Asia Miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days.

Earlier this year, we saw an elevated sign-up bonus of 60,000 Asia Miles, so it’s important to keep in mind when it makes the most sense to apply for this card.

American Express Credit Cards

American Express credit cards are a great way to earn Amex points that can be transferred directly to Cathay Pacific.

With its impressive selection of personal and business credit cards, you’ll have more than enough ways to earn miles for your next redemption.

Amex also has regular bonuses with some of its airline partners when you transfer your points into airline miles, making this a valuable program to earn points.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000, on purchases within the first 3 months.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Citi Credit Cards

Citi falls short of Amex with the number of credit cards it has that earn transferable ThankYou points. But that doesn’t mean you should put the program on the back burner.

Citi, like Amex, has regular bonuses when transferring points to some of its airline partners, which can provide significant value.

The only credit card available to new applicants that earns ThankYou points is the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. You can find more about it here:

Marriott Credit Cards

Marriott credit cards provide yet another way to earn flexible points that can be transferred directly to Cathay Pacific.

What makes this transfer even better is the fact that you’ll receive a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points that you convert into airline miles.

Marriott points convert into airline miles at a 3:1 ratio, so 60,000 miles become 25,000 airline miles with the 5,000 point bonus.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Other Hotel Partner Credit Cards

Transferring other hotel points to Cathay Pacific will result in less than a 1:1 transfer ratio, so we recommend avoiding this option.

If you are topping off an airline account or are in a bind, this option can be used as a last-ditch effort.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Program Overview

The Cathay Pacific frequent flyer program that you redeem miles in is called Asia Miles. This program can be used for Oneworld and partner redemptions like flights on American Airlines.

It’s important to note that Cathay Pacific has a loyalty program called Marco Polo Club and a rewards program called Asia Miles.

Marco Polo Club is the loyalty program of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. Members earn Club Points when flying Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or Oneworld partners. The points that you earn allow you to qualify for the program’s elite status.

Asia Miles is the rewards program in which members earn miles to use toward travel and lifestyle awards. Marco Polo Club members are automatically enrolled as Asia Miles members, using the same membership number for earning and redeeming purposes.

Cathay Pacific flies from a number of U.S. destinations to Hong Kong, giving you plenty of ways to fly to Hong Kong.

Asia Miles can be earned in many ways; here are the 3 most common:

  • Flying Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or its partner airline flights
  • Spending on flexible points program credit cards
  • Spending with car rental, hotel, or retail partners

Joining Asia Miles

The Asia Miles program is free to join by simply completing this application.

When your application is complete, you’ll have the ability to earn miles by flying, earn elite status, and redeem miles for award flights.

How to Sign in to Your Asia Miles Account

Head to the Asia Miles login page and enter your membership number and password.

Cathay Pacific Login Screen
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles login. Image courtesy of asiamiles.com

Hot Tip: The Asia Miles website requires you to log in using your Asia Miles account number to search for award flights. 

Viewing Your Account Activity

The easiest way to check your Asia Miles mileage balance is to:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Click the drop-down arrow in the top right corner
  3. Click Account Overview

Cathay Pacific states that it may take up to 6-8 weeks for qualifying activity to appear in your account.

Points Expiration

Asia Miles are valid for 3 years from the month the miles are credited.

The program does allow you to extend the expiration of your miles by renewing your miles in blocks of 2,000 Asia Miles for $40 (online) or $100 (offline) per 2,000-mile block.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Mileage Program

Cathay Pacific Elite Tiers
Cathay Pacific elite tiers. Image courtesy of asiamiles.com

Marco Polo Club Elite Status

The Marco Polo Club program has 4 elite tiers: Green, Silver, Gold, and Diamond.

It’s important to note that the Marco Polo Club requires a $100 fee to join the club. At the end of your first 12 months, you’ll need to renew your membership with either 20 club points or pay a $100 renewal fee.

Green: The lowest elite tier offered by the Marco Polo Club, which comes with the following benefits:

  • Priority boarding
  • 1 business class lounge pass after earning 200 club points
  • Access to discounted flight awards

Silver: After earning this status level, you’ll have access to additional benefits including:

  • All of the benefits of Green, plus;
  • Receive the benefits of Silver after earning 300 club points
  • Access to preferred seating on the Hong Kong – Auckland Air New Zealand flight
  • Additional baggage allowance
  • Access to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon business class lounges when flying Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon
  • 2 business class lounge passes after earning 450 club points

Gold: The second highest elite tier that you can earn comes with the following benefits:

  • All of the benefits of Silver, plus;
  • Additional baggage allowance
  • 1 guest allowed in the Cathay Pacific lounge when traveling together on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon or a Oneworld airline
  • 1 guest allowed in partner airline lounges
  • Access to arrival lounges in Hong Kong and Frankfurt when flying Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon
  • 2 business class lounge passes after earning 800 club points
  • 4 single-sector Bookable Upgrades to 1 cabin class higher for yourself or travel companion, applicable to Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights up to medium-haul flights (0-3,700 miles) after earning 1,000 club points

Diamond: The highest elite tier you can earn comes with the following benefits:

  • All of the benefits of Gold, plus;
  • Additional baggage allowance
  • Access to Cathay Pacific first class lounge on flights marketed and operated by Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or Oneworld airlines
  • 2 guests allowed in the Cathay Pacific lounge when the guest is traveling on the same Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or Oneworld flight
  • 1 guest allowed in partner airline lounges
  • 2 first or business class lounge passes after earning 1,400 club points
  • 4 single-sector Bookable Upgrades to one cabin class higher for yourself or travel companion, applicable to Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights of any distance after earning 1,600 club points
  • Gift of Gold membership for a friend after earning 1,800 club points

If you’re interested in diving into more detail about the elite benefits at each tier, go here.

Value of Marco Polo Elite Status

Earning elite status with Cathay Pacific makes the most sense if you fly Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon regularly, or you are looking for elite benefits when flying a Oneworld partner like American Airlines.

If you meet one of these criteria, access to premium lounges and earning single-sector bookable upgrades are benefits to consider.

Earning Marco Polo Club Elite Status

The Marco Polo Club program uses club points for its elite status. The more club points you earn, the higher elite tier you will qualify for.

The number of club points you earn is based on a combination of airline, cabin, fare class, and distance traveled.

For example, fly Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Hong Kong (HKG) in business (J, C) and you’ll earn 120 club points; this itinerary is “Ultra-Long” in the chart below.

The best way to determine the number of club points you’ll earn is to use both the chart below and the club points calculator on this page.

Cathay Pacific Earning Chart
Cathay Pacific earning chart. Image courtesy of asiamiles.com
Hot Tip: Club points are calculated based on a combination of airline, cabin, fare class, and distance traveled.
All eligible flights on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or any Oneworld partner earn club points.

Members have 12 months from the date they enrolled, renewed, upgraded, or downgraded into the current tier to earn elite status in a particular tier.

Upgrades occur as soon as you earn enough club points to enter the next tier within a 12-month membership year. Multiple tier upgrades are not allowed; you can only earn 1 club tier at a time.

Elite tiers work as follows:

  • If you have no status, earn 20 club points to earn Green
  • If you’re Green, earn 300 club points to move up to Silver
  • If you’re Silver, earn 600 club points to move up to Gold
  • If you’re Gold, earn 1,200 club points to move up to Platinum

Find more details about the requirements for each elite tier level here.

How to Earn Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

With Cathay Pacific, you have 4 main ways to earn miles:

  1. Earn points from spending on the Cathay Pacific credit card
  2. Transfer points earned from flexible point credit cards (Amex, Citi)
  3. Transfer points from Marriott’s loyalty program
  4. Use the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles shopping portal

By using all 4, you’ll have no problem earning Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

Earning Miles Through Flying

The number of Asia Miles that you earn on flights marketed by Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or a Oneworld partner is driven by 4 factors: airline, cabin, fare class, and distance traveled.

For example, if you fly from New York (JFK) to Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Pacific in first class (F, A), you’ll earn 15,230 miles.
Cathay Pacific Mileage Calculat
Cathay Pacific mileage earning calculation. Image courtesy of asiamiles.com

If you fly a Oneworld partner, the mileage earning rates will be different.

For example, if you fly American Airlines business class from Dallas (DFW) to Hong Kong, you’ll earn 10,138 miles.

Cathay Pacific Mileage Earning Calculation
Cathay Pacific mileage earning calculation. Image courtesy of asiamiles.com

The easiest way to determine the miles that you’ll earn is to input the required information into this page.

Cathay Pacific does not provide an elite bonus for its elite members, and instead calculates the miles earned on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, and Oneworld flights by a combination of cabin class, fare class and distance zone.

Oneworld Alliance 2018
Oneworld alliance. Image courtesy of Oneworld alliance.

Earn Miles With Credit Cards

The best way to earn points from credit card spending is to focus on the cards offered by flexible point programs. When you earn flexible points, these can be transferred directly to the program’s airline partners.

Cathay Pacific partners with 3 of the 4 major flexible point programs (Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t transfer), giving you more than enough ways to earn points for a redemption.

Earning Bonus Miles in Other Ways

The Asia Miles program also has a number of ways to earn Asia Miles without flying.

For example, the airline partners with hotels like Hyatt and car rental companies like National.

How to Redeem Asia Miles

The Asia Miles program has multiple award charts with intricate rules.

If you are redeeming Asia Miles for a Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, or Qatar Airways flight, you can book the award flight on the Cathay Pacific website.

If you are redeeming miles for any other partner, you’ll need to call Cathay Pacific at 866-892-2598.

Hot Tip: If you’re trying to determine how to use your miles, we put together a piece with the best ways to use Asia Miles

Oneworld Alliance and Partner Awards

Since Cathay Pacific is in the Oneworld alliance, you can use Asia Miles to fly on any airline in the alliance.

Separately, you can use your Asia Miles to fly on the airline’s partners outside of the Oneworld alliance.

Booking Online

The Asia Miles website search engine can be a great way to book Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, and Qatar Airways flights.

For partner flights not listed above, you’ll want to use British Airways or Qantas to search for Oneworld award space.

If you’re looking to book a Star Alliance partner flight, you’ll want to use United Airlines or Aeroplan websites to search for award space.

To book a SkyTeam partner flight, use the Delta, Air France, or KLM websites to search for award space.

The Asia Miles website will allow you to book Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas and Qatar Airways flights.

If the partner you are trying to book can’t be booked on the Asia Miles website, search for award space on another website first, and then call Cathay Pacific at 866-892-2598 to confirm the award space and ticket the award flight.

FAQ

What is the Asia Miles program? Is it worth it? What are the benefits?

Asia Miles is the free frequent flyer program of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

By signing up for a Marco Polo Club membership, you’ll have the ability to earn and redeem Asia Miles, as well as work your way toward elite status.

The benefit of the program will vary depending on your elite status. The Marco Polo Club has 4 elite tiers: Green, Silver, Gold, and Diamond.

The higher your elite status, the more benefits you will have access to, like earning Booking Upgrades.

The number of Asia Miles you earn is driven by 4 factors: airline, cabin, fare class, and distance traveled.

With enough Asia Miles earned by flying Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or its partner airlines, you’ll be able to book Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, and partner award flights online (or by calling Asia Miles to book partner airline flights).

In Asia Miles, who are the partners? Can I transfer miles to them?

Cathay Pacific is a member of the Oneworld alliance and separately has partnerships with individual airlines.

You can find a list of Cathay Pacific’s airline partners here.

Cathay Pacific also has other partners like hotels and car rental companies. You can transfer airline miles directly to these partners if you need points for a redemption.

What is the Asia Miles login?

Where can I sign up for Asia Miles?

Sign up to the Asia Miles program by filling out this online form.

What is my Asia Miles number?

You can find your Asia Miles number by signing in to your account, on your membership card, or through a variety of marketing emails they send to you.

If you can’t find it there, try using the “forgot my password” tool to reset your account so you can get in. Alternatively, try calling the customer service desk to find your number.

When do miles post in Asia Miles?

Your miles should automatically be credited to your account after your flight. However, the terms and conditions state that it may take up to 6-8 weeks if you traveled with Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or a partner airline.

If you’ve earned Miles with one of the program’s other partners (including hotel partners, car rental partners, etc.), it may take up to 120 days.

When do Asia Miles expire?

Asia Miles are valid for 3 years from the month the miles are credited.

The program allows you to extend the expiration of your miles by renewing your miles in blocks of 2,000 Asia Miles for $40 (online) or $100 (offline).

When do Asia Miles status expire?

Members have 12 months to retain and/or upgrade to a membership tier.

Is there an Asia Miles credit card?

Yes! The Asia Miles credit card is offered by Synchrony Bank.

In Asia Miles, what is an award hold?

The Asia Miles terms and conditions do not address the ability to hold an award flight.

However, based on data points from other articles, it appears Cathay Pacific is willing to put a flight on hold for you if you ask.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

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