8 Ways To Redeem Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for Max Value [2018]

best ways to use asia miles

Full Disclosure: We may be compensated when you click on links to credit card products from our advertising partners, such as American Express, Chase & Barclays. Opinions on this site are ours alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. Thanks!

Update: Asia Miles made major changes to its awards on June 22, 2018. Almost everything from Cathay Pacific awards to single-partner awards to multi-partner awards have changed to a new zone-based system. Each partner has an individual award chart. Some of the hopper awards are no longer possible. We are digesting the changes in the hunt for the max value. Stay tuned for updates!

Cathay Pacific and its Asia Miles program has many ways to earn miles and some high-value redemptions. While the program is more nuanced than other award programs, this article will cover everything you need to know on how to redeem your Asia miles.

Using Asia Miles With Airline Partners

Asia Miles can be earned by signing up for Cathay Pacific’s co-branded credit card or by transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards or Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Cathay Pacific is part of the Oneworld alliance, and it also partners with a few other airlines who are unaffiliated with an alliance. These partnerships mean there are a number of ways to redeem Asia Miles for award tickets with a variety of carriers on flights all around the world.

Cathay Pacific Credit Card

Synchrony Bank offers a co-branded Cathay Pacific credit card, which allows you to earn Asia Miles from your credit card spend.

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card Review
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesCathay Pacific Airways Visa® from Synchrony Bank

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

If you like earning American Express Membership Rewards, Amex points can be transferred to Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio. These cards usually include a great introductory bonus.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou reward points transfer to Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott-SPG Credit Cards

The 8 Best Ways To Use Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

In this article, we’ll cover some of the best ways to redeem your Asia miles for maximum value.

Note: Many of these redemptions reference the award charts, which are found in the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Award Chart section and further explained in the Award Redemption Rules below the redemption options.

1. Fly AA U.S. to Europe: 50,000 Miles in Business Class, One-Way

American Airlines Business Class Seat
Fly in AA business class to Europe!

Flying transatlantic on one of the 3 major U.S. airlines is a flight most frequent travelers have experienced. What you may not have considered is using Asia miles to book this flight.

With 50,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way American Airlines business-class flight from the U.S. to Europe.

Equally valuable alternatives are to book either an economy flight with 25,000 Asia miles or a first-class flight with 75,000 Asia miles one-way.

Hot Tip: First-class award availability may be hard to find. Consider using the Qantas, British Airways, and American Airlines search engines to find award availability. 

Examples of non-stop American Airlines flights include:

  • New York (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR)

When you are ready to book your award flight, you will need to fill out the Flight Award Request Form.

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight will be around $28. We recommend calling Cathay Pacific to confirm the taxes and fees, as the website does not provide this information for American Airlines flights.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking AA first class.

2. Fly AA or LATAM U.S. to Southern South America: 50,000 Miles Business Class, One-Way

LATAM's B787 Business class
LATAM’s B787 Business class has a fresh new look, and you can use your American Airlines miles to fly it! Image courtesy of luxurytraveldiary.com.

Oneworld partners American Airlines (AA) and LATAM offer a number of non-stop flights from the U.S. to South America.

With 50,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way business-class flight from the U.S. to southern South America.

Another option is to use 75,000 Asia miles to book a one-way first-class flight from the U.S. to Brasil.

Hot Tip: American Airlines flies several non-stop first-class flights to South America from Dallas (DFW), New York (JFK), and Miami (MIA) to São Paulo (GRU). 

Examples of non-stop business-class flights on AA or LATAM that you can book from the U.S. to South America include:

  • Miami (MIA) to Sao Paulo (GRU), Rio de Janeiro (RIO), Buenos Aires (EZE), Santiago (SCL)
  • Dallas (DFW) to Santiago

Search for AA and LATAM award space on either the British Airways or Qantas website.

Based on a recent search, AA business and first-class award space didn’t show up on either the British Airways or Qantas website. Also, LATAM non-stop flights didn’t show up on either the British Airways or Qantas website.

If you’re having trouble finding business or first-class award space, we recommend using Expert Flyer.

When you’re ready to book your award flight, you will need to fill out the Flight Award Request Form.

Taxes and fees for a one-way business-class flight will be around $28. We recommend calling Cathay Pacific to confirm the taxes and fees, as the website does not provide this information for American Airlines or LATAM flights.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking AA business class.

3. Fly AA U.S. to Asia: 75,000 Miles First Class, One-Way

American Airlines flies non-stop to a number of destinations in Asia, which makes this redemption great because it’s a long-haul flight.

With 120,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way first-class flight from the U.S. to Asia.

Hot Tip: While 120,000 miles is quite a few miles, the cash value of this flight is extremely high, making this a great value from a cents-per-mile perspective. 

American Airlines flies non-stop first-class from both Los Angeles (LAX) and Dallas (DFW) to Hong Kong (HKG).

Search for American Airlines award space on either the British Airways or Qantas website. Based on a recent search, AA business and first-class award space didn’t show up on either the British Airways or Qantas websites.

We recommend using Expert Flyer if you’re unable to locate available award space.

Taxes and fees for a one-way first-class flight will be around $247.

Need help using AA miles? See our best ways to redeem AA miles.

4. Fly British Airways U.S. to Europe: 50,000 Miles in Business Class, One-Way

British Airways Business Class Seat
Fly British Airways across the Atlantic!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m extremely hesitant to fly British Airways because of the high taxes and fees imposed on flights.

What’s unique about this redemption is you can fly British Airways with a reduced number of taxes and fees.

With 50,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way business-class flight from the U.S. to London.

Another interesting option is to use 75,000 Asia miles to book a one-way first-class flight.

Examples of non-stop British Airways flights include:

  • Atlanta (ATL) to London (LHR)
  • New Orleans (MSY) to London
  • San Diego (SAN) to London

You can search for award space on the Cathay Pacific website, which is where you will also book the ticket. I recommend using the Qantas website to find award availability first, then use the Cathay Pacific search engine.

Taxes and fees for a one-way first-class flight will be around $247. We recommend calling Cathay Pacific to confirm the taxes and fees, as the website doesn’t provide this information for American Airlines flights.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking British Airways business class.

5. Fly Cathay Pacific U.S. to Asia: 110,000 Miles in First Class, One-Way 

Cathay Pacific First Class Seat
Cathay Pacific provides one of the best ways to fly to Asia in a premium cabin!

Cathay Pacific flies non-stop to Asia from a number of U.S. destinations, which makes finding award availability to Asia much easier than with other airlines.

With 110,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way first-class flight from the U.S. to Hong Kong (HKG).

If you’re looking to save some miles, consider business class, which only requires 70,000 Asia miles one-way.

Examples of non-stop Cathay Pacific flights include:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong
  • Dallas (DFW) to Hong Kong
  • Washington (IAD) to Hong Kong

You can search for award space on the Cathay Pacific website, which is where you’ll also book the ticket.

We recommend using the Qantas or British Airways website to find award availability first, then use the Cathay Pacific search engine to confirm the availability that you found on the other websites.

Taxes and fees for a one-way first-class flight will be around $93.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step-by-step guide for booking Cathay Pacific first class.

6. Fly Qantas U.S. to Australia: 75,000 Miles Business Class One-Way

Qantas business class
Qantas business class to Australia! Image courtesy of qantas.com.

Qantas offers a great way to fly on a long-haul flight to Australia. What tends to be the main downside when flying Qantas is the fact that award availability in a premium cabin is hard to find.

With 75,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way business-class flight from the U.S. to Australia.

Another option, which surprised me with award availability, is to use 120,000 Asia miles to fly one-way in first class.

Hot Tip: The Qantas and British Airways websites showed business and first class availability based on a recent search. 

Examples of non-stop Qantas flights include:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE)
  • Dallas (DFW) to Sydney

You can search for award space on the Cathay Pacific website, which is where you will also book the ticket. I recommend using the British Airways website to find award availability first, and then use the Cathay Pacific search engine.

Taxes and fees for a one-way business-class flight will be around $423.

Need help booking an award ticket? See our step by step guide for booking Qantas business class.

7. Fly Qatar U.S. to the Middle East: 75,000 Miles Business Class, One-Way 

Qatar Airways business class
Fly Qatar to the Middle East! Image courtesy of traveler.com.au.

Qatar Airways Qsuite consistently receives rave reviews, and with Asia Miles, you can experience the suite yourself!

With 75,000 Asia miles, you can book a one-way business-class flight from the U.S. to Doha (DOH).

Hot Tip: The huge downside with this redemption is the fuel surcharges, so it’s important to keep these in mind because it significantly affects the value of the miles you’re using. 

Examples of non-stop Qatar flights from the U.S. include:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Doha
  • Houston (IAH) to Doha
  • Miami (MIA) to Doha

Search for Qatar award space on either the British Airways or Qantas website. When you’re ready to book your award flight, you will need to fill out the Flight Award Request Form.

Taxes and fees for a one-way business-class flight will be around $618.

8. Fly Cathay Pacific New York to Vancouver: 50,000 Miles in Business Class, Round-Trip

Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Seat
Fly Cathay Pacific to Canada! Image courtesy of Spencer Howard.

Cathay Pacific operates a fifth-freedom route from the U.S. to Canada where you can experience a lie-flat business class seat.

With 50,000 Asia Miles, you can book a round-trip business-class flight from New York (JFK) to Vancouver (YVR).

Another option is to use 80,000 Asia Miles to book a round-trip first-class flight.

You can search for award space on the Cathay Pacific website, which is where you will book the ticket.

Taxes and fees for a one-way business or first-class flight will be around $90 round-trip.

Need help booking? Read our in-depth guides on booking Cathay Pacific Business Class

Booking Award Flights on Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific made a number of recent changes to its award program, which makes it important to read through the General Conditions to understand what is allowed.

Using Your Asia Miles

Asia Miles is the frequent flyer program of both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. The airlines are part of the Oneworld alliance and have individual partnerships with airlines outside of the alliance.

Oneworld Alliance Cathay Pacific Airline Partners

Cathay Pacific’s airline partners include the Oneworld alliance:

Oneworld Partners
American Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay PacificQatar Airways
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
LATAM Airlines

Non-Alliance Cathay Pacific Airline Partners

Non-alliance airline partners of Cathay Pacific include the following:

Non-Alliance Airline Partners
Air CanadaAer Lingus
Air ChinaAir New Zealand
Alaska AirlinesBangkok Airways
Gulf AirJet Airways
Royal Brunei Airlines

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Award Chart

The Asia Miles program uses distance-based award charts that are driven by the trip distance, cabin class, and airline that is used in your itinerary.

The award chart below applies when flying Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon only.

To determine your award, use the actual distance flown one-way between your origin and destination. If there are multiple segments involved, sum the distance of the inbound and outbound segments.

If you want to book a round-trip award flight, you will double the number of miles shown in the award chart.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Award Chart

The Asia Miles program uses a different award chart when you’re flying Oneworld airline partners.

The chart below is used when one of two conditions applies:

  • Two Oneworld alliance airlines, which Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon is not one of your selected carriers; or
  • Three or more Oneworld alliance airlines, which Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon is one of your selected carriers.

The miles required in the chart are for round-trip flights. A one-way flight is simply 50% of the miles shown below.

Oneworld Partner Award Chart

The Great Circle Mapper is a helpful tool in calculating the approximate mileage between airport codes.

Awards Bookable Online vs. Phone

Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, British Airways, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Alaska Airlines, and Iberia offer instant redemptions online. If you want to fly another partner airline, you must use the Flight Award Request Form.

For more complex itineraries, we recommend calling the Asia Miles U.S. office at 866-892-2598 or by calling the Hong Kong office at 011-852-2747-3838 on a landline.

When you call, it’s important to have all details related to the flight(s) that you want to book so the agent can locate your award flight.

Since some partner airlines can’t be booked online, we recommend using the websites below to search for award space.

Airline Flights on:Where To Search for Award Space:
Aer LingusUnited, or call Cathay Pacific
Air CanadaUnited, Aeroplan, ANA
Air ChinaUnited, Aeroplan, ANA
Air New ZealandUnited, Aeroplan, ANA
American AirlinesAmerican Airlines Saver Awards, British Airways, Qantas
Bangkok AirwaysMust call Cathay Pacific
FinnairAmerican Airlines Saver Awards, British Airways, Qantas
Gulf AirMust call Cathay Pacific
Japan AirlinesBritish Airways
Jet AirwaysMust call Cathay Pacific
LAN AirlinesBritish Airways, Qantas
Malaysia AirlinesBritish Airways
Royal Brunei AirlinesMust call Cathay Pacific
Royal JordanianAmerican Airlines Saver Awards, British Airways
S7 AirlinesBritish Airways, Qantas
SriLankan AirlinesBritish Airways, Qantas
TAM AirlinesBritish Airways, Qantas

Award Redemption Rules

Cathay Pacific has different award redemption rules depending on which award chart you’re using for redemption.

For the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon award chart, here are a few of the most important rules:

  • For a one-way flight, up to 2 segments are allowed, with 1 stopover or 1 transfer.
  • If the first segment origin airport and the final segment destination airport are located in different cities, but all segments are within the same country or region, this itinerary is treated as a one-way flight.
  • If the first segment origin airport and the final segment destination airport are located in different cities but within the same country or region, and the first segment destination airport is located in different country or region, this itinerary is not treated as one-way flight (i.e. JFK-DFW-LAX is a one-way flight while JFK-LHR-IAD is not a one-way flight).

Round-Trip Flights

  • For a round-trip flight, up to 4 segments are allowed with a minimum of 1 stopover. You are also allowed up to 2 segments on the inbound and outbound itinerary.
  • For a round-trip flight, 1 open jaw is allowed either at the point of origin or the destination in a round-trip flight.
    • For itineraries with only international flights, an open jaw at the point of origin can only be made between different cities of a country or region.
    • For itineraries without international flights, an open jaw at the turnaround point can be made between different cities in the same country or region.
    • Traveling into and out of different airports within the same city is not considered an open jaw.
  • For round-trip flights without an open jaw, you can have either:
    • Up to 3 stopovers; or
    • Up to 2 stopovers and 1 transfer; or
    • 1 stopover and 2 transfers
  • For round-trip flights with an open jaw at the turnaround point, you can either have:
    • 1 open jaw and up to 2 stopovers; or
    • 1 open jaw and 1 stopover and 1 transfer; or
    • 1 open jaw plus maximum 2 transfers
  • For round-trip flights with an open jaw at the point of origin, you can either have:
    • 1 open jaw and up to 3 stopovers; or
    • 1 open jaw and up to 2 stopovers and 1 transfer; or
    • 1 open jaw and 1 stopover and up to 2 transfers

When you’re using the Oneworld Partner Award chart, the previously stated rules do not apply.

Conclusion

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program provides incredible value once you understand the award charts and program rules. The best way to use your Asia Miles for maximum value is to fly long-haul flights in a premium cabin.

The program offers several great ways to earn Asia Miles, including transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards!

Photo Credits: Featured image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk.

FAQ

How can I earn miles on Cathay Pacific?

Start by signing up for the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles loyalty program.

You can earn miles for flights on Cathay Pacific and its partner airlines by booking with its hotel and car rental partners, online shopping, spending on Cathay’s co-branded credit card, or using other credit cards that transfer to Asia Miles.

Is it possible to earn Cathay Pacific Asia Miles by using credit cards?

Asia Miles allows you to transfer rewards points from various credit cards and loyalty programs including American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou .

What are Asia Miles worth?

The value of Asia Miles depends on what kind of ticket you are redeeming with your points. You should be able to pretty easily get at least 2 cents per mile in value, even for an economy class redemption.

However, we can usually find redemption values upward of 5.5 cents per mile.

Are Asia Miles refundable?

Your Asia Miles ticket can be canceled as long as you have not begun your journey. The cancellation fee is $120 or 12,000 Asia Miles, but you must use the ticket within 1 year of the date of issue.

When do Asia Miles expire?

Asia Miles have a lifespan of 3 years, which can be extended by a further 3 years.

Is Cathay Pacific part of American Airlines?

Cathay Pacific is not part of American Airlines, but both airlines are part of Oneworld alliance.

The alliance means you can redeem your Cathay Pacific Asia miles for flights on American Airlines and your American Airlines miles for flights on Cathay Pacific. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to combine miles between the 2 programs.

How much does it cost to buy Asia Miles?

If you have 70% of the miles required to redeem an award flight, you can purchase the remaining 30% in blocks of 2,000 miles at at $60 per 2,000 mile block.

Advertisement

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. For more information on our advertisers, see here.