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Best Ways To Book Cathay Pacific Business Class [Step-by-Step]

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Ehsan Haque
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Ehsan Haque

Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 100U.S. States Visited: 24

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and mile...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
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Michael Y. Park

Editor

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...

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When you look for the best business class products, Cathay Pacific is bound to be high on that list. Its reputation is well-deserved, and its long-haul business class product and service are top-notch.

If you’re traveling to or through Asia, Cathay Pacific business class deserves your attention. Let’s take a look at this product and the different programs you can use to book this bucket-list experience.

A Look Inside Cathay Pacific Business Class

Cathay Pacific A350
Cathay Pacific flies several routes between Hong Kong and the U.S. Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Before we dive into what you get with your business class ticket, we need to talk about the different aircraft that feature this product. On most of its long-haul routes, including to the U.S., Cathay Pacific primarily flies 2 aircraft: the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 777-300ER.

Both aircraft provide roughly the same business class product with slightly different seat widths, inflight entertainment screen widths, and a few other slight variations.

The Airbus A350 is the newer aircraft in the airline’s fleet, so you get additions to your business class seat there. Overall, the experience is great on either aircraft.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Business Class Bed
Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 business class bed. Image Credit: Greg Stone

All business class seats on Cathay Pacific are lie-flat, which means you can rest on those long international flights. This is important to consider, as flights between the U.S. and Hong Kong (where Cathay Pacific is based) are over 13 hours in duration!

Cathay Pacific’s business class cabins are arranged in a reverse-herringbone layout, so every seat has direct aisle access and provides a private flying experience.

If you’re traveling alone, pick a window seat for maximum privacy. If you’re traveling with a companion, pick a middle seat. That way, while you’ll still have privacy, it’s much easier to talk with your companion.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Business Class New Breakfast Service
Breakfast in business class on board a Cathay Pacific Airbus A350. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Although mostly known for its premium service, Cathay is also famous for having some of the best inflight dining.

If you’re connecting in or departing from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), the fun begins in the numerous lounges. On a business class ticket, you have access to The Wing, Business; The Pier, Business; and The Cabin lounges before your flight.

How To Book Cathay Pacific Business Class

Historically, the most popular way to redeem Cathay business class awards has been with Oneworld partner airline programs. However, as of late, Cathay has not been releasing award space for partner frequent flyer programs. It’s been incredibly difficult to find partner award space, though not impossible.

For now, it seems the only consistent way to book Cathay Pacific business class is through its own Cathay program. So let’s start with the Cathay loyalty program.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 at Heathrow
Cathay Pacific Asia miles are an excellent way to book Cathay premium cabin awards. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Over the years, the Cathay Pacific frequent flyer program has undergone significant changes. The program used to have a separate elite status program and another program for earning miles. However, the programs have been combined into one program, Cathay.

Cathay Pacific is also a member of the Oneworld alliance, which means that you can both earn and redeem Asia Miles with other members of Oneworld.

One of the best uses of Asia Miles is for redemptions on Cathay Pacific itself. For its own fights, Cathay Pacific uses a zone-based award chart, which utilizes distance to determine pricing. This means that the farther you fly, the more miles you can expect to pay.

There are sweet spots within the program, especially for short-haul flights with high cash prices.

Here is the one-way award pricing for Cathay Pacific awards, based on distance zones. Type 1 short zones are routes that include cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. Type 2 short zones are routes that include Japan, Nepal, India, and Indonesia.

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 EconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
Ultrashort 

1-750 miles

7,50011,00016,000N/A
Short, Type 1 

751-2,750 miles

10,00020,00028,00043,000
Short, Type 2 

751-2,750 miles

12,50023,00032,00050,000
Medium 

2,751-5,000 miles

20,00038,00058,00090,000
Long 

5,001-7,500 miles

27,00050,00084,000125,000
Ultralong 

7,501 or more miles

38,00075,000110,000160,000

Best of all, Cathay Pacific doesn’t levy surcharges on their own award flights.

To complete a booking online, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Cathay Pacific site.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Scroll over Redeem flights.
  4. Enter your flight details.
  5. Select your desired flight.
    • Standard Awards are what you want to find (otherwise you’ll overpay)
  6. Review the mileage cost and the taxes and fees.
  7. Complete your business class booking.

Earning Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific has transfer relationships with several credit card points programs. These include American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards, all of which transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

Hot Tip:

If you’re interested in flying Cathay Pacific from the U.S., check out our definitive guide to Cathay Pacific’s U.S. routes.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska 737 MKE
Alaska Airlines miles are a great way to book Cathay Pacific awards. Image Credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz via Unsplash

Although award space is generally difficult to come by for partner awards, it’s still possible. One loyalty program worth considering is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Like Cathay Pacific, Alaska Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance.

For now, Alaska Airlines has a consolidated award chart for partner awards. However, this is set to change in March, when Alaska completely overhauls its award charts and moves to a distance-based program.

This award chart overhaul will have a huge impact on Cathay awards for flights between the U.S. and Hong Kong, with these flights being some of the longest-distance flights you can take.

Here is the current one-way award chart for partner redemptions with Alaska miles. Note this will become obsolete in March:

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From the Contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada to:Economy
From
Premium
From
Business Class
From
First Class
From
Africa50,00060,00070,00085,000
Asia30,00040,00050,00070,000
Europe22,50042,50057,50070,000
Indian Subcontinent42,50055,00065,00080,000
Middle East42,50055,00065,00080,000
South America25,00045,00085,000
South Pacific30,00045,00055,00070,000

One of the best perks of the Alaska Mileage Plan program is that it allows for stopovers, including on one-way awards. Although the program is undergoing those major changes soon, we don’t expect the stopover policy to change.

Hot Tip:

Alaska allows for stopovers, including on one-way awards. For example, you can use Alaska miles to fly Cathay Pacific and have a stopover in Hong Kong before continuing onward.

To book partner awards using Alaska Airlines miles, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to the Alaska Airlines’ website.
  2. Search for your desired route (make sure you select Use Miles).
  3. Select your desired flight and Add To Cart.
  4. Log in to your Alaska Mileage Plan account.
  5. Pay the necessary taxes and fees and complete your booking.

Earning Alaska Mileage Plan miles

Alaska Airlines miles are relatively difficult to earn, as the program only has 1 transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, and you receive 5,000 bonus miles with every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer.

Alaska Airlines also has co-branded credit cards offered by Bank of America, which is a great way to earn Alaska miles.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Another great program for award redemptions with Cathay Pacific is American Airlines AAdvantage. The program has also undergone major devaluations over the years, but the program is particularly good when it comes to partner redemptions.

For American-operated flights, the program uses dynamic pricing. However, for partner awards, American Airlines has an award chart, so prices are not subject to dynamic pricing.

AA defines South America Region 1 to include Bolivia; Colombia; Ecuador; Guyana; Manaus, Brazil; and Peru. South America Region 2 includes Argentina, Brazil outside of Manaus, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Asia Region 1 includes Japan and Korea, and Asia Region 2 includes most of the rest of Asia not covered by other categories.

Here is one-way award pricing for partner awards from the contiguous 48 U.S. states and Canada:

 

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 Main CabinPremium EconomyBusiness / FirstFirst
Within Contiguous 48 U.S. States and Canada12,50022,50025,00050,000
Alaska15,00025,00030,00055,000
Hawaii22,50050,00055,00080,000
Caribbean17,50027,50052,500
Mexico17,50027,50052,500
Central America17,50027,50052,500
South America Region 120,00030,00055,000
South America Region 230,00040,00057,50085,000
Europe30,00040,00057,50085,000
Middle East40,00062,50070,000115,000
Indian Subcontinent40,00062,50070,000115,000
Africa40,00065,00075,000120,000
Asia Region 135,00050,00060,00080,000
Asia Region 237,50050,00070,000110,000
South Pacific40,00065,00080,000110,000

American Airlines can have incredible rates for partner airlines, including Cathay Pacific. American Airlines does not allow stopovers on award tickets.

To book an American Airlines partner award, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the American Airlines website.
  2. Log in using your AA username and password.
  3. In the search box, check off the box that says Redeem Miles.
  4. Enter the departure city, destination city, travel dates, and number of passengers.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Complete the booking by using your miles and a credit card for taxes and fees.

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage miles

There are plenty of ways to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. The easiest is through the many Citi and Barclays co-branded credit cards.

American AAdvantage is a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Bilt Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, and transfers take around 1 business day. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio and take around 2 business days.

Other Ways To Book Cathay Pacific

With Cathay Pacific being a member of the Oneworld alliance, there are numerous other programs you can use for Cathay business class awards, including British Airways Executive Club and Japan Airlines Mileage Bank.

Great Cathay Pacific Business Class Redemptions

Each program we’ve discussed is useful in its own way. Your current miles and points balances, where you live, and how flexible your travel dates are can help you determine which program is best for you.

Alaska Airlines generally allows you to use the fewest miles to book your flight, while American Airlines makes connecting to your Cathay Pacific flight easier from many parts of the U.S. However, finding award availability with either program is difficult.

On the other hand, Cathay Pacific’s program, Cathay, releases more award space to its members.

How To Earn Enough Miles for Cathay Pacific Business Class

The Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program lets you use several transferable points currencies to earn more miles to book flights. These include American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. All these points program transfers at a 1:1 ratio.

Asia Miles is also a transfer partner of Marriott Bonvoy, which transfers at a rate of 3:1. Plus, you receive 5,000 bonus Asia Miles for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros

  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

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American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

American Express® Gold Card

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros

  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at Amex Travel
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit: up to $10 monthly statement credit when you pay with the Amex Gold card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: get $10 monthly in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
  • Access to American Express transfer partners

Cons

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

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There are also several Amex business credit cards for business owners.

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
85,000 points
$595
$250
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.

Pros

  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • 15 Elite Night Credits per year
  • 1,000 bonus points per paid stay
  • 1 Free Night Award (up to 50,000 points) when you spend $15,000 on the card in a year
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $250 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
  • Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 bonus points
$665
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros

  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • 25 Elite Night Credits each year
  • Priority Pass Select membership upon enrollment
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit
  • Annual Free Night Award after card renewal
  • Complimentary Platinum Elite status

Cons

  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy® member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
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  • Terms Apply.

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When Should You Search for Award Space?

Cathay Pacific generally releases award space to partner airlines 331 days before departure but releases space to its own Cathay members earlier. Often, it releases award space within 2 weeks of departure.

It’s much more common to find business class space than first class space throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to check regularly. However, as mentioned above, Cathay Pacific has really decreased partner award availability as of late.

Asia Miles program tends to give members increased access to award space for first class and, to a lesser extent, business class. If you need to travel on a particular day, this can be useful.

What Do You Get With Cathay Pacific Business Class?

Let’s talk a bit more about what you get from the Cathay Pacific business class experience.

Business Class Lounges

When departing from or transiting through Cathay Pacific’s hub in Hong Kong, you have access to several lounges. The Wing, Business; The Pier, Business; The Bridge; and The Cabin are all fantastic business class lounges, offering plenty of amenities for business class travelers.

The Wing Lounge

The Wing, Business at Hong Kong International Airport noodle bar continued
The Wing, Business at Hong Kong International Airport noodle bar. Image Credit: Stephen Au

The Wing is Cathay Pacific’s flagship lounge, and you see why as soon as you step inside. You can get a great meal at the noodle bar or choose a jolt of caffeine at the coffee bar.

Need to freshen up before a flight? There are 24 shower suites at your disposal. This could be just what you need while waiting for your connection after a long flight from the U.S.

The Pier Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge Hong Kong - The Pier - Seating
Cathay Pacific Lounge Hong Kong – The Pier – Seating. Image Credit: Stephen Au

At The Pier, you can get a meal at the noodle bar and visit the tea lounge or a coffee bar. There are ample food and beverage options and tons of seating. Don’t forget to use one of the 14 shower rooms to complete the experience.

The Bridge Lounge

Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge
Cathay Pacific Lounge Hong Kong – The Bridge – Bistro Dining. Image Credit: Stephen Au

The Bridge provides a homey place to socialize. The Bakery in the north wing (yes, this lounge has wings) and The Bistro in the south wing both have food. The Bridge also has a coffee bar for those needing a pick-me-up.

The Cabin Lounge

Cathay Pacific The Cabin Health Bar
Grab some fresh juice or a smoothie from The Health Bar at The Cabin Lounge. Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

The Cabin is a simpler lounge than the others, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still a wonderful business class lounge. From made-to-order meals at The Deli to fresh juice and tea at The Health Bar, it’s a great experience all around.

Business Class Seat

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Business Class Seat
Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 Business Class Seat. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Once on board, you get a spacious seat with direct aisle access. The seat is lie-flat so you can sleep or rest easily. Cathay Pacific’s business class seat has long been considered an industry leader, and it’s just what you need to make flying fun.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear why a business class seat on Cathay Pacific is so highly regarded. Without a doubt, Cathay Pacific offers one of the best business class products today. Unfortunately, award space for partner programs is nearly nonexistent nowadays. Using Cathay Pacific’s Cathay program to book will be your best bet.

From the lounge experience to the great in-flight seating, you’re in for a treat! Make sure to consider Cathay Pacific the next time you fly between the U.S. and Asia or wherever else they fly.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to book Cathay Pacific business class?

Nowadays, the Cathay program is the best way to book Cathay Pacific business class awards. Cathay Pacific has limited partner award availability.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly Cathay Pacific business class?

Cathay Pacific is a transfer partner of several transferable points currencies including American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles and Citi ThankYou Rewards. All transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

What do I get when flying Cathay Pacific business class?

Business class passengers have access to 4 business class lounges in Cathay Pacific’s hub, Hong Kong (HKG). While there, you can enjoy a great meal and a drink.

On the flight, you get one of the best business class seats in the industry, with direct aisle access and lie-flat recline. You can also expect to have some of the best food in the sky, as well as a luxury amenity kit.

What alliance is Cathay Pacific part of?

Cathay Pacific is a member of the Oneworld alliance.

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About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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