Cathay Pacific Airways, more commonly referred to as Cathay Pacific, is the flag carrier of Hong Kong. The carrier has its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport.
The Asia Miles reward program is designed to reward those who frequently fly with Cathay Pacific. The program has undergone major changes within the past couple years making it more complex. Besides that point, the Asia Miles program offers incredible value once you learn how to navigate the rules.
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Table of Contents
Asia Miles Quick Facts
|Focus Cities||London, Taipei|
|U.S. Destinations||Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.|
|Redemption Options||Award flights, partner flights, seat upgrades, extra baggage, companion tickets, extra-legroom seats, travel, lifestyle, entertainment, transfer partners, donations|
|Average Mile Value||$0.013|
Marco Polo Club Elite Status
While Asia Miles acts as Cathay Pacific’s rewards program, they also have a loyalty program called Marco Polo Club. Marco Polo works so that you can unlock VIP benefits by earning elite status. Signing up for Marco Polo Club gives you automatic enrollment for Asia Miles, meaning that you’ll have the same membership number for both programs.
Marco Polo Club consists of four status tiers: Green, Silver, Gold and Diamond.
In order to reach elite status, you’ll need to earn club points. The amount of club points that you earn depends on various factors: the airline, cabin, fare class and distance you traveled on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and any Oneworld partner.
Here’s how you can unlock elite status:
|Status||Club Points Needed
(in one membership year)
|Silver||300 (with Green status)|
|Gold||600 (with Silver status)|
|Diamond||1,200 (with Gold status)|
As you move from Green tier up to Diamond, you’ll unlock extra beenfits:
|Green||Extra-legroom seats redemption
Boosted baggage allowance
Extra baggage redemption
Designated check-in counters*
Business Class lounge access
|Silver||(all Green benefits)
Advanced seat reservation*
Business Class counters*
Priority baggage handling
|Gold||(all Silver benefits)
Guaranteed economy class seat
Business Class lounge access*
Partner airline lounge access*
|Diamond||(all Gold benefits)
Guaranteed premium economy class seat
Guaranteed business class seat
First Class counters*
First Class lounge access*
*Your travel companions also enjoy these benefits.
When you’re moving from one club tier to the next, Marco Polo Club will reward you for reaching certain club-point milestones:
|Club Status||Club Points||Benefit|
|Green||200||1 Business Class lounge pass|
|Silver||300||2 Business Class lounge passes|
|Gold||600||2 Business Class lounge passes|
|Diamond||1,200||2 First or Business Class lounge passes|
For more details about the Marco Polo Club, click here.
Earning Asia Miles
Similarly to other frequent flyer programs, the best way to earn Asia miles is to fly with the carrier. Besides flying with Cathay Pacific, you can earn rewards completing other tasks as well– hotel stays, car rentals, shopping, credit card partner transfers and more.
Earn Asia miles by flying with Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and partner airlines. The amount of miles you’ll receive is based on airline, flight distance, cabin and ticket class.
Unlike most frequent flyer programs, Asia Miles does not offer bonus miles for elite status members.
To figure out exactly how many miles you’ll earn, use the Asia Miles airline miles calculator.
Cathay Pacific offers one credit card that earns Asia miles: Cathay Pacific Visa Signature.
|Welcome bonus||Get 40k miles ($520 value) when you spend $2k in 90 days.|
|Ongoing Rewards/Benefits||2x miles on Cathay Pacific purchases
1.5x miles on dining & international purchases
1x miles on all other domestic purchases
|Elite Status||Complimentary Green status|
|Other perks||Savings on Asia Miles*
2-day priority redemption for discount flight awards
No foreign transaction fees
*10% savings on Asia Miles Gift Miles, Mileage Renewals and Mileage Transfer Fee transactions. 10% redemption discount on hotel, car rental and experiences award via Travel Asia Miles.
Earn Asia miles by transferring points from the following credit card rewards programs:
Points are also transferrable from Marriott Bonvoy to Asia miles at a 3:1 ratio. And for every 60,000 points you transfer, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus.
Besides flights and credit card spending, there are plenty of ways to earn Asia miles:
If you find yourself running short on miles for an award ticket, you can buy up to 30% of the miles required. This is not recommend because the purchase price is around $0.03 per mile, which is more than double what we value each Asia mile at redemption.
Earning Asia Miles With American Express Membership Rewards
You have the option to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to your Asia Miles account. For every 1,000 Membership Rewards points, get 1,000 Asia Miles.
Credit cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards include:
|Personal Credit Card||The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express Gold Card
|Business Credit Card|| The Business Platinum Card from American Express
American Express Business Gold Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 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.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms apply.
• 4X Membership Rewards Points on Restaurants, including takeout and delivery
• 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
$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.
This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Plus, 0% Intro APR for 12 months from the date of the account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time. After that, your APR will be 15.74% to 23.74% based on your credit worthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
• 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
• 1.5X Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
• 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
Get $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
This card does come with a $695 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
The American Express® Business Gold Card offers 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You'll earn more rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month** (**4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*). In addition, you'll get an airline bonus; 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
This card does carry a $295 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Redeeming Asia Miles
Before taking a look at how you can redeem your Asia miles, it is important to note that they expire 36 months after you initially earn them.
While there is an option to extend the expiration date on your miles, you have to pay an online fee of $40 to stretch 2,000 miles for another 36 months. In-person and telephone requests cost $100 every 2,000 miles. This will deplete the value of your points overall so try to use them up before they expire.
Use your Asia miles for award flights on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. Choose from three different award types.
- Standard Awards will get you the most value for your miles.
- Choice Awards have more seat availability, but go for more miles than Standard Awards.
- Tailored Awards have maximum seat availability year-round, but for more miles than Standard and Choice Awards.
Click here to view Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon award charts.[/su_table]
Use your Asia miles to fly with the carrier’s many partner airlines, including:
- Travel in style and upgrade your seat one cabin class on paid tickets.
- Enjoy extra baggage awards. Mileage pricing is based on travel distance and total number of oversized or overweight pieces. Click here for the Asia Miles extra baggage award chart.
- If you bought a first or business class roundtrip ticket, you can use your Asia miles toward a companion ticket for the same flight, date and class of service.
- Fly in added comfort in Economy Class by redeeming miles for extra-legroom seats that give you more personal space.
You can redeem your miles with other options, but these options are not typically recommended because they won’t give you the best mileage value. Your other redemption options include:
Asia Miles Tips & Tricks
To maximize your Asia miles, keep the following in mind:
- One stopover is allowed on one-way standard awards (except Air China and Iberia)
- Two stopovers and one open jaw are allowed on standard awards.
- Five stopovers and two open jaws are allowed on Oneworld multi-carrier awards.
- Transatlantic business class itineraries less than 5,000 miles with possible stopover are 50,000 Asia miles (except Iberia and Finnair).
- Asia Miles fuel surcharges on British Airways-operated flights are significantly less than booking though Avios or American Airlines.
- Play with the different pricing zones in the award charts. Going another 4,000 miles in distance for an additional 25,000 Asia miles in business class is a solid deal.
With so many partner carriers, there are plenty of ways to stretch your Asia miles. The following are our favorites:
American Airlines: One-way from the United States to Europe starts at 25,000 miles in economy and 50,000 in business class.
Cathay Pacific: One-way from the United States to China in first class is 110,000 or 125,000 miles, depending on your trip’s total length. Although that might look like a lot of miles, it’s pretty “cheap” when you compare the mileage pricing to the cash cost.
Iberia: Roundtrip in business class from the United States to Spain is just 100,000 miles. Roundtrip in economy is just 50,000 miles and premium economy is 70,000.
LATAM: Short international flights within South America are often expensive, so award tickets are usually a steal. LATAM also has many hub cities in the region, so you’ll have good stopover options.
Qantas: Award pricing for business class flights are often great, especially when you compare it to its cash cost. For example, one way from Hong Kong to Sydney in business class starts at 45,000 miles.
You can book Oneworld partner award flights 360 days from departure, giving Asia Miles a slight advantage over American Airlines and Alaska Airlines loyalty programs which let you book 330 days in advance.
If you are booking multiple people on the same itinerary, you can lock in your seats before someone else has a chance to book them.
Book a Oneworld multi-carrier business class award to fly a total distance of 9,000 miles with up to five stopovers for only 100,000 Asia miles.
Have a look at a sample itinerary below:
- Philadelphia to Paris (American Airlines)
- Paris to Madrid (Iberia)
- Madrid to Brussels (Iberia)
- Brussels to London (British Airways)
- London to Dublin (British Airways)
- Dublin to Philadelphia (American Airlines)
Yes, the fuel surcharges on British Airways will be steep. But with free stopovers, you might find the fees worthwhile for the ability to enjoy five cities and have business class lounge access during your travels.
Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles can be a good frequent flyer program. All in all, the program offers fairly generous rewards and makes earning miles fairly easy. In addition, you can get a lot of value from your miles if you use them towards long-haul flights in premium cabin.
In the case that you don’t often travel with Cathay Pacific often, be sure to check out our page for more travel tips from other loyalty programs like Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan or Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. For more posts like this, check out our list of credit card bonuses.