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TPG reader William emailed me to ask:

“I’m planning a trip to Hong Kong from the U.S. this summer; I’d like to fly from ATL, JFK or ORD, preferably in first class. I could fly to other cities in Asia if doing so would make things easier. What are the best options for this trip using miles?”

Without a doubt, flying Cathy Pacific First class non-stop is the way to go. Cathay has a wonderful first class product, and pretty good award availability so long as you’re flexible. You can use British Airways Avios to book these tickets, or you can use US Airways miles (it’s about 120,000 round-trip in first class, with no huge fuel surcharges).

Right now the US Airways Premier World MasterCard is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles (after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee), so getting that card and maybe buying some US Airways miles when they’re available at a discount (like during this recent sale) could be a great strategy for getting you to Asia at a fraction of the normal cost. Cathay Pacific could easily charge $10,000 round-trip for a first class, round-trip ticket from the U.S. to Hong Kong.

The best way to fly to Hong Kong from the US in style  is on Cathay Pacific in First class. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Cathay Pacific first class is the best way to fly to Hong Kong from the U.S. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In the second quarter of 2015 (the precise date hasn’t been revealed), US Airways Dividend Miles will fully merge with American Airlines AAdvantage, and the number of miles needed for this ticket will increase. So booking the ticket soon will not only offer you greater availability, but also save you a lot of miles. On the flip side, if combining your Dividend Miles and AAdvantage accounts will give you a lot more miles to work with, than it might be best to wait until after the programs merge.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
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Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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