From round-the-world bookings to lower surcharges: The complete guide to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Mar 20, 2021

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Asia Miles is the loyalty program of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific and HK Express. These airlines connect Hong Kong with the world, with Cathay Pacific’s route network covering many major cities in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The airline is also a Oneworld member, so it can connect with other major carriers like American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas, among others.

The Asia Miles loyalty program has changed over the years, but it offers excellent value on specific redemptions. For example, you can use its Oneworld award chart to book mini-round-the-world trips on partner airlines or get a solid deal on Cathay Pacific flights.

Asia Miles is also a transfer partner of both American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou. So if you have points in these programs, it’s important that you know how to use Cathay Pacific Asia Miles before you book an award flight.

New to Asia Miles? Don’t fret — I’ll take you through everything you need to know about Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program. I’ll start by discussing how to earn miles and then dive into redeeming miles. Let’s get started!

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In This Post

Asia Miles program overview

Cathay Pacific is a Hong Kong-based airline that offers service to major cities around the world. Its loyalty program — Asia Miles — is operated as a subsidiary of the company and has partnerships with various airlines, including all Oneworld carriers, Air Canada and more.

Cathay Pacific also owns Hong Kong Express — or HK Express for short. This regional low-cost airline connects Hong Kong with other Asian cities. It offers flights to Japan, South Korea and other nearby countries. The airline joined the Asia Miles program shortly after the acquisition.

You can earn and redeem miles with all of the airline’s partners. Further, you can earn Asia Miles with financial partners like American Express, hotels, car rental companies, retail partners, and the program’s own cobranded credit card. This makes Asia Miles relatively easy to earn, even for those based in the U.S.

There are tons of ways to redeem your miles too, but we generally recommend sticking with flight rewards. These will give you the best value for your miles, especially when you book tickets in premium cabins.

Asia Miles partners

Alaska and American planes on the runway at LAX
You can earn Asia Miles when you fly with Oneworld partners like American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images)

As discussed, Cathay Pacific is a Oneworld member. That means you can earn and redeem Asia Miles with the following Oneworld airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines (starting Mar. 31, 2021)
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

In addition, Asia Miles is partnered with the following non-alliance airlines. Be sure to read the specifics of each partnership, as some may have restrictions on reciprocal mileage earning and redeeming. For example, you can only redeem Asia Miles on select Air Canada routes within Canada.

Here’s the full list:

  • Air Canada (Star Alliance)
  • Air China (Star Alliance)
  • Air New Zealand (Star Alliance)
  • Austrian Airlines (Star Alliance)
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Gulf Air
  • Hong Kong Express
  • LATAM
  • Lufthansa (Star Alliance)
  • Shenzen Airlines (Star Alliance)
  • Swiss (Star Alliance)

Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club elite status

Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge Entrance
Marco Polo Club elite status brings valuable perks to Cathay Pacific frequent flyers. (Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Cathay Pacific has an elite status program that’s separate from Asia Miles. This program — dubbed Marco Polo club — awards frequent Cathay Pacific and Oneworld flyers for their loyalty with benefits like lounge access, upgrades and more. These benefits can make the travel experience smoother and more luxurious when flying on any Oneworld carrier.

You can qualify for one of Marco Polo Club’s status tiers by meeting its Club point requirement. You’ll earn Club points when you fly on paid flights operated by Cathay Pacific or any of its partners. The number of Club points depends on the airline you’re flying with, the route you’re flying and the class of service you’re traveling in.

You can use this calculator on Cathay Pacific’s website to calculate how many Club points you’ll earn.

Cathay Pacific Club points calculator
(Screenshot courtesy of Cathay Pacific)

Here’s a look at the four Marco Polo Club elite status tiers and their qualification requirements:

  • Green: 20 Club points
  • Silver: 300 Club points
  • Gold: 600 Club points
  • Diamond: 1,200 Club points

You will also earn mid-tier benefits based on how many Club points you earn throughout the year. When you earn 1,000 Club points, for example, you’re given four bookable upgrades. You can use these to upgrade yourself or a companion to a higher class of service on select Cathay Pacific flights. As a result, some of these mid-tier benefits can be extremely valuable.

You’ll get more valuable benefits at the higher elite status tiers. For example, Diamond members are entitled to first-class lounge access and extra legroom seating in economy, among other benefits. Check out the Marco Polo Club website for more info on elite status tiers and their respective benefits.

Related: Upgrades, lounge access and more: How to earn top-tier Oneworld status for $1,400

How to earn Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific A350
There are plenty of ways to earn Asia Miles — even when you’re not flying. (Photo by JIMMOYHT/Shutterstock)

You can earn Asia Miles both on and off the plane — here’s a look at all the best ways you can stock up on Asia Miles.

Earn Asia Miles by flying on Cathay Pacific

When you fly with Cathay Pacific, you’ll earn Asia Miles based on the fare class you’re booked in and the zone you’re flying to — not on how much you spend. This means that longer flights in premium cabins will earn more miles and vice versa.

  • Economy class earnings: 330-8,700 miles
  • Premium economy class earnings: 650-10,010 miles
  • Business-class earnings: 810-11,750 miles
  • First-class earnings: 1,140-15,230 miles

You can view all earning rates on the Asia Miles website and use the program’s earning calculator to price out specific flights. For example, I priced out a ticket from New York-JFK to Hong Kong (HKG) in W fare premium economy — this ticket earns 10,010 Asia Miles one-way.

Mileage Earnings for JFK to HKG in Cathay Pacific W Fare Premium Economy
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Earn Asia Miles by flying on partner airlines

Other airline partners earn miles based on distance flown and fare class. You can view the earning rates for each airline on the Asia Miles website — just find your airline on the list, click on it and select your cabin class at the center of the screen. A set of fare classes will then appear under your cabin class.

Asia Miles Earning Rates for Cathay Pacific Premium Economy
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Find your fare class on the list and multiply your flight distance by the percentage shown to find how many redeemable miles you’ll earn on your flight. For example, you’d earn 8,551 Asia Miles if you flew American Airlines from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to Seoul (ICN) in D fare business class, as this fare earns 125% miles flown.

Do note that some partners will only earn Asia Miles on certain routes. For example, you can only earn Asia Miles on domestic Air Canada flights departing from or returning to Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR). Make sure to check the “important notes” section of your partner’s earning page for these restrictions before adding your Asia Miles number to your reservation.

Alternatively, you can use the Asia Miles calculator discussed earlier to find how many miles you’ll earn on your next partner flight.

Asia Miles calculator for a British Airways flight from London to Chicago
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Related: The best airline award chart sweet spots

Earn Asia Miles when you stay at hotels

You can earn Asia Miles instead of hotel points at thousands of hotels around the world. Here’s a look at earning rates:

Hotel group Earning rate
Accor Automatically convert 2 ALL Rewards points to 1 mile
Best Western 250 miles per stay
Hyatt 500 miles per stay
Marriott Up to 2 miles per dollar spent
Intercontinental Hotels Group 500 miles per stay
Regal Hotels 500-1,000 miles per stay
Shangri-La 500 miles per stay
Sino Hotels 300-500 miles per stay

Make sure to look closely at these earning rates before you opt to earn Asia Miles instead of hotel points. In some cases, you may find that you’re better off earning hotel points if you can redeem them for high-end hotel stays.

Related: How to keep your points and miles from expiring

Converting hotel points to Asia Miles

Grand Hyatt in San Francisco
You can transfer hotel points to Asia Miles, but it isn’t always a great deal. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

If you already have a stash of hotel points that you want to unload, you do have the option of transferring them to Asia Miles. Again, make sure that the transfer ratio makes sense for your specific redemption.

Hotel group Transfer ratio
Accor Live Limitless 2:1
Best Western Rewards 5:1
Hilton Honors 10:01
IHG Rewards Club 5:1
Marriott Bonvoy 3:1, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred
Regal Rewards 15:1
Shangri-La Golden Circle 1:1
World of Hyatt  2.5:1

Earn Asia Miles with your favorite rental car company

BMW i3 Car
You can earn Asia Miles instead of rental car points — just make sure it’s worthwhile. (Photo by Gabriel Nica/Shutterstock)

Asia Miles has partnerships with a number of rental car companies, including some of the biggest names like Alamo, Hertz and National. Each partner earns miles differently — here’s a look:

Rental company Earning rate
Alamo 500 miles per rental in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Germany, France and Spain
Avis 500 points per rental, with an additional 100 miles awarded for rentals booked through the Asia Miles Avis portal
Budget Up to 500 miles per rental
Europcar 500 miles per rental outside of the U.S., Canada and Japan
Hertz Up to 500 miles per rental
National 500 miles per rental in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Germany, France and Spain
Sixt 500 miles per rental

Just note that you likely won’t earn rental car points if you opt to earn Asia Miles on your car rental. Make sure to assess which points you value more before you book your car.

Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car

The Asia Miles credit card

Cathay Pacific offers a cobranded Asia Miles credit card in the U.S. in partnership with Synchrony Bank. The Cathay Pacific Visa Signature® Card earns 2x miles per dollar on Cathay Pacific purchases, 1.5x miles on dining and purchases charged in a foreign currency and 1x mile per dollar everywhere else.

Additionally, the card is currently offering 40,000 bonus miles as a welcome bonus after making $2,000 with your card in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also have access to a free Marco Polo Club membership and priority award redemption for award tickets.

Related: When does it make sense to spend on a cobranded credit card?

Transfer miles from American Express or Citi ThankYou

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
You can transfer points from American Express to Asia Miles. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

Alternatively, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Asia Miles at a 1:1 transfer ratio, so 10,000 Membership Rewards points equals 10,000 Asia Miles. Points transfer instantly and transfers start at 1,000 points.

You’ll often find that it’s more rewarding to put purchases on an American Express card instead of the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). Further, the American Express® Gold Card earns 4x points per dollar on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per year; then 1x) — a whole 2.5x miles more than the Cathay Pacific Visa card.

Here’s a look at some of the best Amex welcome offers:

Additionally, you can also transfer points 1:1 from Citi ThankYou to Asia Miles. Like American Express, Citi’s cards often earn more rewards than the cobranded Cathay Pacific card on many purchases. For example, the Citi Premier® Card earns 3x points per dollar at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, airlines and hotels.

Related: Savvy rewards travelers focus on transferable points for the most flexibility

Redeeming Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific First Class (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)
You can use your Asia Miles to book tickets with Cathay Pacific and its partners. (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

You have a couple of different options when it comes to redeeming your Asia Miles. Generally speaking, though, your best option is to redeem your miles for flights on Cathay Pacific or one of its partner airlines — this will get you the best redemption value in nearly all cases.

Related: Best websites for searching Oneworld award availability

Important things to know about redeeming Asia Miles

Unlike many U.S. carriers, Cathay Pacific has opted to continue pricing award tickets based on a standard award chart. This means that you’re not subject to Delta-style dynamic pricing and awards on both Cathay Pacific and its partners can be redeemed at a predictable rate, so long as there’s open award space.

That said, redeeming your miles can be a bit confusing. The loyalty program has three different award charts that cover different types of redemptions — here’s a quick overview:

  • Asia Miles Award Chart: Prices award tickets on Cathay Pacific-operated flights around the world
  • Airline Partners Award Chart: Prices award tickets on Oneworld and non-alliance partner carriers
  • Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart: Prices multi-stop award tickets are operated by two or more Oneworld partners. You can use this to build round-the-world award tickets

Further, Asia Miles passes on fuel surcharges for most Oneworld carriers. Thankfully, however, Cathay Pacific recently stopped charging them on their own tickets. Likewise, the airline actually charges lower surcharges on British Airways flights than British Airways Executive Club.

For example, a one-way flight from New York-JFK to London in business class costs 61,000 Asia Miles and $204.26 after conversion from Hong Kong Dollars. British Airways charges 50,000 Avios off-peak but adds $556.43 in taxes and fees. Depending on how much you value miles, this can be an excellent deal due to the surcharge savings.

British Airways Pricing with Asia Miles
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Related: How to avoid fuel surcharges on award travel

Booking Cathay Pacific flights with Asia Miles

As discussed, the Asia Miles Award Chart covers flights operated by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. Asia Miles used to have two different award charts, one for Standard awards and one for Choice awards. However, Choice awards will be discontinued on Mar. 31, 2021, and replaced with Miles Plus Cash awards.

In short, Choice awards were more expensive but had more plentiful award space. Standard awards, on the other hand, are cheaper. However, award space can be harder to come by — think of it like an AAdvantage MileSAAver award.

Here’s a look at the Standard award chart. This information is current as of the time of publishing, but you’ll want to check Cathay Pacific’s website for the most up-to-date numbers.

Asia Miles Standard Award Chart for Cathay Pacific Awards
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

This award chart is pretty reasonable, especially for long-haul flights in premium cabins. Under this award chart, you’d be able to book a one-way ticket from New York-JFK to Hong Kong for 85,000 miles in business class. On the other hand, flights departing from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong would cost 70,000 miles.

There are better options for redeeming these awards. For example, American charges 70,000 AAdvantage miles to fly from anywhere in the U.S. to anywhere in Asia on Cathay Pacific. Likewise, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan charges just 50,000 miles.

That said, though, Asia Miles has historically offered more award space at the saver (equivalent to Standard) to its own elites. You can also transfer in points from American Express Membership Rewards, while AAdvantage and Mileage Plan don’t have credit card transfer partners.

Booking Cathay Pacific award tickets online

Booking award tickets operated wholly by Cathay Pacific can be done online. Just head to the award redemption page and sign in. Enter your search criteria at the center of the screen and click the yellow Search Flights button to initiate your search. We highly recommend keeping the Flexible Dates option selected so you can easily view award space surrounding the date you search.

Redeem Flight Rewards Page
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

You’ll be presented with all bookable flights at the center of the screen. You filter out Choice or Standard flights by toggling their respective buttons at the top of the screen. Click on the flight you’d like to book and follow the on-screen instructions to finalize your flight.

Viewing Award Options on the Asia Miles Website
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Related: The ultimate guide to Cathay Pacific first class

Booking partner flights with Asia Miles

British Airways and Iberia Planes at LHR
Use your Asia Miles to book award tickets on any Oneworld airline. (Photo by Fasttailwind/Shutterstock)

Here’s where things get weird. Asia Miles doesn’t officially publish an Airline Partners Award chart, with all partner awards having a mileage surcharge on top of Cathay Pacific awards that are of the same length.

Cathay Pacific Partner Award Calculator
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

You can find the partner award pricing using the award calculator tool on the Asia Miles website. Just enter your origin, destination and airline and you’ll be shown the pricing for all available cabins.

For example, a business class flight from New York-JFK to Doha (DOH) clocks in at 6,704 miles. A Cathay Pacific flight of the same distance would cost 70,000 miles, but the route costs 75,000 miles as it’s operated by Oneworld partner Qatar Airways.

JFK to DOH Qatar Airways Asia Miles Pricing
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

We also checked an economy flight from Newark (EWR) to London (LHR) on British Airways. The flight distance is 3,451 miles but costs 27,000 miles in economy on British Airways. This is also 5,000 miles more than the 22,000 required for a Cathay Pacific flight between 2,751 and 5,000 miles.

EWR to LHR Asia Miles Pricing
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Unfortunately, you’ll pay more than 5,000 extra miles for some partner redemptions. A flight from New York-JFK to Amman (AMM) costs 40,000 when operated by either British Airways (with a stop in London) or Royal Jordanian (direct). A direct flight between the cities is 5,738 miles in length, so you’re paying 10,000 miles over the Cathay Pacific award chart.

The same goes for Royal Jordanian business class — a 5,738-mile flight costs 65,000 miles on Cathay Pacific, but the Royal Jordanian route is pricing at 75,000 miles.

JFK to AMM Asia Miles Pricing Business Class
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Finally, an ultra-long-haul flight from New York-JFK to Perth (PER) via Doha is 12,493 miles in length but costs 90,000 miles in Qatar Airways business class. This is a mere 5,000 miles more than a Cathay Pacific flight above 7,001 miles, proving that there’s really no rhyme or reason to these surcharges.

JFK to PER Asia Miles Pricing
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

The moral of the story is always to use the Asia Miles calculator to price out partner award tickets before you start planning. In most cases, you’ll pay just 5,000 to 10,000 miles more than the Cathay Pacific award chart, but it’s worth double-checking before you plan.

Again, you’ll pay fuel surcharges on many Oneworld partner tickets.

Related: The best websites for searching Oneworld award availability

How to book partner award tickets with Asia Miles

The process for actually booking these tickets is also a little bit complicated. You can only book tickets for a handful of partners online. The following airlines show award space and are bookable on the Asia Miles website:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Cathay Dragon
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM (non-alliance)
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

If you’re hoping to book one of these airlines, follow the directions above for booking a Cathay Pacific award ticket. If not, follow our guide to searching for Oneworld award space to find the award ticket you’d like to book. Then, call Asia Miles when you’re ready to book the ticket.

Related: Book this, not that: Oneworld award tickets

Stopovers and open jaws

Asia Miles award tickets include a free stopover. (Photo by May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Asia Miles has some of the most confusing stopover and open jaw rules in the points and miles world, so we’ll attempt to make some sense of it.

The loyalty program recently removed the ability to add stopovers to one-way tickets, but you can still add a single stopover to round-trip tickets in some cases. That said, there are some tough restrictions in place.

For instance, on a single round-trip ticket, you’re allowed a maximum of four sectors and a single stopover. A maximum of two sectors only is allowed in each direction of a round-trip flight, so you’re effectively allowed to make one connection each way. That said, your stopover counts as one of these sectors too.

Unfortunately, you cannot add a stopover if you have an open jaw at your turnaround point. If you do go this route, your open jaw can be anywhere within the same region as the turnaround point itself.

Trips without an open jaw or trips with an open jaw at the point of origin (i.e., you depart from New York and return to Chicago) can have a single stopover. But since there’s a restriction on sectors and you’re limited to a single airline, you’ll have to route creatively to make your itinerary work.

In practice, this means you could book something like Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Charlotte (CLT), Charlotte to Frankfurt (FRA) and Frankfurt to Chicago (ORD) via Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) with an outbound stopover in Charlotte on American Airlines.

Asia Miles Stopover Example
(Image courtesy of Great Circle Map)

Note that you must call Asia Miles to book a ticket with a stopover, as they cannot be booked online. While these restrictions are pretty intense on paper, your mileage may vary based on the phone representative you’re linked with. In our experience, some phone representatives are lenient on enforcing these rules and may be able to make exceptions.

Related: The ultimate guide to airline stopover programs

Book a round-the-world ticket with the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart

British Airways first class seat
British Airways first class. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin)

Now for the real fun: the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart. Using this chart, you can book a mini-round-the-world ticket for relatively few points. It may not have as many stops as ANA Mileage Club’s round-the-world offering, but it’s a good choice for those wanting to visit a few cities and experience multiple carriers.

These awards are priced based on distance flown and your cabin of travel. You can book these awards in any class you’d like, including first class. Here’s a look at pricing:

Asia Miles Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

The routing rules — unlike the stopover rules discussed earlier — are actually pretty straightforward. Here’s a look at what you have to work with:

  • You’re allowed a maximum of five stopovers
  • You can fly up to 50,000 miles
  • You must return to the original point of departure
  • You must fly at least two Oneworld partners, not including Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon
  • You can book mixed-cabin flights but will be charged at the rate of the highest cabin booked
  • Air China and S7 flights cannot be included on an itinerary with a Cathay Pacific-operated flight. Further, you can’t add non-alliance partners to a multi-carrier award

Use a tool like GCmap to plan out your round-the-world trip and look for award space using your favorite Oneworld award search tool. So long as you stay within the above restrictions, it’s actually pretty easy to book one of these tickets.

Here’s an example of a bookable round-the-world ticket with the Oneworld multi-carrier award chart:

  • Stopover 1: New York-JFK to London – American Airlines
  • Stopover 2: London to Doha – Qatar Airways
  • Stopover 3: Doha to Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific
  • Stopover 4: Hong Kong to Tokyo-Haneda – Cathay Pacific
  • Stopover 5: Tokyo to Los Angeles – Japan Airlines
  • Stopover 5: Los Angeles to New York-JFK – American Airlines
Asia Miles Round The World Example
(Image courtesy of Great Circle Map)

This ticket clocks in at 20,394 miles flown, so a business class ticket would cost just 185,000 miles plus the cost of taxes, fees and fuel surcharges. We think that this is an excellent use of Asia Miles and makes it one of the most cost-effective ways to book round-the-world trips in a premium cabin.

To book one of these tickets, find award space and ensure that your ticket meets all the restrictions we discussed. Then, call Asia Miles to book.

Related: How I booked a round-the-world ticket in business class for 170,000 miles

A look at upgrade and companion awards

You can also use your Asia Miles to upgrade paid Cathay Pacific flights and take a companion with you on your journey. The upgrade award chart is also split up by distance and priced based on a one-way upgrade. Upgrades starting at just 6,000 miles — here’s a look:

Upgrade Award Chart
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

There are a couple of restrictions to keep in mind with upgrade awards. The first is that you can only upgrade from economy to business class if there’s no premium economy cabin on your flight. The second is that only certain fare classes are upgradeable for upgrades:

  • J, C, D, P, I — Business to first
  • W, R — Premium economy to business
  • Y, B, H, K, M, L, V — Economy to premium economy
  • Y, B, H, K, M, L, V — Economy to business (for flights without premium economy class)

Companion rewards are another interesting touch to the Asia Miles program. If you’re flying in select business and first-class fares, you can bring a companion with you using your miles. Here’s a quick look at pricing — note that these are priced based on the cost of a round-trip ticket.

Companion Ticket Awards
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

While this may look like an excellent deal on paper, you can only use these awards when your paid ticket is in certain fare classes. F and A fare first-class tickets and J, C, D and I business class tickets are eligible. These fare classes are generally the most expensive, so always do a cost-comparison to see if a Companion Ticket is a good deal for your travel plans.

Related: A guide to airline credit card companion tickets

Redeeming Asia Miles for merchandise and other travel

Of course, you can also choose to use your Asia Miles for merchandise, hotel stays and other non-air travel redemptions. That said, this is rarely a good idea. You almost always get a lower cent per point value when compared to booking premium airfare — in some cases, you actually get less than half of TPG’s Asia Miles valuation of 1.3 cents per point.

For example, you can redeem 69,070 Asia Miles for a Fitbit Sense smartwatch. This same product costs $299.95 direct from Fitbit, so you’re only getting 0.43 cents per point in value.

Fitbit Sense Asia Miles Purchase
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

Likewise, hotel stays aren’t a great deal either. A stay at the W Chicago Lakeshore is 27,320 Asia Miles per night in early May. Alternatively, you can book the same stay for $240 after taxes, giving you just 0.88 cents per point in value.

W Chicago Lakeshore Asia Miles booking
(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

My advice is to skip these redemptions if you can. Frankly, they provide a poor value, especially if you travel often and can use your Asia Miles for flights later down the road.

Asia Miles sweet spots

So, what are the best ways to use your Asia Miles? Good question — here’s a look at some of the best Asia Miles redemption sweet spots.

Cathay Pacific first and business class flights

Cathay Pacific has one of the best first-class seats in the sky. (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

It’s no surprise that using Asia Miles for Cathay Pacific tickets is a good deal. As mentioned, the program doesn’t have the world’s best pricing on Cathay Pacific awards, but you can still score a solid deal on these tickets — especially if you’re departing from the West Coast. Here’s a look at Asia Miles’ round-trip award pricing from all U.S. destinations to its hub in Hong Kong (HKG):

Route Economy award price Economy taxes Business-class award price Business-class taxes First-class award price First-class taxes
Boston (BOS) to Hong Kong (HKG) 84,000 miles $189.49 170,000 miles $192.07 250,000 miles $192.07
Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Hong Kong (HKG) 84,000 miles $189.49 170,000 miles $192.07 250,000 miles $192.07
Los Angeles (LAX).to Hong Kong (HKG) 60,000 miles $189.49 140,000 miles $192.07 220,000 miles $192.07
New York-JFK to Hong Kong (HKG) 84,000 miles $189.49 170,000 miles $192.07 250,000 miles $192.07
San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG) 60,000 miles $189.49 140,000 miles $192.07 220,000 miles $192.07

Sure, it costs a pretty big chunk of miles to book a round-trip business or first class trip from the U.S. to Hong Kong on any of these routes. That said, it’s still a pretty great deal when compared to cash pricing. For example, a round-trip Cathay Pacific first-class flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG) is $16,069 in early 2022.

This same flight can be booked for 220,000 Asia Miles and $192.07 in taxes and fees. This equals a huge 7.21 cents per point in value, which is exceptional for Asia Miles. This is a case when we’d recommend transferring your Amex or Citi points to Asia Miles. It’s not only a great deal, but it’s also the best deal for Cathay Pacific flights with these currencies.

Round-the-world tickets with the Oneworld Multi-Carrier award chart

As discussed earlier, the Oneworld Multi-Carrier award chart can be extremely valuable for booking round-the-world tickets on Oneworld carriers. You can use these awards to book a ticket with five stopovers, but be sure to refer to the redemption section for more information. These tickets can span multiple regions so long as your ticket is 50,000 miles or less.

British Airways award tickets

Asia Miles charges lower fuel surcharges than other Oneworld partners on British Airways award tickets — even in premium cabins. You may slightly pay more miles than when booking with other carriers, but the savings may be enough to warrant the extra points cost. For example, you can fly round-trip from New York-JFK to London-Heathrow (LHR) in British Airways business class for 122,000 Asia Miles and $736.56.

(Screenshot courtesy of Asia Miles)

On the other hand, British Airways charges 120,000 Avios and $1,786.34 round-trip. Booking with Asia Miles gives you cash savings of over $1,000. Keep in mind that this ticket may be cheaper (from a points perspective) when booked during British Airways’ off-peak dates, so consider this before you book.

British Airways JFK to LHR award ticket
(Screenshot courtesy of British Airways)

So if you’re going to transfer Amex or Citi points to book a British Airways ticket, consider transferring to Asia Miles for lower taxes and fees.

Related: A review of Cathay Pacific’s first class on the 777-300ER from Hong Kong to London

Bottom line

In this article, we showed you the ins and outs of Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program. While not perfect, there are some excellent deals to be had. You’ll get the best deals when redeeming for Cathay Pacific flights and multi-carrier round-the-world tickets, especially if you book in premium cabins.

Featured photo by May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.