Cathay Pacific improves its Asia Miles expiration policy

Dec 10, 2019

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Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles loyalty program has traditionally had a somewhat customer unfriendly expiration policy, in which miles accrued in the program automatically expired three years after being earned, regardless of any further activity in a customer’s account. However, on Tuesday, the airline announced a major improvement that will allow Asia Miles to remain active indefinitely so long as a customer has regular account activity.

Under the new policy, any Asia Miles accumulated after Jan. 1, 2020, won’t expire as long as there’s activity in a customer’s account at least once every 18 months. An important caveat to note is that miles credited on or before Dec. 31, 2019, will continue to follow the existing three-year expiration policy until they’re either redeemed or expire. However, the carrier will allow customers to convert old miles to the new activity-based system for a $40 online service fee.

Traditionally, “account activity” usually includes any time miles are earned, redeemed or transferred into an account. So if you don’t find yourself constantly flying the Hong Kong based airline, fret not — there’s plenty of other ways to keep your account active. One of the easiest ways to build your balance is by applying for the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card issued by Synchrony Bank, which routinely offers up to a 60,000-mile bonus. It’s currently offering 40,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. The card offers 2x miles on Cathay Pacific purchases, 1.5x miles on dining and spend outside the US and 1x on all other spending.

Related: How to use 60,000 Asia Miles

In addition to miles earned directly via its credit card, the airline is a transfer partner with four of the major flexible point systems: American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One MIles and the Marriott Bonvoy program. Amex and Citi transfer to Asia Miles at a 1-to-1 ratio, while Capital One transfers at a 2-to-1.5 ratio and Marriott exchanges at a 3-to-1 ratio. Transfers of even just 1,000 points or miles from any of these programs should be considered account activity and allow you to extend the expiration date on all your Asia Miles.

Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy
First class on Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER. (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

Finally, Asia Miles also has dozens of other partners that allow you to earn miles. For U.S. residents, the easiest ways to earn Asia Miles besides credit cards are crediting partner flights to Asia Miles (depending on the earning rate of your fare class), utilizing the Asia Miles iShop portal or booking hotels through Rocketmiles or Pointshound.

Wondering about the best ways to use Asia Miles? If a Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight isn’t what you’re after, don’t worry. The airline is a member of the Oneworld alliance, which opens up your redemption options tremendously. Asia Miles often also charges as much as 50% less in carrier surcharges for British Airways flights versus using Avios. Just make sure you read up on everything you need to know about the program.

Featured photo by Patrick T. Fallon/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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