Award Travel Guide

Award Traveler’s Guide to Asia Miles(1): How to Earn Asia Miles

Asia Miles is the points program of Hong Kong-based airlines Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon; it may not be on the top of your rewards list, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t read up more about this program. Today, we are bringing you the award traveler’s guide to Asia Miles and come dig up some got-to-know perks of AsiaMiles and how to earn to Asia Miles.

Generally, lucrative deals don’t always come in handy, and Asia Miles is no exception. Hidden underneath a complex layer of rules, Asia Miles is a treasure trove of incredible award possibilities. So, study up until you understand the nuances of the program and how to book stellar award itineraries that offer maximum value for your points. In this post, we will first talk about some effective ways to earn Asia Miles. Ready for the ultimate guide? Here we go!

What is the Marco Polo Club?

Hold that Thought, I’d first like to clarify “Marco Polo Club” a bit, it’s the official loyalty program of Cathay Pacific, a pay-to-join programme which allows travelers to accrue club points from traveling with oneworld members. So why do I bring this up and what’s the difference you might ask. First, Asia Miles is a free-to-join programme which allows members to accrue a ‘currency’ that can be accrued by either flying (traditional way of earning miles), credit card spends, dining, shopping or even general traveling. For the sake of clarification, club points earned from Marco Polo Club is only accrued to gain tier status: Green, Silver, Gold or Diamond, and one can get benefits or privileges accordingly. To conclude, their relationship is a bit like Aeroplan and Altitude of Air Canada, for most airlines award program and points program are put together, but not in the case of the examples I just listed. So for your record, if you just wish to accrue Asia Miles for redemption then you don’t have to bother about Marco Polo Club. Now, cut to the chase, time to discuss the charm and nuances of Asia Miles.

How to Earn Asia miles

As far as frequent flyer programs go, Asia Miles is on the complicated side. But don’t worry, there aren’t layers of complexity, earning Asia Miles is quite easy to comprehend. I’ve listed four recommended ways below to show you how to earn points.

  • Fly exclusively with oneworld and other various members

For Asia Miles members, it’s the most direct and traditional way to earn miles by taking Cathay Pacific flights and booking travel with its many partners. Basically, it meansoneworld Alliance, but Asia Miles partners with Aer Lingus, Gulf Air, Air Canada, Air China, Lufthansa and several others too. The earning systems are not exactly the same and the amount of miles you get from each cabin varies too. You can always check Asia Miles’ website to make sure how many miles you will earn.

  • Stake your miles with credit cards rewards

Earning miles this way is probably more efficient. For friends in North America, you shouldn’t miss three credit card rewards programs, which can be converted into Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio:

  1. American Express Membership Reward (or MR)
  2. Citi Thankyou Rewards(TYP)
  3. Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints.

Also, whenever you transfer 20,000 SPG points, you will receive a bonus of 5,000 Asia Miles, effectively making the transfer ratio 1:1.25.

  1. Amex’s sign-up bonuses can be as high as 50,000~75,000 points.
  2. Citi Thankyou Premier/Prestige offers around 50,000~60,000 sign-up bonus.
  3. Citi Prestige also offers 40,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
  4. Sky-high Platinum Card from American Express sign-up bonuses routinely appears.
  5. The Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card offers a 25,000-mile bonus after you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

The card offers 2x miles on Cathay Pacific spend, 1.5x miles on dining and spend outside the US and 1x on all another spending. These are easy ways to quickly rack up a large amount of Asia Miles.

  • Earn Asia Miles from hotel partners

Cathay Pacific has A LOT of hotel partners all over the world, making it easier than ever to earn loads of extra Asia Miles. Staying at a Hilton Worldwide property and choose Points & Miles to double dip: earn 10 Hilton Honors points + 1 Asia Mile per eligible USD spent! Some hotels even allow you to convert reward points to Asia Miles! Take Le club Accorhotels for example, two points can earn 1 Asia miles! Redeeming Marriott points fortravel packages that include a 7-night hotel stay and up to 85,000 miles is available as well. You should definitely check out the website and see which hotel to choose to maximize your points!

  • Earn Asia Miles through the shopping portal

In addition to credit card earnings, Asia Miles has dozens of partners that allow you to earn miles. For US residents, the easiest ways to earn Asia Miles beside credit card earnings is utilizing the Asia Miles iShop portal.

In the next post, we will discuss how to redeem your Asia Miles in the most efficient way. Stay Tuned!

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