Home Topics Finance A point collectors guide to Cathay Pacific

A point collectors guide to Cathay Pacific

Regarded as one of the world’s top airlines, Cathay Pacific is the unofficial airline that serves Hong Kong International Airport. The airline flies to more than 71 locations in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Africa, America, Australasia, Europe and the Middle East. Cathay Pacific flies both Boeing and Airbus planes and is also a member of the Oneworld Alliance.

You may have heard of Cathay Pacific’s excellent customer service and first class food (both on board and in the lounges), not to mention the attention to detail and comfort, especially in First and Business Class.

This guide will walk you through the basics of this well-respected airline, from fare types to main routes, as well as the details of their two (yes, two) loyalty programs.

About Cathay Pacific

Here’s a quick rundown of some of Cathay Pacific’s most popular features.

  • Tariff types: The airline offers four main fare tiers, including First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class. The first-class offer is particularly lavish and offers the (self-proclaimed) “softest beds in the sky” and private suites that also serve as work areas.

  • Main routes in the USA: Cathay Pacific flies to several major US cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

  • Points currency and loyalty program: Cathay Pacific is unique in that it runs more than one loyalty program. The first is Asia Miles, Cathay Pacific’s travel and lifestyle rewards program. Here you can earn and redeem miles by flying, spending on co-branded credit cards, shopping and dining. The second is the Marco Polo Club, an elite loyalty program affiliated with the airlines in the Oneworld Alliance. Asia Miles members are automatically registered as Marco Polo Club members with the same membership number.

How to collect Asia Miles

Earn by flying

Earn Asia Miles when you fly with Cathay Pacific or one of the more than 20 airline partners, including the 13 Oneworld Alliance airlines – a nice benefit.

You can also earn by flying:

You can refer to the airline Earn calculators to determine the number of miles you could earn on your next trip.

Earn by spending on a co-branded credit card

The Cathay Pacific Visa Card gives you a solid welcome bonus of 40,000 Asia Miles when you spend $ 2,000 within 90 days of opening your account.

In addition, cardholders will earn 2 Asia Miles for every US $ 1 spent on air purchases on Cathay Pacific flights, 1.5 miles on US and international food purchases, 1.5 miles on international purchases, and 1 point per dollar for everyone else domestic purchases.

This card also advertises several other bonuses, such as: B. no fees for international transactions, breakdown assistance, cash payments in an emergency or card replacement as well as the free membership in the Marco Polo Club of the green level.

Other co-branded credit cards Asia Miles can be earned with include:

  • American Express® Cathay Pacific Elite credit card.

  • Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard.

  • American Express® Cathay Pacific credit card.

  • American Express® Cathay Pacific Elite corporate card.

  • American Express® Cathay Pacific company card.

Earn by transferring

You can earn Asia Miles by transferring points from a variety of other loyalty and reward programs.

For example, if you have at least 1,000 points in yours American Express Membership Rewards Points bank, they can be transferred to Asia Miles at a solid 1: 1 ratio. Likewise each Citi thank you points Burning a hole in your pocket can turn to Asia Miles in a 1: 1 ratio.

Finally, your Capital One points can also be transferred to your Asia Miles account, but only at a ratio of 2: 1.5, which is not ideal.

Other ways to earn:

Because it is a travel and lifestyle rewards program, Asia Miles has a variety of partners that you can earn, especially outside of the travel space. This includes earning opportunities such as:

  • Hotels. Stay in partner hotels like Ibis and Best Western, among other.

  • Car rental companies. Rent cars through one of the 11 partner agencies.

  • Travel. Book trips with partners, including Booking.com.

  • Eat. Dine in partner restaurants in Asia.

  • Shop. Shop at partner stores, including telecommunications company SmartOne.

  • Wellness. Buy wellness services at partner gyms, spas, etc.

How to redeem Asia Miles

Fly Cathay Pacific

You can redeem Asia Miles on three types of award flights: Standard Awards, Choice Awards and Custom Awards; Each allows a mixed redemption of the booth. Note that Standard Awards are also available for flights on partner airlines, while Choice and Tailored Awards are only available for flights on Cathay Pacific.

Standard Awards and Choice Awards allow you to reserve seats in advance in Premium Economy Class cabins or higher, while Tailored Awards allow you to reserve seats in advance in all cabins (excluding seats with extra legroom). With Choice Award and Tailored Award flights, you have a better chance of booking a seat on Cathay Pacific, even on popular routes or in high season.

Redemption awards for single or mixed carriers are available, however round-trip redemption cannot be made for two different types of awards. It is for this reason that some travelers choose to book one-way award flights with their Asia Miles for the best deal.

You should refer to that Cathay Pacific Distance-Based Reward Tables Check the minimum points required to fly certain types of awards. For example, an economy ticket for a short flight costs 10,000 miles for a Standard Award, 15,000 miles for a Choice Award and 10,000 miles for a Tailored Award.

Nerdy tip: You can pay for flights and extras such as extra baggage or legroom only with miles or a mixture of miles and cash.

Fly with partner airlines

Standard award flights are available for partner airlines, however the number of Asia Miles required to book varies. By default, travelers rely on mileage requirements stated on various redemption channels. So it’s up to you to find exceptional redemption options.

You can consult the Asia Miles Partner Award Charts to see what types of rewards are available for Asia Miles holders. In addition, a standard Oneworld multi-airline award table will be published, which will be helpful in estimating the mileage requirements for all types of fares on eligible flights.

Other ways to redeem miles

  • Travel. Cash miles for hotel stays, rental cars and travel experiences.

  • Experience. Use miles for concerts or other events, or even celebrity shout-outs to loved ones.

  • Business. You can also redeem your miles for various items that can be purchased in different categories such as electronics, household, food, wine, health, and exercise.

  • Charity. Donate your miles to an appropriate cause.

  • Convert them. You can convert your miles into points with qualifying loyalty programs whenever there are more attractive redemption options elsewhere.

About the Marco Polo Club

Not to be confused with Asia Miles. Cathay Pacific’s elite status loyalty program is the Marco Polo Club.

How to collect Marco Polo Club points

You can only earn Marco Polo Club points when you fly on Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airlines. Earn a higher status and benefit from more advantages when you earn more club points.

Club points are calculated using a combination of airline, cabin, fare class and distance traveled. The airline divides flights into six categories: ultra-short, short, medium, medium, long, and ultra-long.

For example, if you fly first class on an ultra long flight (7,501 miles or more) you will get the most points – 140. If you fly economically on an ultra short flight of 750 miles or less you will get between 5 and 15 points. When traveling in Business Class on a medium-length flight (between 2,751 and 3,700 miles), you will earn between 50 and 60 Club Points.

Member airlines

As a reminder, eligible airlines in this Oneworld Alliance loyalty program include:

  • Royal Jordanian Airlines.

Status levels

The Marco Polo Club program consists of four levels – green, silver, gold and diamond – and each offers different benefits. These include perks such as extra legroom on flights, priority boarding, baggage allowance and lounge access.

Club members also receive privileges for all airlines in the Oneworld Alliance. In addition to flying a qualifying Cathay flight, club members must earn 20 Asia Miles annually for the green tier, 300 for silver, 600 for gold and 1,200 for diamond, the airline’s top tier.

Nerdy tip: All members of the Asia Miles program receive priority redemption options for discount flight awards at the Marco Polo Club. As a green member, you can redeem your points on flights two days before the same reward options are released to the general public.

Advantages of each level

The benefits for each elite tier are as follows.


  • Redemption options for seats with more legroom.

  • Premium Economy Class counters at the airport.

  • Additional baggage allowance, including baggage allowance for most flights and baggage allowance for flights to America.


Advantages of the green level plus:

  • Extended seat reservations.

  • Preferred seat and boarding benefits on Air New Zealand-operated flights.

  • Business Class check-in counter.

  • Higher baggage limits for checked baggage and hand baggage.

  • Priority baggage handling.

  • Access to Cathay Pacific Business Class and Air New Zealand Business Class Lounge.


  • Guaranteed seat in economy class.

  • One extra piece of checked baggage for most flights.

  • Access to the Business Class Lounge for status holders and guests.

  • Access to the arrival hall (guests not allowed).


The Diamond Club Level offers all of the many benefits listed above with the following additions:

  • Guaranteed Premium Economy and Business Class seats.

  • Even heavier baggage limits.

  • Access to world class Cathay Pacific lounges.

The final result

For travelers flying internationally (especially to Asia), Cathay Pacific is a respected airline that offers luxury and impeccable service at every turn. There are also two rewards programs, Asia Miles and the Marco Polo Club, which make it even easier for seasoned travelers to earn upgrades, flight awards, hotel stays and other rewards.

All information about the American Express® Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card, American Express® Cathay Pacific Credit Card, American Express® Cathay Pacific Elite Corporate Card, and American Express® Cathay Pacific Corporate Card has been independently collected by NerdWallet. The American Express® Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card, American Express® Cathay Pacific Credit Card, American Express® Cathay Pacific Elite Corporate Card, and American Express® Cathay Pacific Corporate Card are no longer available through NerdWallet.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

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