Ask Finder: How can I maximise my Asia Miles in Australia?
Getting the most from Cathay Pacific's loyalty scheme down under requires planning.
Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles scheme isn't as well known in Australia as some other frequent flyer schemes. One recent survey suggests just 2.7% of Australians have joined it, which is a long way behind domestic heavy hitters Qantas and Virgin. There's an upside to that, though: with fewer members, there's potentially less competition for reward seats.
Our comprehensive guide to Asia Miles covers all the basic details of the program. Maintaining a healthy balance with the scheme while based in Sydney is definitely possible, but you'll need to plan carefully.
Making sure you earn Asia Miles through your regular credit card spending is definitely a good place to start. In Australia, this means earning with a credit card rewards scheme and then transferring the points, rather then earning directly. Cards which have Asia Miles transfer options include the American Express Platinum and Platinum Edge, and the ANZ Rewards and Rewards Platinum.
When flying internationally, it makes sense to use Cathay Pacific as your airline whenever possible. That's straightforward if you're flying to Europe or within South-East Asia. However, don't forget that you can also fly to Hong Kong and then connect to North America as well. It's a longer flight than going direct, buy you'll also earn more Asia Miles in the process.
You do have some options for earning miles for flights within Australia. Under a codeshare agreement announced in September 2018, there are now 13 services operated by Qantas which have a Cathay Pacific code, meaning they're eligible to earn Asia Miles.
The list of services feels somewhat random, and doesn't include several popular long-haul options (such as Sydney to Perth or Melbourne to Perth). Here's where you can fly and potentially earn points while travelling in Australia:
- Alice Springs-Sydney
Two things to watch out for. Firstly, not every service operating on those routes has a Cathay code, so check before booking. Secondly, on super-discounted fares you'll earn fewer miles.
One other key consideration: Asia Miles expire 36 months after you earn them. That means you'll need a well-defined plan (as every frequent flyer should) for how you intend to spend them.
Since you can redeem your Asia Miles for Cathay flights and also for many other oneworld members, you have lots of options. One that particularly stands out is flying to Europe via Hong Kong, using Cathay Pacific and Finnair. That requires 180,000 Asia Miles for a business return. Happy travels!
Ask Finder is a regular column where Finder's expert writers answer your questions. All rates and fees are correct at time of publication and we only give general advice. Got a question for Points Finder? Hit us up on Facebook.
- Ask Finder: Should I use savings or a 0% balance transfer offer to pay off credit card debt?
- Ask Finder: How do I sell my share of a jointly owned property?
- Ask Finder: How can I find the minimum income requirement for a credit card?
- Ask Finder: Can I buy a second hand car with a car loan?
- Ask Finder: What happens when a credit card rewards partnership ends?
Picture: VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock