Asia Miles, the frequent flyer program of Cathay Pacific, is running its special bonus transfer offer again this year for those converting credit card points to the programme between now and 31st January 2020.
It’s good news for our Singapore readers if you have points sitting in a BOC, DBS, Citi, Amex, HSBC, Maybank or UOB card account.
You must register your Asia Miles account for this offer in order to be eligible.
That’s an important difference from last year’s offer, which did not require registration. You’ll receive a confirmation once your account is successfully registered.
Once registered, simply transfer your credit card points into Asia Miles from an eligible ‘Finance Partner’ and you’ll receive a 10% bonus after the transfer is completed.
Although the deal is poorer than when it ran in January 2019 at a 15% bonus, the good thing this year is that there is no cap – you can transfer an unlimited number of points into miles and get the full 10% bonus on all of them.
Last year the bonus amount was capped at 10,000 miles.
Eligible ‘Finance Partners’
If you accrue points with almost any credit card issued in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam, you’ll be eligible for the transfer bonus.
There is an extensive list of eligible partners across these countries, but for most of our readers based in Singapore the following are the ones of interest:
|Citi ThankYou Points / Citi Miles|
|HSBC Reward Points|
|Maybank TREATS Points|
The major exceptions here are OCBC and Standard Chartered – these banks in Singapore don’t transfer points into Asia Miles.
The offer is good for transfers initiated by 31st January 2020, 23:59 Singapore Time at the latest, so you still have over four weeks to act if this deal interests you.
We checked the terms directly with Asia Miles, who reassured us that despite the varying transfer times of the different finance partners into their program they do have a record of the transfer initiation date from the bank and any eligible transfers will accrue the 10% bonus, provided they are initiated within the offer period.
Note that you will first be awarded Asia Miles at the standard rate, with the applicable 10% bonus following 8-10 weeks after the promotion ends on 31st January (i.e. by mid-April 2020).
There’s one cryptic exclusion in the terms and conditions, which states that miles “earned from the welcome offer or promotional offer of Designated Credit Cards” are not eligible for the 10% bonus.
We can’t really see how Asia Miles could possibly know how you accrued your credit card points. For example, it is almost inconceivable that DBS will tell them that some of my points were accrued buying groceries at 4.4mpd using my PRVI Miles Amex card at the end of last year! But, that’s a “promotional offer” in my book, so do be aware.
What if the bonus doesn’t credit?
You’ll have until 31st May 2020 to notify Asia Miles if you do not receive the expected bonus miles. That’s a reasonable window since the bonus miles should have come through at least six weeks before that.
From 1st June 2020 onwards it’s unfortunately too late to claim any missing bonus, so be sure to check and diarise a chase-up if required.
Are Asia Miles worth having?
Asia Miles underwent a ‘revaluation’ in 2018. If you’re a pessimist, it would have been broadly regarded as a 10% ‘devaluation’, though that is far too simplistic because depending on how you used Asia Miles before the change you could be even worse off than that, or actually be better off than you were before.
We covered the details at the time, but broadly speaking using Asia Miles for upgrades became poorer value, while some ‘pure’ flight redemptions fell in cost (like one-way Singapore to Hong Kong / Bangkok, Hong Kong to London or Sydney to London) and others became more expensive (like one-way Hong Kong to San Francisco and return Hong Kong to London routings).
To us, Asia Miles is a scheme worth considering holding a miles balance with. It won’t suit everyone though, and KrisFlyer is arguably more flexible for Singapore-based flyers.
Using Asia Miles to redeem awards on oneworld airlines remains an attractive proposition too.
Qatar’s Qsuite from Singapore to Europe via Doha, now operating three times daily on the A350-1000, will set you back 70,000 Asia Miles (instead of 124,000 Avios or 119,200 Qantas points, for example).
That’s a great rate for the Qsuite in our book.
With this offer you can transfer 63,640 miles instead, with the bonus brining you up to the required total, but of course you’ll have to wait a while to redeem as those bonus miles won’t credit immediately.
Many credit cards also require you to transfer in rounded quantities, for example in 10,000-mile blocks, so do bear that in mind.
Asia Miles no longer expire
Since 1st January 2020, any Asia Miles credited to your account will no longer expire provided you earn or redeem at least one mile every 18 months.
We wrote about the change in detail last month, and even if you aren’t a frequent user of the programme there are some relatively simple ways to top up your balance, thereby keeping all of your miles ‘alive’ for another 18 months, including shopping in FairPrice.
Terms and conditions
We’ve covered most of the major rules for this promotion above, but you can also read the full terms and conditions for yourself here.
A welcome bonus, this year benefiting from being uncapped so those with large credit card points balances can really take advantage.
Remember to register for this offer, as unlike last year it will only trigger if you are a registered member.
Unfortunately you’ll still have to wait a couple of months to be credited with the final miles amount (including the bonus), so this isn’t much good for an Asia Miles redemption you’re looking to jump on soon.
Thankfully now that Asia Miles do not expire (with reasonable account activity), there isn’t so much concern about crediting speculatively into the scheme.
If you were looking for a good value way to try out Qatar’s new Qsuite, flying three times daily out of Changi, this would be a nice way to achieve it. A redemption to Europe would require you to transfer only 63,640 miles to end up with 70,000 – the magic number of Asia Miles needed, for example, to fly from Singapore to London on a Qsuite award ticket.
(Cover Photo: Cathay Pacific)