Late last year Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles programme launched what’s become its regular annual bonus promotion for those transferring credit card points across to the scheme, with a 10% bonus on offer, increased to 15% for specifically targeted members, with no upper transfer cap.
Unlike the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 15-20% transfer bonus running across similar dates, where the bonus was credited immediately or within a day, the additional Asia Miles were due to come in 8-10 weeks after the end of the promotion period.
That meant we could expect to see the bonus miles land in our accounts from 28th March 2021 to 11th April 2021.
The bonus has already credited
Good news is that if you participated in the promotion, you should now see the bonus miles credited into your account, around one to three weeks earlier than originally promised (this was also the case in previous years).
We don’t remember it being called a “Mega Miles Campaign” at any point (there was one called that in 2014), but hey!
Conversions from all international banks offering transfer of credit card points into Asia Miles were eligible for the 10% or 15% bonus under the promotion, if they were completed between 28th December 2020 and 31st January 2021, and you registered for the offer (at any time during the same period, before or after your transfers).
The only exceptions were transfers from Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles co-brand credit cards and China Merchants Bank credit cards.
Good time to redeem?
Now the bonus miles have posted, this could be the perfect time to lock in an Asia Miles redemption over the next year, while award space remains good.
Cathay Pacific opens up its award space to Asia Miles members 360 days prior to departure date, and with the solid potential for travel restrictions beginning to lift from the second half of 2021, it’s potentially not a bad idea to jump on redemption seats right through to March 2022 sooner rather than later.
Unlike Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific is also loading First Class award space, on flights like Hong Kong to London, from May 2021 onwards, though the further into the future you book the more likelihood there is of this being a realistic possibility.
Here’s a reminder of how far into Europe you can fly from Singapore using a more competitive number of Asia Miles (e.g. 65,000 one-way in Business Class), versus the more expensive zone.
You can also use Asia Miles to redeem award space on oneworld carriers from Singapore to Europe for 70,000 miles, including the Qatar Airways Qsuite, though there are often hefty fuel surcharges to pay alongside the miles themselves.
Speaking of fuel surcharges, unfortunately they are now back again on Cathay Pacific flights, having been set to zero for bookings and redemptions made between May 2020 and January 2021.
Unfortunately this does somewhat erode the 10% or 15% bonus you’ve now received from your credit card points transfer, if you book a Cathay Pacific redemption now.
Fuel surcharges are increasing again for bookings made from 1st April 2021, so you may want to lock in your chosen award before that to save some cash, especially on longer routings like Europe and USA redemptions.
By government regulation, Cathay Pacific can only apply fuel surcharges in accordance with actual fuel prices (remarkably, most airlines don’t link them this way), so they can both increase and decline (or completely disappear again) in future. The airline lists its monthly fuel surcharge updates here.
The bonus counts as fresh activity
Provided your current Asia Miles balance was all credited to your account on or after 1st January 2020, this new earning activity in March 2021 has extended the validity of all your miles to 30th September 2022 without any further earning or redemption transactions.
That’s due to the programme’s shift from a fixed-term miles expiry policy (like KrisFlyer) to a much more popular activity-based one.
Actually, in some ways, the bonus posting early is a negative thing for your Asia Miles.
Had they posted in April, which was well within the terms of the promotion, you’d have an additional month of validity for all miles in your account earned after 1st January 2020!
Nonetheless it means for the majority of our readers who participated in the bonus promo, there’s no need to worry about your Asia Miles balance expiring until the end of September next year.
What if your bonus doesn’t reflect?
Don’t panic (yet!). Just because our bonuses have now posted, doesn’t mean the same will apply for everyone. These processes are often completed in batches, and under the terms and conditions of the offer Asia Miles has until 11th April 2021 to credit the additional miles.
After that, if your bonus still doesn’t reflect, you’ve got until the end of May 2021 to report the issue, so don’t lose any sleep at this early stage but do set a calendar reminder and be sure to chase up the missing miles later if required.
(Cover Photo: Cathay Pacific)