Asia Miles is back with one of its regular bonus offers when you transfer credit card points across to the programme, with 10% or 15% additional miles for each transfer made and no upper cap.
The month-long transfer bonus offer is now live for members outside Hong Kong (but including those in Singapore), and is running between 30th December 2022 and 31st January 2023.
Under this offer you’ll get either a 10% or 15% bonus when making transfers to the programme, based on the number of miles you transfer in each conversion:
- Convert credit card points and earn less than 20,000 miles: 10% bonus
- Convert credit card points and earn 20,000 miles or more: 15% bonus
Importantly, unlike some previous deals, there is no limit to the number of conversions and number of points that can be converted within the promotion period with this bonus offer.
You will have to successfully register for this Asia Miles offer during the promotion period, using the following link.
The link may also have been provided to you in the form of a marketing email from Cathay, as mine was.
You can register ay any time during the promotion period, but to keep it ‘tidy’ we’d recommend doing so before transferring your credit card points into the scheme.
Registering your account for the bonus will generate an email confirmation from Asia Miles confirming that you have enrolled successfully, so it’s good to show you did this from the outset in case of any issues later on.
After 31st January 2023 it will be too late to register for the bonus, even if you made one or more transfers during the promotion period.
Again, there is no limit to the number of miles conversions you can complete and no limit on the amount of points converted during this promotion.
Cathay’s promotional email for this deal mentions it being offered “as a selected member”, but the offer is not targeted, as confirmed by Cathay’s PR team. Provided you’re a member residing outside Hong Kong, you can take advantage.
Eligible transfer partners
Converting points from all international banks offering transfer of credit card points into Asia Miles will be eligible for the 10% or 15% bonus under this promotion, with the exception of Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles co-brand credit cards and China Merchants Bank credit cards.
In Singapore that means points held with the following banks are eligible:
|Citi ThankYou Points / Citi Miles|
|HSBC Reward Points|
|Maybank TREATS Points|
For our overseas readers, here are some example eligible banks in other countries.
Here are the new ‘effective’ transfer ratios from seven eligible Singapore banks into Asia Miles during this promotion, depending on whether you are participating at the 10% or 15% bonus level.
The minimum transfer quantity is shown for each finance partner / credit card.
Note that OCBC and Standard Chartered are the only two banks in Singapore that do not support Asia Miles conversion.
|10% Bonus||15% Bonus|
|MR Points||450* Points||
|ThankYou Points||25,000 Points||
|10% Bonus||15% Bonus|
|MR Points||450* Points
|ThankYou Points||25,000 Points
* Amex Platinum Charge and Centurion members require only 400 Points per transfer block
The bonus won’t credit immediately
Bonus miles under this promotion will be credited to your Asia Miles account within 8 to 10 weeks after the end of the promotion, which means you’ll get the standard transfer rate applicable for your bank / card product initially, topped up with the relevant bonus level as a separate credit by 11th April 2023 at the latest.
During a recent Asia Miles bonus promotion for credit card points transferred in December 2020, the miles were actually credited by mid-March 2021, 6 weeks after the promotion ended, despite the same 8-10 week timeframe being quoted.
Similarly in the previous two bonus promotions we participated in, miles were credited at around the 6-week mark, so while there are no guarantees it does look as though you should see the bonus a bit earlier than promised this time round too.
What if the bonus doesn’t credit?
You’ll have until 30th April 2023 to notify Asia Miles if you do not receive the expected bonus miles. That’s quite a short window since the bonus might only have come through a couple of weeks before that (by 11th April 2023).
From 1st May 2023 onwards it’s unfortunately too late to claim any missing bonus, so be sure to check and plan a chase-up with Asia Miles if required.
Aside from registering your Asia Miles account for the 10% or 15% promotional transfer bonus, it’s important to consider the lead time for your bank to miles transfer.
Many banks will quote 5-10 working days (i.e. up to two weeks) to complete this process, but in reality most are much quicker. While we have more experience with KrisFlyer transfers, we have the following data points for Asia Miles transfers we have made, or our readers have shared:
- BOC SG: 6 weeks (why bother?)
- Citi SG: 2 working days
- Citi USA: Instant
- DBS SG: 4 working days
- UOB SG: 3 working days
Our recommendation is to initiate any transfers by Monday 23rd January 2023 to allow five clear working days before the end of the promotion.
If you prefer to err on the safe side (and sleep better at night!), do it by Monday 16th January 2023 to allow an additional week.
Asia Miles ‘sweet spots’
Asia Miles is probably one of our favourite FFPs for long-haul oneworld redemptions. It’s also a great ‘backup balance’ alternative to KrisFlyer, primarily when:
- we can’t secure a Singapore Airlines redemption using KrisFlyer miles;
- we don’t mind a connection on the way to Europe, to save miles; or
- we are flying to a European or US destination SIA doesn’t serve non-stop anyway (e.g. Dublin or Chicago).
In these cases it makes good sense to stop in Hong Kong en-route and enjoy Cathay’s excellent lounges in the process.
In more recent good news, Hong Kong is finally fully relaxing its border measures (almost) and Cathay Pacific is ramping up its flight schedules, with a target of 75% pre-COVID capacity by the end of 2023.
Transits through Hong Kong are also restriction-free, with no testing whatsoever, provided your final destination country does not impose any.
Singapore – Europe from 65,000 miles in Business Class
There are great options to fly in Business Class from Singapore or Bangkok to Europe for just 65,000 Asia Miles with Cathay, though unfortunately the airline has brought back its hefty fuel surcharges, which you definitely need to consider as part of the overall cost.
The key is to keep your trip within 7,500 miles total distance to take advantage of the competitive Long – Type 1 award rate.
Start in Bangkok to open up even more options
Many additional options in Europe open up from Bangkok if you are willing to start your journey there, since it’s around 500 miles closer to Hong Kong, giving you a wider range to play with for a 7,500-mile trip.
In addition, Bangkok – Hong Kong – Vancouver comes in just inside the 7,500-mile limit, making it a great value redemption at 70,000 Asia Miles in Business Class (Long – Type 2 in this case).
Fly First Class for less
This is a nice benefit of how Asia Miles deals with mixed class bookings. With many airlines if a cabin type is not offered for part of your route – that’s just tough. You’ll pay the highest cabin class award price for the whole journey regardless.
For example, Perth to London via Singapore on Singapore Airlines in First Class on a saver award will cost you 160,500 KrisFlyer miles (the Zone 8 to Zone 12 rate), even though you’ll be in Business Class for the Perth – Singapore sector.
With Asia Miles it doesn’t work that way. If a First Class cabin is not available for part of your journey, the required mileage reduces by the proportional distance you spend in the lower cabin class.
Since Singapore to Frankfurt via Hong Kong (7,285 miles) is the same award rate as a Hong Kong to Frankfurt flight (5,697 miles) in the award chart, it actually results in fewer miles to redeem SIN-HKG (Business) plus HKG-FRA (First) than a simple HKG-FRA (First) award.
That’s right, Asia Miles is giving you miles back to take a Business Class flight from Singapore to Hong Kong before your First Class flight!
Good deals here flying Business Class on the first sector to Hong Kong then First Class on the second sector include:
- Singapore – Frankfurt: 92,300 miles
- Bangkok – London: 94,700 miles
- Sydney – London: 107,600 miles
This principle applies to all mixed class award bookings using the programme.
oneworld and partner awards
Asia Miles can also be useful for securing award seats on oneworld and partner airlines, like Finnair (new Business Class with low fuel surcharges), Qatar Airways, Qantas and British Airways, with the following award chart applicable in this case. These are slightly more expensive than booking with Cathay Pacific for most (but not all) routings.
This opens up Singapore – Europe options for 70,000 Asia Miles one-way (KrisFlyer charges 103,500 miles), including in the Qsuite with Qatar Airways, though do note you’ll be hit with some fairly hefty fuel surcharges in that example.
One benefit here is that routings like Singapore – Doha – London with Qatar Airways and Singapore – Helsinki – London with Finnair come in below 7,500 miles, while routing via Hong Kong to London in all cases will exceed that distance, so these awards come in 15,000 miles cheaper than using Cathay Pacific.
As we recently noted, new Finnair AirLounge Business Class between Bangkok or Phuket and Europe comes in at a competitive 61,000 Asia Miles one-way, with minimal surcharges.
Under this 15% bonus offer you could achieve this redemption for the equivalent of around 53,000 miles from a credit card transfer – a truly excellent rate for Business Class to or from Europe!
Keeping your Asia Miles balance from expiring is easy
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.
Transferring miles during this promotion, for example, will recharge your entire balance (assuming it was all deposited after 1 Jan 2020) for 18 months.
Even if you are not a regular user of the programme and end up approaching the expiry point, it’s relatively easy to refresh your balance for an additional 18 months, with methods including:
- Book a flight redemption
- Credit a paid Cathay Pacific, oneworld or partner flight to Asia Miles
- Top up your balance by transferring credit card points into Asia Miles
- Earn through a hotel booking portal like Kaligo or Rocketmiles
- Transfer NTUC LinkPoints to or from Asia Miles (it’s back)
- Transfer Esso Smiles Points into Asia Miles
- Contributing 100 Asia Miles (or more if you prefer) to Cathay’s Fly Greener carbon offset programme
- Make a purchase via the Asia Miles iShop (Singapore merchants include Zalora, Decathlon and Far East Flora)*
* Be careful: Miles from iShop purchases take up to 5 months to credit to your Asia Miles account.
Given the much better activity-based expiry policy, a transfer to Asia Miles could be considered a slightly safer option than a KrisFlyer transfer, since you won’t run the risk of your miles expiring in three years (like they do in KrisFlyer) provided you interact with the programme once in a while.
Asia Miles: Other things to know
Here are some other basics of the Asia Miles programme it’s worth knowing before you commit to a significant points transfer.
- You can change the date of your Asia Miles award booking for US$25 per person per sector (online) or US$40 per person per sector (over the phone).
- You can change the destination of your Asia Miles award booking for US$100 per person per ticket.
- You can cancel your Asia Miles award booking and have your miles redeposited and taxes / fees refunded for US$120 per person per ticket.
You may lose flexibility
Transfers from bank points to miles are strictly one-way, so by taking advantage of this bonus you will be restricting yourself to the Asia Miles programme for future redemptions using the miles transferred under this offer.
That might be enough to put you off, with Cathay Pacific’s schedule and award space still only slowly improving.
If you’re a Citi customer for example, with a large volume of Citi Miles or ThankYou Points, you can transfer those into 10 different frequent flyer programmes, with options across all three major alliances plus Etihad Guest, which has a good ‘mini-alliance’ of its own.
By transferring a large volume of your points into Asia Miles, you may also be exposing yourself to any potential future devaluations in the programme before you get chance to use them.
Keeping your miles at the bank side, especially with Citi, protects you against this since you can then opt to transfer into a range of other programmes instead if you wish (on the theory they won’t all devalue at the same time!).
Terms and conditions
Asia Miles is back with another 10-15% transfer bonus between now and 31st January 2023, but you must register to receive the bonus (whether you’ll take advantage or not, there’s no harm in registering anyway).
Also be sure to factor in the variable transfer times from credit card providers to make sure you don’t miss out.
We recommend initiating any transfer no later than Monday 23rd January 2023, to allow five clear working days for the miles to credit into your account before the deadline.
Remember that you will be waiting up to 10 weeks after the end of the promotion to have the bonus miles credited to your account. That’s something to bear in mind if you’re planning to make a transfer with the intention of locking in a specific Asia Miles award in the near future.
(Cover Image: Cathay Pacific)