Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Gets Even Better…

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I have written a fair bit about Cathay Pacific Asia Miles over the last couple of months – it’s a programme that offers incredible value if you know how to take advantage (and you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards Points at a 1:1 rate!).

Historically, one downside of the programme has been that it operated what is known as a ‘hard’ expiry policy. After 3 years, miles would expire – regardless of how many miles you earn or redeem in the intervening period.

Given that you really need at least 70,000-90,000 Asia Miles to enjoy the best value redemptions, this was a policy that many readers found off-putting, because it might be hard to know for sure whether you will collect enough miles, before the oldest miles start expiring.

It is therefore great news that Asia Miles has announced that it is changing its expiry policy from 1st January 2020:

From 1 January 2020, so long as Asia Miles members earn or use their Miles at least once every 18
months, their Miles will remain active. With the new arrangement, members will have more control of their
Miles and enjoy the best choices, however, wherever and whenever they use them. Miles will no longer
expire three years after being credited to their account.”

Note that miles earned before the start of the new year will still expire after 3 years! If you were thinking about making a transfer from Amex, you may therefore wish to hold off until after 1st January 2020.

Bottom line

This is a very welcome change in policy – hard expiry policies are annoying and often prompt members into sub-optimal last minute redemptions (I think I once ended up getting about 0.2p per mile of value from some expiring Flying Blue Miles).

If Asia Miles could now make the website a little more user-friendly, it would be more or less the perfect points/miles programme!


  1. Josh O says

    Hi Joe, great articles as always – I’ve been keeping up to date with you Asia miles articles and have been meaning to email you with a few questions.
    1. Are date changes possible? Ie if I booked a one way trip Dubai-London-LA with the first leg on say 1st March and the 2ng leg on 1st Nov, could I change either of these dates before either leg is flown? Could I change the 2nd leg after the first leg is flown? Obviously I am assuming there is availability. The reason I ask is that perhaps I’d like to take the 2nd leg more the 355 days ahead.
    2. Are mixed classes allowed? Eg premium economy on leg 1 and business on leg 2?
    3. Assuming Q2 is “yes”, are you allowed to switch classes after booking if availability comes up?
    4. I suspect this is no – but could you change the 2nd leg to a different destination after flying the first leg? Eg fly to Las Vegas instead of LA (if there is a slight chance of a yes I guess it would need to be a similar distance, although I guess the answer is no anyway)
    5. Lastly, if you cancel a complete booking before any flights are taken what do you receive by way of refund? Points + cash less a transaction fee? Similar to BAs £35?
    Many thanks in advance and keep the articles coming – great job!

    • Joe Deeney says

      Cheers – glad you’re enjoying them!

      Good questions…

      1) Date changes are fine. Looking at the terms, it seems that flights with Cathay itself can be changed for free online. Anything more complicated and the folloing fees apply:

      “For flights that can only be rebooked through other channels and for other airlines, please contact our Asia Miles service hotline, email us, or get in touch via our social media channels for further assistance. A service fee of USD25 or 1,000 Asia Miles (online form) or USD40 or 4,000 Asia Miles (other channels), per person, per sector applies.”

      The only potentially concerning thing in the terms is where it says “The new travel date (must be) within the ticket validity period” – I’m not sure whether that would scupper your 355+ days plan or not.

      2) Mixed cabin bookings should be allowed (though I’ve never personally attempted one). I can’t remember seeing anything mixed come up when I’ve been searching for space online, so you would likely have to call – and you’ll be charged the full miles for the highest class in the booking.

      3) I can’t see any specific info, but imagine that would be ok (probably subject to the same change fees charged for date changes).

      4) I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be possible.

      5) Destination change (before flying) is $100USD fee or 10k Asia Miles, full cancellation costs $120USD or 12,000 Asia Miles.

      Hope that helps!

    • Andrew M says

      I’ve seen mixed class options offered on the Asia Miles site, though I haven’t booked any. I searched for First and was offered a combination of First and Business. Unlike many frequent flyer programs (Alaska, I’m looking at you!), Asia Miles seems to recalculate the miles required and reduce the amount required when part of the flight is in a lower class.

      • Joe Deeney says

        Very interesting! – I had no idea they recalc the miles. Have you been able to work out roughly the method they use for the calculation?

        • Andrew M says

          I didn’t do the calculation as I wasn’t interested in booking what they offered. It was a decent saving over an all First itinerary so they may well have made a proportionate reduction based on the sectors flown in each class.

  2. spk says

    Hi Joe, is there a feature to read all the latest comments on your blog posts at one place? Some of the posts are fascinating and i’d like to read the comments, but i forget for a while and then the post disappears from the home screen.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Great idea, but sadly not currently possible afaik (I will suggest it to the tech people). I think the best thing to do for now would be to either bookmark the posts you’re interested in when you first see them, or even have a little word file where you just paste the web addresses for the different articles and then you’ve got them all together in one place.

  3. Andrew M says

    One thing to note is that Asia Miles earned before 01/01/20 are not protected by the 18 month activity rule. They will expire, whatever you do, after 3 years.

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