From now until the end of the year, you can earn a 30% bonus when you transfer hotel points to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program. There are over 15 participating hotel programs, though the most lucrative transfer will likely be from Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).
Earn a 30% Bonus When You Transfer Hotel Points to Asia Miles
This promotion is available to all Asia Miles members, and the terms and conditions state that “the 30% bonus miles will be counted based on their total miles converted from hotel points.” This means transferring 20,000 SPG points will yield 25,000 “regular” Asia Miles, plus 7,500 “bonus” Asia Miles, for a total of 32,500 Asia miles from 20,000 SPG points. That’s a net 1:1.625 ratio (62.5% bonus) if you transfer in 20,000-point increments!
Alternatively, you can also transfer 270,000 Marriott points (= 90,000 SPG points), which will yield you 85,000 Asia miles (110,500 miles after bonus) + 7 nights at a Category 1 – 5 hotel.
Other Participating hotel programs include the following (rates are before the 30% bonus):
- AccorHotels: 2 points = 1 Asia Mile
- Best Western: 5,000 points = 1,000 Asia Miles
- Hilton HHonors: 10,000 points = 1,000 Asia Miles
- Hyatt Gold Passport: 2.5 points = 1 Asia Mile
- IHG Rewards Club: 5 points = 1 Asia Mile
- Jin Jiang J-Club: 6,000 points = 600 Asia Miles
- Jinling: 3,200 points = 500 Asia Miles
- Marriott: 10,000 points = 1,500 Asia Miles
- New Century: 1,600 points = 300 Asia Miles
- Park Plaza: 10 points = 1 Asia Mile
- Radisson: 10 points = 1 Asia Mile
- Regal Rewards: 15,000 points = 1,000 Asia Miles
- Shangri-La Golden Circle: 1 point = 1 Asia Mile
- Wanda Club: 4 points = 1 Asia Mile
Things to Keep in Mind
There isn’t a limit on the amount of bonus points you can earn, so you can transfer as many points in as you’d like. However, the bonus will post separately from the transfers, and only in one go. So any bonus miles earned from this promotion will likely not post until at least the end of this promotion, which is December 31, 2016 (Hong Kong time). Asia Miles says the points will be in the account by March 31, 2017. For this reason, I wouldn’t plan on being able to use the entire balance right away.
Since you will only get the best bonus from transferring points in pretty substantial increments, you might want to top off the account for a specific award. Asia Miles is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou, so you can transfer ThankYou points to Asia Miles in a 1:1 ratio. Though keep in mind that ThankYou is not a hotel program, so you won’t earn bonus on that transfer.
Primer on Asia Miles Redemptions
Cathay Pacific has a distance-based award redemption scheme, and two major award charts. One for traveling with just one carrier, and one for two oneworld carriers. With either of these charts, you can also add any Cathay Pacific flights (like Alaska’s scheme).
They do tag on fuel surcharge for most flights, though fuel surcharge to/from Hong Kong are usually pretty mild. For example, SFO-HKG roundtrip redemption will come with about US$150 in total taxes/fees.
Asia Miles has pretty flexible routing rules: You are allowed one stopover on a one-way trip. For round-trip itineraries, you are allowed two stopovers, two transfers, or one open-jaw (except for travel on Iberia or Air China, where open-jaws or stopovers are not allowed). You can book simple one-way and round-trip flights operated by Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, and Qatar directly on Asia Miles’ website. For more complicated trips, you’ll have to call to book, though be prepared for long hold times.
With distance-based award charts, you can typically find some nice geographical sweet spots for redemptions. For example, Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong are both under 7,500 miles. This means that you can fly round-trip in Business Class for just 120,000 Asia Miles. If you factor in the effective 62.5% bonus with SPG transfers, you can spend just ~74,000 SPG points for round-trip Business Class from the West Coast to Hong Kong! If you’re leaving from San Francisco, you can easily tag on a flight onward to Taipei, and the total will still be under 7,500 miles.
Asia Miles doesn’t officially have a hold policy, though their supervisors on the phones do have the power hold a ticket. I have seen them allow a hold for anywhere between 3 days and 3 weeks, and it’s seems to be a highly YMMV situation. However, they are only able to guarantee seats on flights operated by Cathay Pacific; while partner flights will technically “appear” on any held itinerary, the award space is not guaranteed.
Will you take advantage of this promotion?