Transfer Amex Points To Cathay Pacific With Up To A 30% Bonus

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Update: This offer for the Citi Premier℠ Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.

At the moment, the US American Express Membership Rewards seems to have a targeted transfer bonus to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. You’ll want to log-in here to see what kind of a bonus you’re targeted for. There’s no expiry listed, so if you are interested and targeted, I’d take advantage of the offer sooner rather than later.

Earn Amex points with these cards

It seems like the most common bonuses are 10%-30%, though some members also aren’t targeted for a bonus at all.

The transfer ratio is usually 1:1, and this transfer bonus is hard coded into the ratio, meaning the bonus should post at the same time as the regular points.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is also transfer partners with Citi ThankYou, so another great way to earn Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is with the Citi Premier℠ Card, which has an increased bonus of up to 60K points right now.

Asia Miles isn’t anywhere close to being my favorite frequent flyer program, and they even made some further changes to their program as of this past June, which were largely negative.

For reference, here’s the Asia Miles award chart for travel on Cathay Pacific:

Then here’s the award chart valid for travel on partner airlines:

So if you have a balance of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and want to top off an account for a redemption, or if you just want to outright transfer enough points for a redemption, this is a good opportunity to do so. While I used to think their chart was uncompetitive, nowadays other programs have gotten worse to the point that it actually looks sort of appealing.

For example, redeeming 110,000 miles for a one-way first class ticket from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Hong Kong isn’t a bad value, especially when you can get a 30% transfer bonus. You could book the same ticket in business class for 70,000 miles, not factoring in any transfer bonus.

Redeem Asia Miles for travel in Cathay Pacific first class

Bottom line

It’s rare to see transfer bonuses to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, so this is potentially a good opportunity. We did see a transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou earlier this summer, but otherwise it’s quite rare.

While Asia Miles is far from my favorite program, there are plenty of circumstances under which redeeming through them represents a good value.

What kind of a bonus are you targeted for on Amex to Cathay Pacific transfers?

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  1. CX devalued the program back in June, and ever since there are all sorts of problems with availability. Buyer Beware

  2. I received a 10% Asia Miles bonus offer. I made use of this offer and transferred MR points to Asia Miles last night. This morning, the transferred points are already showing in my Asia Miles account. Citi ThankYou had Asia Miles transfer bonuses both this year and last year. Hopefully the trend of AMEX and Citi offering Asia Miles point transfer bonuses will continue in the future.

  3. @lucky “While Asia Miles is far from my favorite program, there are plenty of circumstances under which redeeming through them represents a good value.”

    I’m curious…could you give me some examples of when redeeming miles through them would represent a good value?

  4. @ AJ — For one, if you want to redeem on Royal Brunei and Gulf Air, both of which are airlines that may not interest everyone, but they do interest me. But beyond that, if you have Amex points and want to fly Cathay Pacific business or first class to Asia, this is the best opportunity to do so. With a 30% bonus you’d pay 54K in J and 85K in F.

  5. I’ve got the 30% bonus offer and this is attractive.

    Is there a way to redeem miles for LAX-HKG-BKK as a single award or does that have to be done as two tickets? When I choose LAX as the origin airport on the Asiamiles website, it doesn’t let me choose BKK as the destination, I can only choose as far as HKG.

  6. I’m with Nick & Jen-Chou. No CX bonus, but I did transfer to Virgin Atlantic at the 1.3 ration. 94,000 MR into 120,000 VA Miles then used them for 1st Class RT ANA IAD-NRT. ANA charges 150,000 Miles RT.

    But must be RT. So I’m building two #RTW Trips. Outbound ANA then LH to FRA then IAD.

    2nd in May IAD-AUH-SYD-SIN-NRT-IAD. Should get a DreamLiner flight where the sun comes up and goes down; a Shower w Apartment (using AA Miles); & Singapore’s new suite. This will be 1st RTW going east. Going west has great jet-lag (get up early), so should be interesting.

    3 of 8 legs ticketed & 1 on hold. At least 1 leg, probably not available till close to departure

    Waiting for transferred points to miles to post for 3 legs. Disappointed that an August 16 SPG transfer has not posted.

    Total points ~720,000.

  7. CX has gone all stingy with their award availability. In many instances it’s worse with AM than with other OW partners such as QFF and BAEC. In many cases where award seats can be seen and booked with QFF/BAEC, those seats can’t be seen by AM as standard awards, but rather as tailored or choice award. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or just a glitch. But it’s all over FT. I would avoid AM in the mean time. It used to be one of my favorite program but not anymore.

  8. God dammit we need this in Canada. Maybe RBC will step up with a bonus. They have not had one in ages for Asia miles.

  9. @gavinmac — I think I was experiencing what you are, and I also think I found a workaround.

    On the Asia Miles site, follow all the steps to look for a ticket to any destination that it’ll let you choose. Oddly, you can’t choose cities such as BKK, DEL, BOM, a few others, even though Cathay flies there, but you can choose HKG, SYD, and others. You also have to choose your airline. Make sure to choose an airline that’s bookable online (vs. the ones where you need to submit a form).

    Go through the motions until it launches a new page and brings up the (usually waitlisted) flights. From this page, click on “New Search” just below your departing dates, confirm that you’re okay with leaving that page, and then… you get to a much better booking page. And the cities that didn’t populate previously now do. And you don’t have to do that odd “choose airline” that comes up in the first search window.

    To get back to this page a bit easier, bookmark the page, but only use the bookmark once you’re logged into your account. Otherwise it just takes you back to the beginning.

    And I can only speak for this allowing you to book Cathay flights. I have to travel to Hong Kong and either Sydney or Melbourne four times/year, so this has been my go-to for those flights. And with a 30% bonus, roundtrip in J on CX for 131k miles is ridiculously good. (And FWIW every time I’ve booked a Cathay flight on waitlist it’s cleared. About 6 round trips in the past year, plus a few more that I ended up not booking.)

    Good luck!

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