At the moment, the US American Express Membership Rewards seems to have a transfer bonus for Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, which may very well be targeted. All the accounts I manage offer a bonus of 30%, though it’s possible that other accounts don’t. When you log into your Amex account you may see the offer at the top right of the page.
However, don’t necessarily go to the transfer page just yet:
- This transfer bonus may be targeted, and different accounts may be eligible for different bonuses (and some may not be targeted at all)
- There’s no end date for this promotion, so it’s a “flash bonus,” meaning it could be pulled within days
- It’s possible that once you look at the bonus, it won’t appear again, so only look at the actual transfer page if you’re ready to transfer points
The transfer ratio for Amex to Cathay Pacific 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. So if you’re eligible for a 30% bonus, you’re looking at earning 1,300 Asia Miles per 1,000 Membership Rewards points.
Note that Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is also transfer partners with Capital One and Citi ThankYou, so there are several other great cards that can help you earn Asia Miles, including the Citi Premier® Card (review).
Asia Miles isn’t anywhere close to being my favorite frequent flyer program, and they even made some further changes to their program last 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
We saw a similar targeted Cathay Pacific transfer bonus last fall, and now we’re seeing a similar one again. Last year we also saw a 15% Asia Miles transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou.
While Asia Miles is far from my favorite program, there are plenty of circumstances under which redeeming through them represents a good value.
Were you targeted for an Amex Cathay Pacific transfer bonus, and if so, do you plan on taking advantage of it?