Cathay Pacific Asia Miles No Longer Expire (With Activity)

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

One very positive development has just been announced for the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flyer program (this comes after some negative changes were made to the program last year).

Cathay Pacific Mileage Expiration Policy Change

Different loyalty programs have different policies on mileage expiration. Generally speaking mileage expiration policies fall into one of three categories:

  • Miles never expire
  • Miles don’t expire as long as you have at least some qualifying activity every so often
  • Miles expire a certain amount of time after they’re earned, regardless of whether or not you have any activity

Historically rewards earned with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles fell into that last category, as Asia Miles expire 36 months after being credited, regardless of whether you had any qualifying activity.

That will finally be changing. As of the New Year (January 1, 2020 HKT), Asia Miles won’t expire as long as members have at least some qualifying activity every 18 months.

Cathay Pacific is changing their mileage expiration policy for the better

What Is “Qualifying Activity?”

Virtually any mileage earning or redeeming activity would be considered qualifying.

On the redemption side, this would include redeeming for flights or lifestyle awards, and on the earning side it would include crediting a flight to Asia Miles, transferring points from a credit card partner, earning points through a hotel partner, etc.

The only activity that wouldn’t extend the expiration of your miles would be things like getting miles refunded to your account from canceling an award, a waitlist redemption application, and mileage expiration.

This Policy Isn’t Being Applied Retroactively

One major catch is that this policy isn’t being applied retroactively:

  • Miles credited on or before December 31, 2019, will follow the existing mileage expiration policy
  • Miles will be used on a first-in-first-out basis, as they transition from the existing time-based system to the new activity-based system
  • Your account will show which miles are subject to the old policies, and which are subject to the new policies

At first I thought it was unnecessarily complicated for them to not apply this retroactively, but I guess in theory they would then be making a change without notice, and for very few people it could be for the worse. For some people it would reduce the validity of miles from 36 months to 18 months (without any activity).

This is a positive policy change for Cathay Pacific

Bottom Line

Having had some Cathay Pacific miles expire in the past due to this 36 month policy, I’m a huge fan of this policy change. They’re the second airline to do so in a short period, as Etihad made a similar policy change recently.

I find it ridiculous when airline miles expire even with activity, since it means even loyal members can have their miles expire. So this is a move in the right direction for the program.

Are you happy to see Cathay Pacific change their mileage expiration policy?

  1. I was happy with headline, because I have miles from a credit card sign up, but then having it not apply retroactively ruins it, in my circumstances.

  2. In contrast to Kate, since I don’t currently have a CX card due to their expiration policy, this change does make me more likely to accrue CX miles in the future. I am also of course quite a bit more interested in getting their CC after 1/1/2020 as well.

    I wonder how this change will affect their financials going forward with having these miles on the books differently?

  3. Good News kind a sorta.Its the reason I refuse to do business with Singapore airlines @ present expiring miles
    My concern with all the unrest going on in Hong Kong is how financially stable Cathay is to withstand the duration of inconsistent business short or long term.
    Secondly I find reward availability to be the worst I have ever seen with the airline in years leaving me weary
    We have seen historically a number of programs airlines go belly up including with members points up in smoke.I still remember Ansett airlines and others that are no longer still standing and members points turning into a pumpkin in thin air
    Just Sayin!!

  4. > “On the redemption side, this would include redeeming for flights or lifestyle awards, and on the earning side it would include crediting a flight to Asia Miles, transferring points from a credit card partner, earning points through a hotel partner, etc.”

    Are you sure about that part (specifically, the bits in bold)? I’m reading their announcement, and I see no reference whatsoever to points transferred in from a credit card partner as qualifying. Note their language: it says “qualifying activity”. It doesn’t say any activity.

    What specifically is your basis for assuming that points transferred in from a credit card partner actually meets their criteria for qualifying activity?

  5. AI:

    Read again. It’s clearly mentioned on the website AM set up for the announcement. Credit card hotel and airline partners transfer is qualifying activity.

  6. This is pretty much the same as with most airlines. Most hotels and airlines just extend the expiration so it’s similar to the same thing. It just sounds better or like they’re providing more. And we have to remember that Cathay is HK’s flagship carrier.

  7. Eligible transactions…

    Earning miles
    Redeeming miles
    Miles top-up
    Points exchange
    Member transfer
    Mile renewal
    Bonus miles
    Gift miles (only for the one receiving)


    Miles expiration
    Wait list redemption application

  8. It’s about time that they fall inline with the other carriers. Every year CX always messing with the Asia miles program which made me leave them. I don’t know if I will come back to CX fares are still high for my budget and the service is getting less.

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