With Singapore Airlines running a rare credit card points to KrisFlyer miles transfer bonusthis month, it’s not too surprising to see rival Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles programme following suit, with its regular annual offer running again in late 2020 / early 2021.
Unlike KrisFlyer, the Asia Miles transfer bonus has been a standard fixture for the last couple of years in early January, but this time we’re getting a heads-up that the limited time deal will startthe minute the KrisFlyer one ends, at 00:00 on 28th December 2020.
Miles of Possibilities – Miles more rewarded
Back in January 2019 Asia Miles offereda 15% transfer bonus, while almost exactly a year later in January 2020a 10% bonuswas offered.
This year Asia Miles is giving its members advance notice of the offer,“Miles of Possibilities – Miles more rewarded”,perhapsjust in case you were ready to take the plunge with the KrisFlyer bonus!
Registration starts on 28 December 2020. We will contact you again on that day with the registration link! This means you have a few more weeks to collect as many credit card points as you can before converting them for an extra 15% Miles.
This time round the bonus is targeted at either the10%or15%level. We have both received the 15% bonus, though some readers have already reported to us getting the lower 10% bonus.
We last transferred into Asia Miles from our BOC Elite Miles cards in May this year, following the bank’s short notice devaluation of its points. Recent activity may be a factor, but it’s not clear exactly how they chose who is eligible for each bonus level.
How it works
You’ll need to register for this promotion, via a designated link (yet to be provided) between 28th December 2020 and 31st January 2021 in order to be eligible.
You’ll then get an email confirmation of your registration, and will be eligible for either the 10% or 15% bonus levels (depending which of the two your account is targeted for) when transferring miles from an eligible finance partner before 31st January 2021.
There is no limit to the number of miles conversions you can complete and no limit on the amount of points converted during this promotion.
Unlike the current KrisFlyer promo, bonus miles in this case will be credited to your Asia Miles accountwithin 8 to 10 weeksafter the end of the promotion, which means you’ll get the usual transfer rate initially, topped up with the relevant bonus level credited by 11th April 2021 at the latest.
Eligible Finance Partners
If you accrue points with almost any worldwide credit card that supports Asia Miles conversion, you’ll be eligible for the transfer bonus.
There isan extensive list of eligible partners(pick your country in the top menu to check the list), but for most of our readers based in Singapore these are the ones of interest:
|Citi ThankYou Points / Citi Miles|
|HSBC Reward Points|
|Maybank TREATS Points|
For our US readers, American Express, Citi and Brex transfers are included, while those in Australia can benefit by transferring from WestPac, HSBC and ANZ.
What if the bonus doesn’t credit?
You’ll have until31st May 2021to notify Asia Miles if you do not receive the expected bonus miles. That’s a reasonable window since the bonus miles should have come through at least seven weeks before that.
From 1st June 2021 onwards it’s unfortunately too late to claim any missing bonus, so be sure to check and diarise a chase-up if required.
Are Asia Miles worth having?
Asia Miles underwent a ‘revaluation’ in 2018. If you’re a pessimist, it would have been broadly regarded as a 10% ‘devaluation’, though that isfar too simplisticbecause depending on how you used Asia Miles before the change you could be even worse off than that, or actually be better off than you were before.
Wecovered the details at the time, but broadly speaking using Asia Miles for upgrades became poorer value, while some ‘pure’ flight redemptions fell in cost (like one-way Singapore to Hong Kong / Bangkok, Hong Kong to London or Sydney to London) and others became more expensive (like one-way Hong Kong to San Francisco and return Hong Kong to London routings).
To us, Asia Milesisa scheme worth considering holding a miles balance with. It won’t suit everyone though, and KrisFlyer is arguably more flexible for Singapore-based flyers.
Using Asia Miles to redeem awards on oneworld airlines remains an attractive proposition too.
Qatar’s Qsuite from Singapore to Europe via Doha will set you back70,000 Asia Miles(instead of 124,000 Avios or 119,200 Qantas points, for example).
That’s a great rate for the Qsuite, howeverthe recent ‘revaluation’ of Qatar’s Privilege Club milesmeans it’s now better to avoid the carrier’s fuel surcharge by paying 5,000 more miles but saving the extortionate fees along the way.
If you’re targeted at the 15% bonus rate under this offer you can transfer60,900 milesinstead, with the bonus brining you up to the required 70,000 Asia Miles total, but of course you’ll have to wait a while to redeem as those bonus miles won’t credit immediately.
Many credit cards also require you to transfer in rounded quantities, for example in 10,000-mile blocks, so do bear that in mind if you are chasing a specific redemption threshold.
Asia Miles no longer expire
Since 1st January 2020, any Asia Miles credited to your account will no longer expire provided you earn or redeem at least one mile every 18 months.
We wrote about the change in detailat the time, and even if you aren’t a frequent user of the programme there are some relatively simple ways to top up your balance, thereby keeping all of your miles ‘alive’ for another 18 months, including shopping in FairPrice.
Compared to the current KrisFlyer bonus, a transfer to Asia Miles may therefore be a slightly safer option, especially if you’re targeted at the 15% bonus level, since you won’t run the risk of your miles expiring in three years provided you interact with the programme once in a while.
Cathay Pacific has abolished fuel surcharges
Earlier this year we wrote about how Cathay Pacific has abolished fuel surcharges on award tickets, and also took the opportunity to look ataward ‘sweet spots’with the carrier.
There are great options to fly in Business Class from Singapore or Bangkok to Europefor just 65,000 Asia Mileswith Cathay, while paying minimal taxes and fees plus experiencing some great lounge options in Hong Kong during your transit.
Terms and conditions
We’ve covered most of the major rules for this bonus miles promotion, but you can also read the full terms and conditions for yourselfhere.
With the KrisFlyer 15-20% bonus miles promotion for credit card transfers coming to a close, Asia Miles is keen to encourage you to transfer some of your points across to its own programme with a 10-15% bonus running from 28th December 2020 to 31st January 2021.
Standby for the registration link later this month if you’re interested to take advantage of this uncapped offer, which may be a good opportunity to draw down expiring (or simply large) points balances into this popular and useful programme.
Remember you will need to register for this offer, a process that hasn’t started yet, so don’t jump the gun by transferring now as no bonus will be applied.
With reasonable (and easily achieved) account activity at least once every 18 months, your Asia Miles balance will not expire, and you might also see this bonus offer as a way to protect against possible future devaluations in the programme.