Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program Asia Miles is one of our favourites due to its consistently lower-than-average award redemption rates and high-quality airline partners.

This remains the case, even after Asia Miles’ June 2018 program changes, which produced a mixed bag of good and bad outcomes.

One key thing to note is that the best value redemptions are to be had by redeeming for Premium Economy, Business or First Class flights. To understand why, consider joining the Point Hacks ‘earning more points’ email course.

Here are my top tips for getting maximum value from your Asia Miles balance.

1. When you think Qantas, think Asia Miles

Asia Miles redemption rates are generally cheaper than Qantas Frequent Flyer, especially with Qantas’ pricing increases for premium cabins in September 2019. They also have most of the same partners, as they are part of the same oneworld alliance.

For example, a Business Class seat on Qantas from Perth to Auckland return (via Sydney) will set you back 100,000 Asia Miles, whereas you would have to pay 164,000 Qantas Points for the same privilege.

Our tips for the best uses of 100,000 Asia Miles | Point Hacks
Qantas A330 Business Class

Do note that the main partner that Asia Miles doesn’t have access to where Qantas does is Emirates. Conversely, Asia Miles members can earn and redeem miles on select Star Alliance airlines like Air Canada and Lufthansa, which Qantas members cannot.

Read more: Comparing Asia Miles and Qantas redemptions on Transatlantic travel

2. Fly to Hong Kong in Business/Premium Economy for 60,000/90,000 return

Cathay Pacific has an extensive network from Australia, with about ten daily flights in total from six cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns (service ends 27 October 2019).

You’ll get (generally) excellent customer service and a comfortable lie-flat seat in Business Class on Cathay’s fleet of Airbus A330s and A350s and Boeing 777s.

Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class | Point Hacks
Cathay Pacific’s medium- and long-haul Business Class

If you wanted to save some points or take another person with you, you could fly in Premium Economy for 60,000 miles.

Note that Cathay does not currently offer its First Class product on flights to Australia. Therefore, look to connecting flights to US cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, and European cities such as London Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt for that luxurious experience.

Read more: Guide to making Asia Miles redemptions: stopovers, award holds and pricing quirks

3. Fly the modern A350 in Business Class to Europe or Canada for 85,000 one-way

The Airbus A350 is the newest plane in Cathay Pacific’s fleet. Compared to the A330 and 777, it offers wifi connectivity, increased oxygen circulation (which reduces jetlag), more storage and an improved modern design.

Cathay Pacific A350 external photo
A Cathay Pacific Airbus A350

As of late October 2019, the airline will operate the A350 on all Australian routes except Adelaide. Other routes within our region include Auckland, Bangkok, Singapore and Taipei, with London, New York, Rome and Vancouver further afield.

4. Fly to South America in LATAM or Qantas Business Class for 75,000 one-way

South America is one of the most expensive continents for travellers from Australia to get to. Luckily, the two nonstop flights from Australia are both operated by oneworld airlines, meaning you can use your Asia Miles to avoid spending a lot of cash on your ticket.

Our tips for the best uses of 100,000 Asia Miles | Point Hacks
LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class is available from Sydney and Melbourne to Santiago

Previously, you had to book a return ticket on LATAM using Asia Miles. That restriction has now been lifted.

However, note that LATAM is leaving the oneworld alliance on 1 October 2020. That means you’ll want to use your Asia Miles for travel on LATAM before they leave.

Read more: How to use your frequent flyer points to get to South America

5. Fly in Qantas or American Airlines Business Class from Sydney to Los Angeles for 75,000 one-way

It can be very difficult to find award space in Business Class on any airline on nonstop flights between Australia and the US.

Our tips for the best uses of 100,000 Asia Miles | Point Hacks
American Airlines 777 Business Class

However, if you are lucky enough to come across availability in Qantas or American Airlines Business Class, you’ll save over 33,000 points by redeeming an award through Asia Miles (75,000 miles) rather than Qantas (108,400 points).

Read more: Using Asia Miles as an alternative for redeeming points for flights to the US

6. Fly to Doha in a Qatar Airways Qsuite from 70,000 one-way

The Qsuite is arguably the world’s best Business Class product and we are lucky to have it flying from Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

Qatar Airways Qsuite
Qatar Airways Qsuite

You’ll pay 70,000 miles for one-way redemption from Perth or Adelaide. However, Sydney and Canberra are 20,000 miles more expensive.

Read more: Qatar redemption guide

7. Book with certain partners to minimise fuel surcharges

The following airlines attract no or minimal fuel surcharges when using Asia Miles:

  • Aer Lingus
  • American Airlines (except flights to/from Europe)
  • Iberia
  • LATAM

Read more: Guide to the airlines and frequent flyer programs that charge the lowest fuel surcharges

8. Fly around the world on oneworld carriers on one award

Using the oneworld Multi-Carrier award chart, you can travel on a lengthy round-the world-itinerary in Business or First Class. You can get up to five stopovers and two open-jaws on a combination of oneworld carriers, including Cathay Pacific.

Our tips for the best uses of 100,000 Asia Miles | Point Hacks

The major advantage of this Asia Miles redemption over Qantas’ equivalent is that it is far cheaper!

Qantas allows a round-the-world itinerary of up to 35,000 miles but charges 318,000 and 455,000 Qantas Points in Business and First, respectively. For a similar distance, Asia Miles only charges 210,000 and 300,000 miles in Business and First Class.

Read more: Asia Miles round-the-world redemption guide

Summing up

Asia Miles is one of our top four frequent flyer program recommendations for travellers in Australia (along with Qantas, Velocity and KrisFlyer).

That’s partly due to their favourable medium- and long-haul redemption rates, especially compared to Qantas Frequent Flyer. In fact, the most you can pay for a one-way Cathay Pacific Business flight anywhere in the world is 85,000 miles.

Finally, Asia Miles partners with a large number of high-quality airlines such as Qantas, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways.

To book a redemption using your Asia Miles, start by clicking here.

What has been your best-value redemption for Asia Miles? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Supplementary images courtesy of Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles.


Looking for more inspiration for how to spend your hard-earned frequent flyer points?

Here is a comprehensive list of all of our Best Uses of Points guides. There may be some overlap but each guide has its own twist.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Velocity Frequent Flyer

American Express Membership Rewards

Asia Miles

KrisFlyer

Etihad Guest

Emirates Skywards

8 ways to get the most out of 100,000 Asia Miles was last modified: November 22nd, 2019 by Matt Moffitt
8 ways to get the most out of 100,000 Asia Miles was last modified: November 22nd, 2019 by Matt Moffitt