Asia Miles is the points program for the oneworld member airline Cathay Pacific. It’s an extremely versatile scheme that’s equally good for booking short Qantas flights and big round-the-world trips involving multiple partner airlines.
While it’s not possible to directly earn Asia Miles from credit cards in Australia, there are a few flexible points programs that do have partnerships. In this article, we will guide you through all the essential questions you should consider to ensure you maximise the points earning potential of your credit card.
What is the best Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit card sign-up bonus deal?
|Card||Bonus Flexible |
|Asia Miles (equivalent)||Annual Fee||Expiry||Card Guide|
American Express Platinum
|250,000 Membership Rewards |
|2:1||125,000 Asia Miles||$1750 p.a.||30 June 2021||Read Here|
American Express Platinum ↓
|Up to 200,000 Membership |
|2:1||Up to 100,000 Asia Miles||$1,450 p.a.||ongoing||Read Here|
ANZ Rewards Black ↓
|180,000 ANZ |
|3:1||60,000 Asia Miles||$0 for the first year, $375 p.a. ongoing||ongoing||Read Here|
Westpac Altitude Black ↓
|150,000 Altitude Points||3:1||50,000 Asia Miles||$250 p.a.||7 September 2021||Read Here|
NAB Rewards Signature ↓
|120,000 NAB |
|3:1||40,000 Asia Miles||$295 p.a.||ongoing||Read Here|
American Express Explorer ↓
Membership Rewards Points
|2:1||25,000 Asia Miles||$395||ongoing||Read Here|
What is the best credit card for Asia Miles?
Find below a roundup of some flexible points earning cards that allow transfer to Asia Miles with noteworthy bonus offers to know about this month.
What is the easiest way to earn Asia Miles?
In Australia, the easiest way to earn Asia Miles is by first earning points in other participating rewards programs, then transfer those points onwards to Asia Miles.
The main benefit of this arrangement is that you have flexibility in where your rewards points go. Just send them to your Asia Miles account when it suits you, rather than wait for a monthly transfer. Sometimes, there are bonuses for transferring too.
These programs can transfer to Asia Miles:
- American Express Membership Rewards: 2 points to 1 Asia Mile
- ANZ Rewards: 3 points to 1 Asia Mile
- Westpac Altitude: 3 points to 1 Asia Mile
- HSBC Rewards: 2 points to 1 Asia Mile
- Citi Rewards: 2.5 points to 1 Asia Mile (Citi Prestige card only)
- NAB Rewards: 3 points to 1 Asia Mile
- Commonwealth Awards: 3 points to 1 Asia Mile
What do I look for in an Asia Miles-earning credit card?
- Transfer rates: One of the most important things to keep in mind that the aforementioned flexible reward programs have different transfer ratios to Asia Miles. This means you could get different rewards from two cards that offer the same sign-up bonus and earn rates.
For example, 120,000 Membership Rewards points would convert to 60,000 Asia Miles, while 120,000 Altitude Points would only convert to 40,000 Asia Miles.
- Earn rates: Another important consideration – how many Asia Miles can you earn on an ongoing basis? Each card has its own ‘effective earn rate’ which can be worked out from the points you earn from the card, divided by its transfer rate to Asia Miles.
For example, a card that earns 2 reward points per dollar spent and has a 3:1 transfer rate to Asia Miles will effectively earn you 0.66 Asia Miles per dollar spent.
As of September 2020, one of the highest effective earn rates is 1.125 Asia Miles per $1 spent uncapped, through the American Express Platinum Charge Card.
Most non-Amex cards will effectively earn 0.33 to 1 Asia Mile per dollar, depending on the card type. Some cards will have caps on the number of points earned per month, which is something to keep in mind if you have got a few large purchases coming up.
- Bonus points offer: Most cards will have big bonus points offers to lure new customers in. It is not uncommon to see signup bonuses of 100,000 rewards points or more (which may be worth between 33,000 to 50,000 Asia Miles)!
Just be mindful not to let the offers distract you from doing your homework. Check annual fees and spending criteria before applying.
- Bonus travel inclusions: Higher-end credit cards will throw in extras to enhance your travel experience – one of the best being Priority Pass membership for lounge access. Consider if these will be of any use to you.
- Included insurances: Platinum-grade rewards credit cards tend to include some form of complimentary insurances. Most common is travel insurance, which is activated when you purchase flights or accommodation with the card.
Be sure to read the Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) very carefully, as these free insurances often have lots of clauses that can catch you out.
Other cards might go above-and-beyond and include price-drop protection, extra extended warranties on products, or even smartphone screen damage cover.
What do I need to be mindful of with Asia Miles-earning credit cards?
Like any other credit card, you should take the following financial factors into account when deciding which rewards card is best for you.
- Annual fee: The annual fee is a yearly charge that most credit cards have. Charged by the issuing bank, it covers the benefits you get from the cards.
The bigger the inclusions with your rewards credit card, the higher the annual fee. For example, both the $1,450-a-year American Express Platinum Charge card and the $195-a-year Platinum Edge card have the ability to earn Asia Miles at comparable rates but are quite different in other offerings. You’ll need to assess which one best suits your needs.
Unless there is a special ‘no annual fee’ promotion, expect most rewards-earning credit cards to have an annual fee to cover some of the costs of your benefits.
- Interest rate: All rewards cards have high-interest rates – they simply are not designed for carrying a balance over month-to-month. If you have issues with credit card debt, a rewards card may not be the best option right now, as the fees and interest incurred will outweigh any Asia Miles earned.
- Interest-free days: Most credit cards will allow between 44-55 days interest-free for your purchases, which is standard. This gives you a little breathing space to pay off your purchases next month.
- Income requirements: Platinum-level rewards credit cards will usually require a higher income level to apply for it. You will usually have to back up your reported income with recent electronic payslips or bank statements.
If you live with a partner, your combined household income might be taken into account as well. Check the terms and conditions carefully before applying.
What do I need to know before I apply for an Asia Miles credit card?
Here is a quick checklist of what you should know before applying for a rewards credit card:
- Am I eligible for the bonus points? Most cards will exclude you from bonus points if you have held their credit cards in the last 12-18 months. This will be in the terms and conditions.
- Can I easily fulfil the criteria for bonus points? Most bonus point offers will require you to spend more than a certain amount (often $1000+) per month, for a few months.
If this is difficult for you to achieve with normal household spend or paying some bills early up-front, then this might not be the right credit card for you.
- Is my credit score healthy? The chances of having your application accepted are much better if you have a good credit history.
How can I earn Asia Miles after I get my credit card?
Once you get your rewards credit card, be sure to meet the minimum spend requirements to unlock your sign-up bonus. Once that is safely locked away, there are a few strategies to ensure you keep on earning lots of rewards points that you can later transfer to Asia Miles.
- Put your everyday purchases on the card: from hotel packages to bills, streaming TV to food delivery, you can maximise your points earned by putting most of your normal household expenses on the credit card and paying it off in full every month.
- Keep an eye out for bonus offers: Check out our Frequent Flyer Deals Page for the latest promos on earning even more points.
- Take advantage of transfer bonuses: Flexible rewards programs often run transfer bonuses that might offer 15-40% more points when transferring to certain programs. If Asia Miles is part of the promo, then that could be a good time to transfer.
Frequently asked questions
The following answers are general advice and do not take into account your personal circumstances. Be sure to consider all aspects of a credit card before applying.
The best frequent flyer card depends on everyone’s individual circumstances. This guide will help you understand all aspects of a rewards-branded credit card so you can make the best choice for yourself.
In Australia, there are no direct Asia Miles earning cards. However, this guide will show you other cards you can apply for that can transfer reward points to Asia Miles.
In general, higher-tier credit cards with higher annual fees will come with heftier sign-up bonuses and a more solid points earning rate.
Asia Miles is a very useful points program for travel with Cathay Pacific, Qantas and other oneworld partner airlines. Read more in our starter guide to the Asia Mile program.