Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is the latest program to devalue its points, with increases incoming to most flight redemption rates. While there are some minor reductions for Economy flights, journeys in Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class will all soon require more miles.

Impacted are bookings on Cathay Pacific itself, as well as those on partner airlines. But members still have a few months to redeem miles at the program’s current rates, before the Asia Miles devaluation comes into effect. The revised rates below apply to new bookings made from 1 October 2023. But you can book now – even for travel after that date – and secure your booking at the existing rates.

You can also book now for travel later on, and change your flight after 1 October 2023. If you change onto a comparable flight – such as on the same airline, same route and in the same cabin class – you won’t be charged any extra miles. But if you change any of these aspects after 1 October, the cost of your booking in miles will be recalculated at the new rates.

Here’s a look at how Cathay Pacific’s new Asia Miles redemption rates shape up post-devaluation.

Booking Cathay Pacific flights after the Asia Miles devaluation

Once the Asia Miles devaluation comes into play, booking Cathay Pacific’s flights between Australia and Hong Kong becomes more expensive in all premium cabins. Whether you’re travelling from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, here’s what that looks like for a one-way booking to Hong Kong.

Cabin class / one-way flightBookings before 1 OctoberBookings from 1 OctoberNet change (rounded)
Economy Class22,000 Asia Miles20,000 Asia Miles9% reduction in miles
Premium Economy Class30,000 Asia Miles38,000 Asia Miles27% increase in miles
Business Class45,000 Asia Miles58,000 Asia Miles29% increase in miles

Journeys to other destinations are impacted too. For instance, when flying Cathay Pacific from Australia to London via Hong Kong. When your time in Hong Kong is a mere transit (under 24 hours), here’s how those changes shake out.

Cabin class / one-way flightBookings before 1 OctoberBookings from 1 OctoberNet change (rounded)
Economy Class42,000 Asia Miles38,000 Asia Miles9% reduction in miles
Premium Economy Class60,000 Asia Miles75,000 Asia Miles25% increase in miles
Business Class85,000 Asia Miles110,000 Asia Miles29% increase in miles

Interestingly, those long journeys follow the same trends as flights to Hong Kong itself. That is, Business Class will need 29% more Asia Miles to secure a seat following the October devaluation – whether you’re merely flying to Asia or travelling beyond. We haven’t listed First Class above, as Cathay Pacific doesn’t offer First Class to Australia.

Some other changes apply too, including redemption rates on Cathay Pacific’s shorter flights. For the full details, head to the airline’s website.

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Booking partner airline flights through Asia Miles post-devaluation

This latest Asia Miles devaluation also impacts bookings made using miles on the program’s partner airlines. Notably, this includes multi-city itineraries, such as round the world bookings.

Currently, Asia Miles members can book a multi-airline, multi-destination ticket for no more than 240,000 Asia Miles in Business Class. From 1 October, that cap heightens to 280,000 miles.

Multi-city journeys of shorter distances, including very simplistic round the world tickets, are also impacted. Right now, travellers can book Business Class from Sydney to Hong Kong, onwards to London, around to New York, across to Los Angeles and back to Sydney for 180,000 Asia Miles. From October, that same itinerary costs 250,000 Asia Miles.

You can also expect changes to other partner airline award bookings. But those increases are harder to discern, as Cathay doesn’t publish simple partner award tables. In most cases, the number of miles needed to fly with a partner only appears during the booking process. That is, except for multi-airline, multi-destination tickets, as we’ve just described.

This revision will include both increases and decreases in the miles required to redeem flights with Cathay Pacific and our partner airlines. The new structure is based on Cathay Pacific’s and our airline partners’ current network, with considerations on the market situation of different routes and destinations.

– Cathay Pacific statement, 7 July 2023

Summing up

Cathay’s Asia Miles devaluation follows a raft of changes to local and global loyalty programs over the past 12 months. In the last fortnight alone, we’ve seen cuts announced to some frequent flyer conversion rates from Amex Membership Rewards and Amplify Rewards.

Locally, Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program also hasn’t been immune from change. Late last year, redemption rates increased on many partner airline flights, with carrier charges also added when booking Singapore Airlines flights. This year, the program is preparing to roll out a higher ‘Tier 3’ booking rate for some domestic Economy flights – requiring more points to secure the same seat.

Etihad Guest and Virgin Atlantic also rolled out new redemption rates this year, with increases on some partner airline flights. With Cathay Pacific though, the Asia Miles devaluation comes at an interesting time. Unlike the rest of the world, Hong Kong has only more recently fully opened to international visitors. These changes ultimately make it harder to get there in comfort – albeit marginally more affordable points-wise if flying in Economy.

Also read: American Express adds Avios and HawaiianMiles, devalues KrisFlyer and Skywards

Feature image courtesy of Cathay Pacific.

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Cathay Pacific Asia Miles devaluation: more miles needed for the pointy end was last modified: August 24th, 2023 by Chris Chamberlin