5 Sweet Spots for Cathay Pacific Miles

Asia Miles are great for flying business or first class, whether you book in miles or use them for an upgrade.

Bethany WalshApr 8, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The value of Asia Miles with Cathay Pacific typically depends on your particular needs as a traveler, but there are options for better redemption value if you know where to look.

Award flights booked with Asia Miles are available around the world. You can book on Cathay Pacific’s own flights or on one of several partners, including all of the Oneworld member airlines. Plus, since they’re a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You Points and Capital One Miles, there are plentiful options to redeem.

But not all award travel tickets are created equal, and there are some great ways to redeem Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for maximum value. Here are five high-value redemptions.

1. Business class lie-flat seats to Europe

For 57,500 Asia Miles, you can book one-way business class tickets on fellow Oneworld partner airline American Airlines. American has some awesome lie-flat options for trips across the Atlantic, and since these seats can cost thousands of dollars each way, this can be a valuable way to use miles for comfortable and luxurious trips.

2. Luxurious first class flights from the U.S. to Hong Kong

For one-way flights under 7,500 miles in distance, like flying from the West Coast to Hong Kong, you can book a ticket on Cathay’s own fleet in its luxurious first class cabins for 100,000 Asia Miles.

Flying premium class to Asia is easily one of the best uses for miles since such a long journey can be rather painful for those stuck in regular economy seats.

You’ll also be able to check out the incredible Cathay Pacific lounges at Hong Kong International Airport — consider booking a massage and doing a Champagne tasting while you’re there. If you love bougie lounges, make sure you leave yourself enough time to check out both of Cathay’s first class options.

3. Upgrades

While it may not always be the maximum value, there are so many times when it makes sense to upgrade an existing flight booking with miles rather than pay the cash price for an upgrade. Keep an eye on upgrade options, as there are times when the prices and/or number of points needed for specific airfare classes to certain destinations are a steal.

This is also useful when you don’t have the required number of miles to pay for the higher class cabin. Instead, redeem miles for an upgrade and get the best of both worlds. Just do the math on points versus cash price first.

4. Fly Qantas to Australia for 75-90k miles

One of the most coveted long-haul experiences is flying to Australia on Qantas Airlines. Unfortunately, using Qantas miles can be quite difficult since they don’t have a lot of award availability. But with your Asia Miles, you can fly on a lie-flat seat for as little as 75,000 miles one-way from the West Coast, and up to 90,000 from the East Coast.

Bear in mind this is for a one-way ticket, but with cash prices in the thousands, this still qualifies as one of the sweet spots for Cathay Pacific points.

5. Enhanced award space means better availability for family travel

Booking family travel with awards can be particularly challenging because you're trying to find multiple seats on the same flight. However, Asia Miles adds significant value for anyone looking to book family travel in premium cabin classes: award availability opens up before other Oneworld partner airlines, giving you a head start on booking. You can see awards on other Oneworld airlines before anyone looking to book with that airline’s miles.

Since finding award ticket availability can feel like half the battle, this puts you in a good position to redeem Asia Miles.

The bottom line

Asia Miles are relatively easy to come by since Cathay Pacific has several transfer partners, and you can earn them by flying partner airlines and crediting those flights to your Cathay Pacific account. The tickets may at times be more expensive, but enhanced award availability and the ability to upgrade cash fares using miles make them a valuable option for destinations all over the world.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for: