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Asia Miles will now expire after 18 months without qualifying account activity. The recent change will be an improvement over the old program where the miles expired after 36 months, regardless of activity.
Starting January 1, 2020, Asia Miles will no longer expire as long as there has been qualifying activity. On December 10, 2019, they updated the website, stating:
We’ve listened to your needs when it comes to making the most of living a Life Rewarded. That’s why, starting from 1 January 2020, we’ll be making our Miles as timeless as the experiences and memories you create with us. They’ll no longer expire as long as you earn or use your Miles regularly. Get ready to discover all the rewarding possibilities with our new arrangement.
Asia Miles Expiration Policy Change
Asia Miles' new expiration policy puts it on even footing with the majority of loyalty programs. At one extreme, we’ve seen several programs align themselves with Delta’s policy that miles never expire—regardless of account activity. At the other end of the spectrum, some programs still expire miles a certain number of months after they were earned—even if you have account activity.
Asia Miles was a part of the latter group until recently, with miles expiring after three years regardless of activity. That meant that whether or not you traveled on Cathay Pacific (or another airline partner), stayed at a partner hotel, earned miles through a credit card, or even transferred points in, you would lose your miles 36 months later.
After January 1, 2020, Asia Miles won't expire as long as you have some qualifying activity at least once every 18 months. Qualifying activity includes transferring points into your account, buying or spending miles, and booking travel with a qualifying partner. It's important to note that any miles transferred in or earned previous to 1/1/2020 will still expire as per the previous Terms & Conditions.
Reset Expiration with Points Earned from Credit Cards
Asia Miles offers a co-branded Cathay Pacific Visa Signature® card by Synchrony in the US. The card earns 2X when purchasing eligible airfare on Cathay. Dining purchases (in the U.S. or abroad) earn 1.5X. All other purchases earn at a rate of 1 point per dollar.
Several of the well-established transferable points currencies can be transferred to Asia Miles. These include American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy. Using AwardWallet's handy tracking tool, you can determine approximately how long you'll have to wait for your points to transfer.
American Express Membership Rewards (Immediate transfer – 1:1 Ratio)
I've said it before, but here it is again: these are my favorite because there are so many different ways to earn them. There are 19 total airline partners to redeem with, too. Amex is a great way to reset your Asia Miles balance because transfers post instantly, unlike Citi ThankYou and Marriott.
Furthermore, Premium cards such as the The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms Apply) or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms Apply) provide access to over 1,300 lounges through Priority Pass. Additionally, American Express has 19 current lounges that can help ease the typical airport stress with food and beverage offerings. Nine of those are Premium Amex Centurion Lounges with six more coming soon.
- 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
Capital One (4-5 days transfer – 2:1.5 Ratio)
Capital One is newer to the partner transfer game, as it has typically been known for its cashback cards. Like Amex, Capital One Rewards transfer to Asia Miles, but the transfer times appear to be lengthy. Four to five days seems excessive, but representatives can place an award on hold for you.
The transfer ratio results in fewer points than Amex or Citi. On the other hand, heavy spenders will earn rewards faster since many of the Capital One miles-earning cards earn 2x miles on purchases. If your goal is simply to reset your mileage expiration, Capital One is a great first choice.
- 50,000 Miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening; worth $500 in travel if redeemed for a fixed-value, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
- 2 Miles on every purchase, plus earn 5 Miles on hotel bookings and car rentals through Capital One Travel
- Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® (up to $100)
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 for the first year; $95 after that
- 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
- 5 Miles on hotels and car rentals through Capital One Travel
Citi ThankYou (12-48 hours transfer – 1:1 Ratio)
While not as lengthy as Capital One, Citi is another option to reset your Asia Miles balance. Transfers times range from 12-48 hours to post. You can find more detail on the other Citi Transfer partners in our dedicated post. On the earning side, there are several good options for accumulating points, but not all cards have access to Asia Miles as a transfer partner, so be sure to review the post linked above.
- 60,000 point signup bonus worth $750 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
- 3X points per $1 on travel, including gas stations, plus 2X points at restaurants and on entertainment
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
- 3X points per $1 spent on on travel including gas stations, as well as airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, public transportation, tolls, and parking
- 2X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including many cafes, bars and lounges
- 2X points per $1 spent on entertainment, including sporting events, movie theaters, concerts and more
- 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Marriott Bonvoy (24-48 hours transfer 3:1.25)
As is the case with all of the partners except Amex, Marriott Bonvoy points won't transfer immediately. Marriott has by far the largest list of transfer partners, and for many programs, it is the only option to transfer points. In addition to being slower than Amex and Capital One, Marriott transfers get a bonus when you transfer in increments of 60,000 points, so this isn't the first choice if you need to reset your Etihad balance. Here's our roundup of the credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
- Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
- 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Earning Asia Miles with Partners
Although Cathay's own flights can be a great way to spend your miles, they have 20+ partner airlines that cross alliances. To keep your miles active, just enter your Asia Miles member number into one of the above partners, and you'll see how you can earn more miles according to their terms/charts.
- Best Western
While shopping merchants may be accessible, many of the restaurant partners will be focused more so on residents of Hong Kong.
None of us like losing rewards we've worked hard to earn, and this change allows members (loyal or not) to maintain their miles with activity. Even though the new 18-month window is technically 18 months less than the old expiration policy, this is a positive change for anyone willing to spend a few minutes to reset their expiration date with one of the strategies described above.
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