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Asia Miles are Cathay Pacific’s in-house points program. In January 2020, Cathay Pacific changed how Asia Miles expire, and it completely transformed the system!
For those who aren’t aware, Cathay Pacific is known for having one of the best business and first class cabins. Asia Miles are a hot commodity amongst travel hackers, and the changes to how Asia Miles expire changed the game.
According to Cathay Pacific’s website, “Asia Miles earned on or after January 1, 2020 no longer expire.” But that is terribly misleading. The fine print states you have to earn or redeem Asia Miles with an 18-month time period in order to stop your Asia Miles from expiring.
That is a big improvement from their previous system.
Although, I don’t care for the wording of their statement and think it was irresponsible for them to be so misleading in their wording.
The old Asia Miles expiry system worked as a solely time-based system.
Every three years, your Asia Miles expire.
Yup. Three years to the day you earned an Asia Mile, it expired. No matter how actively you earned and redeemed.
It really pressured people into earning and redeeming Asia Miles just to prevent them from expiring. It led to casual point collectors never being able to redeem their Asia Miles, and people became frustrated.
The new activity-based system is far superior.
You can collect and earn points for a lifetime and never have any Asia Miles expire.
As long as you earn or redeem at least one Asia Mile every 18 months. It is a much more flexible program.
The new Asia Miles expiry policy is much more forgiving and is far better for both experienced travel hackers and casual points earners.
Keeping Asia Miles Active
There are two main ways you can make sure none of your Asia Miles expire:
- Earn at least one Asia Mile every 18 months
- Redeem at least one Asia Mile every 18 month
Earning Asia Miles
Of course, it is far easier to earn Asia Miles than it is to redeem them, so that should be your main focus.
The most common way people earn Asia Miles is by flying with Cathay Pacific or any of its One World partner airlines.
Yes. You can earn Asia Miles even when you’re not on a Cathay Pacific flight!
When you book with a partner airline, you can enter your Asia Miles number in the loyalty program part of the ticket buying process.
This allows you to earn Asia Miles basically wherever you are in the world, and it makes it really easy to none of your Asia Miles expire.
You can always buy Asia Miles online as a way to “earn” Asia Miles and prevent your points from expiring. Just make sure you’re getting a decent deal and not overpaying for your Asia Miles.
Asia Miles are generally valued at around $0.016 CAD per mile.
You can also earn Asia Miles at certain retail partners, but that way of earning is only really effective for people who live in Hong Kong or visit the city often.
There are a few worldwide retail partners, but they likely aren’t places you shop all that often.
What About a Credit Card?
The final way (and the easiest way) to earn Asia Miles is by using a credit card.
Having a credit card does not automatically mean your Asia Miles never expire. You still have to earn at least one Asia Mile every 18 months to keep your account active.
There are plenty of travel credit cards in Canada that let you either earn Asia Miles or transfer your points to Asia Miles.
Using a credit card is the best way to earn Asia Miles and keep your Asia Miles from expiring.
You earn points on your daily purchases and don’t have to give it a second though.
There is the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, but it doesn’t have a great points earning ratio. You really only get that card for the sign-up bonus and then cancel it after the first year.
Redeeming Asia Miles
After all the hard work you put into earning your points, the next best way to stop your Asia Miles from expiring is to redeem them!
This is the more difficult way to make sure none of your Asia Miles expire as it requires more patience.
You have to put in the work to earn enough Asia Miles before you can redeem them.
But once you have enough miles, there is hardly a better feeling when booking a trip than using your points and not having to pay with your hard earned fiat money!
The redemption process for Asia Miles is very easy, and it is all done through the Asia Miles website.
You can redeem your Asia Miles for a seat on a Cathay Pacific flight or on one of their partner airlines.
The sky is the limit when it comes to redeeming points to prevent your Asia Miles from expiring. Book whatever trip you have the miles to book and want to take!
Super Secret Way to Prevent Asia Miles from Expiring
Let’s say there is some scenario where your Asia Miles are about to expire, and you can’t earn or redeem a point before they expire.
I hope it never gets to this point, but roll with me.
There is one final hell Mary way to make sure none of your Asia Miles expire, and that is receiving Asia Miles from someone else.
This is a bit different from the Avios program where you can give or receive Avios points in order to prevent them from expiring.
When it comes to Asia Miles, you only reactivate your 18-month clock when you receive Asia Miles from someone else as a gift.
This means you need to know someone else who is willing to gift you some of their Asia Miles to keep your account active.
This works out fine if a family member you often travel with collects Asia Miles. You can work out some sort of arrangement where you book their flight redemption with the miles they transferred you.
Or something along those lines.
It becomes more tricky when you have to start asking friends or try to find a random person on the internet.
Receiving Asia Miles as a gift should be your absolute last resort to prevent your Asia Miles from expiring.
It is a bit of a hassle- especially if you don’t have someone in your inner circle who is willing to transfer some points to you.
It also comes with a service fee of about $16.25 USD per 500 points you transfer.
That is much lower than some of the other points programs, but it can still add up.
So keep this as a last resort and only using it in a dire situation.
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That’s the long and the short of it.
Basically, what you really need to know is that you don’t need to worry about whether or not your Asia Miles expire as long as you earn or redeem at least one point every 18 months.
As long as you do that, you can hoard your Asia Miles for as long as you want, and they won’t be taken from you.
If you don’t fly Cathay Pacific or One World partner all that often and don’t have an Asia Miles credit card, you should put a reminder in your calendar for about a year after the last time you earned or redeemed an Asia Mile.
This will make sure you have plenty of time to come up with a strategy to make sure none of your Asia Miles expire.
You don’t want to be scrambling and remember your Asia Miles expire just days before your 18 months are up!
Nobody needs that type of stress in their lives!
But, in general, most people won’t see their Asia Miles expire.
The change to the Asia Miles expiration policy in January 2020 was very welcome. It makes the program more appealing to casual point collectors and makes it more fair for everybody.
Not everybody has the luxury and privilege to earn enough Asia Miles in a three year time period to redeem for a flight.
Now basically anybody and everybody can earn enough Asia Miles to redeem for a flight. It is just a matter of how long it takes to acquire enough points for a redemption!