Best Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit card sign-up offers

Turn your credit card points into Cathay Pacific Asia Miles to book business class flights across Oneworld and even Star Alliance.

By Chris Chamberlin , September 7 2020
Best Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit card sign-up offers
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles program is a popular alternative to Qantas Frequent Flyer, often allowing members to book comparable flights using fewer Asia Miles than Qantas Points.

Asia Miles can be earned on many Australian credit cards and spent across a range of airlines beyond Cathay Pacific and Qantas, including Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, and others outside of Oneworld like Air Canada, Bangkok Airways, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, SWISS and more.

With up to 50,000 bonus Asia Miles on the table from a single credit card application, here are this month's top Asia Miles credit card deals, spanning offers from American Express, ANZ, Citibank, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac. 

10 best Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit card sign-up offers

1. Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard by November 11 2020 as an eligible new customer, select Altitude Rewards as your loyalty option, and you could earn 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

Altitude Points can be converted into Cathay Pacific Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, which makes your bounty equivalent to 50,000 bonus Asia Miles.

Rewards: On flights purchased in Australia directly with Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, earn 6 Altitude Points (2 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on the first $10,000 per calendar month – then 1.25 Altitude Points (0.416 Asia Miles) per $1 spent thereafter on these purchases.

You'll also earn 1.25 Altitude Points (0.416 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on most other eligible purchases without capping or tiering, except at Spotify, David Jones, Myer, The Iconic, Airbnb, Uber and Uber Eats, at which you'll earn a higher 2 Altitude Points (0.66 Asia Miles) per $1 spent, also uncapped.

Annual Fee: A $250 annual card fee applies, but with no extra charge for an additional cardholder. You can apply here.

2. ANZ Rewards Black

Sign-up Bonus: Take home 150,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points with your new ANZ Rewards Black card, when you apply and spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months from approval.

With points converting from ANZ Rewards to Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, that's 50,000 bonus Asia Miles.

Rewards: Collect 2 ANZ Reward Points (0.66 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to and including $5,000 per statement period, and then 1 ANZ Reward Point (0.33 Asia Miles) per dollar spent above $5,000 in each monthly statement period.

Annual Fee: $375, plus $65 fee per additional cardholder per year.

3. AMEX Platinum Charge Card

Sign-up Bonus: Apply as an eligible new American Express customer to earn 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points – equal to 40,000 Asia Miles after a 2:1 conversion – when you spend at least $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Rewards: On most transactions, you'll earn 2.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent (that's 1.125 Asia Miles per $1, after conversion), although government payments are less rewarding, giving you one Membership Rewards point (0.5 Asia Miles) per dollar spent.

Annual Fee: $1,450, with no additional cardholder fees.

4. NAB Rewards Signature Card

Sign-up Bonus: Your bonus begins with 90,000 NAB Rewards points when you apply for the NAB Rewards Signature Card and spend $3,000 on everyday purchases within the first 60 days of account opening – plus, 30,000 bonus NAB Rewards points when you keep your card for over 12 months.

Combined, that's up to 120,000 NAB Rewards points, or 40,000 Asia Miles, after converting your NAB Rewards points to Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate.

Rewards: Earn 3.75 NAB Rewards points (1.25 Asia Miles) per $1 spent overseas, and in Australia with Webjet; 2.5 NAB Rewards points (0.83 Asia Miles) per dollar spent at major department and hardware stores, and 1.25 NAB Rewards points (0.416 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Annual Fee: $295, with no additional cardholder fee.

5. Citi Prestige Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: You could unlock 100,000 bonus Citibank Rewards points when you apply by November 30 2020 and spend $7,500 on the Citi Prestige Mastercard within 60 days of approval. When converted to Asia Miles at a 2.5:1 rate, that's equal to 40,000 bonus Asia Miles.

When applying for this card, you also have the option of requesting a Linked Diners Club Card: however, spending on the Diners Club card doesn't count towards that $7,500 tally to earn your bonus points: for this, only Mastercard spends are counted.

Rewards: When using the Mastercard overseas, and in Australia with major airlines, chain hotels and restaurants, you can earn 3 Citi Points (1.2 Asia Miles) per $1 spent. At major Australian supermarkets, petrol stations and national retailers, you'll get 2 Citi Points (0.8 Asia Miles) per dollar spent, and on all other eligible purchases in Australia, the earn rate is 1 Citi Point (0.4 Asia Miles) per dollar spent.

When using the optional Linked Diners Club Card, you'll earn a flat 2 Citi Points (0.8 Asia Miles) per dollar spent, both in Australia and overseas – so be sure to use the Mastercard when dining, staying in hotels and booking flights to earn the most points. All government-related spend earns no points on either card, however.

Annual Fee: $700. The fee remains the same whether or not you opt for the Linked Diners Club Card, and whether or not you have additional cardholders.

6. Commonwealth Bank Diamond, Ultimate Awards Mastercards

As two Commonwealth Bank credit cards are currently tempting with the same offer, the CBA Diamond Awards Mastercard and the new CBA Ultimate Awards Mastercard share the same rank here.

Sign-up Bonus: Get 100,000 bonus CBA Awards points when applying for either card by October 28 2020 and spending $5,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card activation. When converted into Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, that unlocks approximately 33,333 Asia Miles.

Rewards (Diamond Awards): Fetch 1.25 CBA Awards points (0.416 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to 1,000,000 Awards points (333,333 Asia Miles) per year in total. No points are earned on ATO payments.

Rewards (Ultimate Awards): Earn 3 Awards points (1 Asia Mile) per $1 spent on international transactions; 2 Awards points (0.66 Asia Miles) per $1 spent at major supermarkets, department stores and petrol stations; and 1 Award point (0.33 Asia Miles) per $1 spent elsewhere. However, all monthly spending above $10,000 (regardless of category) earns rewards at the reduced rate of 0.5 Awards points (0.16 Asia Miles) per $1 spent.

Annual Fee: On the Diamond Awards card, you'll $349, plus $10/year for an additional cardholder. On Ultimate Awards, there's a $35 monthly fee in place of an annual charge, with is waived in each month where at least $2,500 is spend on the card and when opting-in to online statements, with no additional cardholder fee.

7. Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard by November 11 2020, select Altitude Rewards as your loyalty option and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval to earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points.

As with the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard, these convert into Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, giving you approximately 26,666 Asia Miles from that bonus.

Rewards: Earn 3 Altitude Points (1 Asia Mile) per $1 spent on the first $10,000 per calendar month on flights purchased in Australia directly with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia (but not Emirates and Singapore Airlines, as with Altitude Black), then 1 Altitude Point (0.33 Asia Miles) per $1 spent thereafter on these purchases.

You'll also earn 1 Altitude Point (0.33 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on most other eligible purchases, uncapped, except at Spotify, Airbnb, Uber and Uber Eats, where you'll earn a higher 2 Altitude Points (0.66 Asia Miles) per $1 spent: also uncapped.

Annual Fee: Get a discounted annual card fee of $99 for the first year, reverting to $150 thereafter, and with no charge for one additional cardholder (in both the first and subsequent years). You can apply here.

8. Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the CBA Platinum Awards Mastercard by October 28 2020 and you could earn 80,000 bonus CBA Awards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card activation.

CommBank Awards points can be converted into Cathay Pacific Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, giving you around 26,666 Asia Miles to play with.

Rewards: Through CommBank Awards, collect the equivalent of 0.33 Asia Miles per $1 spent (1 CBA Awards point per $1, with a 3:1 conversion to Asia Miles), up to a maximum of 50,000 Asia Miles (150,000 CBA Awards points) per calendar year. No points are earned on ATO payments, however.

Annual Fee: $249, plus $10/year for an additional cardholder.

9. AMEX Explorer Credit Card

Sign-up Bonus: Grab 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Gateway points with your new AMEX Explorer credit card, when you apply and spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months. When converted to Asia Miles at a 2:1 rate, that puts your bonus at 25,000 Asia Miles.

Rewards: Receive 2 Membership Rewards points (1 Asia Mile) per $1 spent on most eligible purchases, except at government bodies in Australia, where you'll earn a reduced 1 Membership Rewards point (0.5 Asia Miles) per dollar spent, both uncapped.

Although the Membership Rewards Gateway program differs slightly to the Ascent Premium variant as cines attached to the AMEX Platinum Charge Card, both allow for points conversions to Asia Miles at a 2:1 rate.

Annual Fee: $395, with no fees for up to four additional cardholders.

10. ANZ Rewards Platinum

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for a new ANZ Rewards Platinum card and you could earn 60,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points and have your first year's annual fee waived, when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within three months of approval.

Under the 3:1 conversion rate on points transfers from ANZ Rewards to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, the points part of your bonus equals 20,000 Asia Miles.

Rewards: Take home 1.5 ANZ Reward Points (0.5 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to and including $2,000 per statement period, and 0.5 ANZ Reward Points (0.16 Asia Miles) per $1 spent above $2,000 per statement period.

Annual Fee: Normally $95 – waived in the first year after meeting the spending criteria, above – with $65/year fee charged per additional cardholder. 

Ranking Order & Updates

Ranking Criteria

This article gives a rundown of the most rewarding Australian credit card sign-up deals for earning bonus Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, based on the offers available at the time of writing and publishing.

As Cathay Pacific has no 'direct earning' credit cards in Australia, this process sees cardholders first earning points in the credit card issuer's own loyalty program, and later converting those points into Cathay Pacific Asia miles at the conversion rate applicable to the card issuer's rewards program.

For example, if a credit card rewards program applies a 2:1 conversion rate on points transfers to Asia Miles – such as from American Express Membership Rewards – this means that 2 credit card points (e.g. Membership Rewards points) are equal to 1 Asia Mile.

This list includes publicly available offers for personal credit cards in Australia, but excludes any offers available on business or corporate credit cards, as well as any deals that are targeted, restricted or otherwise private, except for any deals that may be targeted to Executive Traveller readers.

Such targeted deals would typically provide Executive Traveller readers with more bonus points and/or reduced fees and charges (such as reduced or waived first-year annual fees) versus the rates and fees available through other channels.

Cards featured in this list are ranked in descending order based on the total number of bonus Asia Miles available to new customers.

Where multiple cards are offering the same number of Asia Miles (or equivalent credit card loyalty points which can be converted to Asia Miles), other factors such as spending requirements for the bonus points deal, annual fees, ongoing points earning rates and other sign-up incentives are considered when determining rank.

Ranking Updates

Following the debut of fresh new offers on the Citi Prestige Mastercard and the Commonwealth Bank's range of Platinum, Diamond and Ultimate Awards credit cards, September's rankings follow August's revamp.

This saw three cards that had previously ranked – the NAB Rewards Platinum card, the ANZ Rewards Classic card and the David Jones AMEX Platinum card – pushed from the 'top 10'.

Other previous changes include Westpac extending the sign-up deal on its Altitude Black Mastercard until November 2020, and other card issuers continuing with their existing or ongoing deals.

Westpac has also extended the offer on its Altitude Platinum Mastercard until November, maintaining the same number of bonus points but with the added incentive of a reduced annual fee in the first year.

What are Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit cards and how do they work?

As above, Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles program maintains partnerships with a number of Australian banks and credit card issers. These partnerships allow customers holding a variety of credit cards to convert their reward points into Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

These conversions take place at a rate set by each card issuer, such as 2:1, 2.5:1, or 3:1. Generally, the lower the first digit in the conversion rate, the more rewarding the conversion.

Let's say two banks were offering customers 200,000 bonus points in their own rewards program, that both banks allowed these points to be converted into Asia Miles, but that one had a conversion rate of 2:1, and the other a conversion rate of 3:1.

Under the 2:1 conversion rate, those 200,000 bonus points would fetch 100,000 Asia Miles – but under the less-generous 3:1 conversion rate, those 200,000 bonus points would unlock just 66,666 Asia Miles.

This distinciton can often be confusing for consumers and makes it difficult to compare the true value of the offers presented by each bank, as you need to know not just how many 'bonus points' are on offer, but the conversion rate of those points to your preferred frequent flyer program, such as Asia Miles.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit card FAQs

Can you combine frequent flyer miles and points?

Unlike some frequent flyer programs which allow members to transfer points between accounts, this is not possible with Asia Miles.

Can I use Asia Miles to buy a ticket for someone else?

Yes! Although you can't transfer your miles to another person, you can use your miles to book flights for other people.

You'll need to set these people up as 'Redemption Group Nominees' within your Asia Miles account before you can make such bookings, although you can have up to five Redemption Group Nominees at any time.

The Asia Miles member spending their miles on the ticket doesn't need to be one of the travellers – so an Asia Miles member can use their miles to book flights for friends and family, whether or not that Asia Miles member is also coming along for the journey.

Can I earn miles or points if I buy a ticket for someone else?

By holding a credit card that allows points transfers to Asia Miles, you can generally earn Asia Miles on many types of transactions, including flights purchased for other people.

In this instance, you would earn Asia Miles based on the number of dollars spent on the booking in line with your card's regular earning rates – just like any other transaction where points are earned based on value.

These credit card points (or Asia Miles) are separate to the frequent flyer points or miles that the traveller may be able to earn from taking the flight, which are generally awarded based on the type of fare purchased and the terms of the traveller's preferred frequent flyer program which may or may not be Asia Miles.

10 best Cathay Pacific Asia Miles credit card sign-up offers

Credit card

Bonus Asia Miles

Asia Miles per $1 spent *

Annual fee

Other benefits

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

50,000

0.416

$250

Earn bonus points on Qantas flight bookings

ANZ Rewards Black

50,000

0.66
(0.33 above $5k/mo)

$375

Shop via ANZ's Bonus Points Mall to earn extra points

AMEX Platinum Charge Card

40,000

1.125

$1,450

Unlimited lounge access, gratis hotel status

NAB Rewards Signature Card

Up to 40,000

0.416

$295

Earn triple miles on overseas transactions

Citi Prestige Mastercard

40,000

0.4 (MC)
0.8 (DC)

$700

No international transaction fees on Linked Diners Club

CBA Diamond & Ultimate Awards

33,333

Diamond: 0.416
Ultimate: 0.33 (0.16 above $10k/mo)

D: $349
U: $35x12

$35 monthly card fee waived on Ultimate with $2.5k/mo spending

Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

26,666

0.33

$99 (yr 1)
$150 (yr 2-)

Earn bonus points with Uber, Spotify and more

CBA Platinum Awards Mastercard

26,666

0.33

$249

Earn bonus points via CBA Awards

AMEX Explorer Credit Card

25,000

1.0

$395

$400 Travel Credit every year

ANZ Rewards Platinum

20,000

0.5
(0.16 above $2k/mo)

$0
(yr 1)
$95 (yr 2-)

First year annual fee waived after minimum spend

* Asia Miles earned per $1 spent is based on everyday eligible purchases on transactions within Australia. This figure considers the card's earning rate on spend and its conversion rate to Asia Miles, to display the equivalent number of Asia Miles earned per $1 spent. Some spending categories may also earn more, fewer or no points on each card than the standard earn rate indicated above, such as government transactions, overseas purchases, etc.

Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.