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, July 5 2021
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.

The information provided on this page is purely factual and general in nature. 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 150,000 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, NAB and Westpac.

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

1. AMEX Platinum Charge Card

Sign-up Bonus: Earn 300,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 within the first three months.

Under the Membership Rewards program's 2:1 conversion rate to Asia Miles, that bonus fetches you 150,000 bonus Asia Miles.

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.

2. Citi Prestige Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: You could unlock 200,000 bonus Citibank Rewards points when you apply by January 31 2022 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 80,000 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.

3. AMEX Explorer Credit Card

Sign-up Bonus: Take home 120,000 bonus Membership Rewards points plus $300 back to your card when you apply and spend $3,000: that's worth 60,000 bonus Asia Miles once those points are converted to Cathay Pacific at a 2:1 rate.

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.

4. ANZ Rewards Black

Sign-up Bonus: Take home 180,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points when you apply and spend $2,000 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 60,000 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: Waived in the first year, $375 thereafter, plus $65 fee per additional cardholder per year.

5. Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard by November 30 2021 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 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.

6. Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard by November 30 2021, select Altitude Rewards as your loyalty option and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval to earn 130,000 bonus Altitude Points.

As with the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard, these convert into Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, giving you approximately 43,333 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 and Jetstar (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 $49 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.

7. 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.

8. ANZ Rewards Platinum

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for a new ANZ Rewards Platinum card and you could earn 120,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points when you spend $1,500 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 40,000 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: Waived in the first year, $95 thereafter. A $65/year fee applies per additional cardholder. 

9. NAB Rewards Platinum Card

Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 bonus NAB Rewards points can be yours when you apply and spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within the first 60 days of opening a NAB Rewards Platinum Card account – worth 20,000 Asia Miles after a 3:1 conversion.

Rewards: Earn 3 NAB Rewards points (1 Asia Mile) per $1 spent on overseas purchases as well as with Webjet in Australia; 2 NAB Rewards points (0.66 Asia Miles) per dollar spent at major department and hardware stores in Australia, and 1 NAB Rewards point (0.33 Asia Miles) per $1 spent on all other eligible transactions.

Annual Fee: $195, with no additional cardholder fee.

10. ANZ Rewards Classic

Sign-up Bonus: Collect 50,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points when you apply, are approved and spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.

When converted from ANZ Rewards to Asia Miles at a 3:1 rate, that's equal to 16,666 bonus Asia Miles.

Rewards: Earn 1 ANZ Reward Point (0.33 Asia Miles) per $1 spent up to and including $1,000 per statement period, and 0.5 ANZ Reward Points (0.16 Asia Miles) per $1 spent above $1,000 per statement period.

Annual Fee: $80, plus a $65/year fee for an 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

These rankings were last refreshed on July 1 2021.

A fresh financial year has brought about several fresh offers, including from American Express, where its Platinum Charge Card is now offering the equivalent of 150,000 bonus Asia Miles, and its Explorer Credit Card 60,000 bonus Asia Miles.

Separately, Citi has extended the offer on its Prestige card as was due to expire on June 30 – now running until January 31 2022.

Throughout June, Westpac also extended its Altitude Black offer, and introduced a new deal on the Altitude Platinum card, these offers giving 50,000 and 43,333 bonus Asia Miles, respectively.

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

AMEX Platinum Charge Card

150,000

1.125

$1,450

Unlimited lounge access, gratis hotel status

Citi Prestige Mastercard

80,000

0.4 (MC)
0.8 (DC)

$700

No int'l transaction fees using the Linked Diners Club Card

AMEX Explorer Credit Card

60,000

1.0

$395

$400 Travel Credit every year

ANZ Rewards Black

60,000

0.66
(0.33 above $5k/mo)

$0 (yr1), $375 (yr2-)

Earn extra points via the ANZ Bonus Points Mall

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

50,000

0.416

$250

Earn bonus points on Qantas flight bookings

Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

43,333

0.33

$49 (yr 1)
$150 (yr 2-)

Earn bonus points with Uber, Spotify and more

NAB Rewards Signature Card

Up to 40,000

0.416

$295

Earn triple miles on overseas transactions

ANZ Rewards Platinum

40,000

0.5
(0.16 above $2k/mo)

$0 (yr1), $95 (yr2-)

Earn extra points via the ANZ Bonus Points Mall

NAB Rewards Platinum Card

20,000

0.33

$195

Earn bonus points overseas and at eligible merchants

ANZ Rewards Classic

16,666

0.22
(0.16 above $1k/mo)

$80

Use the ANZ Bonus Points Mall to earn extra points

* 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.

The information provided on this page is purely factual and general in nature. 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.