Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club vs Asia Miles: what's the difference?

By Brandon Loo, May 30 2019
Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club vs Asia Miles: what's the difference?

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

If you’ve recently started flying with Cathay Pacific, chances are you’ve come across its two affiliated programs – Asia Miles and the Marco Polo Club.

Not sure how they all work with each other?

Here’s the short answer: Asia Miles is a rewards program for redeeming your accumulated miles, while Marco Polo Club is a loyalty program for building up Club Points and gaining elite status.

You can earn Asia Miles and Club Points from the same flight if you hold membership in both programs.

Asia Miles: explained

Whenever you fly on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or other Oneworld partners like Qantas, you can elect to earn Asia Miles on your fare by attaching your member number to the booking. It’s free to sign up for an Asia Miles account.

These miles can then be redeemed for reward seats on the aforementioned airlines.

For reference, a Cathay Pacific business class reward seat from Sydney to Hong Kong comes in at 45,000 Asia Miles one-way, plus associated taxes and surcharges.

Here’s a summary of how many Asia Miles you’ll need on other one-way routes.


Apart from earning in the air, you can also convert credit card reward points into Asia Miles.

Partners include American Express Membership Rewards, ANZ Rewards and Westpac Altitude.

American Express Membership Rewards will give you 1 Asia Mile for every 2 MR points

Marco Polo Club: explained

The Marco Polo Club is for frequent flyers who would like to build up elite status, granting perks when flying with Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airline partners.

There’s a yearly fee of US$100 (~A$145) to start off at the Green tier, but earning just 20 Club Points annually will waive that charge for each successive year.

You’ll move up the ranks as you accumulate Club Points. Each time you reach a new status level, your existing Club Points balance is wiped and you start again for the next level.

Silver status is yours after 300 Club Points, giving access to business class lounges before Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights – already a handy perk.

Gold status is earned with a fresh 600 Club Points. Equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire, this grants business class lounge access when flying any Oneworld airline, even in economy. Within Australia, that unlocks the Qantas Club before domestic trips with the Flying Kangaroo.

Finally, a Diamond card is awarded after earning a further 1,200 Club Points from scratch, along with coveted Oneworld Emerald status. You’ll always be welcome to first class lounges when flying, including The Wing and The Pier in Hong Kong.

Relax in a day-room at the Pier First Class Lounge, with a Diamond Marco Polo Club membership

A Sydney to Hong Kong one-way flight in business class will earn at least 70 Club Points when flying Cathay Pacific, or a flat 60 Club Points with Qantas.

The Club Points Calculator will show you how many Asia Miles and Club Points you can earn on your flights. Simply enter in your airline, routes and travel class.

For more information on Club Points and status, read our detailed guide to Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club.

Brandon Loo
Brandon Loo

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 83

Hey Brandon, thanks for this however it doesn’t really explain a lot... why do they have 2 programs? Is it basically like having one program for status credits and one for points (with reference to Qantas) and so they have just split them for some strange reason? And is this because CX sold their FF program?



11 Mar 2012

Total posts 285

Marco Polo members can also utilise Asia Miles to purchase lounge access passes that can be given to family and friends.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

To clarify for everyone’s benefit, which Brandon explained to some extent, to reach Marco Polo Diamond status when you first join Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo (MC) program you will need to accumulate a total of 2100 Club Points.

That’s because you need 300 club points firstly to acquire Silver status. Once you have acquired Silver status your MC club points are reset to 0 and a new 12 month period begins in which you start the process again from Silver level. Then you need a further 600 club points to reach Gold status, at which time the club points a wound back again to zero, & another 12 month period begins at Gold level. It’s at this point, after achieving Gold status and then accumulating a further 1200 club points that you finally attain Diamond status.

Obviously renewing the status at any level is easier.



27 May 2017

Total posts 17

Also silver status is only to cathay pacific lounges with no guests

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