Cathay Pacific First Class Review (HKG to BKK)

I’d been wanting to fly first class on Cathay Pacific for a long time. Initially, I wanted to fly only long-haul first class but when an opportunity came to try it out on a short-haul flight I couldn’t really resist. Here’s my Cathay Pacific first class review from Hong Kong (HKG) to Bangkok (BKK).

Booking Cathay Pacific first class

Getting these first class tickets was not easy.

I originally was going to book business class Cathay Pacific tickets with Alaska Airline miles from HKG to Sydney. But then I decided to try my luck at flying the new Singapore first class suites from Singapore to Sydney, so I decided to just make our way to Singapore on Cathay.

I initially booked us two one-way business class tickets from Hong Kong to Singapore for 25,000 Alaska miles.

But then I saw that Cathay was flying the 777 (with a first class cabin) between Hong Kong and Bangkok so I booked us two tickets to Singapore with a layover in Bangkok. The initial leg would be in first class while the second segment would be in business class.

I don’t usually like layovers but if it means trying out a new first class product, I’m always open to give it a shot.

Fast forward a few months and I log into my Asia Miles account one day and see that both legs are actually in business class!

Our aircraft had been swapped for an A350 so we’d be flying business class the entire way. This made the hassle of the layover in Bangkok not worth it.

But luckily, after constant checking, I was eventually able to switch our flight so that we would still be flying first class to Bangkok. (It really pays to closely monitor award inventory in these situations.)

The fees

The total fees for the flight came out to the following:

  • Base Fare and Surcharges: $6.00
  • Taxes and Other Fees: $36.00
  • Ticketing Fee (nonrefundable): $15.00
  • Partner Award Booking Fee (nonrefundable): $12.50
  • Total charges for air travel: USD $139.00

$139 for two people isn’t bad considering the product level so as far as I was concerned this was a great redemption.

You can read more on booking Cathay Pacific with Alaska miles here

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is also a partner of American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Thankyou Points so it’s often not very difficult to to rack up points to transfer to Asia miles. The also have a co-branded credit card.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

The Pier at HKG

We arrived extra early to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) to check out two airport lounges: The Cathay Pacific first class lounge known as The Pier and the new Amex Centurion Lounge.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Pier. It has to be one of the most elegant first class lounges in the world.

The Pier First Class Lounge.

We didn’t try out the spa but we did check out the restaurant, bar area, and day suites. The dining is top notch at the restaurant and while the day suites were interesting, they were a bit too quiet for me at the time.

The Pier First Class Lounge.

I think I caught it on sort of an off-day with the service since it was far from attentive and felt very stand-offish, from the welcome desk to the restaurant. Because of that I preferred other lounges like the Al Safwa Lounge which offered us more in terms of service.

But overall I was impressed with the lounge and I think that if I visited it again, the service might turn out to be much better.

The Amex Centurion Lounge at HKG

The Amex Centurion Lounge felt much different from the Centurion Lounges in the US. This lounge was wide open in the terminal and not even close to crowded.

Amex Centurion Lounge at HKG.

I loved the look and feel of the lounge.

Much of the furniture and decor was similar to what you’d find at other Centurion Lounges but it felt even more contemporary than other Centurion Lounges with its sleek bar area and open views from multiple points in the lounge.

The lounge may not be as equipped as other Centurion Lounges but I still think it’s one of my favorites.

Amex Centurion Lounge at HKG.
Amex Centurion Lounge at HKG.

They served some of the same cocktails you can find in the US and the service, food, and drinks, were on par with other Centurion Lounges.

Drinks at the Hong Kong Centurion Lounge.

Overall, it was a nice lounge visit to have after just finishing up at The Pier and I think it’s worth stopping by just to check it out.

The Cathay Pacific first class cabin

The Cathay Pacific first class cabin on the 777 is small with only six suites, which makes the experience feel extra exclusive.

The most private suites are on the A aisle but we were not able to select those given how late we jumped on booking this flight.One cool feature about the first class cabin the red carpet walkways. At first I didn’t care for them but they eventually grew on me.

They also have wall decor in the form of artwork and flowers.

Cathay Pacific first class cabin.
First class wall decor.

While I appreciated the homey touches, the cabin does feel a little outdated. It’s not bad looking and actually quite pretty — it’s just that I think Cathay Pacific is ready for an upgrade. They are expected to upgrade their first class in the next couple of years but nobody really knows what to expect at this point.

When I first entered the cabin I was surprised at how outrageously spacious the suites were.

Cathay Pacific first class
Cathay Pacific first class suite.
Cathay Pacific first class suite.

Even though they don’t fully enclose, they are very roomy and still feel private due to the walls of the suites protruding pretty far out.

Cathay Pacific first class

Cathay Pacific’s first class seats are ridiculously wide. The couple sitting in front of us were sitting in the same seat for a while — that’s how wide they are.

Cathay Pacific first class seat.
Cathay Pacific first class
About as wide as you can get.

I found the seat very comfortable. If you want, you can pull down the armrest to make things a little more practical.

Cathay Pacific first class seat.

As much as I like the wide seat, it’s always odd to me when seats like these and those from Singapore have ultra-wide seats with smaller footwells/ottomans.

A beautiful first class suite.

The footwells aren’t tiny, but it’s just a weird feeling when you have so much upper body space and limited space for your feet. I prefer seats with ottomans that don’t taper like those found on Korean Air, Qatar, and others.

One thing I did really like is that there is a lot of storage underneath the ottoman.

In-flight entertainment

They offered us high-quality Bose headphones that were in great condition (I’ve noticed some airlines not paying attention to the condition of their headphones).

Cathay Pacific first class headphones.

The TV monitors are big and can be popped out for optimal viewing.

There were a ton of movies and TV shows to check out and I though the in-flight entertainment system was great. You can find out what’s currently playing in first class here.

Cathay Pacific first class entertainment.

You can control your entertainment with the touch screen remote.

Cathay Pacific first class entertainment.

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Cathay Pacific First Class Dining

The dining on this flight exceeded my expectations. Since this was only a flight from Hongkong to Bangkok, they didn’t serve us premium champagne like Krug.

But even without that, the dining experience was still top notch.

We started out with some mixed nuts and sparkling water that was put on the massive tray table.

Mixed nuts and sparkling water.

I had one of my favorites, the Pacific Sunrise.

Pacific Sunrise.

Next the staff brought out a bread basket but also gave us a custom-written welcome message, which was a nice touch.

I have to admit that the service absolutely blew me away. They were up there with Singapore Airlines in terms of attentiveness and overall quality of service.

Cathay Pacific first class welcome note.
First class bread basket.

After delivering a bread basket, they rolled out the starters which included Sesame smoked salmon, herb salmon and mustard dill mayonnaise. The starters blew me away, as I wasn’t expecting such high quality starters on such a short flight.

Sesame smoked salmon, herb salmon and mustard dill mayonnaise.
Sesame smoked salmon, herb salmon and mustard dill mayonnaise.

After the starters out came the main course which for was the stuffed chicken breast with feta cheese, capiscum, sun dried tomato polenta and red wine sauce. This was yet another unexpectedly over the top dish — Cathay Pacific was really winning me over in a huge way at this point.

Stuffed chicken breast with feta cheese, capiscum, sun dried tomato polenta and red wine sauce.
Cathay Pacific first class main course.

Then the desserts came out.

The first was a chocolate and coconut brownie and the second was a key lime mousse. I’m not big on coconut or key lime so I sort of struck out twice but I still gave the desserts a try and they were tasty but I think I was a bigger fan of the presentation.

Cathay Pacific first class dessert.
Cathay Pacific first class dessert.

Overall, the dining experience was top notch and I could only imagine what it would be like on a long-haul flight. I’d have to rank the dining among my favorite first class meals to date. You can read more about Cathay Pacific dining here.

The first class bed

Cathay Pacific is known for having arguably the most comfortable bed in the sky. Before this flight, I’d decided to request bedding even though it was a short flight just so I could test it out for review purposes.

But once we got quickly into our meal, I realized I was going to look like a jack ass by requesting turn down service, especially because I wasn’t tired at all.

So I ended up not trying out the bed but I did put the seat down so that I could get a sense of the space.

Cathay Pacific first class seat lie-flat.

There’s a ton of room as expected and I can definitely see how this suite could give you some of the best space for sleeping.

Cathay Pacific first class seat lie-flat.

Where to sit

I would definitely try to go with one of the window suites next time, though.

They just look much better in my opinion and feel even more private. I switched with Brad for the last 45 minutes of the flight and got into a window seat which I thought felt like an upgrade. It would probably feel even better in the more private, aisle A.

The window seats just look better.
Cathay Pacific first class window seat.

As we got close to landing they brought out some chocolates which were great.

Cathay Pacific first class chocolates.

Final word

Overall, I really loved this first class flight.

I feel like I didn’t get the true Cathay Pacific first class experience since we didn’t get to try it out on a long-haul flight with all of the offerings. But with recognizing that, I’d stay have to rate this among the top first class cabins I’ve tried.

List of Cathay Pacific Partners & Fee Examples

From alliance partners to codeshare partners, there are a lot of Cathay Pacific partners worth looking into. This article will take a look at the different partners and also look into what you can expect to pay in fees with some of these partners. 

What alliance is Cathay Pacific in?

Cathay Pacific partners
The Oneworld Alliance.

Cathay Pacific is a member of the OneWorld Alliance which means that they are partners with all of the following airlines.

Additional Cathay Pacific partners

In addition to the Oneworld partners, Cathay Pacific also has several partnerships with other airlines which include codeshares and Joint Operating Services/Strategic Agreement. Notice that several of these partners are actually in the Star Alliance.

Using Cathay Pacific partners

Using your Asia Miles on Cathay Pacific partners isn’t very straightforward because they operate two different award charts that only apply to airlines based on specific criteria.

Here are the to award charts:

Asia Miles Award Chart

One chart called the “Asia Miles Award Chart” is for:

  • Cathay Pacific/Dragon flights
  • Flights including one OneWorld partner
  • Flights including one OneWorld partner and a Cathay Pacific/Dragon flight

For this chart, you calculate your mileage requirement by finding the distance one way and then finding the corresponding zone. (If connecting sectors are involved, the sector distances should be added together to determine the total one-way distance and the applicable award zone.)

In that zone column, you will see totals for both one way trips and for round trips based on that distance.

Note: The roundtrip distances offer better deals.

  • S7 Airlines does not participate in the “Asia Miles Award Chart”

The following airlines can only be booked using the Asia Miles Award Chart:

  • Royal Brunei Airlines
  • Gulf Air
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air New Zealand
  • Aer Lingus
  • Award zone “S” is not applicable to one-way tickets on Aer Lingus. Award zones “S” and “A” are not applicable for Alaska Airlines flights to or from Mexico with sector distances of less than 1,200 miles.

You are allowed one stopover en route a one-way ticket but for round-trip redemptions, you get two stopovers, two open-jaws, or two transfers.

OneWorld Multi-Carrier Awards Chart

Then there’s another award chart called the “OneWorld Multi-Carrier Awards Chart” for:

  • Flights involving two OneWorld partners
  • Flights involving Cathay Pacific/Dragon flights and two or more OneWorld partners

You calculate the mileage requirement of this chart by calculating the total distance of your trip (add together all segments) and then see what award zone the distance falls into.

  • It’s a little unclear if you get 5 stopovers or 4 stopovers + your destination, but either way that’s a lot. Plus you can get two transfers and two open-jaws at either origin, en-route, or turnaround point.

You can only book roundtrip awards for the following Cathay Pacific partners:

  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines

*Remember, even though you can book one way awards on many different airlines you always want to consider booking roundtrips because you will often save a lot of miles.

Fees on Cathay Pacific partners

The following airlines do not incur surcharges or at least incur minimal surcharges:

  • American Airlines (varies based on route)
  • Qantas
  • Cathay
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • S7
  • Aer Lingus

Examples of fees on Cathay Pacific partners

Here are a few specific examples of fees on Cathay Pacific partners that should help you get a better idea of what to expect. All of the prices in miles and taxes are for business class bookings and keep in mind that these are estimates which could change depending on the exchange rate and other variables.

Cathay Pacific on Qatar (London to Doha)

A roundtrip business class ticket from London to Doha would cost 80,000 Asia Miles and about $500 in total fees so it’s good to know that these awards can get a little pricey with the taxes.

Cathay Pacific on JAL (US to Japan)

A roundtrip business class ticket from HND to SFO would cost you 120,000 miles but the fees would be pretty reasonable at about $240 USD.

Cathay Pacific on LATAM to (US to South America)

A roundtrip business class ticket from SCL to JFK in business class will run you 120,000 Asia Miles and only about $52 USD in total fees, which is pretty excellent. The mileage requirement isn’t the best but the low fees make the redemption much more attractive.

LATAM dreamliner.

Cathay Pacific on Aer Lingus (US to Europe)

Cathay Pacific has one of the greatest sweet spots to Europe at 80,000 miles for a roundtrip business class ticket. That’s almost impossible to beat. When booking with partner Aer Lingus, total fees for this trip should be under $100, making this a fantastic redemption.

For a roundtrip business class ticket to Europe using Cathay Pacific on American Airlines, you’re looking at 80,000 miles roundtrip and about $294 in total fees. So maybe not quite as good as Aer Lingus, but still reasonable. It’s worth noting that on some occasion, I’ve had trouble with Cathay Pacific locating AA SAAver availability, although the phone agents.  

Other partners like Iberia or British Airways will require much more in fees to the tune of $600 to $700.

 Cathay Pacific on Qantas /AA (Australia to US)

I got a quote on a one-way award from SYD to LAX on American Airlines for only $85 USD which isn’t bad at all considering that the mileage requirement is only 70,000 miles. However, the quote on fees for a one way trip to LAX from SYD on Qantas was $336, so that’s not quite as much of a sweet spot.

As a point of comparison, for a Cathay Pacific flight, you’re looking at around $330 in fees for a roundtrip from North America to Australia.

Cathay Pacific on AA from (Japan to US)

Finally, I decided to test out one more route: NRT to LAX on American Airlines. The fees for this one way flight were only $40 USD, proving once again that using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or AA flights can be a great use of points with low fees.

Final word on Cathay Pacific partners

There are a lot of great partners that you can use your Asia Miles on. It’s a good idea to study up on some of these partners and get familiar with the fee structure for partner awards. If you do that, you’ll see that there are lots of opportunities to create “super sweet spots” that come with low mileage requirements and low fees. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Cathay Pacific business class sweet spots here. 

Cathay Pacific Credit Card Bonus Now at 35K + 25K

There’s a new sign-up bonus for the Cathay Pacific credit card and it’s for 35,000 after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days plus another 25,000 bonus miles when you spend an additional $7,500 in the first 12 months. The original sign-up bonus for this credit card was 25K and they’ve offered as much as 50K in the past, but I don’t recall seeing this offer for 60K pop up before.

Update: Some offers are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!

The Cathay Pacific Credit Card

  • 35,000 Asia miles after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days
  • 25,000 bonus miles when you spend an additional $7,500 in the first 12 months
  • $95 annual fee is not waived
  • 2X on Cathay Pacific purchases
  • 1.5X on dining in the US or abroad
  • 1.5X on foreign purchases
  • 1X on all other domestic purchases
  • Complimentary green tier membership in the Marco Polo Club
  • Issued by Synchrony
  • Points expire after 3 years (very expensive to renew them)
  • Offer expires June 30, 2018

Cathay Pacific Credit Card Bonus

  • 35,000 Asia miles after spending $2,500
  • 25,000 bonus miles when you spend an additional $7,500 in the first 12 months

35,000 miles isn’t a bad offer on its own. This is especially true since Cathay Pacific is a travel partner of American Express and Citi so it’s not difficult to supplement this sign-up bonus with points transferred over from those programs. 50,000 miles can get you a roundtrip in business class to South America from some destinations in the US and so 35,000 miles give you a nice start toward many redemptions.

Read below for more on sweet spots with Cathay Pacific.

The additional 25,000 bonus miles when you spend an additional $7,500 in the first 12 months is interesting. It’s not that difficult to meet $7,500 spend in 12 months so you’ll have to examine your opportunity costs here to see if the extra 25K is worth it. If you’re planning on spending a lot aboard over the next 12 months, this could be an  ideal way to hit the $7,500 since you’ll earn 1.5X on those purchase.

Do keep in mind that your points will expire after 3 years unless you pay very expensive renewal fees. 

Annual Fee

We’ve seen the annual fee waived in the past but not this time.

Cathay Pacific Credit Card Bonus Categories

The card earns the following bonus categories:

  • 2X on Cathay Pacific purchases
  • 1.5X on dining in the US or abroad
  • 1.5X on foreign purchases
  • 1X on all other domestic purchases

I think the bonus categories of 1.5X on dining abroad and on all foreign purchases are interesting (there are no foreign transaction fees on this card). There aren’t many other cards out there that will give you 1.5X on all foreign purchases, so there’s some value there for those who spend quite a lot of time and money abroad.

However, like with any co-branded card, if you’re going to be putting a significant chunk of your spend on a card to make the earnings worthwhile, you need to have at least tentative plans to use Cathay Pacific or one of its partners. If you have no foreseeable plans of using Asia Miles to fly with a OneWorld partner , I would caution against putting a lot of focus on the bonus categories, since you’ll likely be better off putting spend on Amex or Citi cards.

Cathay Pacific credit card

Other Perks

Complimentary green tier membership in the Marco Polo Club

New members will enjoy a complimentary first year green tier membership in the Marco Polo Club, which is the loyalty program of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. Of course, this is the lowest level in their loyalty program.

When I looked up the benefits, it looks like this status allows you to use your points for things like lounge access (requiring 9,000 Asia Miles), extra leg-room, extra baggage, etc. It does provide up to two free checked bags when flying economy and up to business (3 for first class) and priority boarding which is nice. You can also renew your status for $100 after a year.

Cathay Pacific credit cardVisa Signature

You’ll receive all of the Visa Signature benefits (if you get approved for the Signature version)

The Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Program

I think it’s impossible to make a sound decision on this card with out at least knowing a little bit about the Asia Miles Program. So I”m going to touch on some of the major points of the program without getting bogged down in the details.

If you want a more in-depth look at the rewards program, I suggest you read about maximizing business class awards with Cathay Pacific here for more. 

Transfer partners

Cathay Pacific is one of the few programs that offer transferability from more than one major rewards program. You can transfer points to Asia Miles from both American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points (and SPG).   

OneWorld Alliance

Cathay Pacific is a member of the OneWorld Alliance so you can use Asia Miles to book flights on partners like British Airways, American Airlines, Qatar, etc.

Distance-based award system

Cathay Pacific operates on a distance-based award system (award chart here). They have two separate charts.

One chart called the “Asia Miles Award Chart” is for:

  • Cathay Pacific/Dragon flights
  • Flights including one OneWorld partner
  • Flights including one OneWorld partner and a Cathay Pacific/Dragon flight

Then there’s another award chart called the “OneWorld Multi-Carrier Awards Chart” for:

  • Flights involving two OneWorld partners
  • Flights involving Cathay Pacific/Dragon flights and 2 or more OneWorld partners

One Way Awards and stopovers

One of the beauties of this program is that it’s extremely flexible. You can book one way awards using the Asia Miles Award Chart, though you save miles by booking roundtrips. And if you’re booking on the OneWorld award chart, you can have up to five stopovers! Thus, there’s a lot of value to be had with this program if you can take advantage of their lax routing policies.

Sweet Spots

This distance-based award system has a few pretty good sweet spots in it. You can get a roundtrip ticket to Europe for only 80,000 miles and with some partner airlines like Aer Lingus, fees will only run you around $80. That’s one of the best redemptions offered by any program. Period. Other great sweet spots are for routes to South America, Australia, and certain intra-continental flights.

Cathay Pacific Surcharges

Cathay Pacific will make you pay fuel surcharges on many airlines. There are some exceptions, such as Air Berlin, American Airlines (on non-Europe routes), Qantas, JAL, etc., and there are very little fees when you fly on Cathay’s own metal, so it’s definitely possible to put together itineraries while avoiding or greatly minimizing surcharges.

Finding Award Seats

I usually use the British Airways Avios website to search for Cathay Pacific awards but you may also want to search with Qantas as well.

Expiring Miles

These miles will expire after 3 years.

Booking Awards

You can book awards online for Cathay Pacific or you might have to submit an airline award request form to book with a partner.

Final Word on the Cathay Pacific credit card

Asia Miles can be a valuable program, when you take the time to familiarize yourself with all of the possibilities the program has to offer. Since it’s a transfer partner of both American Express and Citi, it’s not hard to rack up tons of miles and thus this 35K + 25K offer for the Cathay Pacific credit card can give you a nice head start in reaching your next goal.

How to Book Cathay Pacific Award Flights with Alaska Miles

Booking Cathay Pacific to fly to Asia with Alaska miles is one of the best redemption possibilities out there. The cheap redemption rates along with the flexible routing rules makes for easy and effecient redemptions. The only slight drawback is that you have to find the awards with other programs and then have to call in to book. Here’s a breakdown of how to book Cathay Pacific award flights with Alaska miles.

Amazing redemption rates

The redemption rates on Cathay Pacific when flying to to Asia are outstanding. For example, with the Alaska Award chart on Cathay Pacific you can fly from North America to Asia one-way at the following rates:

  • Economy — 30,000
  • Business Class — 50,000
  • First Class — 70,000 

These rates are extremely competitive compared to other programs. For example, for a one way first class ticket from NYC to Hong Kong would require the following mileage amounts from other programs:

  • 95,000 United
  • 100,000 Singapore
  • 105,000 Aeroplan
  • 110,000 American

The rates are also among the best (if not the best) for flying from other regions to Hong Kong, such as Europe where you can fly a one-way in first class for 70,000 miles and business class for 42,500. Just keep an eye out when booking from other regions because you may not be able to book the same type of stopovers permitted from North America.

Broadly defined Asia region

Alaska defines Asia very broadly and doesn’t break Asia down into sub-regions like most award programs do. This is is terrific for when you’re flying on Cathay Pacific to other destinations in Asia besides Hong Kong. For example, if you wanted to fly to Manilla or Bangkok from LAX you could get there for the same low mileage requirements of 50,000 for business class or 70,000 for first class.


One of the biggest perks of booking with Alaska miles is that you can add stopovers even on one-way awards. So if you wanted to spend a little bit of time in Hong Kong you can stay there for a few nights and then make your way onward to your next destination. Not many other programs allow stopovers on one way awards, so this is a great perk.

Repositioning flights

Alaska allows you to add repositioning flights (though they need to be on Alaska). So if you’re flying out of LAX or SFO, you could add a positioning flight from Seattle for no additional cost. Cathay Pacific flies to the following destinations in the US so these are cities that you might have to position yourself to:

Searching for Cathay Pacific flights

The drawback to booking Cathay Pacific flights with Alaska miles is that they currently don’t show up when you search for them on Alaska’s website. The good news is that you have plenty of options to search for these flights. You can use Qantas, JAL, or British Airways to search for Cathay Pacific flights.

Qantas has a great monthly calendar view which make can it easier to find open awards.

However, I personally prefer to search via the British Airways website because I’m able to view exactly how many seats are open for each flight. Anytime I search for anything on British Airways’ website (and most others), I always search for flights by each individual segment. 

Booking Cathay Pacific Flights with Alaska Miles

Even though you have to call in to book your awards, the process is pretty straight forward. For my bookings I called 1-800-252-7522 which I believe is open more hours than the standard number 1-800-654-5669. 

For the most part I’ve found Alaska reps in the international booking department to be pretty knowledgable although at times some have been inexperienced and have tried to book me on “unbookable” flights (premium cabins on Singapore Airlines). Thus, I’d recommend finding the specific flight you want to book and relaying those specifics to the representative on the phone.

Once they find the flight you’ll have to pay your fees. In my experience, the fees associated with the ticket are very reasonable though they depend on your route. When flying first class within Asia, our fees were only about $44 per person.

Booking fees

When you make your booking over the phone Alaska will also charge you a couple of fees including a $15 telephone reservation fee along with a $12.50 partner award ticket fee for each direction (not segment) of travel. I have not ever had success with getting these fees waived so I’m not sure if that’s possible or not.

One thing I do love about Alaska is that changes can be made freely to your booking so long as you make those changes more than 60 days out. If you wait until within 60 days you’ll have to pay $125.

Update: no longer the case.

Final word

When it comes to booking partner awards over the phone, the process can be quite painful sometimes. However, this is not the case with booking Cathay Pacific awards with Alaska miles. The ease of booking over the phone along with the incredibly cheap awards and reasonable fees make Cathay Pacific awards one of my top redemption possibilities.

Citi Offering 20% Transfer Bonus to Cathay Pacific

Like American Express, but unlike Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi often offers promotional bonus transfer rates to different travel partners. For example, Citi is currently offering a transfer bonus to Hilton until September 20, 2017. A new transfer bonus is to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. Citi is currently offering a 20% transfer bonus to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles until September 6, 2017. 

This is an interesting bonus for a few reasons.

Citi just upped the sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige® Card to 75,000 after spending $7,500 and is offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonuses for the Citi® ThankYou® Premier Card after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, so this is a perfect time to quickly earn a lot of ThankYou Points. Make sure to keep in mind the Citi application rules if you’re wanting to apply for these cards so that you don’t miss out on a bonus.

Also, the Cathay Pacific co-branded credit card just jumped up to 50,000 miles after $2,500 worth of spend. And don’t forget that Cathay Pacific is also a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. The 20% transfer bonus is only for points transferred from Citi, but this is yet another way for you to build up your Asia Miles account balance.

Cathay Pacific is one of the best oneworld Alliance partners. They operate two distance-based charts depending on if you’re booking partner airlines or not but both charts offer great redemption rates to places like Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia (pretty much everywhere).

One of the most talked about sweet spots is 80,000 to Europe. With the transfer bonus you could get that 64,000 ThankYou Points, which is an outstanding deal, especially if you booked a partner like Aer Lingus with minimal fees.

You can read more about redeeming on Cathay Pacific here.

One major thing to keep in mind that is your Cathay Pacific miles will expire after 3 years unless you pay a very expensive renewal fee. Thus, if you don’t think you’ll be using these points pretty soon, it’s probably a lot safer to just pass on this promotion since you’ll risk wasting your ThanYou Points.