Big News: Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles no longer expire as long as there is activity every 18 months


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With effect from 1 January 2020, miles earned on Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles will not expire as long as you earn or use the miles at least once every 18 months. As with my favourite Frequent Flyer Program (FFP), Alaska’s Mileage Plan, this is extremely easy to achieve, if not easier, as you can transfer your miles and points from all Singapore banks except for OCBC and Standard Chartered.

I should repeat that this is only for miles earned from 1 January 2020. So, do not transfer the miles from your credit cards just yet if you do not intend to use them anytime soon. This does not affect any Asia Miles that is in your account right now. Those will still expire after 36 months.


Does this affect Asia Miles valuation?

After multiple devaluations this year, I very much welcome this positive move. It also leads to a rare situation as I am increasing the value of this mile currency. As I now no longer need to worry about expiring miles, I am increasing my valuation of Asia Miles from $0.016 to $0.018. It is now more valuable than Krisflyer mile, which I value at $0.017.

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Asia Miles vs Krisflyer

The only disadvantage of Asia Miles is it still passes on fuel surcharges (unlike Krisflyer) to award tickets and this can be a turn-off for some. For example, if you want to redeem Asia Miles for Qatar Airways Qsuite from Singapore to Europe (with a stopover in Doha), you will have to pay around $490 in taxes and fuel surcharges. However, you will require lesser miles than what Krisflyer demands.

Singapore to Amsterdam with Krisflyer in Business Class
Singapore Airlines: 92,000 + $49.80

Singapore to Amsterdam with Asia Miles in Business Class
Qatar Airways: 70,000 + $490
Cathay Pacific: 65,000 + $200

From the above example, you will have to pay about $440 more for a redemption on Qatar Airways but will need 22,000 lesser miles (worth $396). In simple terms, you will need to pay $40 for a superior Business Class seat and indirect flight. I don’t know about you but I would pick Qatar’s Qsuite over Singapore’s 2013 Business Class seat any day. I also like a mid-point stopover and free access to Qatar’s Business Class lounge in Doha.


Qatar Airways Qsuite

Qatar Airways Qsuite

Conclusion

This is a great news to end the year with. I am running out of reasons to transfer my hard-earned miles to Krisflyer. At this point, I should remind you that you should not collect miles and points even if they do not expire. There will be award chart devaluations in future and you don’t want to be caught out with a million miles in your account. Always have redemption goals and find out which redemption would give you the best value.

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