New 50K offer on Cathay Pacific card

About six months ago, Synchrony Bank launched Cathay Pacific credit card and Greg asked: Should you be inspired to earn 25,000 miles with the Cathay Pacific Visa? To sum that up, the answer was more or less: “Meh.” It might have made sense for some to make a quick mileage score, but it wasn’t all that special. That “Meh” might just turn into a “Yeah” with the new signup bonus being offered: 50,000 Asia Miles after spending $2,500 in your first 3 months.

The Deal

  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Asia Miles after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days

Key Details

  • $95 annual fee is not waived
  • Earn 2X on Cathay Pacific purchases
  • Earn 1.5X on dining
  • Earn 1.5X on international purchases (purchases made outside of the US)
  • Earn 1X everywhere else

What are the miles worth?

According to our Reasonable Redemption Values, we’ve got the miles pegged at 1.17 cents each. Based on my reading of this excellent post from Travel is Free about the best uses of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, I think that valuation might be a tad low. I can’t speak from experience on Asia Miles, but Drew has put together some really interesting itineraries in that post, and I see a number of other possibilities based on the charts. The challenge would be fuel surcharges on most partners. However, there are a number of interesting partners with no fuel surcharges and building a complex itinerary with multiple stopovers is possible. Fifty thousand miles on their own won’t get you around the world, but with Cathay being transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou points, and SPG, there are a lot of ways to amass the miles you need for a pretty big round-the-world type trip.

As a quick reference, here are the Asia Miles award charts (found here). The first is for an itinerary that mixes Cathay Pacific with one partner airline. Miles required will be based on cumulative distance flown (you can use gcmap.com to estimate distances).

If you’re looking to build a more complex itinerary with more partners (and stopovers), this is the chart you would use:

Of course, another interesting use of Cathay Pacific miles couldCathay Pacific Companion Ticket Awards be companion tickets. See: Business Class for two: .

Bottom line

While the card’s dining bonus category isn’t very compelling (you could use a number of other cards between Amex and Citi to earn more than 2 Asia miles per dollar on dining), the “foreign purchases” category might be interesting to those who can source resale items internationally and pay for them with a credit card. I’m not aware of another card that bonuses international spend in general. Of course, if the bulk of your international spend is on travel, you can do better with other cards. If you’re interested in piecing together multiple-stop itineraries in business or first class, Asia miles is worth a look whether or not you’re interested in this card. However, if that type of trip appeals to you, I suspect that the chance to pick up 50K easy miles might interest you even more. As always, the link has been added to our Best Offers page.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Comments

  1. Can awards be booked online on Cathy Pacific Website? Does the account have to have some amount of miles in it to do a search?

    Thank you!

  2. Will the Cathay Pacific frequent flyer membership expired in three years, even though you have Cathay Pacific credit card?

  3. The foreign purchase things sounds pretty good when you go shopping in other countries. But you’re right, most of the foreign purchases will be hotels, airfare, and taxis.

  4. I suspect synchrony bank is discriminating by age. My 70 year old mother who has an 820+ credit score, regular income, no housing payments and under 5/24 applied for the card and was rejected. No letter, bank would not say why she was rejected over the phone. I applied and was approved. CFPB will hear about this

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