Monday - Dec 11, 2017

How To Book Cathay Pacific Business/First Class For Free?


Have an upcoming trip to India?  Why not travel in a premium cabin for free? In this post, we will explain how you can travel to India for free on Cathay Pacific Business/First Class.

Earlier, We have covered travelling on Etihad Airways using miles.

Things to consider when Choosing Cathay Pacific

  • Cathay has one of the best hard product in the market, Business Class has fully lie flat seats on all the flights departing from/to USA

 

  • You may have an option to do a stopover in Hong Kong depending on the frequent flyer program you choose.

 

  • Cathay Pacific is a member of oneworld alliance, along with American, British Airways, Qatar, Malaysian Airlines etc..

 

 

How to travel on Cathay Pacific Airways using Miles?

There are multiple frequent flyer programs you can book an award tickets with Cathay Pacific.

1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan:

You can book award travel on Cathay Pacific using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. If you are travelling with out any Infants and want to fly in business or first class, redeeming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles would offer great value.

Alaska Airlines will not be able to issue infant tickets, which means you have to contact Cathay Pacific for infant ticket. Cathay Pacific charged 25% of the adult revenue fare in the same class of travel. You can expect more than $1,000 for an infant.

You need

– 50,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for a one way economy award from USA to India

– 62,500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for a one way business class award from USA to India

– 70,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for a one way first class award from USA to India

 

How to earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles?

There are not many ways to earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles. You can earn

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card:

You can earn 25,000 bonus miles upon account approval and annual fee $75 is not waived for the first year. But,  you can get $100 statement credit after making $1,000 or more in eligible purchases, when you follow this method.

You may be able to get multiple cards as BOA does not have any restriction (for now) on earning multiple bonuses. The number of cards you can get approved for depends on your credit history, income, relationship with BOA and more..

 

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card: You can earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer Starpoints to Alaska Airlines Mileage plan at a 1:1 ratio and you also get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred.

 

2. American Airlines AAdvantage:

You can redeem AAdvantage miles for travel with Cathay Pacific Airways. You need

  • 57,500 miles for a one way economy class ticket between USA & India
  • 85,000 miles for a one way Business class ticket between USA & India
  • 97,500 miles for a one way First class ticket between USA & India (Assumes Business class from Hong Kong to India)

As you may notice, the number of miles required is higher than for an award ticket with Etihad, because AAdvantage considers travelling to India over pacific routes as two awards.

For Example: You are paying 30,000 AAdvantage miles for a one way economy award from USA to Hong Kong and another 22,500 AAdvantage miles for a one way economy award from Hong Kong to India. While you are paying more miles (12,500 more miles for an economy award), you could do stop over in Hong Kong for the same amount of miles.

 

You need to call 800-882-8880 to book the award ticket with Cathay Pacifc. AAdvantage will let you hold the award for 5 days as long as the travel date is not within 14 days.

 

How can you earn AAdvantage miles?

There are several ways to earn AAdvantage miles and you can accumulate steadily for a future award ticket.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Master Card : You can earn 50,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 or more in 3 months.  Annual fee $95 – Waived for the first year

 

Citigold Checking account: Earn up to 30,000 AAdvantage miles for opening a new Citigold checking account. There is also a referral program – $100 bonus for every successful Citi gold referral – $30/month (Waived for the first 2 months)

 

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card: You can earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer Starpoints to AAdvantage at a 1:1 ratio and you also get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred.

 

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard : Earn 75,000 bonus AAdvantage miles (Limited Time offer) after spending $7,500 or more in 3 months.  $450 Annual fee – Not waived for the first year.

 

Citi Business AAdvantage Platinum Select card: Earn 30,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 or more in 3 months. $95 Annual fee – Waived for the first year. Note that this is a business credit card and you should have an eligible business to be eligible for this card. (Buying and Selling items is also a business)

 

3.  British Airways Executive Club:

You can redeem BA Avios for travelling with Cathay Pacific. If you are travelling with Infant, BA Avios may be the best choice when redeeming miles. BA Executive club only charges 10% of the mileage needed for an adult.

You need

47,500 Avios + Taxes/fess for a one way economy award between USA and India

142,500 Avios + Taxes/fess for a one way business class award between USA and India

190,000 Avios + Taxes/fees for a one way first class award between USA and India.

 

Avios needed for a one way business class to India

Avios needed for a one way business class to India

 

How to earn British Airways Avios?

BA Avios can be earned in many ways.

British Airways Visa Signature credit card

You can earn 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 or more within 3 months of account opening. This credit card is issed by chase.

 

Transfer Ultimate Rewards

You can transfer Chase Ultimate rewards to British Airways Executive Club at 1:1 ratio. You can earn ultimate rewards from Chase Sapphire preferred Credit or Ink Plus Business Credit Card

 

You can transfer your Chase Freedom points to any of the frequent flyer programs

Convert Chase Ultimate Rewards to Avios at 1:1

 

 Transfer Amex Membership rewards

You can transfer Amex Membership rewards to British Airways Executive Club at 1:1 ratio. You can earn Amex Membership rewards from Amex EveryDay Credit card , Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card, Amex Platinum , Amex Business gold rewards card, Business platinum

 

You can transfer Membership Rewards to Delta

You can transfer Membership Rewards to British Airways

 

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card:

You can earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer Starpoints to British Airways Executive Club  at a 1:1 ratio and you also get 5,000 bonus Avios for every 20,000 points transferred.

 

4. Cathay Pacific – Asia Miles:

You can choose to redeem miles from Cathay Pacific affiliated program Asia Miles for an award ticket in Cathay Pacific. If you are redeeming Asia Miles for an award seat with Cathay Pacific, you have the option to join waitlist.

Cathay Pacific  uses a distance based award chart, so the amount of miles you need depend on the origin and destination. But most of the routes between USA and India would fall under the award zone E – 7,501 to 10,000 Miles.

 

Asia Miles Redemption Chart

Asia Miles Redemption Chart

 

You need the following for awards in Zone E(7,501 to 10,000 Miles)

You need 90,000 Asia Miles for a round trip award in economy class between USA & India (55,000 miles for one way)

You need 145,000 Asia Miles for a round trip award in business class between USA & India (85,000 miles for one way)

You need 220,000 Asia Miles for a round trip award in business class between USA & India (130,000 miles for one way)

 

You will pay approximately $205 in fuel surcharges

You will pay approximately $205 USD in fuel surcharges for a round trip business class award between USA and India

 

How to earn Asia Miles?

There are several opportunities to earn Asia Miles.

 

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card:

You can earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer Starpoints to Asia Miles  at a 1:1 ratio and you also get 5,000 bonus Avios for every 20,000 points transferred.

 

Transfer Amex Membership rewards

You can transfer Amex Membership rewards to Asia at 1:1 ratio. You can earn Amex Membership rewards from Amex EveryDay Credit card , Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card, Amex Platinum , Amex Business gold rewards card, Business platinum

 

Transfer Citi ThankYou points

Asia Miles is also a transfer partner with Citi ThankYou rewards. You can transfer Citi ThankYou points at 1:1 ratio to Asia Miles. You can only transfer if you have Citi ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card.

 

Citi ThankYou Premier: Earn 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. Annual fee $95 – Waived for the first year

 

Citi Prestige: Earn 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. Annual fee $450 – Not waived for the first year

 

Citi ThankYou Preferred: Earn 20,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,500 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer points earned from this card only if you have a Citi ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige

 

 Tips:

1. Note that Starpoints can be transferred to all the 3 frequent flyer programs mentioned in this post. This explains the value of Starpoints.

2. AAdvantage does not charge fuel surcharges, British Airways charges moderate fuel charges on Cathay Pacific awards. Asia Miles charges the highest fuel surcharges among all the listed above

 

Conclusion:

You can get an award seat on Cathay Pacific through several frequent flyer programs. In this post, we have only explained about using  American Airlines AAdvantage , British Airways Executive Club, Alaska Airline Mileageplan and Asia Miles. You can also book with other oneworld partners Malaysian Airlines Enrich, Qatar Privilige Club etc..

If you are redeeming an economy award, British Airways Executive club will offer excellent value and for business class/first class awards Alaska Airlines  Mileage Plan will be perfect choice as you need only 62,500 miles for a one way business class award and 70,000 miles for a one way first class award to India.

 

Disclaimer:  Links mentioned in this post do not earn us any commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analysis and any calculations shown are authors alone. Information in this post is not reviewed, approved and endorsed by any airlines, frequent flyer programs or financial institutions

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