When you use a “miles card”, chances are you are actually earning bank points (something you’d know after watching my webinar on miles). Bank points are then converted to Frequent Flyer Programmes (FFP) for actual miles you can use to redeem flights.
Every now and then, airlines offer bonus miles when you transfer your bank points to their FFP, and this month we have not one but two airlines offering such a promo: Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.
15% bonus for Asia Miles
You can get up to 15% bonus miles when you transfer bank points to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles programme, as long as the points originate from the following banks:
- American Express
- Bank of China
The offer is capped at 5,000 miles, which means you max this promo out with a transfer of 33,333 miles. Almost every bank allows miles to be transferred in blocks of 10,000, so note you don’t really get 15% if you transfer more than 33,333 miles:
|Miles Transferred||Bonus Miles||Bonus Percentage|
Asia Miles will work with a variety of airlines, but most notable would be Cathay Pacific. The future of Cathay Pacific, however, isn’t too bright given how its the flag carrier of Hong Kong which has so far been reluctant to open up. Even its present isn’t look too good, with the airline all but grounded at the moment. Probably not the best of times to get Asia Miles, and a maximum gain of 5,000 miles is really quite negligible in light of the airline’s current predicament.
Up to 40% bonus for Avios
Qatar Privilege Club members can transfer their bank points to Avios and get as much as 40% bonus miles! Unfortunately, in Singapore’s context, only Citibank and Standard Chartered allow for conversion to Avios miles.
You also only get 40% bonus if you transfer more than 20,000 miles in a single conversion, and anything less only gets 20% bonus:
|Miles Transferred Per Conversion||Bonus Percentage|
|20,000 or less||20%|
|More than 20,000||40%|
Registration is not required and there is no limit to the bonus miles you can get.
Miles require a certain level of hassle, and exploring FFPs beyond Singapore Air’s KrisFlyer adds further complexity. It does open up new flight paths and potentially cheaper redemptions compared to Singapore Air’s offerings, but you would need to do some research and comparisons. Also, earning miles for Qatar limits you to only using cards from Citibank and StanChart, and depending on your spend habits this may be extremely limiting. This, of course, is a moot point if you have a sizeable stash of Citi/StanChart points and can take advantage of the promo now.
Personally, I would consider taking advantage of Qatar’s promo for redemptions such as Europe destinations which are significantly cheaper than what Singapore Air offers. It is even more compelling if one is able to get a lot of bonus miles from this promo.
Aside from that, if you’re new to the game of miles, or just don’t have a lot of Citi/StanChart points, I think it’s perfectly fine to set your sights on just KrisFlyer for now. Seasoned FFP players might scoff at this, but Singapore Air’s KrisFlyer remains the easiest FFP to earn miles on for Singapore residents since every mile card offered here earns points that are convertible to KrisFlyer miles. It also has the most destinations out of Singapore, and with Spontaneous Escapes (and its own transfer promos, if they ever happen again), the value preposition isn’t that far off from other airlines.
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