A 50K Cathay Pacific Visa Bonus Offer is available, per Reddit, which is double the original 25K Asia Miles bonus offer for this card. I plan to apply for this card, even with the $95 annual fee, which is not waived the first year–I'll explain why below. But first, here are the offer details:
- 50,000 Asia Miles after spending $2500 or more in the first 90 days of opening your account
- 2X Asia Miles per dollar spent on eligible Cathay Pacific travel and in-flight spend
- 1.5X Asia Miles per dollar spent on dining
- 1.5X Asia Miles per dollar spent on purchases outside the U.S.
- 1 Asia Mile per dollar for purchases in the U.S.
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee is NOT waived the first year
- Offer expires October 31, 2017
Why I'll Be Applying for the 50K Cathay Pacific Visa
A 50K Miles Bonus I'm Eligible For
Absent being pre-approved for a Chase card, receiving a targeted offer for a card, or finding a Citi link that doesn't have any 24 month language, there are very few cards that I want that I can earn the signup bonus for, or earn the signup bonus again for, at the moment. That makes the 50K Cathay Pacific card an attractive offer for me, even with the $95 fee not waived the first year.
$2500 Minimum Spend is Reasonable
Minimum spend has been going up for many of the better travel credit cards. The 50K Lufthansa Miles & More card, for example, requires $5000 spend to earn the full bonus, and the 55K Chase Sapphire Preferred requires $4000 spend to earn the 50K bonus (with 5000 additional points for adding an authorized user). Even the 60K Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select requires $3000 minimum spend, and the 25K no fee AMEX EveryDay bonus offer
I recently jumped on requires $2000 minimum spend. So by comparison, a $2500 minimum spend is very reasonable.
Easy to Transfer Points to Top Up an Asia Miles Account
You can transfer Citi ThankYou points, AMEX Membership Rewards points and SPG Starpoints 1:1 to Asia Miles (you also earn a 25% bonus on Starpoints transfers in increments of 20K points). Since I've closed all my Citi ThankYou cards, but have a good number of AMEX Membership Rewards points, that's what I'll use to top up my Asia Miles account for an award. I prefer to save SPG Starpoints to transfer to miles currencies that have no other transfer partners.
The benefit of Asia Miles is that you gain early access to Cathay Pacific awards, which is especially important if you want to travel in Cathay Pacific First Class and have little or no date flexibility. British Airways has access several days after Asia Miles, but American AAdvantage only gains access about 1 month after Asia Miles. And with Alaska Mileage Plan, availability isn't as good as even AAdvantage. See 3 Reasons Alaska Miles Aren't Worth Earning
1.5X on All Purchases Outside the U.S. and No Foreign Transaction Fees
While it's true that I primarily use my Chase Sapphire Reserve when traveling outside the U.S., since most of my international expenses are for travel or dining, I sometimes purchase other things, such as a museum or attraction entrance fee, a souvenir, or something in a grocery store or other shop. It's handy to earn more than 1 mile or point per dollar for these non-travel, non-dining expenses.
While the above points mean I'll be applying for this offer, it's not for everyone. Asia Miles expire 3 years from the mileage is credited, and while you can extend the expiration, there's a fee for this. I've also sometimes had glitches when reserving awards online, and sometimes had long hold times even when calling Hong Kong. Also note that often the oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart
is the most attractive one for an Asia Miles redemption for long first class itineraries (plus it permits 5 stopovers) but you can only use it for flying Cathay Pacific when you are also flying 2 or more other oneworld airlines.
Do you plan to apply for the 50K Cathay Pacific Visa?