Updated January 21st, 2020
Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles valuation can be summed up with one sentence. Frustratingly handicapped by poor website design. To make matters worse, things used to be better. It’s almost as if Cathay is purposefully making their online award booking system less consumer friendly. Some cities with known CX service don’t populate and taxes/fees are only sometimes displayed.
Typically, if an award exists, but associated booking fees are not available, we treat it as though it weren’t even there. The reasoning for this being, that we’re trying to come up with an average consumer’s redemption value. A number for the guy who’s got some American Express Membership Rewards and just wants to know how much he’d get for them if he were to send to the Hong Kong carrier. Without associated cash copays, the displayed mileage is essentially a worthless number.
After the dust settled, we calculated a value of just 0.48¢ per Cathay Pacific Asia Mile. The represents a 58% decline in value since last year.
Whenever presenting low’ish valuations, I always like to remind readers what this number means. It’s a discounted average, not a hypothetical best-case. Exact calculation steps are documented on our valuation methodology page.
|Current||Previous Period||$ Change||% Change|
|Intra-APAC Non-Zero Value||1.62¢||2.35¢||-0.73¢||-31%|
|International Non-Zero Average||1.56¢||2.33¢||-0.77¢||-33%|
As mentioned above, the fact that award booking fees are not always provided is particularly annoying. Imagine for second that you ask someone what something weighs. They simply respond “10”. Well, 10 what? Pounds, Kilograms, Ounces…without accompanying units the figure is useless. It’s the same thing for award space without known fees.
Between the table above and the chart below, we can see that despite a lack of availability, there are opportunities to score some incredible award seats. Our best for the month comes from a first-class ticket between Tokyo(NRT) and Los Angeles(LAS) offered for 120,000 Asia Miles + $150 in cash. The lowest-priced cash alternative was $10,600, providing an exceptional redemption value of 8.71¢ per mile.
Cathay’s Asia Miles is currently partners with Amex, Citi and Capital One. In many ways, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines are direct competitors. It would be nice if the former followed the latter’s lead into the Ultimate Rewards family.