Who doesn’t like Hong Kong? The bustling city is the perfect long weekend getaway if you can do it in style…
Normally a return ticket in business will set you back just over $5000 with Cathay Pacific. Unless of course you are a savvy points collector or buyer!
Cathay Pacific not only operates one of my favourite frequent flyer programs (Asia Miles), they also have a unique partnership with Alaska Airlines.
Why You Should Care About Alaska Airways?
Why should you care about Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan? As it stands, Alaska Mileage plan points are some of the most valuable in the game and particularly for us Aussie based flyers. Their redemption chart works in regions, and Australia/New Zealand and Hong Kong happen to be in the 30,000 points zone.
Check out our full business class review of Cathay Pacific’s A330 business class.
How to Buy Alaska Mileage Plan Points
Alaska Airlines sell their points throughout the year, and from time to time there’s a bonus promotion, which in tandem with favourable exchange rates makes for a rather good bargain.
Alaska Mileage plan allows you to buy an unlimited amounts of miles, but you can only use the same credit card for up to 4 transactions per calendar year.
Keep in mind your Alaska Mileage Plan needs to be active for 10 days before you can start buying points so get onto that ASAP if you want to take advantage of the current promotion!
Currently, Alaska Airlines is offering points for sale with up to 40% bonus points when you buy before April 9, 2018. This means you could snap up a return ticket on Cathay Pacific new A350 in business class for around AU $1650 or approximately $825 one way . Not bad!
Here is the tier breakdown of bonus points:
- Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles = 20% bonus
- Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles = 30% bonus
- Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles = 40% bonus
So how do we do this?
- Head over to https://www.alaskaair.com/account/join-mileage-plan and sign up for an account.
- Visit https://storefront.points.com/mileage-plan/en-US/buy and buy the points required which is 60,000. In this case, you want to go for 43,000 points which will net you a total of 60,200 when you include the bonus.
- Now comes the tricky part… availability research. Head over to https://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_au and register for an Executive Club account if you don’t have one already. Why? Because BA’s search tool happens to be the best for finding award space on Cathay Pacific. Qantas Frequent Flyer works too but I find BA to be more reliable.
- Once you find the seat availability, note down the dates and flight numbers before jumping on the phone to Alaska Airlines to book your Cathay Pacific business class ticket using your Alaska Mileage Plus points. Their number is: 1-800-654-5669 or try 1300 304 135 (Toll Free – Australia only)
To check the award chart zones visit: https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/use-miles/award-charts
Show me plan B!
Don’t like paying $1650 for a return ticket business class? Here’s plan B!
Right now you can take advantage of the American Express Explorer card which comes with 100,000 bonus points (You must apply by April 9).
It’s the equivalent of 75,000 Asia Miles. The 75k miles only get credited after you spend $3000 in the first three months so you should be well over 80,000 points when you’re done.
80,000 also happens to be the exact amount of points required for a return ticket on Cathay Pacific using their own Asia Miles program!
Once you have the points required, transfer them to Asia Miles which is one of the many frequent flyer programs available to American Express Explorer card members.
Points transfers usually take a few days so please keep that in mind.
When you’re ready, jump on the Asia Miles website https://www.asiamiles.com/ and research your flight availability. Booking can be done online, and unlike Qantas Frequent Flyer, Asia Miles have very low taxes on their award bookings.
That’s it! Questions? Hit me up in the comments 🙂