Yes, that word. Again…
If there’s one word every savvy traveler knows and hates, it’s devaluation. As officially defined, devaluation is “the reduction in the official value of a currency in relation to other currencies”. Today, AsiaMiles, the lucrative spun off loyalty program of Cathay Pacific devalued their exciting points, which means you’ll need even more points to score the best experiences.
AsiaMiles announced new earning rates for flights, while simultaneously announcing new rates for using points. These changes will be effective June 22nd, giving AsiaMiles members a month to sort out their points and travel goals at current rates. AsiaMiles considers itself a lifestyle loyalty rewards program, with opportunities to earn points from tons of daily activities. In short: most airline tickets, except the very lowest fares will earn more miles for each flight on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon. When it comes to using seats, more seats will now be available, 20% more in fact. Economy flights will require fewer or equal points, while of course, premium cabins including business and first class will require more points. Yep, the seats we really want will require more. AsiaMiles used to offer discounts for booking round trip tickets, but now the discount goes away.
AsiaMiles still offers very solid rates for point to point flights on Cathay Pacific or their OneWorld airline partners. But there was one lesser known chart for using points that was pure magic. If you were able to use two or more airlines for one trip, you could save up to 60,000 points on business class, instantly. This lead to truly exciting points opportunities like around the world in first class for just 205,000 points, or business for 140,000. Under the new changes, these rates will jump to 165,000 and 260,000 respectively. That’s an increase of 25,000 points per person in business class and 55,000 points per person for first class. Sigh. If you were saving up for one of these, the goal line just got pushed back. No one likes when that happens!
You can earn AsiaMiles for everyday activities like dining, shopping and using credit cards, in addition to flights on Cathay Pacific and partners. You can instantly convert SPG, Amex and Citi Points into AsiaMiles, making it a very lucrative currency to collect, even with the frustrating changes announced today. With any hope, they’ll be the last bad news for a while.