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American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card: Is It Right for You?

Rapid Miles for Cathay Pacific Loyalists

American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card: Is It Right for You?

Rapid Miles for Cathay Pacific Loyalists

5.0/5.0

ValueChampion Rating ValueChampion Icon

Good for

  • Average consumers looking for impressive miles rates
  • Consumers looking to avoid conversion fees
  • Cathay Pacific loyalists

Bad for

  • Consumers seeking extensive luxury perks
  • People who rarely fly with Cathay Pacific

Everyday consumers seeking competitive miles rates on their everyday and overseas spend, and an impressive boost on Cathay Pacific flights, should consider American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card. This card provides a competitive set of rewards like 0.125 miles per HK$1 general local spend, 0.188 miles overseas, and 0.250 miles on Cathay Pacific flight bookings.

Cardholders can also enjoy 2 free lounge visits every year, with no spend requirements or other stipulations. Finally, Cathay Pacific loyalists also receive enrolment fee waivers to a Green tier membership in the airline's Marco Polo Club, giving them complimentary access to additional travel perks.

ProsCons
  • 0.125 mi/HK$1 local spend
  • 0.250 mi/HK$1 Cathay Pacific bookings
  • 2 free lounge visits/year
  • Most travel perks tied to Marco Polo Club
  • Less competitive overseas rates
  • No rewards boost for other airlines
Promotions:
Card Overview
Pros:
  • 0.125 mi/HK$1 local spend
  • 0.250 mi/HK$1 Cathay Pacific bookings
  • 2 free lounge visits/year
  • Promotions:
Cons:
  • Most travel perks tied to Marco Polo Club
  • Less competitive overseas rates
  • No rewards boost for other airlines

What Makes American Express Cathay Pacific Card Stand Out

American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card is a great miles-earning option for just about any consumer, especially those who frequently fly with Cathay Pacific. On top of competitive miles rates on general and overseas spend, cardholders who book flights with Cathay Pacific earn one of the highest rates on travel booking rates on the market. Consumers can also enjoy 2 free lounge visits per year and waived enrolment fees to a Green tier membership in Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club.

To start, Amex Cathay Pacific offers a very competitive rate of 0.125 miles per HK$1 general spend, and 0.188 miles on overseas spend. These rates are very competitive compared to the market standard rate of 0.067 miles per HK$1 local and overseas expenditures. Additionally, consumers earn 0.250 miles per HK$1 spend on Cathay Pacific flights–amongst the highest miles rates for travel spend on the market. This is perfect for Cathay Pacific loyalists, since they can now earn nearly 4 times the market standard rate as long as they book with Cathay Pacific.

Rewards, Lounge Benefits & Lounge Requirements

Credit CardRewards/HK$1LoungeLounge Reqs
Amex Cathay Pacific
  • 0.125 mi locally
  • 0.188 mi overseas
  • 0.250 mi on Cathay Pacific
2 visits/yrN/A
CCB HKA Fly Away
  • 0.167 FWC pts locally
  • 0.250 pts overseas
  • 0.250 pts on HKA bookings
5 visits/yrOnly HKIA lounges before HKA flights
CNCBI Air China DC Diamond
  • 0.125 PhoenixMiles locally
  • 0.125 PM overseas
3 visits/yrMin. HK$12k+ spend/visit
BEA Flyer World
  • 0.200 mi locally
  • 0.200 mi overseas
Paid onlyAccess for US$32/visit
SC Asia Miles
  • 0.167 mi locally
  • 0.250 mi overseas
  • 0.250 mi online & dining
N/AN/A
FWC points are equal in value to Asia Miles on average, and can be used on flights within Asia. PhoenixMiles are equal to roughly 0.5 Asia Miles each, and can be used on flights between Hong Kong & mainland China. BEA Flyer World rates exclude transactions at supermarkets, department stores, travel agencies & government departments, which earn 0.125 mi/HK$1 spend.

In terms of perks, cardholders can also enjoy 2 free lounge visits per year, with no stipulations. While comparable airline miles cards may offer more lounge visits per year, they often come with a spend requirement or can only be used before flights with select airlines. Consumers also receive an enrolment fee waiver of US$100 (approximately HK$777) to the Green tier membership within Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club, which provides free access to priority boarding, extra baggage allowances, and more. Marco Polo Club members can also access higher levels of perks by earning Club Points on flights with Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld Partner Airlines.

Marco Polo Club Membership Tiers & Key Benefits
  • Green Tier
  • Redeem extra legroom seats w/ Asia Miles
  • Member can use Premium Economy class bag-drop counters, free priority boarding
  • Up 2 checked bags on most flights
  • Redeem extra lounge access w/ Asia Miles
  • Silver Tier
  • Free extra-legroom seat reservation, advanced seat reservation and priority waitlists
  • Member & guests can use Business class bag-drop counters, free priority boarding
  • Up 2 checked bags (3 w/ First Class ticket)
  • Free Cathay Pacific/Dragon lounge access before flights marketed by CP & redeem lounge access w/ Asia Miles
For more information on Marco Polo Club Tiers and Benefits, visit the Marco Polo Club website

Marco Polo Club Points are earned on flights with Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airline partners. At the end of every membership year, members are upgraded, downgraded, or renewed into the next tier based on how many club points they have, and balance is then reset to 0. Green tier can also be renewed for US$100 (approximately HK$777).

Although Amex Cathay Pacific's local and overseas rates are very competitive, they are not the absolute highest rates on the market. Consumers seeking higher miles rates on general and overseas spend may want to consider Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard or BEA Flyer World Mastercard. Additionally, since Amex Cathay Pacific only offers elevated flight booking rates for flights with Cathay Pacific, consumers who prioritise having flexibility over their choice of airlines should consider other cards. Although SC Asia Miles and BEA Flyer World Mastercard may offer slightly lower rates when booking flights, they earn it on all flight bookings regardless of the airline.

Nonetheless, American Express Cathay Pacific is a great option for average consumers looking for impressive miles rates. The few cards offering higher rates often have much higher annual fees. By comparison, Amex Cathay Pacific Card has an annual fee of just HK$980–nearly half of the market standard of HK$1.8k–which is waived with a very reasonable HK$100k spend per year or by achieving Silver tier Marco Polo Club membership. Altogether, American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card is a great option for everyday consumers looking to rapidly earn miles, especially those who frequently fly with Cathay Pacific.

How Does American Express Cathay Pacific Card's Rewards Program Work?

Use our quick guide below to learn how you can redeem your credit card rewards.

  • Rewards are earned as Asia Miles
  • Asia Miles can only be redeemed for flight awards, upgrades and tickets with Asia Miles partner airlines
  • Cardholder must link card to their Asia Miles account
  • Asia Miles earned from charges in a monthly statement will be forfeited in event of a missed payment, but can be reinstated after the payment is made within 90 days for a fee of HK$50

American Express Cathay Pacific Card's Features and Benefits:

Card Overview
  • Annual Fee: HKD 980, 1-Year waiver, then w/ HK$100k annual spend or by holding Marco Polo Club silver tier or above
  • Income Requirement: HKD 150,000
Rewards Rate Details
  • 0.125 miles per HK$1 local spend
  • 0.188 miles per HK$1 foreign currency spend
  • 0.250 miles per HK$1 Cathay Pacific flight bookings spend
  • 0.400 miles per HK$1 Cathay Pacific inflight sales (minimum net purchase of HK$500)
Benefits & Perks
  • 2 free Plaza Premium lounge visits/yr
  • Waived enrolment fees for Marco Polo Club Green tier membership
  • Free basic travel insurance
Promotions:

American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card's Rewards Exclusions

The following credit card expenditures are ineligible for rewards.

Finance charges; late payment charges and other fees and charges (including annual fee and charges for dishonoured cheques); balance transfers; Express Cash and other cash services and related handling fee; tax bill payment and other credits to your account; amounts billed for gas; electricity and other utilities and the purchase of American Express Travellers Cheques; Gifts Cheques or Gift Certificates
Refunds (including tax refunds from overseas purchases)

How does American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card Compare Against Other Cards?

Check out our comparisons of American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card with other cards and learn what helps each card stand out. We compare and contrast each card to highlight its uniqueness to help you find the card that fits your needs.

Graph showing some of Hong Kong's best credit cards in terms of value-to-consumer after two years, based on an average monthly spend of HK$12,000
American Express Cathay Pacific Card v. American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,800 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: 10 free lounge visits + 0.333 miles/HK$1 w/ Cathay Pacific
  • Read Our Full Review
High-earning Cathay Pacific loyalists should definitely consider American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card. Compared to the non-Elite version, cardholders earn at higher rates of 0.167 miles per HK$1 local spend, 0.250 miles overseas, and 0.333 miles on Cathay Pacific flight bookings. Additionally, instead of the 2 lounge visits that Amex Cathay Pacific Credit Card provides, Amex Cathay Pacific Elite offers consumers 10 free lounge visits per year.


However, Amex Cathay Pacific Elite is less accessible, with a HK$300k minimum income requirement and HK$1.8k annual fee (waived w/ HK$150k spend or Green tier Marco Polo Club membership). Nonetheless, American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card is ideal for high-earning Cathay Pacific loyalists who prioritise lounge access and want to rapidly earn miles.

American Express Cathay Pacific Card v. Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: Up to 1.25 mi/HK$1 on dining + miles for banking w/ SC
  • Read Our Full Review
As one of the best miles cards on the market, Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard is great for consumers looking to rapidly earn miles on all their purchases, not just on Cathay Pacific flights. Cardholders earn 0.167 miles per HK$1 local spend, 0.250 miles overseas, online and on dining. In fact, dining at select restaurants earns 0.750 miles, boosted further to 1.25 mile on Mondays. With these rates, SC Asia Miles earns more miles on every transaction except for Cathay Pacific flight bookings.


However, SC Asia Miles does not provide access to any travel perks, while Amex Cathay Pacific Card allows consumers to enjoy 2 lounge visits per year and the various perks that come with Marco Polo Club membership. Additionally, SC Asia Miles has a HK$2,000 annual fee, more than twice Amex Cathay Pacific Card's. Since its fee is only waived for those with SC Bonus Payroll, Priority or Premium Banking accounts, Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard is ideal for SC customers seeking to quickly accumulate miles, while Amex Cathay Pacific Card is great for Cathay Pacific loyalists that value flight perks.

American Express Cathay Pacific Card v. BEA Flyer World Mastercard
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,800 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: 0.2 miles/HK$1 everyday spend
  • Read Our Full Review
BEA Flyer World Mastercard is a great option for consumers who aren't loyal to any one airline. Cardholders earn 0.125 miles per HK$1 spend at department stores, supermarkets, travel agencies & government departments, as well as 0.200 miles on all other purchases. Although Amex Cathay Pacific Card has a higher rate on Cathay Pacific bookings, BEA Flyer World Mastercard offers more miles on bookings with any other airline. Ultimately, while Cathay Pacific loyalists may be better off with Amex Cathay Pacfic Card, BEA Flyer World Mastercard may be better for consumers who like to book with a variety of airlines.
Amex Cathay Pacific Card v. Amex Cathay Pacific Elite Card
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,800 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: 10 free lounge visits + 0.333 miles/HK$1 w/ Cathay Pacific
High-earning Cathay Pacific loyalists should definitely consider American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card. Compared to the non-Elite version, cardholders earn at higher rates of 0.167 miles per HK$1 local spend, 0.250 miles overseas, and 0.333 miles on Cathay Pacific flight bookings. Additionally, instead of the 2 lounge visits that Amex Cathay Pacific Credit Card provides, Amex Cathay Pacific Elite offers consumers 10 free lounge visits per year.


However, Amex Cathay Pacific Elite is less accessible, with a HK$300k minimum income requirement and HK$1.8k annual fee (waived w/ HK$150k spend or Green tier Marco Polo Club membership). Nonetheless, American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card is ideal for high-earning Cathay Pacific loyalists who prioritise lounge access and want to rapidly earn miles.

Amex Cathay Pacific Card v. SC Asia Miles
  • Annual Fee: HKD 2,000 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: Up to 1.25 mi/HK$1 on dining + miles for banking w/ SC
As one of the best miles cards on the market, Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard is great for consumers looking to rapidly earn miles on all their purchases, not just on Cathay Pacific flights. Cardholders earn 0.167 miles per HK$1 local spend, 0.250 miles overseas, online and on dining. In fact, dining at select restaurants earns 0.750 miles, boosted further to 1.25 mile on Mondays. With these rates, SC Asia Miles earns more miles on every transaction except for Cathay Pacific flight bookings.


However, SC Asia Miles does not provide access to any travel perks, while Amex Cathay Pacific Card allows consumers to enjoy 2 lounge visits per year and the various perks that come with Marco Polo Club membership. Additionally, SC Asia Miles has a HK$2,000 annual fee, more than twice Amex Cathay Pacific Card's. Since its fee is only waived for those with SC Bonus Payroll, Priority or Premium Banking accounts, Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard is ideal for SC customers seeking to quickly accumulate miles, while Amex Cathay Pacific Card is great for Cathay Pacific loyalists that value flight perks.

Amex Cathay Pacific Card v. BEA Flyer World
  • Annual Fee: HKD 1,800 (waiver available)
  • Stand-Out: 0.2 miles/HK$1 everyday spend
BEA Flyer World Mastercard is a great option for consumers who aren't loyal to any one airline. Cardholders earn 0.125 miles per HK$1 spend at department stores, supermarkets, travel agencies & government departments, as well as 0.200 miles on all other purchases. Although Amex Cathay Pacific Card has a higher rate on Cathay Pacific bookings, BEA Flyer World Mastercard offers more miles on bookings with any other airline. Ultimately, while Cathay Pacific loyalists may be better off with Amex Cathay Pacfic Card, BEA Flyer World Mastercard may be better for consumers who like to book with a variety of airlines.
Jacob Weiss

Jacob is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, focusing on credit cards and other consumer financial products. Previously, he covered hedge funds and long only products for Cambridge Associates. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland and has passed Level 1 of the CFA exam.