The Loyalty Program Guide to Cathay Pacific

By Amanda Wowk

January 07, 2020

Travel enough and you start to notice the difference between the haves and the have-nots. That is, those travelers who have elite status (and the perks that come along with it) and those that don’t. If you’re in the latter part of that passenger profile, you might be asking yourself questions like: What are the perks of signing up for a frequent flyer program? How can I receive complimentary upgrades? Is there a secret password for accessing an airline’s lounge? Is it really worth it to pursue the top-tier status?

With these questions in mind, our team set out to better understand not only what it means to have elite status with an international airline, but what we could be missing having say, Gold status versus Platinum. In this multi-part series, we answer these questions—and more—about international carriers’ loyalty programs.

Cathay Pacific 

How to earn miles with Cathay Pacific

Travelers that are a part of Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program are known as Asia Miles members. As a member of this frequent flyer program, you earn miles when you fly with Cathay Pacific and their 25 partner airlines. The amount of Asia Miles you earn depends on whether you fly with Cathay Pacific or a partner airline, the distance you fly, the cabin class you fly in, and the type of ticket you purchase. To estimate the amount of miles you’ll earn on an upcoming flight, you can use their flight calculator. You can also earn miles when you shop, dine, rent a car, stay in a hotel, and more. There are so many ways to earn miles, both in the air and on the ground. 

Asia Miles can be used for award travel and other redemptions. Award flights on Cathay Pacific—and its regional airline, Cathay Dragon—start at 7,500 miles for one-way in economy; 11,000 miles for one-way in premium economy; 16,000 miles for business class; and 25,000 miles for first class. Guidance for redeeming awards with partner airlines can be found here.

How to achieve elite status with Cathay Pacific

In addition to Asia Miles, Cathay Pacific offers a loyalty program called the Marco Polo Club. Club members earn club points for each eligible Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, or OneWorld flight they take. There are four levels of the Club: Green, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Initial enrollment in the Marco Polo Club costs $100. At the end of each 12-month membership period, Club members can renew their membership with 20 club points or by paying an additional $100 renewal fee.

Here’s what it takes to achieve each elite status tier:  

TierGreen  SilverGoldDiamond
Club points203006001,200

Club points are calculated based on a combination of factors, including airline, cabin, fare class and distance traveled. To determine how many club points you’ll earn on a flight, you can use their flight calculator

Club members must earn the required points within a membership year to renew or upgrade tiers. In addition to these points, members must fly at least one eligible sector on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon. A membership year lasts 12 months from the date you enrolled, renewed, upgraded or downgraded into your current tier. Upon renewal, upgrade or downgrade, your club points will automatically reset to zero and a new membership year begins.

Here for the benefits

You’ve flown the miles, now it’s time to cash in on the perks. Each tier yields its own benefits—and perks like extra checked baggage allowance and lounge access depend on your tier. Here’s a sampling of the perks you’re eligible for at each tier:

Green

  • Eligible to redeem Asia Miles for extra legroom seats 
  • Priority boarding
  • Access to Premium Economy class check-in counter
  • Eligible to redeem Asia Miles for extra baggage allowance 
  • Receive one-time Business Class Lounge Pass upon achieving 200 club points
  • Hold Your Fare booking perk
  • Dedicated club service phone line
  • Early access to discount flight awards

Silver

  • Complimentary extra legroom seats, in addition to eligibility to redeem Asia Miles for extra legroom seats
  • Advanced seat reservation
  • Priority boarding
  • Access to Business class check-in counter
  • +10kg additional checked baggage allowance, in addition to eligibility to redeem Asia Miles for extra baggage allowance 
  • Access to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Business Class Lounges
  • Two single-use Business Class Lounge Passes for travel companions upon achieving 450 club points
  • Club membership hold
  • Hold Your Fare booking perk
  • Dedicated club service phone line
  • Early access to discount flight awards

Gold

  • Complimentary extra legroom seats, in addition to eligibility to redeem Asia Miles for extra legroom seats
  • Advanced seat reservation
  • Priority boarding
  • Access to Business class check-in counter
  • +15kg additional checked baggage plus 1 additional bag allowance, in addition to eligibility to redeem Asia Miles for extra baggage allowance 
  • Access to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Business Class Lounges
  • Two single-use Business Class Lounge Passes for travel companions upon achieving 800 club points
  • Four bookable upgrades upon achieving 1,000 club points
  • Club membership hold
  • Hold Your Fare booking perk
  • Dedicated club service phone line
  • Early access to discount flight awards

Diamond

  • Complimentary extra legroom seats, in addition to eligibility to redeem Asia Miles for extra legroom seats
  • Advanced seat reservation
  • Priority boarding
  • Access to First or Business class check-in counter
  • +20kg additional checked baggage plus 1 additional bag allowance, in addition to eligibility to redeem Asia Miles for extra baggage allowance 
  • Access to Arrival, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Business Class Lounges
  • Two single-use First or Business Class Lounge Passes for travel companions upon achieving 1,400 club points
  • Four bookable upgrades upon achieving 1,600 club points
  • Complimentary Companion Gold Membership upon achieving 1,800 club points
  • Courtesy Channel access with one companion for speedy security screening at Departure Halls, Terminal 1 and 2, Hong Kong International Airport
  • Club membership hold
  • Hold Your Fare booking perk
  • Dedicated club service phone line
  • Early access to discount flight awards

For a full list of benefits and their terms, head to the Marco Polo Club benefits page

Partner airlines

Cathay Pacific is a OneWorld Alliance™ member airline, which means you can earn and redeem miles on 13 partner airlines worldwide.

Additional OneWorld partner airlines include: 

American AirlinesMalaysia Airlines
British AirwaysQantas
FinnairQatar Airways
IberiaRoyal Jordanian Airlines
Japan AirlinesS7 Airlines
LATAM AirlinesSri Lankan Airlines

Cathay Pacific also partners with the following Asia Miles members:

Air CanadaAir China
Air New ZealandAlaska Airlines
Austrian AirlinesBangkok Airways
Gulf AirJet Airways
LufthansaShenzhen Airlines
Swiss International Air Lines

Hubs and lounges

Cathay Pacific is headquartered at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). In addition HKG as its main hub, Taipei’s Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) is the airline’s focus city.

Looking to put your lounge access to use? Cathay currently operates over 100 Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Business Class and First Class Lounges. Based on your membership status or fare class, you may also have access to 650 OneWorld lounges worldwide.

Pro tip: Use the TripIt app’s interactive airport maps to locate lounges in the airport(s) you’re traveling through. You’ll have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.

Ready to join? You can sign up for an Asia Miles membership here or a Marco Polo Club membership here. We’ve also created loyalty program guides for British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and American