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Major airlines and credit cards are a frequent pairing, and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways continues that trend with its Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card. This was the first Cathay Pacific card to be released specifically to American consumers.
The Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card offers users an opportunity to directly earn and accumulate Asia Miles while making both travel and non-travel related purchases. For that reason, the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card may be a worthy consideration if you are frequently flying Asian airlines.
Applying for a Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card
The application process is standard, and those applying for the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card will do so through the card issuer, Synchrony Bank. Though Synchrony bank and Cathay Pacific do not reveal their approval requirements, applicants generally must have good to excellent credit, and rates are usually based on the applicant’s credit history, income, and current debt.
Application approval is not immediate, with some applicants reporting a gap of several days between application and approval. This is important to keep in mind if you’re booking immediate travel and wish to accumulate Asia Miles through your credit card use.
Applicants who are declined for the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature will automatically be considered for the Cathay Pacific Visa, which has different rates, terms, and benefits.
The Cathay Pacific Visa Signature rates vary based on the Prime Rate, but the APR hovers between 18.24% and 21.24% (variable) with an annual fee of $95. Though the APR may be higher than some competitors, and currently lacks perks like 0% financing on initial purchases, the card does offer a rewards program, which is likely the most attractive feature for U.S.-based travelers seeking Asia Miles.
One of the major benefits of the card, particularly for those who want to accumulate Asia miles, is the reward structure and signup bonus. Applicants who are approved for the card can earn up to 60,000 miles – 35,000 of which are earned upon spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of opening the account, and 25,000 of which are rewarded when the cardholder spends an additional $7,500 in the first 12 months.
The standard mile rewards allow cardholders to earn two Asia Miles per dollar spent on dining and on Cathay Pacific travel and in-flight purchases , 1.5 Asia Miles per dollar spent on international purchases, and 1 Asia Mile per dollar spent on all other purchases made in the U.S.
In addition to points rewards, new members also receive a variety of other perks including a complimentary, year-long Green membership to the Marco Polo Club; 10 percent savings on Asia Miles Gift Miles, Mileage Renewals, and Mileage Transfer Frees; and no foreign transaction fees.
Cardholders also have access to Visa benefits, when applicable. These benefits include road service protections, and in some cases, trip cancellation/interruption protection, travel accident insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement.
One of the biggest downsides of the card is that the miles accumulated will expire after 36 months, and the miles can only be redeemed through the rewards program. Those two drawbacks may make other cards, like the Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture Rewards, that offer additional perks and competitive bonus mile rewards programs more attractive to some travelers.
If you frequently fly Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon airlines and you want to find a direct way to accumulate Asia Miles, then this card might be a good choice for you. If not, you may want to consider one of the other travel-based credit cards that offer similar or more competitive, transferable rewards programs.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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