Upcoming Changes to Asia Miles (22 June 2018) - 'Improved' Earn Rates and Redemption Adjustments

Asia Miles will be introducing some new changes to the way miles are being earned and redeemed on 22 June 2018 - everything stays the same until then. If you are unfamiliar with the differences between Asia Miles and The Marco Polo Club, feel free to check out my primer on this subject. Asia Miles is a particularly important subject for Singaporean consumers since most credit card points convert either into KrisFlyer or Asia Miles - this article aims to list the top few changes that would probably affect you the most. 

Click HERE to find out more about all the upcoming changes to Asia Miles!

 Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Photo Credit: Asia Miles

1. New Way to Calculate Mileage Accrual

Asia Miles claims that members will now be able to earn more miles on 80% of Cathay and Cathay Dragon flights. Mileage accrual will no longer be based solely on the actual distance flown but rather, it will be calculated based on a combination of cabin class, fare class and distance zone.

 Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Consistent to what you would typically expect, the fare class of your cabin class will determine how many miles you will earn on that flight. If you are traveling on heavily-discounted fares, expect to get the least miles for that flight. As an example, flying from Singapore to Hong Kong in Economy will earn you 1,000 Asia Miles each way in fare classes S, N and Q but if you are booked on a flex ticket (Fare Class Y, B, H and K), you will be earning twice the number of Asia Miles on that very same flight. 

 Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Photo Credit: Asia Miles

The infographic above shows a comparison on the number of Asia Miles that you can accrue in respective cabin classes on flights to popular destinations (well according to Asia Miles anyway). Obviously with these upcoming changes, you get the most of the program by flying to a location that is at the lower end of each Distance Zone. 

2. 'Unlock' Award Seats with More Miles

Similar to what KrisFlyer has with regards to Saver and Advantage award tickets, Asia Miles will be introducing two new levels for redemption - Choice Award and Tailored Award. Redeeming for Choice Award and Tailored Award tickets will require more Asia Miles for the same route and the same cabin class but it comes with improved availability. 

 Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Photo Credit: Asia Miles

As you can see in the photo above, Choice Award and Tailored Award tickets are open up to 360 prior to the date of travel while Standard Award tickets (which require the least number of Asia Miles) only open up to 353 days prior to the date of travel. While this may not sound like a significant difference, it does matter when you are looking at peak travel dates. 

3. New Redemption Chart

Asia Miles will be doing away with the existing award chart (which is fairly confusing to me) - starting from 22 June 2018, the following redemption chart will come into effect. Longer-haul flights in premium cabins will typically see an increase in the number of Asia Miles required but all Economy Class flight awards will require either the same number of Asia Miles or lesser with the upcoming change.

 Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Flying from Singapore to Hong Kong used to require 20,000 Asia Miles one-way on Economy but starting from 22 June 2018, you will only need to spend 10,000 Asia Miles each way (50% savings!). Business Class flights from Singapore to Hong Kong will only require 25,000 Asia Miles when the changes come into effect as opposed to 30,000 Asia Miles at this moment. 

Award Ticket (Redemption) from Singapore - One-way
Asia Miles
(from 22 June 2018)
KrisFlyer
(Current)
Cathay Pacific Economy Cathay Pacific Business Singapore Airlines Economy Singapore Airlines Business
Hong Kong 10,000 25,000 15,000 27,500
Bangkok 10,000 25,000 12,500 20,000

With the upcoming changes to the number of miles required for flight awards, it will cost less miles using Asia Miles than KrisFlyer Miles (assuming a 1:1 value) to fly from Singapore to Hong Kong in Economy and Business Class. In comparison, if you wish to fly from Singapore to Bangkok on Business Class, KrisFlyer still offers a better value proposition. In any case, if you wish to fly Business Class on Cathay Pacific to Bangkok, you should be looking at using British Airways Avios. 

4. More Seats Available for Redemption (20% More)

According to Asia Miles, the number of available redemption seats will be increased by 20% and all Economy Class flight awards will require either the same number of Asia Miles or lesser with the upcoming change on 22 June 2018. 

5. Comparing Asia Miles' Choice Chart to KrisFlyer's Advantage Chart

The differences in the number of required miles between Asia Miles' Standard and Choice Award Charts are less pronounced as compared to the differences between Saver and Advantage award types in KrisFlyer. For the sake of comparison, let's look at direct flights from Singapore to Hong Kong and Bangkok respectively:

Award Ticket (Redemption) from Singapore - One-way
Asia Miles
(from 22 June 2018)
KrisFlyer
(Current)
Cathay Pacific Economy Cathay Pacific Business Singapore Airlines Economy Singapore Airlines Business
Hong Kong 15,000 40,000 30,000 50,000
Bangkok 15,000 40,000 25,000 40,000

Flying from Singapore to Hong Kong in Business Class on Singapore Airlines will require 50,000 KrisFlyer Miles on an Advantage award ticket - this is 82% higher than the requirement on a Saver award ticket. In comparison, doing the same route will only cost 40,000 Asia Miles on a Choice award ticket as compared to 25,000 Asia Miles on a Standard award ticket - this is only 60% more! 

6. Changes to oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart

Changes to the oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart will be coming on 22 June 2018 as well:

 Photo Credit: Asia Miles

Photo Credit: Asia Miles

There will be changes to the number of Asia Miles required for flight award redemption on other airline partners. Information on other airline partner routes can be found on the Asia Miles website from 22 June 2018.