New Cathay Pacific Card: No Thanks!

New Cathay Pacific Card: No Thanks!

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Yesterday Synchrony (who?) released their much anticipated co-branded credit card withCathay Pacific

Is it a worthwhile addition to your wallet?  

(Wait – Synchrony? Synchro-who? Synchrony is a large issuer of store cards; think Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers.)

The Offer 

  • Earn 25,000 Asia Miles after spending $2,500 within three months of card opening 
  • 2x points per dollar on Cathay Pacific purchase
  • 1.5x points per dollar on dining in the U.S.
  • 1.5x points per dollar on all foreign purchases 
  • 1x point per dollar on all other purchases in the U.S.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee is $95 and not waived

While the 25,000 point sign-up is paltry (compared to 50,000 – 70,000 point sign-ups), I’m not all that disappointed by that number. Remember: the Alaska Airlines cards from Bank of America used to be 25,000 (they’re now 30,000). However, there is an annual fee of $95 which isn’t waived that makes applying for this card, and keeping it, a bit harder to justify. 

The spending categories aren’t all that exciting. The 1.5x on all foreign purchases is an interesting twist, but cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve will earn 3x on dining and travel – even abroad.


Where else can I earn Cathay Pacific Asia Miles?

Asia miles is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points, American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. All transfer 1000 : 1000, except when transferring 20,000 or more from SPG, where you’ll receive a 20% (or 5,000 point) bonus.

When do these points expire? 

Asia Miles expire after three years! Even with this card. That’s a pretty huge disappointment.

How can I use Asia Miles?

The Asia Miles program isn’t the most straightforward, but you can read all about it here – Travel is Free has a excellent write-up on some cool uses.

Is this card churnable? 

Probably not. Though it will take some time to accurately determine this, the Terms & Conditions state:

25,000 BONUS MILES: For new accounts only … Only one 25,000 bonus miles offer per cardholder account…

Where does Synchrony pull from? 

Typically, Synchrony pulls from Transunion (and sometimes Equifax). For those who are inquiry sensitive this is a nice change.

Bottom line

While I’m a bit disappointed with the sign up (plus the $95 not waived annual fee), its great to see some new cards by smaller issuers injecting some new “blood” into the marketplace. On a positive note, it’s great that this will be a new issuer for many churners, plus the fact that Synchrony pulls from Transunion. That being said, the $95 annual fee and earning structure make this card far from worthwhile.

-The Miner 

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