Ways to fly to Hong Kong with miles - Cathay Pacific First Class
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Best Ways to Fly to Hong Kong With Miles

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By: Caroline Lupini

Hong Kong is a super accessible city to visit since English is one of its official languages.  Even better, you can often find award space from the U.S.

If a trip to Hong Kong is on your to-do list, check out the best ways to get there with points and miles!

Content

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

United Airlines Mileage Plus

Delta SkyMiles

ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Final Thoughts


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

One of the best ways to fly to Hong Kong is with Alaska Mileage Plan thanks to is partnership with Cathay Pacific, which has nonstop flights to Hong Kong from Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York–JFK (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington–Dulles (IAD). It also partners with American Airlines, which has nonstop flights from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX).

You can also use Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book connecting flights to Hong Kong on Korean Air, Emirates (super pricey though), Finnair, Hainan and Japan Airlines.

Each airline partner has its own pricing, as follows (all prices one way):

AirlineEconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
American Airlines35,000NA70,000110,000
Cathay Pacific30,00035,00050,00070,000
Emirates52,500NA105,000180,000
Finnair32,500NA125,000NA
Hainan30,000NA50,000NA
Japan Airlines (JAL)35,000NA60,00070,000
Korean Air*85,000NA120,000NA

*Korean Air has to be included in a  round-trip itinerary (otherwise you’ll pay the round trip price for a one-way ticket), although you don’t have to fly on Korean Air in both directions. Korean Air also has significant blackout dates, including most of December and almost the entire summer – check the Alaska Airlines award charts page for specifics. Also, note that Korean Air does not allow lap infants in business class – infants must have a full price ticket.

These award rates also include a domestic connection on Alaska Airlines to get from your home airport to the international departure city. If you’re flying American Airlines to Hong Kong, you can include a domestic American connection as part of your itinerary.

Just remember that you can only include one partner airline on an award itinerary when booking with Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

Awards on Hainan have fuel surcharges that start at $100 and can be much more. The taxes/fees on other flights on most other carriers should run around $60 for a round-trip award.

Alaska Airlines offers fairly competitive award prices to get to Hong Kong, but they offer another amazing benefit that might really make you want to redeem Alaska miles for your trip. You can add a stopover to your international connecting city (such as Dubai, Helsinki, Beijing, Tokyo, or Seoul) for no extra cost, even on a one-way ticket! That means that if you use Alaska Airlines miles to fly round-trip, you could actually visit three destinations!

Ways to fly to Hong Kong with Miles | Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific First Class. Photo Courtesy: CathayPacific.com

How to Book with Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

To book a ticket with Alaska Mileage Plan miles, you can search for award space on most partners directly on Alaska’s site. Just check the “Use Miles” box, and enter your desired departure/arrival cities and dates.

Ways To Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book with Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

You’ll get an easy-to-navigate grid that shows you flights and pricing for different levels of service, as well as a preview of pricing for nearby dates. Unfortunately, Cathay Pacific flights will not be included in these results but you can search for those flights on the British Airways’ website then call Alaska Airlines to book your ticket using Alaska miles.

Screenshot 2018 09 16 18.10.03

Ways To Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book with Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Note that since we’re searching for a one-way flight, the Korean Air flights appear at the full round trip price – and remember that Cathay Pacific flights won’t show up on alaskaair.com.

How To Earn Alaska Airlines Miles

If you’re looking to earn Alaska Airlines miles, you have two options: transfer points from Marriott Rewards .3 Marriott points yield 1 Alaska mile, with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 points. You can also earn them directly with an Alaska Airlines co-branded credit card from Bank of America.

Cards To Help You Earn More Alaska Miles

Your best bet is probably the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America, which earns 3X miles per dollar spent on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X mile per dollar spent everywhere else.

Cards that earn Marriott Rewards points just don’t pack the same punch the SPG cards did previously. This limits their usefulness when it comes to earning Alaska miles.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Two free nights, up to 35,000 points each, after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months Learn more

United Airlines Mileage Plus

United may not have the best award prices for flights to Hong Kong, but they do offer a great online search engine and often good availability in all classes of service. When flying in economy class, United charges the following one-way award prices:

Economy: 40,000 United miles
United Business Class: 75,000 United miles
Partner Business Class: 90,000 United miles
United First Class: 95,000 United miles
Partner First Class: 140,000 United miles

United doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges for award tickets, so you should only have about $50 in taxes and fees on a round-trip flight ($5-10 on a one-way departing the US and $40-50 on a one-way returning to the US).

If you want to use United miles to get to Hong Kong, you have quite a few options. United has nonstop flights to Hong Kong (HKG) from Chicago (ORD), Newark (EWR), and San Francisco (SFO); its partner Singapore Airlines also has nonstop flights from San Francisco (SFO). You can also use United miles for connecting flights on Air Canada, Air China, ANA, Asiana, and EVA Air.

Ways To Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | United Airlines Mileage Plus

Polaris Business Class on United Airlines. Image courtesy of  United Airlines.

How to Book with United MileagePlus Miles

To book a ticket using United MileagePlus miles, you can search and book directly with United.

Ways to fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book with United MileagePlus Miles

You can even choose to run a flexible date search which will show you a two-month calendar saver award availability for both economy and premium cabins. If you want to check for nonstop flights only, there’s a box you can click to restrict the search.

If you have United elite status or hold certain United credit cards, you’ll have access to expanded award availability for United flights (but not partner flights) when you sign into your MileagePlus account.

Ways to fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book with United MileagePlus Miles

Clicking on a date will show you the available flights, and compare pricing for different classes of service.

Ways to fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book with United MileagePlus Miles 

How to Earn United MileagePlus Miles

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United at a 1:1 ratio. You can also transfer points from Marriott Rewards at a 3:1.1 ratio (so 3,000 points = 1,100 miles), with a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 60,000 points transferred – that means that 60,000 Marriott points get you 27,000 United miles.

Cards To Help You Earn More United Miles

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is our favorite card for earning United Airlines miles– you’ll earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on restaurants and travel and 1X Ultimate Rewards on all other purchases, which can be transferred 1:1 to United miles.

United Explorer Card 40,000 bonus miles after $2,000 spend in 3 months, an additional 25,000 miles after $10,000 spend in 6 months(Learn more)
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months(Learn more)

Delta SkyMiles

Delta has variable pricing for awards, which means that award pricing fluctuates depending on demand, the price of revenue tickets and the phase of the moon.

You can generally expect to pay a minimum of 35,000 miles one way for an economy, 85,000 miles for business class on a partner airline and 100,000 miles for business class on Delta. Keep an eye out for flash sales though – Delta frequently offers promotional pricing on award tickets in an economy to certain destinations.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to use Delta miles for a nonstop flight to Hong Kong (the airline just ended its service from Seattle). Delta recommends flying to Hong Kong via Seoul and has coordinated with its partner Korean Air to make those connections as easy as possible.

Delta flies to Seoul (ICN) from Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis (MSP), and Seattle (SEA), and Korean Air has flights from Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Honolulu (HNL), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), New York–JFK (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington–Dulles (IAD), so you have a lot of options!

You can also use Skymiles to book connecting flights on China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, and XiamenAir.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | Delata One (Business Class) | Delta Sky Miles

Delta One (Business Class) on the Airbus A330-300. Image courtesy of Delta.

You can search and book on Delta’s site. Before you run your search, make sure you select Advanced Search so you can choose to see prices in miles and you’re preferred class of service.

Economy/Coach is called Main Cabin, Premium Economy is called Premium Select and Business Class is called Delta One. First Class applies only to domestic flights. Just another example of how airlines make it confusing to figure out what class of service you really want to fly.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book | Delta Sky Miles

This will bring you to a flexible dates calendar that shows prices for three days before and after around the date you searched. If you want to see a broader range of dates, you can select a 5-week calendar view. It will also give you other filter options to narrow your search.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book | Delta Sky MilesWays to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book | Delta Sky Miles

Selecting a date from the calendar view will bring you to a list of flights.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | How to Book | Delta Sky Miles

Note that connecting through China will have significantly higher taxes than connecting through South Korea.

How To Earn SkyMiles

Delta is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Rewards. Points transfer 1:1 from Membership Rewards in 1000-mile increments. When transferring to US-based programs, American Express charges an excise tax fee of $0.0006 per point when you transfer, with a maximum fee of $99 per transfer. For example, transferring 30,000 miles costs $18.

Marriott points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred (and no tax charges).

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Two free nights, up to 35,000 points each, after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months Learn more

Cards To Help You Earn More Delta SkyMiles

Your best options to earn Delta SkyMiles will be to earn Membership Rewards points. Amex also provides co-branded Delta cards that can be a great way to supplement your earning. If you’re in a pinch, you can look at cards that earn Marriott Rewards points.

The Platinum Card from American Express Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
American Express Gold Card Earn 25,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. Learn More by visiting our credit cards page

 

 

American AAdvantage

Regardless of whether you’re traveling on an American Airlines flight or one of its partner airlines, award rates from the contiguous 48 United States to Hong Kong are the same:

Economy: 32,500 – 35,000 American Airlines miles
Business: 70,000 American Airlines miles
First: 110,000 American Airlines miles

American operates non-stop flights to Hong Kong (HKG) from Los Angeles (LAX) and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), and its partner Cathay Pacific has nonstop flights from Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York–JFK (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Washington–Dulles (IAD).

If you don’t live in one of those cities, you can include a domestic American Airlines flight from your home airport for the same number of miles. You can also use American miles to book flights via Tokyo on Japan Airlines.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | American AAdvantage | Aircraft Interiors AA Business Cabin

Business class on American’s Airbus A330-300. Image courtesy of American Airlines.

To find award space, you can search online with American. Just enter your departure/destination cities and dates check the “Redeem Miles” box and run your search.

Unfortunately, award tickets on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines will not show up on American Airlines’ website – you’ll have to search with British Airways (or Alaska Airlines for Japan Airlines) and call American Airlines to book awards on those airlines.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | American AAdvantage | Aircraft Interiors AA Business Cabin

The search results will show 7 days of options and you can select economy, business, or first class. Always go for the “MileSAAver” option – “AAnytime” awards have more availability, but cost substantially more miles. Dates available for the cabin and rate you selected will be highlighted

You can click “Show Full Calendar” to see a month of dates.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | American AAdvantage

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | American AAdvantage

How To Earn AAdvantage Miles

You can transfer miles to American Airlines from the new Marriott rewards program at a rate of 3 Marriott Points:1 American mile, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. You can also earn miles with American Airlines credit cards from Citibank and Barclay’s.

Cards To Help You Earn More American Airlines Miles

Between American’s co-branded cards issued by both Citi and Barlcays, you shouldn’t have any trouble earning the necessary AAdvantage miles for your next award.

 

ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

All Nippon Airways, better known as ANA, has some competitive rates on round-trip award flights to Hong Kong, especially in economy and business class. Award rates are determined by two factors:

  1. Whether your award includes a segment on a partner airline
  2. Whether the dates you travel fall under low, regular or high season

For ANA flights, you’ll pay the following:

Class of ServiceLow SeasonRegular SeasonHigh SeasonPartner Award
Economy45,00055,00060,00060,000
Business80,00090,00095,00095,000
First165,000165,000180,000180,000

Note that if you have any partner airlines in your itinerary, even just for a short flight, you’ll pay the partner price.

Taxes and fees will depend on what partner you fly as some will have surcharges, but expect to pay at least $85 out of pocket.

ANA is a member of the Star Alliance like United, so you can use ANA miles for nonstop flights to Hong Kong on United or Singapore Airlines; you can also book connecting flights on ANA, Air Canada, Air China, Asiana, or EVA. You can use any combination of these airlines on a single ticket. ANA also partners with Philippine Airlines, but you can’t combine Philippine flights with any other airline.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Business class on ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image courtesy of ANA.

To book a ticket using ANA Mileage Club miles, go to the ANA website and click the “Award Booking” button on the home page. You’ll then be prompted to log in to your Mileage Club account (so make sure you have one before you get started).

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Once you’re logged in, you’ll find the award search page, where you can enter your desired flight details.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

If you check the box for “Compare seat availability +/- 3 days” you’ll get a calendar view that shows you whether flights are available near your selected dates.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Once you select your dates, you’ll get a list of available flights. If ANA flights are available, you’ll need to choose whether you want to book an ANA award or a Star Alliance award. This will highlight the available flights for your chosen award type.

At the bottom of the screen is a bar that will show you the required miles and taxes/fees for the flights you select — this will update instantly when you select another flight. You can use the arrows on either side of your selected date to check nearby dates.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Be aware that ANA may show you “waitlisted” awards on its own flights – that means you’re just making a request, and a seat may or may not become available closer to your departure date. You need the full amount of miles in your account to make a waitlist reservation, but they won’t be taken out of your account unless you actually get a seat.

Ways to Fly to Hong Kong with Miles | ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

How to Earn ANA Mileage Club Miles

You can transfer points to ANA Mileage Club from American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Rewards. Transfers from American Express are at a 1:1 ratio, in 1000 mile increments (so 1000 Membership Rewards points = 1000 ANA Mileage Club miles).

For Marriott Rewards, you’ll get 1000 ANA Mileage Club miles for every 3000 points you transfer, with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 points. You won’t have to pay any fees to transfer points from either of these programs.

Cards To Help You Earn More ANA Miles

While you can transfer Marriott Rewards points or earn ANA Mileage Club miles directly with a co-branded card from First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), these are secondary options. You’ll have a much easier time if you earn Amex Membership Rewards points thanks to numerous card options and bonus categories.

The Platinum Card from American Express Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, an extra 25,000 points after an additional $10,000 all in the first 3 months. Terms apply.Learn More

 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of options for redeeming miles and points to get to Hong Kong, and the best one for you will depend on how flexible your plans are and how many miles you have and are willing to spend. But, no matter what miles you have, there are plenty of ways to get to Hong Kong so you can enjoy some egg waffles and afternoon tea in Hong Kong!


Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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