Pointshogger

"Get the best return possible for every $ you spend."

Blog

Comparing Canada, Hong Kong and USA Cathay Pacific Credit Cards

Thank you Bob for today’s post idea suggestion. Note that I am always open to suggestions on credit card comparison posts as I have a lot of fun writing them, especially when I am comparing cards from different countries. 

Cathay Pacific has a long list of co-branded credit card, but I selected 4 from the entire pack to compare. As we are a Canadian-centric blog, I started with the Canadian version. I generally like to compared to the United States, seeing as we are such close neighbours and they offer the most competitive cards in the world, which I like to see how Canada matches up against the best. Lastly, I think that it is most fitting to compared with the Hong Kong co-branded cards, as Cathay Pacific is based out of there.

Below are the highlights of the cards that I selected to compare:

Canadian RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum

  • $120 annual fee
  • $50 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • Earn 15,000 sign up bonus miles
  • Earn 2 miles for every $1 CAD spent on Cathay Pacific purchases online
  • Earn 1.25 mile for every $1 CAD spent on all foreign currency purchases
  • Earn 1 mile for every $1 CAD spent on all other purchases
  • Receive complimentary Green Tier membership in the Marco Polo Club

Hong Kong American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card

  • $980 HKD (first year fee waived) (fee also continually waived: if you spend $100,000 HKD annually, or hold at least a Marco Polo Club Silver membership tier at the time of your annual card fee renewal)
  • Earn 4,000 sign up bonus miles (if you apply online and spend $3,000 HKD in the first 3 months)
  • Earn 2 miles for every $8 HKD spent on Cathay Pacific flight bookings online
  • Earn 2 miles for every $5 HKD spent on inflight Cathay Pacific Airways sales purchases (with a minimum net purchase of HK$500)
  • Earn 1 miles for every $5 HKD spent on all purchases in the first 3 months (up to a maximum of 40,000 miles)
  • Earn 1 miles for every $3 HKD spent on foreign purchases in the first 3 months (up to a maximum of 30,000 miles) (earn 1.5 Asia Miles for every $8 HKD thereafter)
  • Earn 1 mile for every $8 HKD spent on all other purchases
  • Receive complimentary Green Tier membership in the Marco Polo Club
  • Receive 2 Plaza Premium Lounge access coupons each year

Hong Kong American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card

  • $1,800 HKD (first year fee waived) (fee also continually waived: if you spend $150,000 HKD annually, or hold at least a Marco Polo Club Silver membership tier at the time of your annual card fee renewal)
  • Earn 6,000 sign up bonus miles (if you apply online and spend $5,000 HKD in the first 3 months)
  • Earn 2 miles for every $6 HKD spent on Cathay Pacific flight bookings online
  • Earn 2 miles for every $5 HKD spent on inflight Cathay Pacific Airways sales purchases (with a minimum net purchase of HK$500)
  • Earn 1 miles for every $5 HKD spent on all purchases in the first 3 months (up to a maximum of 40,000 miles)
  • Earn 1 miles for every $3 HKD spent on foreign purchases in the first 3 months (up to a maximum of 30,000 miles) (earn 1.5 Asia Miles for every $6 HKD thereafter)
  • Earn 1 mile for every $6 HKD spent on all other purchases
  • Receive complimentary Green Tier membership in the Marco Polo Club
  • Receive 4 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits (along with a free membership) in the first 12 months of card membership
  • Receive unlimited Plaza Premium Lounge access all year-round for primary and supplementary cardmembers

US Synchrony Bank Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 25,000 sign up bonus miles (after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days)
  • Earn 2 miles for every $1 USD spent on Cathay Pacific travel and in-flight purchases
  • Earn 1.5 mile for every $1 USD spent on foreign purchases (outside of the US) and on dining (anywhere in the world)
  • Earn 1 mile for every $1 USD spent on all other purchases
  • Receive complimentary Green Tier membership in the Marco Polo Club
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual Fee

The cards that offer a first year fee waived is definitely a big deciding factor to me, which is what both Hong Kong cards offer. Seeing as the American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card has the higher annual fee, they get the edge, as waiving its fee is more valuable.

Furthermore, what I love most about the two Hong Kong co-branded Cathay Pacific credit cards is exactly what I have been hoping to see in Canada. They waive the annual fee if the cardholder reaches a certain spending requirement. In case people were wondering if I made this concept up, this is the perfect exactly of what I would like to see more of in Canada!

Winner: Hong Kong AMEX Elite

Sign Up Bonus

The obvious choice is the US card that offers the highest regular sign up bonus. However, because the Canadian card frequently offers a 30,000 sign up bonus, (*hint* which you should only sign up for this card during the promotional offer anyway), I will give them the edge.

Winner: Canada RBC

Earn Ratios

As you can see, the earning ratios are quite confusing, as there are so many different combinations, along with fluctuating currency exchange rates. It really comes down to the US Synchrony and HK AMEX Elite. But seeing as some of the HK AMEX Elite earning ratios are only during a promotional period, the edge goes to the US.

Winner: US Synchrony

Lounge Access

This is a fairly easy one. The credit card that offers the most lounge access will win!

Winner: Hong Kong AMEX Elite

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Waiving foreign transaction fees on US based travel credit cards is really the norm. Hope to see this norm spread worldwide!

Winner: US Synchrony

Conclusion

If I had to choose 1 card, it is going to be the Hong Kong American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card. Even though it may not have the strongest sign up bonus, it does offer the most perks, along with the ability to waive the annual fee by reaching a certain spend requirement.

I had a lot of fun writing this post, what should I do next?

Leave a Reply

Follow us on Social Media and keep up-to-date on our latest posts!

About Us

Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

  • Ottawa | Vancouver
  • @pointshogger

    Contact Us

    Send

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

    You have Successfully Subscribed!