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The main types of credit cards in Hong Kong are VISA and MasterCard, followed by American Express and JCB.
In order to choose the best credit card, you can consider the popularity and offers of the card types, and also the reputation of banks, class of the credit cards, etc. Many people own several credit cards to meet different needs nowadays. Also, you can consider your spending habits and choose Cash Back Credit Cards, Airmiles Credit Cards, Dining Credit Cards, Online Shopping Credit Cards, Premium Credit Cards, Corporate Credit Cards, Entry Level / Student Credit Cards, UnionPay Credit Cards, or Welcome Offers Credit Cards. You can also make use of MoneyHero comparison pages, and compare latest offers of credit cards.
Air miles, also known as frequent flyer miles, serve as a customer loyalty program for airline passengers. Airlines reward you with points each time fly with them, and you eventually build up enough points that you can redeem for incentives, such as free or discounted tickets or ticket upgrades. Besides, some credit cards also offer Air Miles rewards so that you can accumulate miles based on how much you spend on your credit card.
Air miles are one of the common type of credit card rewards. If you're a frequent traveler and use your credit card to book flights and accommodation on a regular basis, you can earn more air miles faster, and exchange these miles for discounted flight tickets and other benefits. If your credit card is co-branded with a specific airline that has a frequent flyer programme such as American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card and CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Airlines Fly Away Credit Card, you can also choose to have the points you earn converted into air miles.
Every time you make a transaction with an air miles credit card, you will accumulate a certain number of points based on the amount spent. For example, for every HK$5 you spend using your card, you could get 15 points which you can exchange for 1 air mile.
Many credit cards also have welcome offers to entice you to sign up for their cards. A sign-up reward may come in the form of 20,000 free miles that you'll receive when your card application is approved. For example, Standard Chartered Asia Miles MasterCard and BEA Flyer World MasterCard reward customers with Asia Miles upon spending a specified amount with their credit card.
When you accumulate enough miles, you can redeem them the next time you buy flight tickets. If you're lucky enough to receive 20,000 free miles as a welcome bonus, you're already more than halfway towards earning a return flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo.
When you've collected enough reward points on your card, you can exchange these for air miles and redeem them over-the-counter, over the phone, through online banking, or any other method specified by the credit card provider. Banks and airlines have different air mile conversion rates depending on the type of credit card.
When redeeming points, remember that the number of air miles you accumulate doesn't equate to the number of actual miles you will fly if booking airline tickets. For example you might need to collect up to 15,000 air miles in order to be able to redeem a complimentary one-way economy class ticket, as opposed to 100,000 airline miles needed to obtain a one-way business class ticket on the same flight.
You can also use your air miles to upgrade from economy to business class, or business to first class. This can cost around 50,000 air miles or more, depending on the seat class that you want to upgrade to, and the airline offering the flight.
Redeeming points for a companion is also possible at a discounted rate. For example, your business class ticket can cost around 120,000 air miles, but if you buy another business class ticket for a companion, you can exchange it for only 75,000 air miles.
Air miles aren't just for air miles. You can also redeem accumulated points for specific gift items, free entry to events, discounted set menus at select restaurants and other rewards. Such redemption depend on the air miles reward program affiliated with that specific credit card.
You can earn air miles on the credit card only if you make "eligible purchases", which every card issuers and even credit cards have different definitions. Some credit cards only count local and overseas retail purchases as"eligible purchases". Oher spendings, like instalment amount, internet banking bill payment service, autopay service and Octopus automatic add-value service, are excluded. Please read and understand your credit card?s terms and conditions to earn more air miles rewards.
Asia Miles are the most popular air miles program available in Hong Kong. Most cards have a partnership with Asia Miles so they earn air miles for this program for every purchase made with their cards.
Another air miles program common in Hong Kong is Japan Airline's ANA Miles. While it may come off as expensive, it has great value for group or family travels.
Other air miles programs include KrisFlyer, Avios, and United Airlines' MileagePlus.
Some credit cards will directly convert your spending to Air Miles without any extra fees and procedure (e.g. Standard Chartered Asia Miles MasterCard), while some other cards would require customers to exchange for Air Miles with the credit card points earned, and handling fee may apply. Normally each time the bank will charge HK$50 - HK$300, depending on the amount of Air Miles exchanged.
All taxes and fees are not included. You are required to pay for the applicable departure taxes, other airport or government handling fees, fuel surcharges, security and insurance charges and any other fees charged by any authorized entity. These charges will be deducted from your credit card when they issue your award ticket.
Asia Miles are valid for 3 years from the month the mileage is credited.
Apart from comparing the welcome offers and air miles rewards, you also need to look at annual fees, APRs, penalty policies, and terms & conditions of the related rewards. With an advanced credit card comparison tool like MoneyHero.com.hk, this task has been made much easier for consumers like you. With just a few clicks of a button, you can easily compare different credit cards in Hong Kong and see which one is most suitable for your needs.