Airlines credit cards for frequent flyer programs in Taiwan


#1

Hi everyone,

I wonder if anyone has experience using either China Airlines or Eva Air co-branded credit cards to accumulate miles ?
Worth it ? which one is best ?

Thanks


#2

Both Cathay and Citibank have multi airline points cards, help you accumulate miles with both.


#3

I’ve currently got a Citi Premiermiles Visa card. I think I pay NT$1,200 per year for it; I get one point-mile per NT$20 spent, whether it’s domestic or overseas. I used to get two “free” rides between the airport and home per year, as long as I’d bought the ticket with the credit card, but I think that was with my previous Eva-cobranded card; with that one, I could only transfer points to Eva, but I gather now I can transfer to a bunch of different airlines if I so choose. (Every so often my wife informs me I’ve changed credit cards because of such-and-such a deal; hence my lack of clarity. This also means I have no helpful information about how to apply for these cards.)

It’s definitely helped with tickets. Very roughly, I’ve been getting a one-way ticket to Canada on Eva every three years or so. You need to be a little careful because Eva points now expire after three years, so you want to keep the points in your credit card account as long as possible, rather than transferred over to the airline. Plus Eva is a little weird for buying tickets: if I buy tickets starting in Vancouver, the prices are reasonable. But they’re a lot more expensive if I’m starting in Taiwan. If you’re redeeming points for a ticket, however, the starting point makes no difference, and I’ve used that to my advantage.

The big bonus comes when you buy the airline ticket with the credit card - you get a double load of points, both from the flight itself, and from the money spent on the credit card. But of course you’re also sort of committing yourself to stick with one airline, and that can lead to opportunity costs.

Oh, and when I’ve bought things on installment plans (i.e. paid over three months rather than all at once), I haven’t gotten points for those purchases. That was a big annoyance when I shelled out a lot of money for air conditioners a few years back. I had the money and should have paid it all at once and gotten the points.


#4

Which ones is it more realistic for us 外國人 to actually get?


#5

Cathay is the Costco card. If you have Costco, just apply and then get their secondary cards. I like them a lot because they send you a message to let you know you have spent money.

Citibank for me was quite easy but then I have a collection of cards. They have great offers. Service is not that good though, and interests are really high.


#6

Thanks to all.
I had a look at Costco credit card but it does not seems to say anything about accumulating points or miles on local airlines.

About the Citi bank, I found the following links

https://www.citibank.com.tw/sim/en/credit-cards/index.htm?filter=premium
https://www.citibank.com.tw/product/redeem/index.html

If I understand clearly, if you want to get a ticket to North America or Europe, it cost 85000 points.
To get 85000 points, you need to spend with your card in Taiwan or abroad around NT1.700.000.

Since all what you have to do is to pay with this credit card, I guess it is always better to get something than nothing. If anyone has a better deal with another bank, feel free to post.

Thanks again


#7

Let me explain:
You get the Costco credit card through Cathay, right? Cathay gives you Costco card, and you can ask also for a SOGO card, an Air Miles card, a card with Jeremy Lin on it, and many others. I did not say that you could accumulate miles through your Costco card -even though any transaction with that card will get you points for Costco. Read my posty and you will see that I said after you get that one, you can all, so you can get the Air Miles one. Or even better, you can ask for the Air Miles directly.

There are 4 pages of cards
https://www.cathaybk.com.tw/cathaybk/personal/credit-card/cards/intro/list/


#8

Yes Icon is correct.

I’ve recently done extensive research regarding an Air Miles Card and I settled on the Cathay Business Titanium Card.

https://www.cathaybk.com.tw/cathaybk/personal/credit-card/cards/intro/titanium-business/

It was either that or the Citibank Premier Miles card, which does help you to collect Miles slightly faster (also can be exchanged for air miles of many airlines) but has an annual fee of 2400nt. These days air miles aren’t worth much. I have a bunch of cathay miles probably enough for a “free” return trip to Europe but since last year you still have to pay something extra, can’t remember exactly, something like 2000HKD pp.

The benefits of this Cathay card is:

  • First year no fee, following year free if you spend over 180k (with all Cathay cards)
  • Get a Priority Pass for limited free visits to Airport Lounges worth over 100usd per year (free card next year if you spend more than 180k).
  • Plus taxi to the airport for 380nt (from Taipei City).
  • Earn miles for any airline, albeit less than Premier Miles but still not bad.
  • Awesome travel insurance (premier miles has none)
  • Discount for additional medical insurance when abroad with cathay
  • And some other small things like CPC petrol cashback and stuff

So if you already have a Costco card I would consider an air miles card from Cathay, they have a few (the eva air one if very popular if you mostly fly with them). Plus the lady told me that they calculate your expenditure across all Cathay cards when considering your yearly contribution to how much of the annual fee you have to pay (as I mentioned before).

The plus side to Citibank is they do have many good offers as mentioned before, but my better half has a simple citibank cashback card and it has most of the same offers as the card with the 2400nt annual fee.

Lastly, I’m a foreigner and wasn’t asked any questions or for a guarantor for this card. Just my last 3 months salary and my last years income statement. They also gave me a 200k limit which is more than enough. I’m actually just using this card for airplane tickets mainly and until I reach the 180k, then I’ll go back using my cashback card because I feel 1.22% cashback is worth more than the miles.


#9

We get 5 or 6 new US cards a year. They have huge bonus miles for spending around USD3000 over 3 months. We charge everything we can on them. It is a bit harder in Taiwan as fewer places takes cards.

We get enough miles to fly the family of 4 around the world every 12 to 18 months and about 2 weeks of free hotel nights.

The best part is we get the middle exchange rate - much better than changing money at the bank.

We get cards that have no foreign transaction fees. Essential.

OK, my money is in the US so it is easy to pay. If not, it would be a hassle but still worth the free bonus miles.


#10

Ermm…guessng you spend a lot on those cards, otherwise that is a sweet deal.
I book a lot of flights every year , mostly I just get some cash back on my first bank visa card.


#11

FYI: The spending doesn’t have to be on airlines. Any charge counts. I have a family of four and a business so I spend more than average. But all it takes is $1000 a month for 3 months to get a bonus. That bonus is usually good for one RT ticket to Europe or USA.

With the prices here, I can’t imagine not spending $1000 a month. Carrefour alone is $300+. I try to pay for everything with my cards. And I use ApplePay for the places that don’t have a card reader (7/11!).

Surprisingly stores here take a super wide variety os payment types - ApplePay, GooglePay, SamSung Pay, AliPay… the list is long!

A lot things in Taiwan are 20 years behind but then you are surprised by things like payments. Maybe it is because the banks suck donkey…


#12

I have had a titanium nuclear something MasterCard through Taichung business bank , for 9 years . Used it a lot but only has 100,000 ntd limit . In the past my ex used to get parcels with new fans / clothing / electronic goods … from the “ points “ accumulated . Although I must have a huge amount of points … I can’t seem to see anywhere online to see the balance . I have only used it to upgrade on the Hsr . Hit or miss with certain trains not eligible … but a 50% rate of success . It’s a good way to use points . I wonder how many I have ?


#13

I don’t think any cards in Taiwan give such sweet deals for airline points, will look into it. Some months I will easily spend over 100k (ntd) on my card for business .

Edit: dondada did the research above…