Cathay Pacific’s Newest Route EWR-HKG

As announced this week, Cathay Pacific has their newest U.S. gateway city – Newark, NJ (EWR)! While not the most glamorous of U.S. destinations, this one hits close to home because it’s my home airport.

Cathay already has a great presence in NYC with 4 daily flights to Hong Kong, but I guess they wanted to increase frequency with this new route. Whatever the reason, I’m not complaining!

Here are the flight schedules:

CX New Route 1

CX899 EWR-HKG departing 1:50 AM arriving 5:40AM (+1 day)
CX890 HKG-EWR departing 6:20PM arriving 10:00PM

They will be flying a 3-cabin Boeing 777-300ER – no First Class! Sad, but CX Business Class is one of the best seats in the industry so no worries there.

Joann and I have flown it before and loved it. My dad, sister, and brother-in-law have also taken it before (all between MNL & JFK) and loved the experience.


Best Ways to Redeem Awards on Cathay Pacific

As of right now, there is PLENTY of Business & Economy availability through the end of schedule. I’m seeing 5 seats available for a bunch of flights.

Here are the 2 best ways to redeem an award on Cathay Pacific:

American Airlines AAdvantage miles

Easily one of the 2 best frequent flyer programs in existence. AA & CX are both in the oneworld alliance.

Between EWR & HKG, it will cost you 55k miles each way in Business Class and 35k miles each way in Economy.

A huge bonus to the AAdvantage program is that you can have a free stopover at your North American gateway city (in this case EWR). Essentially, you are getting a one-way domestic flight for no extra miles.

British Airways Avios

Avios are generally regarded as only useful for shorter flights since it is a distance-based program, but they are still an option for CX. BA is also part of the oneworld alliance.

Between EWR & HKG, it will cost you 70k Avios each way in Business Class and 35k Avios each way in Economy. Taxes & fees would range from $134 – 160.

CX New Route 2 EWR HKG

That would be a Happy Birthday to Me!

Don’t forget that both American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to British Airways!

In fact, Amex usually has transfer bonuses to BA so keep on the lookout and you could save some points.

Daily Getaways 2013 – Week 5 Announced!

The travel packages for Daily Getaways 2013 Week 5 have been announced.

Daily Getaways 2013 - Week 5

Daily Getaways 2013 – Week 5

The deals for Week 5 seem to be the ones that everyone has been waiting for, most notably the Hyatt packages.

Other packages include deals from Hertz, Hilton, Fairmont, and some Las Vegas hotels.

As always, paying with an American Express card will get you a 10% discount.

Deals To Watch Out For

Hyatt Gold Passport Points

With the 10% discount, you end up buying Hyatt points for about 1 cent a point.

This is generally a great deal if you use the points for high end properties like Park Hyatts in Sydney, Paris, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and the Maldives.

These properties cost 22,000 points per night so with this deal, you’d be paying about $220 per award night. Pretty amazing considering most of those Park Hyatts cost well over $500 a night!

I’ll definitely be trying for the Hyatt deals on July 11th.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa (Maldives)

Park Hyatt Hadahaa (Maldives)

Hilton HHonors Points

I bought these last year and I feel they were a good deal. Points ended up to be about half a penny per point.

We’ll be redeeming them at the Conrad Maldives way out in 2015, but that was before Hilton severely devalued the top end of their loyalty program.

With the old program, 8 nights at the Conrad Maldives cost about $1,500, but with this new program, the same award would costs over $3,700. No thanks!

Basically, I’d say to STAY AWAY from the Hilton points this year!

Daily Getaways 2013 – Week 4 Announced!

Here are the deals for Daily Getaways 2013 Week 4!

As usual, paying with an American Express card will get you a 10% discount at checkout.

Daily Getaways 2013 - Week 4

Daily Getaways 2013 – Week 4

Personally, there is barely anything of interest to me in Week 4. Sadly, this seems to be the trend for this year’s Daily Getaways and me.

The only deal I like is the same deal I like from Week 3, the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) points. It’s a fairly decent price for IHG points if you’re looking to stay at some more expensive InterContinental hotels.

Side note, I find the “Get the Paula Deen Treatment at Harrah’s Tunica” deal to be quite horrible timing all things considered.

If you’re interested in ways to utilize the IHG Rewards Club points or the deals for this coming week, June 24-28, visit a previous post.

Daily Getaways 2013 – Week 3 Announced!

Daily Getaways 2013 Week 3 deals have been announced!

They’ve been posted on the Daily Getaways website.

Just about all of the deals are the same ones from 2012, with a couple of hotel deals that are new for 2013.

If you’re looking for some insight on the deals for Weeks 1 & 2, head over to this post that I wrote a few weeks ago.

Remember: Paying with an American Express card will get you an additional 10% off.

Daily Getaways 2013 - Week 3

Daily Getaways 2013 – Week 3

Deal To Watch Out For

The obvious choice here is the Friday June 28th deal for Intercontinental / Priority Club (IHG) Rewards Club points.

  • 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $100*
  • 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $167*
  • 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $325*
  • 100,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $630*

*By using an American Express card for that extra 10% discount, one point will cost you 0.56 – 0.6 cents. About half a penny per point.

These points can be used for any IHG hotel – Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental.

Whether or not this is a good deal is up to you. If you use the points towards an expensive property like the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, then it’s an unbelievable deal.

intercontinental bora bora

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

50,000 points will get you a free night at an amazing resort in an exotic destination where paid nights usually go for upwards of $800.

Points Math

Scenario 1: Buy 100k points from Daily Getaways for $567. Redeem those 100k points for 2 nights at the IC Bora Bora.  You just paid $567 for 2 nights, which equals $283.50 per night.

Scenario 2: Pay the cash rate for 2 nights at the IC Bora Bora for about $800 per night + taxes. Go and search to confirm it yourself!

I think I know which scenario I’d rather be in!

IHG Reward Nights

To get an idea of how the IHG Rewards program is built, check out the chart for free nights here.

There are 9 categories of hotels in the program with the highest requiring 50,000 points per reward night.

Always compare the amount of points you need to redeem for a reward night vs. how much the cash rate actually is. Sometimes, the math just won’t add up and you’re better off paying cash and earning points.


The First Two Weeks of Daily Getaways 2013

It’s back! Brought to us by American Express and the U.S. Travel Association, Daily Getaways has returned for 2013!

The first two weeks of deals have just been posted on the Daily Getaways website.

While the majority of these deals aren’t showstopping, there is usually at least one a week that will draw a lot of attention. That means that you will have to be right on time when deals start going on sale.

They usually get put in people’s carts instantly, but if the person doesn’t purchase within a certain amount of time, that deal gets released again. So, there’s hope if you don’t get a deal right away!

As always, paying with an American Express card will get you an extra 10% discount.

Week 1:

Week 1: June 10 - 14

Week 1: June 10 – 14

Deals To Keep an Eye On

The Marriott certificates offer a substantial 20% discount if you find yourself at Marriott hotels.

Other than that, nothing catches my eye.

Week 2:


Week 2: June 17 - 21

Week 2: June 17 – 21

Deals To Keep an Eye On

Both Club Carlson deals on Wednesday, June 19.

50,000 points for $194 ($174.60 when paid with an AmEx)

100,000 points for $385 ($346.50 when paid with an AmEx)

If paid with an American Express card, the points can be had a $0.003 per point. That’s pretty cheap.

Club Carlson is a growing hotel program with a lot of potential. They are even opening up two hotels in the Maldives this year!

I might pass on it because, between Joann and me, we have over 450K Club Carlson points. We have to start burning those!


Hat tip to Mommy Points for breaking the news!