Hong Kong now welcomes travellers with open arms with its “Hello Hong Kong” campaign after a few years of strict restrictions.
As a fascinating city and an important Asian hub, mastering rewards programs to get to Hong Kong is crucial for saving on travel expenses.
This means you’ll be able to travel as you wish, whether to indulge in delicious food, visit Hong Kong Disneyland or go elsewhere in Asia, among many things!
How to fly to Hong Kong with points?
Numerous airlines operate flights to Hong Kong. According to Flight Connections, several direct routes are offered from major cities in North America.
Based in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific connects the city to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
United Airlines and Air Canada also provide flights to Hong Kong from New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Furthermore, Hong Kong has strong links to other big hubs such as Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, etc. As a result, there are numerous options for reaching Hong Kong, mainly through Star Alliance and Oneworld.
For Canadians, using Aeroplan points to get to Hong Kong is a straightforward choice. At present, Air Canada operates the flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong, and the Toronto route is expected to resume eventually.
You can find round-trip fares to Hong Kong for about 100,000 Aeroplan points. I have also checked the calendar for the entire upcoming year and noticed that these fares are fairly abundant.
Booking premium cabins with Aeroplan can be challenging though, as you need to either book early or use a tool like ExpertFlyer to locate availability with a partner airline at a fixed price, as Air Canada’s dynamic pricing can be pretty steep.
Hong Kong is a fantastic destination, but if you’re using Aeroplan, make the most of the stopover option to visit another place on your way there or your return journey!
Additionally, you can redeem your e-upgrade credits to move to premium economy or business class on your Air Canada flight to Hong Kong. It’s important to note that business class fares are not usually low, so it’s best to book quickly if you find a decent price.
Also, R space may be limited, especially on those long flights to and through Hong Kong, as the city is a central financial hub and gateway to Asia, making premium cabins highly sought after.
ExpertFlyer can monitor availability on partner airlines for you and send an alert when award space opens up. You can also employ them to search for R space on Air Canada. As Hong Kong just lifted most of its restrictions, it is crucial to play that game if you want to get there in a lie flat.
Earning the necessary points for your trip to Hong Kong can be done swiftly and easily by obtaining one or two credit card welcome bonuses, such as the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card.
Consider the $599 card fee as the cost of buying the points for your trip, as it is a favourable deal compared to the typical $2000 cash fare found on Google Flights.
Furthermore, such a card will also get you many exciting benefits, such as free luggage, priority boarding, priority security, etc.
Another way to travel to Hong Kong with points is with Avios and Oneworld. This is an excellent option as it allows you to fly in the luxurious Qsuite to Asia, should you find availability.
After comparing the use of Avios with the British Airways Executive Club and the Qatar Airways Privilege Club, the latter will require fewer points for the same route. Indeed, you can get away with 47,500 Avios in economy for a one-way fare on Qatar Airways compared to British Airways’s program at 60,000 Avios.
As for business class or Qsuites, there is a lot of availability on their calendar but I couldn’t find saver fare so you might have to juggle between both Avios platform to find the best award price for your travel dates to Hong Kong.
Taxes and fees can be costly, but the Qsuite is a solid product if you can manage to book it, and I wouldn’t mind paying this amount for comfort in a closed suite all the way to Hong Kong.
In perspective, The Platinum Card® provides enough Avios to get to Hong Kong with points. The versatility of Membership Rewards allows you to keep your options open and transfer your points to the program that offers the desired space. This strategy enables you to choose the best time to transfer your points.
Another option for travelling to Hong Kong using points is the British Airways Executive Club Oneworld multi-partner chart. However, simulations have shown that one-way fares to Hong Kong using Qatar Airways’ program require fewer points (47,500 Avios compared to 90,000 Avios in economy with the Oneworld multi-partner chart).
The Oneworld multi-partner chart may be more advantageous if you plan to combine a trip to Japan or any other destination with your visit to Hong Kong.
Avios can be easily earned through RBC cards or transfer partners such as American Express, HSBC, RBC and Marriott Bonvoy. The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite even offers a signup bonus of up to 60,000 Avios, which is enough for a trip to Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program, Asia Miles, uses a chart based on distance flown. Therefore, the miles required from Toronto will be greater than from Vancouver.
We can see here that a one-way economy class flight to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific will cost you from 30,000 Asia Miles.
To compare, here is a flight in the same cabin on Air Canada from Vancouver that is priced at 42,900 Aeroplan points.
The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum is the only Canadian credit card directly earning Asia Miles. This card also offers a welcome bonus of Asia Miles.
There is no minimum income requirement, making it accessible for anyone to apply. Moreover, there are several transfer partners available.
See here for a complete guide on Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for your next trip to Hong Kong.
Alaska Mileage Plan
In addition, you can use Alaska Mileage Plan to fly to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines for as little as 30,000 miles in economy and 35,000 miles in premium. The taxes and fees are also very low, as you can see here from Vancouver.
This is the fewest number of miles you can redeem to travel to Hong Kong in the front of the plane across any program. The best moment to search for availability is 360 days in advance when Cathay Pacific releases its award space to partners.
If you’re not based in Vancouver or Toronto, buying a positioning flight with Aeroplan points is an easy option. Consider this an opportunity to spend time in cities like Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago.
It’s crucial to book and secure your airfare immediately once you find a spot, especially if you want to fly to Hong Kong in a premium cabin; this applies to Alaska Mileage Plan and Aeroplan and Avios.
It is now more difficult to accumulate enough Alaska Mileage Plan miles since the applications for credit cards earning those miles are now closed.
If you have a specific redemption in mind, you can buy miles during a sale. Alaska Mileage Plan often offers bonus miles on purchases, up to 60%, which can be a substantial saving for flights to Hong Kong compared to paying cash.
For example, you can acquire 36,000 miles to fly premium from Vancouver to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific for $950 ($ 709.50 US with the current exchange rate) instead of the $7,000 cash fare.
The purchase limit is 150,000 miles per year and 60,000 miles per transaction, which is enough for a round-trip to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific in economy, business, or first class. Remember to use a credit card that exempts foreign exchange fees, like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card.
Also, Marriott Bonvoy is a transfer partner, but I wouldn’t rely on this unless it’s for a small amount to reach what you need.
Where to stay in Hong Kong with award points?
Regarding Hotel Reward Points, Marriott Bonvoy hotels are widely available in Hong Kong. The following Marriott Bonvoy establishments are in a good location to visit Hong Kong.
- Courtyard Hong Kong
- JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
- Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel
- The St. Regis Hong Kong
- The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
- W Hong Kong
- Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers
- Mira Moon Hong Kong, a Member of Design Hotels™
Remember that booking with points grants you a complimentary fifth night, essentially providing a 20% discount. This benefit of the program is advantageous as five nights is ample time to experience the atmosphere of Hong Kong.
Also, a Free Night Award Certificate can go a long way in Hong Kong; since you’re earning them at either $120 or $150 with the renewal of the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card and the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card, you’re getting tremendous value when they are employed to stay in Hong Kong.
You can also check our review of Courtyard Hong Kong, where you can redeem an Annual Free Night Award Certificate.
And below, you’ll find the current credit card offers for Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards:
There are a ton of independent places to stay in Hong Kong ranging from very standard hostels to fancy hotels; you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a decent room for about $100 per night on Booking.com.
Hong Kong is also very well served by public transport so make sure you get something near a station.
By utilizing reward points, the costs of your trip to Hong Kong can be offset by awards offered by the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card. These points can cover travel expenses, allowing you to book whatever you desire and apply for the statement credit when you return. Furthermore, you’ll be able to avoid the 2.5% Foreign Exchange Fees throughout your trip to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong - Things to do
Hong Kong - Victoria Harbour
Between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island sits Victoria Harbour, a natural harbour in Hong Kong. It is one of the busiest harbours in the world and an important trading and shipping centre for Asia. Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour is a popular location known for its breathtaking nighttime vistas and impressive skyline.
Every evening, a synchronized light and sound display are displayed on the buildings along the harbour as part of the Symphony of Lights presentation.
Hong Kong - The Peak
One of Hong Kong‘s most well-known sights is The Peak, sometimes referred to as Victoria Peak. On Hong Kong Island, there is a mountain that offers fantastic views over the city, Victoria Harbour, and the other islands. With its breathtaking views and distinctive fusion of history and contemporary, The Peak is a well-liked tourist site that draws millions of visitors annually.
Take the historic Peak Tram, a funicular railway that has been running since 1888, to get to the summit. With views of the city along the way, the tram offers a thrilling and steep journey to the summit. The viewing platform, which offers 360-degree panoramas of Hong Kong, including Victoria Harbour and the city skyline, is accessible at the summit.
Several attractions include the Peak Tower, which has a shopping centre, restaurants, and an observation deck. The Peak is an excellent place to spend the day because it has many parks and gardens, including the Peak Garden and the Peak Galleria.
With numerous routes winding up and around the mountain, it’s also a well-liked location for hikers and runners. The routes offer strenuous exercise and breathtaking views of the city and the countryside beyond.
Hong Kong - Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is a theme park that is situated on Lantau Island. It is the first Disney park in China and one among the many Disney parks spread over the globe. It has traditional Disney attractions, including Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and one-of-a-kind experiences influenced by Hong Kong’s culture and history.
One of Hong Kong Disneyland’s key distinctions from other Disney parks worldwide is its small size, which makes it simpler to explore in a single day. Despite its modest size, it is jam-packed with activities and entertainment choices, making it a fun vacation spot for Disney lovers and families with young children.
The addition of Chinese-themed places, such as Mystic Point, which has a haunted mansion based on Asian mythology, and the Grizzly Gulch, a Wild West-themed region with a Chinese spin, is another noteworthy distinction.
These distinctive sections give visitors a flavour of the local way of life and make Hong Kong Disneyland a remarkable Disney adventure. Hong Kong Disneyland is a full-day destination for families and Disney enthusiasts since it offers live entertainment, eating options, and a fireworks display in addition to its rides.
Hong Kong - Man Mo Temple
The Man Mo Temple, which honours the gods of war and writing, is located in Hong Kong’s Central District, which is also home to many other notable structures and temples.
One of the oldest and most well-known ones in Hong Kong was constructed in the 1840s. It’s renowned for its distinctive architecture, which blends aspects of Chinese, Western, and native designs. The calming ambiance is further enhanced by the beautiful carvings, lanterns, and incense coils hanging from the ceiling.
Locals frequently visit this location to pray and present gifts, especially to Man, the god of books, in hopes of achieving success in their academic or professional endeavours. With its religious and cultural significance, it’s a pillar in Hong Kong’s spiritual side.
Hong Kong - Stanley Market
Stanley Market is a well-known shopping area in Hong Kong that provides a vast selection of goods, apparel, and souvenirs. The market is a fantastic spot to spend the day because it is also home to many fantastic restaurants and cafes.
One of Stanley Market’s distinguishing qualities is the abundance of high-quality products available at affordable rates. There is something for everyone in Stanley Market, from homemade crafts to conventional Chinese silk products.
This market in Hong Kong is particularly well-known for its tailors, who can create specialized garments in a matter of hours, making it a popular destination for anyone looking for an unusual and individualized shopping experience.
Stanley Market is an excellent place to learn about the local culture in addition to shopping. A full day of exploring at the market would be ideal because gorgeous colonial-style buildings, historic temples, and picturesque beaches border it. Stanley Market has something for everyone, whether seeking one-of-a-kind mementos, a custom-made suit, or a fun day in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong - Lantau Island and outlying islands
The Tian Tan Buddha, one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, and the Po Lin Monastery, a traditional Buddhist temple, are located on Lantau Island, one of Hong Kong‘s most picturesque and serene locations.
You can travel to the outlying islands, like Lamma or Cheung Chau, on a different day. The remote islands of Hong Kong offer a distinctive and tranquil retreat from the bustling city. You can stroll through the nearby villages, take in the lovely scenery, and sample some mouthwatering seafood.
Hong Kong - The Hong Kong Trail
The 50-kilometre-long Hong Kong Trail passes through the city’s hills and parks as it leaves Victoria Park. The eight portions of the trail provide breathtaking views of the city’s natural beauty, which includes gently undulating hills, dense forests, and picturesque beaches.
Along with passing through historical sites like the Leung Shuen Wan Barracks, it is a beautiful way to get away from the city. The route is a must-visit for anybody interested in seeing Hong Kong‘s countryside and is appropriate for both seasoned and novice hikers.
Hong Kong - Hong Kong Museum of History
For those curious about the city’s fascinating history and culture, a trip to the Hong Kong Museum of History is a must. The museum provides an intriguing glimpse into how Hong Kong changed from a sleepy fishing village to a flourishing metropolis.
You may discover more about the early inhabitants of the area and their way of life, as well as the occasions that helped Hong Kong become what it is today.
Additionally, you may gain some insight into the city’s colonial history, including the effects of British occupation and the occasions leading up to its transfer to China in 1997. It offers a variety of experiences by hosting temporary exhibitions in addition to its permanent exhibits.
Hong Kong - Kowloon’s neighbourhoods
Kowloon is a bustling area of Hong Kong that is home to many traditional neighbourhoods.
You can explore these neighbourhoods and see firsthand the unique blend of old and new that characterizes this vibrant city. The most notable ones are:
|Neighbourhood||Characteristics||Points of Interests|
|Tsim Sha Tsui||Shopping and dining options, tourist attractions||Victoria Harbour, Museum of History|
|Mong Kok||Busiest shopping district||Street markets, shopping centres, street food stalls|
|Yau Ma Tei||Vibrant Street life, cultural heritage||Jade Market, Tin Hau Temple|
|Jordan||Busy commercial and residential area||Temple Street Night Market, Jordan M. T. R. station|
|Kwun Tong||Major commercial and industrial district||Kwun Tong Promenade, Green Hub|
|Sham Shui Po||Textile and electronic goods markets||Budget-friendly shopping destination|
Hong Kong - Try the delicious local cuisine
Hong Kong is famous for its food, and for a good reason, so you should not miss the chance to try the local cuisine. Popular dishes include dim sum, a type of steamed dumpling, and roast meats, as well as fresh seafood caught daily from the nearby waters.
- Dim Sum: A staple of Cantonese cuisine, it consists of small bite-sized dishes typically served in steamer baskets.
- Roast Pork: Crispy, roasted pork belly is a popular dish in Hong Kong and can be found in many local restaurants.
- Won Ton Noodle Soup: A simple but delicious meal with thin egg noodles and wontons in a flavourful broth.
- Congee: A rice porridge that can be made with various ingredients, from savoury to sweet.
- Egg Tarts: A sweet and creamy dessert with a flaky crust made from a mixture of egg custard and condensed milk.
- Fish balls: A popular snack made from ground fish and flour, usually served in a delectable stock.
- Milk Tea: A staple of Hong Kong cuisine, milk tea is a creamy and sweet tea made with black tea and evaporated milk. I personally really love this one.
- Clay Pot Rice: A delicious dish made by cooking rice, meat, and vegetables in a clay pot over low heat.
Travelling to Hong Kong using rewards points is doable, but due to the long flight, you may want to consider upgrading to a more comfortable seat.
To avoid paying more in points, it’s recommended to book your flights as early as possible, especially for premium cabin seats which have become more difficult to secure.