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RBC Cathay Pacific Visa: Significant Issues with Points Posting Ricky April 7, 2020

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa: Significant Issues with Points Posting

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum appears on the surface to be a lucrative inroad to the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program.

However, there have been widespread reports of the points on your statement (including the 15,000 Asia Miles upon first purchase, the 10,000 Asia Miles upon spending $6,000 in the first three months, and the miles earned on daily spending) failing to post to your Asia Miles account in a timely manner, and that these issues may take several months of following-up with RBC and Asia Miles to resolve.

Given that the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa could otherwise be a very strong product within the overall RBC ecosystem, I think it’s worth highlighting these issues so that you can take the necessary precautions before applying or product switching.

My Asia Miles Didn’t Post for Two Statements

I first applied for the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum back in September 2019, hoping to earn the full effective signup bonus of 25,000 Asia Miles with a large chunk of spending that I had planned.

However, even though I made my first purchase within the first statement, and the statement itself displayed the 15,000-mile welcome bonus that I had earned, I did not see any of the miles being posted to my Asia Miles account.

I decided to give it another month and see if it posts on the second statement. In that time, I met the $6,000 minimum spend associated with the next chunk of 10,000 Asia Miles, and I saw those miles displayed on my monthly statement too.

However, the miles were still nowhere to be seen within my Asia Miles account itself, so it was time to reach out to RBC and see what was going on. I sent a Secure Message through the online account, which is usually my preferred way to raise issues with banks and financial institutions before I have to call in.

Upon looking into the issue, RBC representative Bianca advised me that “there is still no membership number linked to the account”, which is strange because I would’ve input my Asia Miles number when applying for the card. However, to be fair, I didn’t see my Asia Miles membership number displayed on my monthly statements either, so maybe it got lost somewhere in the process. 

I shot back a reply with my membership number included, and replied to the follow-up message from fellow RBC representative Brad confirming my exact name and address as well. From there, a third RBC rep, Lauren, replied to let me know that they’ve linked my credit card with the Asia Miles account, and I figured that the issue would be resolved by the next monthly statement.

The RBC Merry-Go-Round

Well, I was wrong. My next follow-up message was met by Brad, who said that I should reach back out a week later to get another update. 

Okay, I can do that, since this was simply a series of single-line Secure Messages after all, which was much easier than picking up the phone.

The next week, I heard back from yet another merry-go-round attendant at RBC, who advised me of the real issue that was going on here: the names on my RBC and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles accounts were not an exact match, with my RBC account using my middle initial and my Asia Miles account using my full middle name.

This was rather surprising to me, since most other financial institutions I’ve dealt with never seemed to care so much about a small mismatch like this. 

Indeed, I imagine that this type of issue could show up for a huge chunk of the Asia Miles clientele, considering that many Hong Kongers with romanized Cantonese names tend to have two separate middle names that can be denoted in a variety of ways (initialized or fully spelled out, with or without spaces, with or without periods, etc.)

RBC didn’t seem to have the ability to change my name on their end (which is unsurprising given their antiquated systems), so my next step was to reach out to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and get the name on my account changed to simply the middle initial, rather than my full middle name. Based on the instructions on the Asia Miles website, a written request sent to memberprofile@asiamiles.com, along with a copy of my passport, would take care of this.

Alas, even though this request to Asia Miles was sent at the end of November, it would take another three months or so for my miles to properly post to my account.

Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 11.04.18 AM.png

In those three months, I dealt with a series of follow-up emails with RBC’s troupe of merry-go-round attendants, citing various excuses such as “awaiting a reply from Cathay Pacific” and “an issue with our points program” on which they “are working to have this resolved, but there is no time frame provided”. 

On my end, it was simply a matter of logging in to my account periodically to send another Secure Message and prod them along. Eventually, in early March, I asked if it’s possible to escalate the issue to a further team, but at that point I finally received the response that the matter had been resolved and the miles should’ve successfully been posted to my Asia Miles account.

Upon logging in, I confirmed that this was indeed the case: my Asia Miles had shown up once and for all, with the first two chunks of the welcome bonus being back-dated to October and November respectively, and all the points I had earned on my regular spending since then being lumped into a single transaction in March.

Whew! Upon seeing my miles finally post to my account, I couldn’t have product-switched away from this troublemaker of a card with any more urgency.

And given that the whole process took five months of following up to resolve… can you blame me?

Make Sure Everything Matches Between RBC and Asia Miles

To avoid getting into this mess in the first place, it’d be best to make sure that the name, address, email, and date of birth on your RBC profile and your Asia Miles account are an exact match before applying for the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa.

In particular, pay attention to things like your middle name or middle initial, titles or suffixes, hyphens, diacritical marks, etc.

If you already have an Asia Miles account, you can contact them over email to update the spelling of your name if you’d like, but a potentially easier way around this is to simply tailor your RBC credit card application to the exact spelling on your Asia Miles account, because I get the feeling that the spelling check between RBC and Equifax is actually less stringent that the one between RBC and Asia Miles.

While ensuring that all your details are an exact match is a good start, there’s no certainty that this will prevent any issues with your miles posting.

After all, other individuals have also reported similar issues, and my five-month ordeal to get these points sorted out proves that there are a great deal of communication problems between RBC and Asia Miles’s systems beyond simply the name mismatches. 

If you’re interested in earning Asia Miles, but would rather avoid the chance of seeing your hard-earned miles fall into a black hole for months on end, it could make more sense to focus solely on the RBC Visa Infinite Avion (which is currently offering a record-high signup bonus of 35,000 Avion points) and other Avion-branded products. You’d then transfer those Avion points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio in order to fund your account.

Conclusion

Consider this a public service announcement on the significant issues affecting the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, whose effective first-year signup bonus of 25,000 Asia Miles, while tempting, can experience significantly delays in posting to your Asia Miles account. 

RBC’s older-generation IT systems can definitely be frustrating at times, and in this case, you’ll want to ensure that your information between RBC and Asia Miles is an exact match in order to give yourself the best chance of your miles posting successfully without any hiccups. 

If any of you have experienced similar issues with points posting on this card, please share your experience in the comments below so that we can get a better understanding of the issues that are affecting cardholders.

Top Offers

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum

25,000 Asia Miles
15,000 Asia Miles upon approval +
10,000 Asia Miles upon spending $6,000 in the first three months

  • 10,000 extra Asia Miles when you renew your card after the first year
  • 2x Asia Miles on Cathay Pacific flights
  • Green membership within Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club
Signup bonus
25,000 Asia Miles
Annual fee
$120
16 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Andre

    I also had the same issue with both Cathay and westjet cards since the September statements. Both pc’d. Westjet finally posted in January, but asiamiles Have still not arrived, although they did show up on statements. The cynical side of me is thinking this is to slow down churning..

  2. Avatar
    Eric

    I’ve had two goes at the Asia Miles card since last September but haven’t received the points on either of them. Ultimately I ended up moving away from the CX card for greener pastures. It’s simply no longer worth accumulating Asia Miles. I’ve switched to getting more Avios instead.

  3. Avatar
    Al

    Same issue here sadly, been like this for 2 months. Thanks Ricky for the PSA!

  4. Avatar
    EH

    Thank you for the post. I think I am the only unlucky person. I have talked to 3 associates from RBC and each assured me that I will get the points shortly. I have also called Asia Miles and the associate told me they can do nothing about it. It has been more than 3 months and I am still working on it…

  5. Avatar
    DenB®

    TBC is reliable only if your points are RBC Rewards and you’re not transferring Avion to a partner. I don’t mind a company making a mistake. I DO mind when they lie and renege when asked about the mistake.

  6. Avatar
    Hao

    I don’t think this is particularly pertaining to AsiaMile, i had similar issue with the Westjet from Dec to March as well. RBC kept claiming they had issue with the system, therefore my RBC voucher and points couldn’t show up in the Westjet account. So i waited four months before they could resolve it after my 3-4 phone calls

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Interesting, it’s the first time I’m hearing of issues with WestJet (and British Airways) too, since I’ve never had a problem with my points posting to those programs. Seems like a pervasive IT issue at RBC that folks should be aware of when applying for their cards.

      1. Avatar
        Hao

        I also had to contact Westjet customer service in order to add my free checked luggage to my early March flight reservation. I have been very reluctant to do any product switch these days

  7. Avatar
    André Major

    I have the same problem. Has nothing to do with my name. I’ve been waiting for points to post since October. All kinds of problems with RBC first pointing the finger at Cathy for being responsible for this. They have sinced recognized that the problem is with them but that Cathy’s system is still showing as "pending" for the points transfert. I’ve asked RBC for compensation as I hold them responsable for this mess but they haven’t done anything. I was told I would get the Asia Miles no matter what or how long it will take even if I PS in the meantime

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I presume your name/address/other info were exactly matching between the two programs since the very start?

  8. Avatar
    DenB®

    Guys, I can’t edit my earlier comment so I invite you to notice what I called our host! I promise, promise it’s an honest typo, of which I’m very proud 😉

  9. Avatar
    DenB®

    RBC has a much bigger problem than name matches and it affects more than just AsiaMiles.

    I had an almost identical experience with RBC British Airways VISA Infinite. Merry-go-round was almost identical to Risky’s above, also featuring "Brad" among others. Excuses had same language. Delays were of similar duration. Clearly this isn’t about a name mismatch between RBC and the partner. I resolved an address mismatch days after they gave that excuse but it took months thereafter to see the points, while I did similar "prodding". I don’t believe Ricky has actually learned the real reason for the delays and I never felt confident in any of the communications I received from RBC.

    To me, it smells like a major back-end IT renewal at RBC Rewards, that went sideways. I surmise that RBC chose not to publicly disclose anything about it.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      It definitely sounds like major IT problems at RBC, coupled with a strict requirement for names/address matching. Interestingly, I haven’t had it happen to my BA account, even though my middle name doesn’t even show up with BA.

      Regarding the typo – no risk, no reward, and you know how much I love rewards 😉

  10. Avatar
    Wayne

    When dealing with Cathay and/or Asia Miles, matching the names is the most important thing. It is just the way it is.

  11. Avatar
    Steve

    Using the Avion card doesn’t solve the issue… I am still dealing with both RBC and Asia miles because the names don’t match. It’s frustrating and it seems to be more of an Asia miles issue rather than RBC.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Did your RBC to Asia Miles points transfer fail to go through as well? Most of the anecdotes I’ve encountered have had issues with the points from the Asia Miles credit card posting properly, but have been OK on the points transfer side.

Ricky

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