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 email@example.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.
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.
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.