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HKIA (Hong Kong International Airport) Frequent Visitor Card

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Mal

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I know a lot of the "super" frequent traveller's here wouldn't need one thanks to the APEC card, but I have a question for someone to answer if they have one.

How long is the card valid for? Does it get automatically re-issued?

Will be eligible for it shortly. Thinking of getting it. Yet another card for the travel wallet, but if it saves me time then it's a handy one.

That said, I havn't really had any big delays with HKG immigration. Should I even bother with it?
 
M

MetroAir

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Depends on how much you want to end up on another database???

I too haven't had any delays with HKK immigration - I think they are one of the fastest.
 

Mal

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HKG already know who I am, my passport number, how often I vist, how I arrive. They probably even know my average body temperature on arrival by now!

Having my details in another database doesn't worry me. The database contains nothing more than my passport details and arrival details plus what I normally put on the immigration form (so it's probably recorded anyways). The HK immigration department already know all of that and lots more.

I agree though. Not sure if there are benefits from getting the card. I'd actually love an APEC one, but as I don't travel o/s for work that may be a little tricky to arrange....
 

clifford

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MetroAir said:
Depends on how much you want to end up on another database???

I too haven't had any delays with HKK immigration - I think they are one of the fastest.
Hard to beat SIN fo efficiency (try crossing the land border from Malaysia).

HK's OK too.
 

serfty

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HKIA Frequent Visitor Card

I wish I had one eight weeks ago; arrived from NRT ~9:15pm and was through immigration by 10:30. :(

I believe you have to have visited Hong Kong 3+ times in the previous 12 months to Qualify (not transited).

More information here: HKIA Frequent Visitor Card
 

Mal

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Well I finally applied for one now that I have the required three immigrations entries into HKG via the Airport in the last 12 months.

This time I was in HKG the first delay for nbound immigration was around 30 minutes. Entirely bearable.

The second time the delay was about 5 minutes.

Don't see too much benefit in the card, but I'm sure I will arrive in HKG one day and the queues will be snaking out the doors. Then it will come in handy and if I didn't have it then I would be kicking myself for not applying!

I'm sure when (if?) I'm approved I will receive a letter stating this, but I am curious how long the cards are valid for. Is it just one year?

Does anyone have any experience with this?
 

clifford

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Mal said:
Well I finally applied for one now that I have the required three immigrations entries into HKG via the Airport in the last 12 months.

This time I was in HKG the first delay for nbound immigration was around 30 minutes. Entirely bearable.

The second time the delay was about 5 minutes.

Don't see too much benefit in the card, but I'm sure I will arrive in HKG one day and the queues will be snaking out the doors. Then it will come in handy and if I didn't have it then I would be kicking myself for not applying!

I'm sure when (if?) I'm approved I will receive a letter stating this, but I am curious how long the cards are valid for. Is it just one year?

Does anyone have any experience with this?
My experience, Mal, is that when queues start to get a bit long in HKG, they put more immigration officers on. Never had to wait more than 20 mins.

:)
 

straitman

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clifford said:
Mal said:
Well I finally applied for one now that I have the required three immigrations entries into HKG via the Airport in the last 12 months.

This time I was in HKG the first delay for nbound immigration was around 30 minutes. Entirely bearable.

The second time the delay was about 5 minutes.

Don't see too much benefit in the card, but I'm sure I will arrive in HKG one day and the queues will be snaking out the doors. Then it will come in handy and if I didn't have it then I would be kicking myself for not applying!

I'm sure when (if?) I'm approved I will receive a letter stating this, but I am curious how long the cards are valid for. Is it just one year?

Does anyone have any experience with this?
My experience, Mal, is that when queues start to get a bit long in HKG, they put more immigration officers on. Never had to wait more than 20 mins.

:)
Agree entirely. Hong Kong on a bad day is much better than LAX (and a few others places) on good days :!:
 

Mal

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clifford said:
My experience, Mal, is that when queues start to get a bit long in HKG, they put more immigration officers on. Never had to wait more than 20 mins.

:)
Agree. Has been my experience pretty much as well. Even less of a queue to depart the country via the airport! Just like SIN airport, one of the really good examples of efficiency and good planning. The card may come in handy though and no wait is better than 20 minutes :)

Anyone want to employ me and send me around Asia so I have a reason to apply for an APAC card? :) I'd prefer that much more!
 

serfty

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clifford said:
... My experience, Mal, is that when queues start to get a bit long in HKG, they put more immigration officers on. Never had to wait more than 20 mins.

:)
I must have been stiff then, waiting for over an Hour on a Friday evening in October. :cry:
 

Mal

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In the end, I was issued a HKIA frequent visitor's card.

It is valid for roughly 2 years. You need to visit HKG at least 3 times in that period to get the card renewed (although the information is a little unclear whether that's 3 times per year or 3 times in the 2 years...)

Anyways, may come in handy sometime.
 

gaia

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I'm in and out of HK several times a month and often had to wait 20 minutes with my ABTC card and missed a connection one time because of delay.

I applied for the HKIA card and mine's valid for for 2 years. Used it 3 times last week and I was always the only one in the queue. Less than 1 min each time to clear immigration.

Now looking to get a Thailand Fastrack Elite card which provides an escort through immigration.
 

gaia

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And my understanding is that it's 3 times in the previous 12 months for renewal qualification.
 

Mal

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gaia said:
I'm in and out of HK several times a month and often had to wait 20 minutes with my ABTC card and missed a connection one time because of delay.

I applied for the HKIA card and mine's valid for for 2 years. Used it 3 times last week and I was always the only one in the queue. Less than 1 min each time to clear immigration.

Now looking to get a Thailand Fastrack Elite card which provides an escort through immigration.
Ta for the info on the experience.

With the "Thailand Fastrack Elite" card you mention, is that the one issued by Thailand Elite?

Looked at it a while ago, but with a joining fee of ~ $35000, I wasn't interested.
 

gaia

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Mal said:
Ta for the info on the experience.

With the "Thailand Fastrack Elite" card you mention, is that the one issued by Thailand Elite?

Looked at it a while ago, but with a joining fee of ~ $35000, I wasn't interested.
Might be. Saw it at BKK on Friday and asked them to contact me. No details on what the cost is yet.
 

Mal

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gaia said:
And my understanding is that it's 3 times in the previous 12 months for renewal qualification.
This is where I am puzzled. I have the letter that came with the card in front of me. It says:

"Please note that you have to visit Hong Kong three times (3) by air in order to be eligible for future card renewal".

If the card is valid for 2 years, does that mean visits three times in 2 years, three times in the 2nd year of the card's validity, or three times per year for the two years?

Might have to email and ask. An interesting semantics point!
 

Mal

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gaia said:
Might be. Saw it at BKK on Friday and asked them to contact me. No details on what the cost is yet.
The card I'm talking about is discussed here: www.thailandelite.com

There are many more perks for it, including virtually permanent residence in Thailand etc.

If there is a fasttrack card available based on frequency of visits, then I would love to know about it.

Another option if you don't go there often is to pay the once-off fees for the express immigration. Some hotels offer this as a service (~$30 or $50 Aust, can't remember) and it basically is the same service as what Thailand Elite give for arrivals (You can also pay the same to leave the country "fast track"). I think there is also a company you can pay on a "casual" basis for this, but can't find the reference right now for it.

Let me know what you get quoted, assuming it is something reasonable!!
 

JohnK

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Re: HKIA Frequent Visitor Card

serfty said:
I believe you have to have visited Hong Kong 3+ times in the previous 12 months to Qualify (not transited).

More information here: HKIA Frequent Visitor Card
Would an entry and exit stamp in your passport dated the same day be classed as a transit or visit?

This Frequent Visitor Card sounds like a good idea if you want to clear immigration quickly on visits into Hong Kong, even if they are short transits.
 

Mal

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Re: HKIA Frequent Visitor Card

JohnK said:
Would an entry and exit stamp in your passport dated the same day be classed as a transit or visit?

This Frequent Visitor Card sounds like a good idea if you want to clear immigration quickly on visits into Hong Kong, even if they are short transits.
Mine was approved with one 3 hour visit to HKG, one 30 hour visit and a 5 day visit.

Since getting it, I have entered HKG a couple of times. The first was at 5am and there was no benefit, the 2nd was late afternoon and the queues were horrendous compared to what I had seen previously. Even the FVC line had 2 or 3 people in front of me! Saved a huge amount of time in that case.
 

JohnK

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Re: HKIA Frequent Visitor Card

Mal said:
Mine was approved with one 3 hour visit to HKG, one 30 hour visit and a 5 day visit.
OK, one more AY status run and I think it may be worthwhile applying for the card. It would be good if you can get through immigration quickly to leave more time for shopping or sightseeing.
 
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