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My wife gets her Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold card renewed via Amex Platinum

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I receive a continual stream of emails about the Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold card that comes with the American Express Platinum charge card.

The first question is, not unreasonably:

If you get this amazing Gold card from Amex Platinum – which gives you all the benefits of British Airways Silver status, including lounge access – why isn’t it mentioned on the Amex website?

This is a very fair point. The answer, I imagine, is that Amex is very protective of its relationship with British Airways and does not want to openly annoy them more than is necessary.

(After all, why bother spending money chasing Silver status with BA when you can get the same benefits by paying Amex £450 instead?)

There is one oblique reference to the Cathay Gold card on the Amex website. It says that Platinum gets you ‘unlimited access to over 1,000 airport lounges’. That number actually refers to the 600 Priority Pass lounges plus the 550 oneworld lounges around the world (knocking off a few like Galleries First at Heathrow and Gatwick and The Concorde Room at Heathrow which require a higher class of card).

I admit, though, it is a bit odd.

The second question is:

Is Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold just for one year?

Well, according to the private (log-in required) Amex Platinum website where you apply for the card, it is just one year. However, so far, I don’t think that anyone has NOT had it renewed.

And yesterday, my wife’s card arrived.

The covering letter said:

“Welcome to a new year of Gold membership

Cathay Pacific and American Express hope you have enjoyed your complimentary one-year Gold membership in The Marco Polo Club, and we are delighted to renew it for another year. This is an exclusive benefit offered to you as a Platinum Cardmember.”

Just to be clear, my wife has credited a total of ZERO flights to her card in the past year, and accumulated ZERO points.

Now, of course there is no guarantee that this will continue for a 3rd year. It is possible that Cathay thought that a one year period was too short, given that people tend to book long-haul flights well ahead. (Although, if that were the case, it would have been more helpful to tell people earlier it would get renewed.)

If you like the sound of getting a Gold card for BA lounge access, there is unfortunately no sign-up bonus at present on the Platinum card. You could still get the card (£450 fee), apply for the Cathay card, and then cancel Platinum – you would get a pro-rata refund on your membership fee, so probably wouldn’t be more than £100 out of pocket.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

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