Confirmed: Last sign-up date for free BA Silver (ie Cathay Gold) via Amex Platinum is 31 March
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It now seems official. American Express has confirmed on the American Express Platinum members website (which I can’t link to) that the Cathay Pacific Gold card deal will end on 31st March.
If you are not familiar with this offer, this is how it works.
When you take out an American Express Platinum charge card, you can apply for a Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Gold card, valid for one year.
Cathay Pacific, like British Airways, is a member of the oneworld alliance. This means that your Cathay Pacific Gold card gives you the same benefits as a British Airways Silver card when you fly with BA.
You can use BA lounges, even when flying economy – and bring a guest
You can use the lounges of any other oneworld airline when flying with them (Qantas, Qatar, Cathay, Finnair, Royal Jordanian etc)
You can select seats on BA flights for free
You can get an additional baggage allowance
You can check-in at business class desks
The full list of benefits from a oneworld Sapphire card (which is what both BA Silver and Cathay Gold offer) can be found here.
To receive your Cathay Pacific Gold card, you must therefore apply for your Amex Platinum card, receive it AND order the Cathay Gold card online by 31st March. Realistically, this means that you would need to apply for Amex Platinum by mid March.
But doesn’t Amex Platinum have a £450 fee …..?
Yes, it does. However, the fee is refunded pro-rata when you cancel.
When you cancel, you keep the Cathay Gold card for the remainder of the 12 months for which it is valid. You also keep the three hotel status cards for the rest of the year – Starwood Gold, Accor Platinum and Carlson (Radisson) Gold.
There is also a very lucrative sign-up bonus with Amex Platinum, although you can only get this if you have not had an Amex Gold or Amex Platinum in the last six months. You will receive 30,000 Amex Membership Rewards points, which can be converted into 30,000 Avios or 30,000 Virgin Flying Club miles amongst other things.
This is how it could pan out:
Apply for American Express Platinum now
Order your Cathay Gold, Starwood Gold, Accor Platinum and Club Carlson Gold cards
Spend the £2,000 in 3 months required to trigger the 30,000 Membership Rewards points
Transfer your 30,000 points – plus the extra points from your spending – into 30,000 Avios, Virgin Flying Club miles or whatever other programme you choose
Cancel the card after three months for a pro-rata fee refund
For a net cost of just £112 (3/12th of £450):
you will have earned 30,000 Avios, and
you get the equivalent of a British Airways Silver card for a year and
you get Gold status at Starwood hotels for a year and
you get Platinum status at Accor hotels for a year and
you get Gold status at Carlson (Radisson, Park Inn) hotels for a year.
Which sounds OK to me ….
My full review of the American Express Platinum card is here.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express 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 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.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable 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:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review