Confirmed: Last sign-up date for free BA Silver (ie Cathay Gold) via Amex Platinum is 31 March

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.

Marco Polo Gold

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.

In particular:

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.

(PS.  There is no mention of the Cathay Gold benefit on the official Amex Platinum application website.  This appears to be linked to Amex’s close relationship with British Airways.  Don’t worry, it definitely exists!)

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  1. once they cancel the CX card, i dont see any point paying £450 fee. So the question arises, will AMEX introduce a new benefit as good as oneworld saphire card?

  2. Hi, this doesn’t have much to do with this post but does anyone know how you get the Avios from the Lloyds Avios card? Do they send you log in details for one or do I need to call them an add my Avios account?

    • They go into an account and not a BAEC account, I assume you know. Lloyds / Avios will try to match your details automatically to an existing account. If they can’t find a match, they tend to open a new one annoyingly.

      • Ah ok. Hopefully they will find my existing account, I take it they just send you the log in details if they don’t?

        Thanks for your help!

  3. Just looking at a few comments here I’ve seen mention of the Business Platinum – which going through the archives seemed to show a 60k bonus for 6k spend. The website also seems to show the same benefits around lounges as the personal card, so is it safe to assume the CP card can be claimed the same way?

    Strangely I can’t find the 60k mentioned anywhere on the Amex site – have I missed the boat on this one?

  4. I had this benefit for 2 years including 1 year when I had fallen to Bronze on BA.

    The T&Cs wording is hidden on the web site and you need to search but states

    “Enrolment in The Marco Polo Club is required to receive all benefits, and benefits may be subject to availability. Enrolment is open to basic Platinum Cardmembers only. Full Terms and Conditions of The Marco Polo Club’s Gold membership can be found at . Enrolment applications must be received by American Express by 15 February 2014, or they will not be processed. American Express terms and conditions apply. American Express reserves the right to instruct The Marco Polo Club to cancel your membership if you cease to be a Platinum member or your account is not in good standing.

    As my account was changed last year by Amex following fraud overseas I suspect I can get this again so will apply in late Jan.

  5. My CX Gold expires in April – any idea what will happen if I take out an Amex Platinum soonish, then re-apply for the CX Gold in early February? I.e. will they extend my existing membership to Feb 2015, or will they say “You’re already gold” and not accept the application, meaning I’ll only have it until April 2014 by which time it will be too late to re-apply… Might make all the difference to whether or not I apply for the Platinum.

    • No idea. Do you collect miles in Cathay? If not, you could break the rules and open a 2nd account at a new address. This won’t work if you actually collect Asia Miles though as they will be split and there is a risk that both accounts are closed.

      • Good point, thanks. I haven’t been collecting CX miles so far, though I may start doing so next year…

  6. Hi Raffles

    I have the gold charge card already, so i am not qualify for the sign up bonus.

    Can I cancel this card after one month or as soon as I get the marco polo card? Do you know the minimu duration I need to use the card for?


    • No minimum duration, you can cancel as soon as the Marco Polo arrives which should be 2-3 weeks after applying. (You need to go via once you have the card)

  7. People are mentioning that the Amex Plat comes with Priority Pass, is that different to the Lounge Club that comes with the Amex Gold?

    Also should my supplementary gold cardholder have received her own Lounge Club card? (She hasn’t)

    Does the Lounge Club come with a free guest?

  8. Andy Brown says:

    The 15 Feb 2014 cut-off has also been confirmed by Amex for Centurion card holders who currently get the CX Diamond card

  9. Just emailed customer service there reply about the Cathay Gold card:

    I understand your concern.

    However, we do not have any information about this benefit being cancelled. American Express advises you via mail or email well in advance before taking any such step.

    Pease feel free to write in case you have any other query.

    • Haha – I’d take that with a few tonnes of salt given the way they just whipped away the HH Gold benefit last year 😉

  10. The Cathay card lasts 12 months, but as you have BA status until June and you need to apply for the Cathay card by February, effectively you’ll only benefit from it between July 2014 and February 2015.

  11. Does this apply to HK based Amex cards?

    I have Cathay Elite Amex and thinking of getting the platinum if I can get the Gold!

  12. Cheshire Pete says:

    Just to say a great website this, I only discovered it a few months back!

    Current have Amex BA PP so thinking of applying for this Plat Card via your link. Already have 2 BA bookings I’d like to add seats/lounge to with the benefit of the Marco Polo Gold card that you can then apply for, as only BA Blue. It’s interesting all the mechanisms people employ in swapping their FF number backwards and forwards in order to Earn BA miles but have the Marco Polo status added to your booking. It seems to me the easiest way is to get the MP added as the secondary FF number to a booking, which apparently BA can do via their call centre, rather than all this messing about changing the primary number via Finnair….

    What are the chances Amex will launch any promotions before January for this Platinum card? I’d hate to apply now and then they launch a 50k or a 100k promo next week! A bit greedy I know, but it’s currently making me pause for thought!

  13. Stupid question alert: I already have the basic BA Amex card. As far as I’m aware I’m not enrolled in Membership Rewards as the card earns me Avios instead, so would I still qualify for the Platinum sign-up bonus?