The last day to apply for the Cathay Pacific Gold card will be 31st March. However, you must have your American Express Platinum card in your hand first. This means, realistically, that you need to apply for Amex Platinum in the next 2 weeks to be certain that you receive it before 31st March.
If you are not familiar with this offer, this is how it works.
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 get an additional baggage allowance (BA only)
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.
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 the maths could pan out for you:
Apply for American Express Platinum within the next 2 weeks, to guarantee that you receive your card by late March
Go online and order your Cathay Gold, Starwood Gold, Accor Platinum and Club Carlson Gold cards (last day for ordering Cathay Gold is 31st March)
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
So, for just £112, you will get ….
So, assuming you cancel the card after three months, 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. A lot of people who take out the card intending to cancel actually end up keeping it, because the benefits package (which includes full travel insurance, Eurostar lounge access, two Priority Pass lounge access cards, access to Fine Hotels & Resorts deals, UK Hotel Collection deals and special Platinum promotions such as the free Melia hotel night last year) is impressive.
(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!)