Absolutely, positively your last chance to get free Cathay Gold (=BA Silver) via Amex Plat!

I promise I won’t mention this again after today.  Honest!

However, if you were sitting on the fence about whether to apply for American Express Platinum before the free Cathay Pacific Gold card (= BA Silver = BA lounge access) is withdrawn, the crunch day is pretty much here.

Marco Polo Gold

You must apply for the free Cathay Gold card by 31st March.  You must have your Amex Platinum in your hand to do that.  Amex can take 10-12 days to get your card to you – although it is usually a bit quicker.  You would therefore need to apply for Platinum in the next 2-3 days to be sure.

I won’t repeat all of the reasons to get Cathay Gold, but you will find them in this post from a fortnight ago.

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Maximus says:

    I applied for my AmEx Platinum on 15 Feb, give or take a day either side, and received my card today. Les than 4 weeks wait.

  2. Mine posted as bonus points with the transaction that passed the £1000 threshold (as is usually the case when they are posted automatically), so that sounds like something different – mistake otherwise.

  3. Should of seen this earlier since I’ve recently got the Amex Gold. Only spent about £500 so far. Considering upgrading to Plat, is the 15k upgrade bonus still there, and do you think it;s worth losing out of the 22k gold bonus? Does the £500 I’ve already spent go towards the £1k spend? Hmm decisions, decisions, as I would need to do this today to be in with a chance.

    • 15K upgrade bonus still there so far as I’m aware.

      I don’t think the £500 would count if you upgraded now. It really depends on how much the Cathay status is worth to you.

    • avidsaver says:

      Don’t forget that during the first year the Gold card is free with double points for supermarket and petrol spend. The Platinum is £450 per year with a pro rata refund if cancelled – there are no double points promo on this card. As Mark says it really depends if the perks with the Plat card are of more use to you. If you upgrade and then downgrade to gold again you will have lost the first fee free year and double points promos.

      • avidsaver says:

        In other words you will be trading the double points for a year and 7k points (22k gold – 15k plat) for the Platinum perks 😉

  4. Do you receive an email from CX to confirm the MP account is activated, or a pack via regular post?
    I received my Platinum card approx 10 days ago and signed up for MP, Carlson, Accor straight away. Have a few trips planned starting next week but looks unlikely I’ll receive the MP card in time.
    At least I can use the Priority pass at airports other than T5 Heathrow.

    • It takes about 2 weeks for the MP account to be set up – if you do the lost password method on MArco Polo website (use your amex email address) it should get you your password and account details, which you could then add to BA flight through Manage My Booking.

      • in fact it takes slightly less than 2 weeks, Raffles details in his previous posts. So check online, you dont need to wait for the pack to come in the post.

        • I got the confirmation email from Amex that I enrolled on the 6th of March. When I spoke to Amex two days ago, they said it was only processed the day before.

          the Marco Polo website gives me an error when I put my details so I’m assuming it’s not been done yet. Hopefully, it ll be processed by early next week for my flight next Friday!

        • It sounds like there is some sort of Amex approval process that takes around a week as they told me mine was approved on 7th March, having applied and received the email confirmation on the 1st. What is unclear is how long it takes to then get the request to Cathay and acted upon. As I said they were very clear with me yesterday mine won’t be set up with membership number available until the 7th April, having previously told me it would be this week.

          Not clear though whether they are actually sitting on them, or whether that was simply an ‘it will happen when it happens’ answer.

      • Thanks for the info. Tried this and got probably same error response mentioned by AM below.
        Will check again next week if still no card received.

        • If I get my membership number any time next week, I Will let you guys know, and if so it will probably verify what Raffles said about the 10 working days it takes to do this.

        • avidsaver says:

          Good luck – fingers crossed! Would be good to know how you fare. I’m also still waiting having applied on the 6th and also getting the Cathay error message. Not rung Amex yet but will call them early next week if nothing changes.

        • I sent a nice fat email to american express and they replied – and said that I will get my membership number in the next few days and that he will personally email me to let me know the number. He hasn’t made it clear though whether it will before the 21st of March which is when I’m flying.

          He also made it clear that I won’t be able to use the Cathay Pacific lounges without the card.

          But who wants to access the CP lounge when they want to access the BA lounge?:-)

        • I too am getting the error message and have emailed Colin as above to see if I get a response next week, at least with my MP number

        • Just to let you all know that the forgot my membership number worked!

          I have my membership number now and it’s set to Tier Gold!

          I will enjoy all the perks in T5 on Friday 😀

        • Great news, I got mine this morning directly from their club email, so all good for Monday too. Looking forward to the sky team lounge in t 4 now, ESP the beauty treatments. They said they had to verify my details with amex before releasing the number, again 10 days exactly.

        • thesaver79 says:

          Sky lounge? Is there any OW airline that allows you to use the SkyLounge?

  5. My 12months free gold card comes to an end this month. This might be a dumb question but what would happen if I’d to cancel and reapply in 2-3 months? Would they apply the card fee if accepted?

    • You would probably get another first year free.

      However …. it is better to wait 6 months because you are then eligible for a new signing up bonus.

    • Have you a partner you can refer for a gold, then you both get a bonus. Then after at least 6 to 8 months wait they can refer you back. But leave a decent gap so as not to upset the powers that be!

  6. Once you hit the spend, to trigger the bonus, is it better to cancel the card or downgrade to gold?
    Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

    • Depends entirely on how much you value the travel insurance and other benefits (eg free car hire insurance, the Fine Hotels & Resorts programme, the hotel status cards). To be honest, unless you do a lot of upmarket travel you may struggle to justify the fee.

      Note if you downgrade to Gold you don’t get the first year free as you would if you were a new applicant.

      • Thanks Raffles,
        I think I’ll downgrade one and cancel the other. The double points on petrol and shopping should cover the gold fee and hopefully it won’t irritate Amex too much by qualifying just for spending bonuses!

      • Hi Raffles,

        Should I leave the MR points in the account when I downgrade or should I transfer them first? I’m assuming the account will be kept open and it’s worth keeping them there in case they have a bonus offer.

  7. Maximus says:

    After having the same credit card for years (the John Lewis Partnership card- we liked the gift vouchers!), getting new cards to collect miles is a revelation to me. Reading many of the posts and comments on here has been interesting and helpful- thanks all.

    Since January I have done the following:

    Opened a Virgin Black account and reached the bonus.
    Opened an Amex Platinum and reached the bonus (and received the MP Gold Card)
    Referred my partner for Amex PRG and I also have a supplementary card myself on this account.

    Now I am obviously very pleased with all the rewards and will be using them to upgrade seats via Virgin Atlantic for two UC seats to Tokyo (or Hong Kong) and now intend to focus on Avios collection with our goal being First tickets to somewhere nice for next year we hope.

    Getting the BA PP Amex for the 2-4-1 voucher seems a sensible option to achieve this.

    So my plan is:

    Keep the Virgin Black card as there is no fee refund and the Visa card is useful for non-Amex accepted stores. Close account prior to renewal.

    Stop the Amex Platinum (and I believe keep the status memberships that come with this)

    Use my partners Amex Gold to achieve the bonus points. Then when this is achieved, apply for the Amex BA PP card.

    Approximately 6-7 months down the line my Partner will refer me for my own Amex Gold, so we gain referral and new customer MR points. Ditch the Partners Amex Gold after acceptance.

    So that’s my plan. But I have some questions!:

    My credit rating is excellent, is all this churning going to affect it significantly?

    Can I apply for the BA PP card less than six months after stopping the Amex Platinum and still receive the Avios bonus? I realise the Virgin Black from MBNA is irrelevant here.

    Does holding a supplemenraty Amex MR card count as continued membership and therefore exclude you from receiving new customer bonuses?

    Are Amex going to get especially cheesed off with implementing what I have planned? Though it seem less aggressive churning than others have undertaken or plan to do perhaps, I feel just a tad dishonest!.

    Do you see any flaws in the above or recommend a different approach? Any views welcomed. Thanks.

    • That all sounds fine. It will have no impact at all on your credit rating, don’t worry about that.

      BAPP – yes, you can apply for that whenever. You can even apply whilst you still have Amex Platinum. You will receive the BAPP bonus as long as you haven’t had a BA Amex in the last six months (which you haven’t).

      Supplementary cards – no, having a supp card does NOT count as having a card in your own right. You can still apply in your own name and get the bonus.

      Amex – they don’t mind at the moment. There are rumours that they are about to start taking action in the USA on churners from May 1st, but no sign of it happening here. However, the very very worst they would do (if they did something, which so far they are not) is let you have the card again but not let you have another bonus.

  8. John Smith says:

    Guys, just to let you know I managed to get the GOLD and PLATINUM AMEX CARD within a year and still receive the bonus miles.

    I applied for the GOLD card in SEP 2013 and a couple of months later received my 20,000 MR points. I then applied for the PLATINUM CARD in FEB knowing I had a couple of big purchases coming up and today received my 30,000 MR POINTS TOO!

    Both cards are accessible on the same account when I log in to AMEX

    Previously I have had the Platinum card in 2012 and cancelled 6 months later

    • FormalHall says:

      Applied for a Gold to Platinum upgrade on 4th March, however have been travelling since then and no one at home to check the mail! Given that my online services still shows gold, can I take it that my upgrade request has been rejected, or is there a chance a Plat card will be at home awaiting my return?

      • avidsaver says:

        When my partner applied for the upgrade the gold card changed to platinum in the online account almost straight away. It looks as if you may have been unsuccessful. Worth giving amex a phone call or message via secure online messages just to make sure they received your request for the upgrade. Did you apply via the following link? http://www.americanexpress.com/uk/upgradetoplatinum/

        • Formal Hall says:

          Spoke a day too soon, account updated to Plat today. Took ten working days, but probably because I have lived in the UK for less than 3 years. Interestingly, they have refunded my gold card annual fee, charged last month.

  9. My MP membership has been set up today, 18 days after applying. So much for it not being available until 7th April…

    Valid from today until the 31st March 2015 so it may be that those applying now will get an end of April expiry.

    Hope others who are still waiting get yours soon!

    • Same here. Can access my membership today – finally. i applied on March 2nd.

      Where do I see the expiry date online?

      Also I have a BA flight in economy in 10 days time, if I don’t receive the card by then how can i get access to the lounge and still collect my avios/tier points?

      • thesaver79 says:

        Add your CX number to the booking and once you’ve been granted access to the lounge, ask the staff to change your FF for you.

      • Email cathay directly, they will answer quite quickly and email you your membership number, which you then get on your boarding card, then once in the lounge ask the desk staff to change it back to your baec number for miles and points.

  10. Thesaver79….yesI was silver level on qr and they always issue an invite to sky team biz lounge . now at burgundy so needed my mp card to get my status back. And QR are now o/w !

    • thesaver79 says:

      I thought QR had their own lounge in T4.

      • Yes they have their own biz lounge for those travelling biz. And first… My m p card travelling on Y but, sapphire level will get me into the sky team lounge, but it might well get us into their posh new biz lounge… The sky team one is v good though. The problem is that the priority pass doesn’t get us into any lounge in t 4, so we have to rely on status with those airlines based in t4. So QR are the only one world airline in t 4, I think!

  11. Howard says:

    I applied for an upgrade two months ago and was rejected. Seems British Gas put a marker on my credit file. I explained this was an error but was still rejected. After threatening to sue British Gas they agreed they made an error and removed the marker. Yesterday I went to pay a Gold Card bill online and guess what I have been approved as my card online is a shiny Platinum. Card arrived today. How can I get my Cathy Pacific Gold quickly?


  12. Howard says:

    Thanks!!! Found it and I have submitted form and I have email. Just asked for a Supplementary card for dear wife.

    Thanks again.