Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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I promise I won’t mention this again after today.  Honestly.

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to apply for American Express Platinum before the free Cathay Pacific Gold card (= BA Silver = BA lounge access) is withdrawn, the crunch day is pretty much here.

Cathay A350-900

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 article from a fortnight ago.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our June 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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.

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

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

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Comments (130)

  • M says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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.

    • Polly says:

      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!

  • Jason says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Jason says:

        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!

      • Jason says:

        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.

        • Rob says:

          If you are downgrading to Gold, you might as well leave them in case a transfer bonus turns up.

  • 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.

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Maximus says:

        Many thanks. I shall give you the nod when I need my BAPP referral!

  • 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.

        • 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.

  • Mark says:

    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!

    • Ant says:

      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.

      • Polly says:

        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.

  • polly says:

    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.

      • Polly says:

        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!

  • 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?


    • Rob says:

      Go to and complete the online form (which is tricky to find but is there I promise you!)

  • 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.

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