Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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to apply for American Express Platinum before the free Cathay Pacific Gold card (= BA Silver = BA lounge access) is withdrawn, the crunch day is pretty much here.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

Comments (130)

  • Andrew says:

    Any suggestion of whether it’s worth waiting until the last day to apply for the CP card (I already have the plat card) or just get it done today?

  • owain says:

    I’m having problems enrolling for this via the plat website. All the other benefits (Starwood, Accor etc) have gone trough fine but the CP one seems to get stuck in an endless loop. I’ve spoken to Amex customer service and they’re looking into it, any one else struggling?

    • Stephen Franks says:

      When I did it months ago it all seemed fine, six weeks to arrive etc. Nothing happened, ditto for all the other sign ups like Club Carlson. It was very buggy, loops etc but thought I had got there in end. There were no confirmation emails.

      I forgot about it and then read a HFP post and thought I had better try again. This time I got confirmation emails so fingers crossed.

    • KeithS says:

      Mrs KeithS had the same problem re the CP AU application via Amex web site.

      Customer Service eventually sorted it out (with another hiccup along the way). Said we were not happy paying a premium fee for a less than premium service. They gave a £100 good will gesture which was nice of them.

      Completed the minimum spend and cancelled the card once the CP AU card was in our hands.

      Pro rata fee refund upon cancellation was £337.50 in addition to the £100 good will gesture.

      So for a total of £12.50 (!!!!!) we managed to bag:-
      30,000 MR points (trf into Avios – couldn’t wait for a bonus to be announced)
      18,000 MR points for me as I referred her
      Possibly the cheapest Avios I have ever got.
      Plus Cathay Pacific AU for a year (just to add to my one)

      Thank you Raffles.

    • thesaver79 says:

      I did struggle, I had to enrol 3 times and had also to open a formal complaint. Due to this and other issues I had, they offered me £200 compensation.

  • Boi says:

    I just need to “apply” by 31st, it doesn’t matter when they approve it, right? I am going to apply today.

    Also just to confirm, I can be referred by gold card member and get higher bonus?

    • Raffles says:

      Yes, you can be referred by a Gold.

      31st is the deadline for Cathay Gold application. Amex needs to approve your Platinum card and post it to you before the 31st, so that you can do the Cathay application.

      The Cathay form is online separately at

  • Allan says:

    Any idea if mine will be renewed? It’s due to expire at the end of the month and without it there’s no real benefit for me in keeping the Platinum card otherwise.

    • Rob says:

      I do know someone who reapplied on the Amex site even though his Cathay had NOT expired, and it was extended! Give it a go.

  • Chris says:

    My Gold status was due to expire in August 2014 this year but got a new card and status extension to Feb 2015 delivered to my work address this morning. Rather relieved- I’d cancel Platinum without it…

    • CX Gold Flyer says:

      I originally got CX Gold last year and it was supposed to expire in Feb 2014, but today a brand new Gold card came in the post, extended to Feb 2015. This is even though my Amex Plat was cancelled in March last year. I was already planning on upgrading my current Amex Gold to Plat in the next few days and then re-enrolling for CX Gold before the end of the month, but CX has saved me the work of having to go through the motions of reapplying!

    • Rome77 says:

      My Marco Polo Gold is currently set to expire in August 2014. Did you do anything pro-actively to get a new card sent to you with an extended expiry?

      • Rome77 says:

        Let me correct myself: I just logged into my Marco Polo account online and it appears that my Gold membership now has also been extended to 28th Feb 2015 🙂

  • Thomas says:

    Thanks Raffles! I applied just over a week ago – do you have any idea how long it would take before I can see my number? I tried the forget my username tool via the Cathay website and my own personal mailadress, but that gives a ‘technical error’

    • thesaver79 says:

      Mind that they failed to receive my enrolment twice, and it was only after a 3rd attempt and a complained that my enrolment was successfully processed.

      • Brendan says:

        Did you receive a confirmation email of enrollment for the failed enrollments? I contacted Amex the other day and the lady said if I had received the confirmation email then it would be processed but we are at 11 days and counting now and still not recognized on the MP website.

        • thesaver79 says:

          I did receive an automatic confirmation after each enrolment, but when I contacted Amex they claimed they hadn’t received the enrolment. I suggest you ask them to look into it.

    • Mark says:

      To follow up on my comments to the previous post re my dealings with Cathay & Amex in trying to get my enrolment confirmed….

      I had a call back from a lady in Colin Walsh’s office this morning who confirmed that my application had been approved on the 7th (after applying on the 1st). She apologised for the misinformation I’d been given by Amex customer services, promised to send me my MP membership number this week and credited £50 to my account for the inconvenience.

      So hopefully some progress, but given the reports of enrolments not working correctly it is definitely worth chasing up if the forgotten username trick doesn’t work after a couple of weeks. If customer services are unhelpful then Colin Walsh’s office is definitely they way to go ([email protected]).

    • Rob says:

      Usually it would be working by now. See other comments ….

      • Thomas says:

        I gave AMEX a call and apparently they received it and put it through to Marco Polo. I’ll give them a few more days before calling again!

  • Kurran P says:

    One of the benefits of the card is that you can select seats on BA flights for free. I booked some club world seats from LHR – LAX for this coming summer prior to getting this card. Now that I have it, how can i select my seats for this trip please? Is it a case of calling up custome services as I am unable to do anything via the Exec Club online.

    • Mark says:

      Use the Finnair (or Qatar?) airways site to amend the frequently flyer number on your booking. Then you should be able to go back to the BA site and select seats for free.

      • Kurran P says:

        Hi Mark, sorry but I am not sure how that would work. I dont have an account for either website. I booked the seats via the BA site, I am a bronze member at present. I spoke with custome services just now and they said that I can still only choose my seats 7 days prior to departure regardless.

        • thesaver79 says:

          You don’t need an account with either. Go on the finnair website, put your reservation reference and surname, add your CX number, then login into your BAEC account, go to Manage My Booking and choose your seats.

        • Mark says:

          If you have your booking reference you should be able to access it via the Finnair website. You don’t need an account, just the usual booking reference and surname.

          Customer services should also be able amend your frequently flyer number. Your BA Bronze status is irrelevant to this. Yes, you can choose your seats 7 days in advance if you leave the BA FF number on the booking, but you want to amend it to the Cathay number so you can select seats now.

          Don’t forget you’ll need to change it back again if you want Avios or Tier Points for the flight credited to your BA account, though the best time to do that is sitting in the lounge so you can access the full range of OneWorld Sapphire benefits in the mean time.

          • Kurran P says:

            Hi Mark / Saver, that worked a treat. Seats are selected which has put my mind at rest seeing as its for our honeymoon! 🙂

        • Rob says:

          I know it sounds odd, but either the Qatar or Finnair websites should, if you plug in your BA booking reference, bring it up and let you change the frequent flyer card to Cathay.

          Wait 20 minutes, go back to, pull up your booking using the six digit reference and, by magic, you will be allowed to select seats.

  • Ian says:

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience of the below situation.

    I upgraded from Gold to Platinum a few months ago. In the first month I hit the £1,000 spend. Since then I have not put any spend on the card. So far I have not been charged the £450 fee. I am not sure whether this is because: (i) I some how fell through the net; or (ii) the £450 fee was due to be added to my second statement for whatever reason (maybe as I was classified as a gold at the start of the first statement period) but because I have not put anymore spend on the card no second statement has ever been issued. Additionally, although I doubt it is related, I have never received a new Platinum piece of plastic (which I’m not bothered about), although my Gold piece of plastic has continued to work and shows as Platinum online.

    I am about to book a car rental. Ordinarily I would put it on my Platinum card to benefit from the insurance. However, this will trigger a second statement and potentially the £450 fee. If I were to cancel/downgrade without ever triggering a second statement, would I get away without having to pay the (pro-rate) fee or would it be caught when I cancelled/downgraded?

    • Mark says:

      Not a direct answer to your question, but I believe spend on any Amex card you hold counts for travel / rental car insurance purposes. The implication at a summary level seems to be that cover is only provided for spend on the Platinum, but when you get into the detail it is actually any Amex and indeed spend by other means where Amex is not accepted.

      Has anyone had a successful pay-out on that basis? I’m in a similar situation having hit the sign-up bonus spend.

      • Alan says:

        Yes in the detail of the T&Cs it’s clear that any Amex-issued card (ie not and MBNA Amex) counts for the purposes of insurance. IIRC for the rental car cover it doesn’t have to be on an Amex, that’s more for the travel inconvenience/cancellation cover.

        • Ian says:

          Thanks both. You are correct. I have just checked with AMEX and the insurance applies regardless of the card that you use.

          Am still intrigued as to whether I can avoid the fee if I don’t trigger another statement. I would imagine not as presumably this would have been discovered previously.

          • CV says:

            I got the card in December, still not been charged the fee, as statement goes by I do wonder whats going on! Wonder if they will pro rata the refund if i cancel!

          • thesaver79 says:

            Sssshhhhhh 🙂

      • Rob says:

        The rental car insurance does not require any Amex to be used IIRC.

    • Russell Evans says:

      Ian, I was also a gold to plat upgrade and avoided the fee entirely. I think AMEX’s IT isn’t capable of processing the fee for some upgraded accounts. Mine is now cancelled so I managed to get Cathay Gold and the other hotel benefits for free! 😉