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Get free BA Bronze equivalent status if you have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum!

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Do you have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador status, but no status with British Airways?

Fed up of paying for British Airways seat selection?

Be fed up no longer! Your problems are over due to a new Marriott Bonvoy partnership.

Marriott Bonvoy Cathay Pacific status match

Marriott Bonvoy and Cathay Pacific have launched a new partnership today.

In simple terms:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members will receive 12 months of Cathay Silver status (this is equivalent to British Airways Bronze status as it is oneworld Ruby)
  • Cathay Silver, Gold and Diamond members will receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as they retain their Cathay Pacific status

You can find out more on this page of the Marriott Bonvoy website.

You can see the benefits of Cathay Silver status on the Cathay Pacific site here.

I will ignore the second option above, because a) we have very few Cathay elite members amongst our readership and b) Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status isn’t worth much, frankly. The only benefit of note is ‘on request’ 2pm check-out. There is a ‘fast track to Platinum’ offer for those who register which IS worth a look.

Far more interesting for UK readers is the ability of Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members and higher to receive 12 months of Cathay Silver status.

Cathay Pacific and British Airways are both members of the oneworld airline alliance. As such, there are reciprocal status benefits across the airlines. Your Cathay Pacific Silver status will get you most of the benefits of British Airways Bronze status as both get you the fixed benefits assigned to oneworld Ruby status.

Marriott Bonvoy Cathay Pacific status match

There is also a fast track to higher status – but ignore it

If you are a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum or higher member who claims free Cathay Silver status, you will also be signed up to a fast track promotion for Cathay Gold.

If you earn 300 status points in the Cathay programme within 12 months, you will be upgraded to Cathay Gold. At least one flight you credit must be on Cathay Pacific.

The normal requirement for Cathay Gold is 600 status points, so you are being offered a 50% discount.

I wouldn’t bother with this, to be honest. Without going into the detail of the Cathay status scheme, anyone who can earn 300 status points in the Cathay programme is probably doing enough to earn 600 British Airways tier points for Silver status in Executive Club.

Whilst Cathay Gold is equivalent to British Airways Silver, the latter is preferable if BA is your main carrier. Your status will last longer

There is also a fast track challenge for Marriott Bonvoy Gold members. If you can earn 150 Cathay status points in 12 months, you will receive Cathay Silver (ie BA Bronze equivalent). At least one flight must be on Cathay Pacific.

The normal requirement for Cathay Silver is 300 status points, so you are being offered a 50% discount.

Again, I wouldn’t bother. You could credit the same number of flights to your BA account and you would, in most scenarios, hit British Airways Bronze status anyway.

How do I use my Cathay Pacific Silver status to get BA seat selection?

The key benefit of oneworld Ruby status (which is what BA Bronze and Cathay Silver are) is, when flying British Airways, free seat selection within seven days of travel.

Given that – shockingly – a family of four can pay £800 in seat selection fees for a return trip in Club World, this can be a huge saving.

You also receive premium check-in at Heathrow Terminal 5 via the Business Class check-in desks.

Getting free seat selection is a bit of a faff to be honest.

To get free seat selection, your Cathay Pacific number must be in your booking instead of your British Airways Executive Club number.

This means that, for a cash flight, your miles and status points would be sent to Cathay Pacific and NOT to BA Executive Club.

The way around this is to have your Cathay Pacific number in the booking until you have selected seats and then swap it over. The BA website is poor for this but (weirdly) it can be done using the ‘Manage My Booking’ feature of some other oneworld airlines – try Finnair and Qatar Airways – even if you are not flying with them.

Marriott Bonvoy Cathay Pacific status match

Your seat selection should ‘stick’ even if you change your frequent flyer number back to your British Airways Blue status one.

You can also ask at check-in for your frequent flyer number to be swapped.

If you do put your BA number back in to your booking, you will need to have the Cathay app on your phone so you can flash your membership card and show that you qualify for priority check-in.

What benefits does Cathay Silver get you when flying with Cathay Pacific?

If you are planning any travel in Asia, it is worth noting that a Cathay Silver member gets better benefits when flying with Cathay Pacific, including lounge access.

Cathay Silver benefits when flying with Cathay Pacific include:

  • Business class lounge access (no guests allowed)
  • Business class counter check-in and boarding
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Advance seat reservation
  • Priority on waitlisted flights
  • Priority online check-in (up to 48 hours in advance)
  • Redemption and purchase for companion lounge passes

The full list of Cathay Silver benefits is here.

How do I register?

If you have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador status but no British Airways status, this offer is worth jumping on.

Timing is everything.

Cathay Pacific is restricting the number of sign-ups although the cap has not been published. This means, in theory, you should jump in today.

However, once you’ve signed up, you have started the 12 month clock to your Cathay Silver status expiring. If you don’t have any British Airways flights lined up, you will be wasting some of those months if you register now. There is a bit of a gamble involved.

You can find out more, and claim your Cathay Pacific Silver status, via this page of the Marriott Bonvoy website.

PS. If you have any orphaned Asia Miles, note that you can now convert them into Marriott Bonvoy points at the rate of 2:1. This is bad value on the face of it, but if you only have a small number it is better than watching them expire.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (May 2024)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (33)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Yorkie Aid says:

    I got a different error – name mismatch. I assume this was because Marriott has my surname with a hyphen and Cathay doesn’t. I have submitted a name change request but that can allegedly take up to seven days so will probably be out of luck.

  • Charlie says:

    Whilst I’m not completely familiar with this overall offer, is it not better to avail of the SIA version instead? A few segments puts you to Krisflyer Gold. BA Bronze is pretty useless in comparison. Presuming it is a ‘choose one programme only’.

  • Joan says:

    We have just booked some avios business class flights to Dalaman for the summer but we are about to lost BA bronze . Don’t want to have to pay for seats . Do they tend to sit a couple together or separately if you don’t pay for seat selection ?

    • John G says:

      Usually you will be seated together. A bit tougher in business where it is not aways possible on high status routes where most seats get pre-reserved but if two seats together are available my experience is you will be allocated them.

      • Spike Spiegel says:

        The four of us (2 adults and 2 children) are due to fly Club Suite to Singapore in March – I’m refusing to pay to choose seats and wonder what they’ll do in my case – if the whole cabin refuses to pay then I can imagine they’ll randomly allocate everyone, however I’ve no idea what happens in my situation when my wife and I need to be near our children and most seats have had their allocation paid for?

        • Rhys says:

          No need to wonder, a quick Google would have told you! “If you are travelling with children (aged 2-11 years) we will allocate you seats a few days before departure, unless you have already paid to reserve them. We aim to seat families together, however where this is not possible, children will at least be seated with one adult in the same booking.”

          • Spike Spiegel says:

            Thanks Rhys! 😉

          • CamFlyer says:

            BA do not adhere to that policy (or CAA requirements). As I have posted before, BA have changed my pre-reserved CE seats to seat a [then] 2.5 yo on her own, and in 40 minutes of discussions claimed they couldn’t do anything about it.

  • Hampshirehog says:

    Just spotted an email offering a Flying blue status match

  • Ronster says:

    Good morning everyone

    I hope your all well.

    Don’t feel too hard done by.

    This deal was sent out in by another travel blog, just before 3 pm yesterday.

    When I tried signing up around 6 pm it was already “sold out”

    • Rob says:

      We had it up at 10am yesterday.

      But Marriott only officially announced it at 7am this morning ….

      • Ronster says:

        Morning Rob

        I even called Marriot customer service yesterday evening,to see if they could push this through.

        Unfortunately they could not.

        So they already new that they had reached their promotional sign up numbers, last night.

  • MC says:

    Presumably the cap was low, which if so, is a bizarre way to run this “promotion”, as Marriott has effectively advertised a no longer available offer to its customers which only causes frustration/anger at missing out.

    TBH I’m not even sure of the purpose of the cap, as surely the promotion is beneficial to Marriott/Cathay the more people who successfully register.

    • Rob says:

      What they forgot, I think, is that there a LOT of people with hotel status who have no airline status. Think of all the sales reps etc running around the UK each day who never get on a plane. These people would jump at BA Bronze equivalent, most have probably never had airline status in their lives.

  • Kevin says:

    There is a rumour over last weekend that Cathay will be acquired by Air China and might leave Oneworld. Have anyone cone across it?

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, reported by Bloomberg. But it seems very speculative at the moment. Even if Air China increases its stake it’s not clear if Cathay would leave oneworld.

  • Kowalski says:

    I’m surprised we don’t see more status matches offered to the top tiers of things like Marriott Bonvoy. You’d think the Ambassador status holders would be an appealing group for many businesses

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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