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Anonymous19 Apr 2012
I notice now you can have Gold status with Cathay Marco Polo for one year with Amex Platinum. They say with (see below) you can also access all One World Lounges with this. Does this mean you can use the BA lounges too as I now they are very fussy who they let in. They have also put the price up!
oneworld Business Class Lounges
Platinum Cardmembers may enroll in Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold membership, equivalent to oneworld Sapphire. Regardless of class of travel, Marco Polo Gold members enjoy access to all Cathay Pacific and over 500 additional oneworld business class lounges when travelling on any oneworld carrier, in addition to business class check-in and pre-assigned seating (where offered).
Share the Experience: Cardmembers may invite one travelling companion to join them in the lounge.
How to Enroll & Access Lounges: Please visit Partner Programmes to enroll in Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold membership. Once enrolled, you will receive your Marco Polo Club membership card which will you need along with your boarding pass to access oneworld lounges19 Apr 2012
AMEX platinum has the priority pass given with membership, which is pretty useful, especially when flying to GFO’s.
( doesn’t help, I know at T5 unfortunately)24 Apr 2012
In short: yes, it does. I ahve the same with my Amex Black card and have used it in many BA /AA and Iberia lounges. Never once with Cathay Pacific, however! You can use the BA Gold lounge at T5 but noit the Concorde room..24 Apr 2012
I used mine for the first time last week when travelling from Terminal 3 with BA – no problems at all, used Fast Track security and then Galleries Club (it doesn’t give access to Galleries First as it’s only the equivalent of EC silver). Whist there is the quite acceptable No1 Lounge available via Priority Pass at Terminal 3, it’s always been a pain not to have a lounge at Terminal 5, so nice for the next year to have access to one. A further advantage over Priority Pass is that you can take a guest with you, free of charge rather than the £15 with PP, if your companion doesn’t have their own.
It’s a great incentive from Amex and is quite straight forward to organise through the Platinum Card website. The card and luggage tags arrive in about 3 weeks but I started getting circular emails from Marco Polo within a week or so which had my number on so I could add it to my booking on ba.com and allocate my seats, which my booking class didn’t allow for.24 Apr 2012
The other new benefits seem to be Carlson Hotels Gold and AccorHotels Platinum. Also, I think the access to American, Delta and US Airways lounges may also be new? I’m trying to weigh up whether these additions are still worth it for the new annual fee which is a steep 50% rise and does make you think twice to be honest. Obviously the excellent travel insurance remains a clear inducement to stay (which I know has been discussed on another thread).
What would be really helpful to know is what these products would cost if purchased separately (Priority Pass, Travel Insurance etc.)..25 Apr 2012
FlightDoctor – I have been trying for many years to find a comparable travel policy that I could buy separately and despite asking on the forum, there have been no options given.
The fact that my own Insurance broker uses the Amex policy as his travel policy confirms the position. Remember that if you include the full allowance of family members, I stand by my claim that the fee easily covers the cost of Insurance and Priority Pass.26 Apr 2012
I have to say I received the same mail recently from AMEX Platinum with the glossy catalog showcasing all the ‘new’ benefits which looks nice. It does seem, however, this was only produced to soften the blow of increasing the membership fee of £300 to £450 from next year. I will stay with them as I enjoy the benefits and still think the benefits, old and new, outweigh the membership cost.26 Apr 2012
I have the Platinum Euro card and the insurance, plus Priority Pass, justify the fee.
I recently used the AE Platinum deal to obtain HHonors Gold, then used that to get status match from Marriott, Starwood, IC Priority Club and Radisson.
Good game, good game. Hope you’re all playing this at home!26 Apr 2012
What with this extortionate hike in annual fee plus new “free” insurance terms me thinks Amex are feeling the effects of the recession? Also, maybe they can’t get enough ‘takers’ for the Centurion card – that fee makes my eyes water!
Meanwhile, another thing to consider whether the Platinum card offers value – don’t forget that a supplementary card holder is entitled to all the benefits (as mentioned above in various posts) as the main card holder. So, for the time being, I shall be keeping my platinum card.
Ciao, R.26 Apr 2012
When I was working there a few years back they actually had too many Centurion card holders in the UK – they accidently invited too many people who all said yes (when it was £650 a year for the card – a bit more now!). So they have been for the last few years trying to get rid of the low spenders to try and regain the exclusiveness of Centurion. However it is a jump for Platinum but as Martyn points out the insurance benefit is very good. As I used to say – if you used all the benefits of the card it is worth it – if you don’t travel, don’t eat at fine dining restaurants and don’t spend much – it is a waste of money!26 Apr 2012
Hi FlightOracle – My “Prize” was a meeting with the main man! The Centurion Card went from £650 to I think its now above £2,000 pa. Yes there are some perks but they are all targeted, so if you dont use them the card is valueless. The offers provided by Amex for cheap travel services are absolute rubbish, they were never able to match the direct prices I managed to achieve with the airlines. COntact with account managers or whatever they were called, at one time meant hanging on the phone for 15 mins +
Where the Centurian card lacks value IMHO the Plat card exceeds value. I’ve not yet had my renewal, but the family Travel Insurance policy (no longer a freebie – and there is a massive difference) + Priority Pass, does make the proposition very good value for money.
The on line messenging system for queries is superb. I may not get the answer I wanted and some questions may need supp questions, but give the team credit, they do answer quickly.
The only additional benefit I would like Amex to review is the commission charged on foreign transactions, WHICH AMEX STILL HIDE.26 Apr 2012
Agree with all the comments re Amex. The price hike is eye watering but in the absence of a credible alternative it remains the best. In 12 months I had claims exceeding £3000 due volcanoes, snow and lost baggage. The claims process was smooth and with no quibble. Indeed the snow claim was settled in less than 5 days.
The priority pass, the additional cards, the hotel loyalty cards and the free BA premium plus card for me at least, makes this worth it…. The travel service is useless though and the offers via mail and email pointless.
I would suggest however that this is a risk for Amex,for whilst there may not be an alternative, it has angered me that the fee has risen so much and consequently if and when something equivalent or better does come along it will be bye bye Amex.26 Apr 2012
You may be surprised to know that the Platinum and Centurion team is now the same for travel – they used to be different centres (Horley for Plat & Brighton for Centurion). So you can call through and possibly get the same person answering both lines if you call both numbers. The target is 80% of calls to be answered within 20 seconds for Platinum – though this may have changed. I always found it strange how when I was there they had people who had no travel background and in some cases clueless advising Centurion about travel when the Cent / Plat card holder knew much more. Everyone has to start somewhere but the training made staff fear there customers which is an interesting way of dealing with people!
The air deals were mixed – as is the case with all agencies. No they were not always cheapest and staff had no incentive to find the best deal (this may have changed). In many cases they were more expensive and where I am now and have been before are often cheaper. In terms of service it depended on who you got to answer the phone – it could be a complete lottery – if you get someone good it is excellent and if not – well I guess you feel the pain
The thing I will always remember is someone who came in as a manager who was dealing with a complaint and went on to pronounce Nice incorrectly – a very cringeworthy moment.
All in all you are probably right – Platinum is worth it if used properly. Centurion probably not anymore.27 Apr 2012