EXPLAINED: CX Marco Polo Club Diamond


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Marco Polo Club Diamond

Marco Polo Diamond is one of four tiers that make up Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club frequent flyer membership scheme.

Diamond is the highest elite status tier that is achieved after Gold.

Cathay Pacific is part of Oneworld Alliance meaning that if you hold Marco Polo Club Diamond status, it will be equivalent to Oneworld Emerald status and will offer similar benefits on flights with other Oneworld Airlines.

About Marco Polo

Established in 1946, Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the Oneworld Alliance and has a rich history of connecting the world with its home in Hong Kong. The airline serves more than 90 destinations in some 35 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa.

Cathay Pacific Reward Structure

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon operate a shared loyalty scheme due to the latter being under the same airline group; this is not too dissimilar to IAG’s Avios reward scheme which is shared between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level.

Club Points

Status Points are used to calculate your elite status level.

In general, the more Status Points you accrue in a given year will determine your Cathay Pacific and Oneworld Status for the current and following year.

Asia Miles

A points-based reward scheme which encompasses the main reward currency for the airline.

Asia Miles can be exchanged for reward seats, flight upgrades and travel-based experiences.

Marco Polo Club Diamond

Quick points about the club

Oneworld Emerald

Marco Polo Diamond is equivalent to Oneworld Emerald status and you will receive similar benefits when flying with other Oneworld Alliance members.

12 Months Membership

A membership year lasts 12 months from the date of enrollment, renewal, upgrade or downgrade.

Upon renewal, upgrade or downgrade, your club points will automatically be reset to zero and a new membership year begins.

Has Soft Landing

If you do not reach the required Club Points to re-qualify in the following year you will revert to the status below eventually reaching Asia Miles Status.

How to Collect Club Points

When you travel with Cathay Pacific or a Oneworld partner airline, you earn Club Points with which you can achieve elite status.

The Asia Miles membership is the most basic and available to everyone, and does not come with benefits except the ability to earn Club Points and Asia Miles. Green, Silver, Gold and Diamond status are earned and come with a varying degree of benefits.

Moving up the ladder within the Marco Polo Club is completely dependent on the number of Club Points accrued within a given year, and like Asia Miles, they expire after a set time – in this case, Club Points expire at the end of your membership year.

There is no other use for Club Points other than setting your elite status; they cannot be spent.

Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club works a little differently than to other Oneworld members. Some differences include:

Zone Based Calculations

Unlike revenue-based reward programs, such as American Airlines, there is no concept of Elite Qualifying Miles to achieve status(the notion that you need to travel a set distance to achieve an elite level).

Additionally, unlike Royal Air Maroc, Cathay Pacific uses a Zone based system to reward Club Points and does not calculate miles based on the distance travelled.

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No Straight Route to the Top

Unlike other carriers, there is no straight route to the top. What this means is that each time you reach a new status level, your Club Points automatically reset to zero and you have to build up the balance again.

This is in contrast to other carriers such as British Airways where it is, in theory, possible to reach Oneworld Emerald status from scratch in a given year.

No Bonus Miles

Unlike Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific does not reward bonus Asia Miles when travelling on some other Alliance member airlines. Japan Airlines does offer bonus miles when travelling with British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia.

Routes to Earn Marco Polo Diamond Status

Only 1 Route

The only way to reach Marco Polo Diamond is to either fly with Cathay Pacific or a Oneworld partner.

There are no alternate routes to earn Diamond status – such as building up the number of flights taken in a given membership year as with American Airlines and Royal Air Maroc. Furthermore, there are no minimum flight restrictions.

To achieve Marco Polo Club Diamond status, you need 1,200 Club Points

Benefits of Marco Polo Club Diamond

Outline of the Benefits of having Marco Polo Club Diamond membership.

Extra Legroom Seats

Cardholder Benefit Only

Marco Polo Diamond members are able to book themselves extra legroom seats.

Unfortunately, this does not extend to travelling companions.

Guaranteed Seat

Cathay Pacific and Dragon Flights Only

In Economy class, guaranteed bookings must be made in full-fare fare-class Y. Fare-class W for Premium Economy and fare-class J for Business.

Reservations may be made up to 24 hours before departure.

Priority Check-in

First Class or Business Class Counters

Members can have access to use priority check-in desks – First Class check-in desk when flying domestically and internationally on either Cathay Pacific or other Oneworld carriers.

First & Business Class Lounge Access

Marco Polo Club Diamond members get lounge access for themselves and two companions to First & Business class lounges across the Cathay Pacific Network.

With Lounges on the Oneworld Network, the number of guests is limited to one instead of two.

Extra Luggage Allowance

Applies to Cathay Group Flights Only

Up to 3 pieces when travelling in Economy, Premium Economy, or Business Class.
Up to 4 pieces when travelling in First Class.

Excludes journeys with any flight sector to, from or via the Americas, and direct flights to Auckland.

As an Oneworld Emerald member, minimum luggage policies apply including 1 extra (or a 20kg) checked bag depending on the luggage system the other carrier uses.

Extra Carry-on Allowance

Applies to Cathay Group Flights Only

When travelling, you are able to bring up to 15Kg.

However, if the cabin baggage allowance in the class you are travelling in is higher, then the special cabin baggage allowance does not apply.

Priority Boarding

Everyone connected with the itinerary.

With Marco Polo Diamond status, you are able to board before the general boarding group.

Diamond Mid-Tier Benefits

Mid-Tier benefits for when you reach the club points milestones.

1,400 Club Points

You can claim two Lounge Passes for a travel companion or Redemption Group member to enjoy one-time admittance to any Cathay Pacific or eligible partner First Class or Business Class lounge.

Once you claim this mid-tier benefit, a lounge invitation will be included on their boarding pass. This benefit must be claimed online and is not available at airport check-in.

1,600 Club Points

You can claim four single-sector Bookable Upgrades to one cabin class up for yourself, a travel companion, or redemption group member for Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights of any distance.

Not only will you travel better, but all the club points and Asia Miles you earn will be based on the upgraded class.

1,800 Club Points

You can gift a Marco Polo Club Gold membership to a family member or friend.

Calculating the Number of Club Points Earned

Cathay Pacific calculates Club Points accrued based on predefined zones (similar to how British Airways has their anecdotal 2,000 miles rule), in Cathay Pacific’s case, this is classed as Ultra-short, Short, Medium, Medium long, Long, and Ultra-Long.

As such, the number of Club Points earned is dependant on 3 factors, the Zone reached and the carrier you have flown with, and the class of travel.

For example, making a return trip from Hong Kong (HKG) to London (LHR) in First Class with Cathay Pacific will earn 250 Club Points, however, the same trip with British Airways would only earn 180 Club Points.

Effectively, there is a trade-off. Cathay is one of the only airlines in the alliance which places no minimum requirement to fly a certain number of flights with them to reach Diamond status. However, what this means is that you will not be earning the same number of points on other member airlines.

The simplest and best tool for finding out how many Club Points you’ll earn on any flight is to use Cathay Pacific Miles Calculator.

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