Established in 1946, Cathay Pacific Airways is a founding member of Oneworld 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.

The airline operates a shared loyalty scheme, aptly named the Marco Polo Club, within its group comprising of both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

Cathay Pacific
Frequent Flyer Fundamentals

To start, it is probably best to begin and frame Cathays’ reward program. This is important because if you are not used to Airline miles, not too familiar with the Oneworld’s royalty structure (say because you fly Skyteam or Star Alliance) or simply don’t know the difference between a Zone-Based program vs. a Miles-Based program, it may be worth not skipping ahead and miss the below.

In every Oneworld Frequent Flyer program, there are two currencies which members collect simultaneously – Status Points (SP) which determines your elite status level and cannot be spent and Reward Currency (RC) which can be exchanged for airline benefits and rewards. If you are familiar with Lufthansa’s 2020 Miles&More rebooted structure, then this should be quite familiar.

Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific’s Reward Currency of Choice

A points-based reward scheme which encompasses the main reward currency for the airline. A person can collect Asia Miles through various means such as through flying, affiliate links or credit card spend (the most common method). In return, you can redeem the points for in-flight upgrades, lounge access or travel-based experiences.

As a Hong Kong-based Carrier it’s no surprise that the main collection methods are geared towards experiences in the region.

Marco Polo Club

The Status Points system to unlocking elite benifits

Moving up the ladder within Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program is completely dependent on the number of Club Points accrued within a given year.

As a Zone-Based reward scheme, points are given based on a zone chart. Points are accrued based on a general formula of distance flown multiplied by the class of travel while factoring the ticketing carrier.

Accrued Club Points expire at the end of each membership year and can only be earnt by actually flying with Cathay Pacific or a Oneworld Partner, not by signing up to credit card deals. There is no other use for Club Points other than setting your elite status, and unlike Asia Miles, they cannot be spent.

quick facts about the Marco polo Club

Basic Entry is not free

Upon paying the enrolment fee of US$100 to join the club as a Green member, you will enjoy some basic benefits however at the end of your 12-month membership period, you will still need to pay to renew your status with either 20 Club Points or pay another renewal fee of US$100.

Membership isn’t forever

Membership lasts 12 months from the date you enrolled (into Green or Silver), renewed, upgraded or downgraded into your current tier. Upon renewal, upgrade or downgrade, your club points will automatically be reset to zero and a new membership year begins.

No straight line to the top

The Marco Polo Club is one of the only Frequent Flyer programs where you cannot achieve Gold or Diamond status by simply earning 600 or 1200 club points within a single 12 month period.

Rather your club points will reset every time you reach a higher Elite Status Tier

Oneworld’s Relationship with
The Marco Polo Club

Ranging from Green at the beginning, all the way up to Diamond Invitation at the other end of the spectrum, there are six elite status tiers within the Marco Polo Club (4 public and 2 “secret” tiers) which are grouped into four Oneworld equivalent brackets. While secret tiers are the most alluring to discuss, they are usually left to the realms of enthusiast forums as Cathay Pacific never actually publish what the 1% of the 1% get. Although what is known is the benefits for the four public status tiers: Green, Silver, Gold, and Diamond.

Oneworld StatusNo
Status
Ruby
Ruby
Sapphire
Ruby
Emerald
Ruby
Marco Polo Status-Asia Miles
-Green
-Silver

-Gold

-Diamond
-Diamond Plus
-Diamond Invitation

Green Status

To achieve green status you need 100 club points

Silver Status

To achieve green status you need 300 club points

Gold Status

To achieve green status you need 600 club points

Diamond Status

To achieve green status you need 1,200 club points

Marco Polo Club Benefits Overview

Different Benefits for Different Oneworld members

Status isn’t applied equally…

Oneworld frequent flyer benefits, when exercised on a partner airline, is subject to the operating carrier’s terms.

This is noticeable on Cathay Pacific where If you are a Marco Polo Club Diamond, Gold, or Silver member, you may reserve seats for all passengers in the booking free-of-charge. However, if you are a Oneworld Ruby member or above then only you may reserve a regular seat for free – but travel companions will incur a fee.

Marco Polo Green Status

Green is unique to Cathay as It captures a market where people may not travel enough to hit Silver, but travel enough to see the US$100 entry fee as a one-off investment because they can accrue the required 20 club points to renew their membership every year.

Green is technically in a level of its own, charging for the privilege but not really offering very much. You would only expect to benefit from this tier if you are based in Hong Kong.


GREEN TIER BENEFITS:

  • Designated Marco Polo Club check-in counters
  • Priority Boarding

ONEWORLD TIER
None


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:
One off payment of US$100


RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS:
100 Club Points or US$100


MID-TIER BENEFITS:
200 club points: One-time-use Cathay Pacific only Business Class Lounge Pass


DEPARTURE LOUNGE:
No Access


ARRIVALS LOUNGE:
No Access


LUGGAGE BENEFITS:
None


PRIORITY BOARDING:
Cathay Pacific only

Marco Polo Silver Status

Marco Polo Silver is regarded as the entry-level elite status tier within the Marco Polo Club


GREEN TIER BENEFITS:

  • Business Class check-in counters
  • Priority Boarding
  • Extra-Legroom Seats
  • Advance Seat Reservation
  • Extra Additional Checked Baggage
  • Lounge Access

ONEWORLD TIER
Oneworld Ruby


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:
300 Club Points


RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS:
300 Club Points


MID-TIER BENEFITS:
450 Club Points: Two one time use lounge passess for companions to enjoy eligible business class lounges with.


DEPARTURE LOUNGE:
CX: Yes
OW: No


ARRIVALS LOUNGE:
CX: No
OW: No


LUGGAGE BENEFITS:
Checked: Up to an extra 10 Kg Checked baggage (route dependant)

Cabin: 10 Kg Cabin Baggage


PRIORITY BOARDING:
CX: Premium Economy
OW: OneWorld Ruby Group

Marco Polo Gold Status

Marco Polo Gold is regarded as the mid-tier elite status tier within the Marco Polo Club.


GREEN TIER BENEFITS:

  • Business Class check-in counters
  • Priority Boarding
  • Extra-Legroom Seats
  • Advance Seat Reservation
  • Guaranteed Economy Class Seat
  • Extra Additional Checked Baggage
  • Lounge Access

ONEWORLD TIER
Oneworld Sapphire


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:
600 Club Points


RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS:
600 Club Points


MID-TIER BENEFITS:
800 Club Points: Two one-time-use lounge passess for companions or Redemption Group members to enjoy eligible business class lounges with.

1,000 Club Points: Four single-sector Bookable Upgrades to one cabin class up for yourself or travel companion, applicable to Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights up to medium-haul flights.


DEPARTURE LOUNGE:
CX: Yes
OW: Yes


ARRIVALS LOUNGE:
CX: Yes
OW: No


LUGGAGE BENEFITS:
Checked: Up to an extra 15 Kg Checked baggage (route dependant)

Cabin: 10 Kg Cabin Baggage


PRIORITY BOARDING:
CX: Business Class
OW: OneWorld Sapphire Group

Marco Polo Diamond Status

Marco Polo Diamond is regarded as the highest elite status tier within the Marco Polo Club.


GREEN TIER BENEFITS:

  • First Class check-in counters
  • Priority Boarding
  • Extra-Legroom Seats
  • Advance Seat Reservation
  • Guaranteed Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class Seats
  • Extra Additional Checked Baggage
  • Lounge Access

ONEWORLD TIER
Oneworld Emerald


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:
1,200 Club Points


RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS:
1,200 Club Points


MID-TIER BENEFITS:
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.

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.

1,800 Club Points: You can gift a Marco Polo Club Gold membership to a family member or friend.


DEPARTURE LOUNGE:
CX: Yes
OW: Yes


ARRIVALS LOUNGE:
CX: Yes
OW: Yes


LUGGAGE BENEFITS:
Checked: Up to an extra 20 Kg Checked baggage (route dependant)

Cabin: 10 Kg Cabin Baggage


PRIORITY BOARDING:
CX: First Class
OW: OneWorld Emerald Group

Marco Polo Club
The importance of the Terms & Conditions

The Marco Polo Club terms & conditions page is a valuable and important resource – especially for those who may not be fully versed in ways of the loyalty point. Summarised below are my top 6 terms that everyone should be aware of when holding status with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.

  • The Club is open to individuals aged 12 or above. Membership is not available to corporations or other legal entities. Membership is accepted at the sole discretion of Cathay Pacific and upon payment of an enrolment fee of USD100.
  • For Membership Holidays, Membership Holiday cannot start on the current membership expiry month or outside of the current membership period. A minimum of 1 month and maximum of 12 months period for each Membership Holiday can be taken. Only 3 membership holidays per membership lifetime is permitted.
  • In case of bookable upgrades, club points will be accrued based on the actual fare class flown.
  • Gold Companion cards must be claimed online within 6 months of the date it was issued.
  • Travel companions [for the purposes of] Lounge Passes are guests travelling with the Marco Polo Club member on the same booking, or travelling on the same flight date, with the same origin and destination, as the Marco Polo Club member.
  • If a member’s air travel is disrupted due to reasons beyond the control of Cathay Pacific or an airline partner (for example, extreme weather conditions/acts of God) and the member is forced to change carrier, club points / Asia miles credits on the disrupted segments of the purchased ticket will only be credited to the original itinerary. In such circumstances, the member will need to email, mail or fax the original passenger receipt and boarding pass to the Marco Polo Club.

Lounge Access | is it worth it?

Cathay Pacific Lounge Access Guide

Cathay does lounges well. Its pretty much a fact considering its focus on customer service. In Hong Kong alone the Airline operates 4 different lounges – The Wing, The Pier, The Deck and The Bridge – with several internationally including Manila, Tokyo, London, Frankfurt and Shanghai to name a few.

Read More

sector vs accrued status

4 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here