There are two loyalty programs associated with Cathay Pacific. Point Hacks readers might be most familiar with Asia Miles, which we talk about a lot as a great opportunity to earn and redeem miles for use on oneworld airlines like Qantas, at a better rate than Qantas Frequent Flyer.

However, what you might not be aware of is that Cathay Pacific is also associated with the Marco Polo Club, which deals exclusively with earning elite status with the airline. This is also considered Oneworld status, so you can use the benefits when flying with other partner airlines like Qantas.

How does the Marco Polo Club work with Cathay Pacific?

The Marco Polo Club is separate from Asia Miles and Cathay Pacific, in the sense that if you sign up for an Asia Miles account, you don’t automatically get enrolled in the Marco Polo Club (MPC).

It’s also important to know that joining the MPC has an annual fee of USD $100 which is generally not avoidable, unlike the Qantas Frequent Flyer sign-up ‘fee’. You start at the base Green-level membership with this payment and have the opportunity to progress to Silver, Gold and Diamond status.

Once you’re a member, you can earn redeemable Asia Miles and status Club Points whenever you attach your membership number to eligible flight bookings. You need to earn at least 20 Club Points each membership year to maintain Green membership and waive the USD $100 fee.

How do I join the Marco Polo Club?

You can join the Marco Polo Club online with a payment of USD $100.

  1. Go to the application page and have your existing Asia Miles number ready if applicable. If you don’t have one, then you’ll be enrolled in Asia Miles as well.
  2. Enter your personal details, noting that family name/surname comes first, before your given name. You will also have to make up a username and password.
  3. Confirm all your details on the next page, as well as accepting the terms and conditions.
  4. Enter your payment details for the membership payment. According to the website, the fee of USD $100 will actually be charged in equivalent Hong Kong Dollars.
  5. You are now a member of Marco Polo Club, with 12 months of Green status.

What are the benefits of the Marco Polo Club?

Your benefits depend on what tier you currently hold. Here is a summary of the major benefits for all the four main tiers. You can read the full list on the Marco Polo Club website.

MPC Green card Marco Polo Green

To achieve: US$100 sign-up fee
To maintain: USD$100 or 20 Club Points

Benefits of this base-level paid tier include:

  • Premium Economy check-in counters and priority boarding for the member-only.
  • Use Asia Miles to redeem for extra-legroom seats, extra baggage and lounge access.
  • At 200 Club Points, you get a free Business Lounge pass.

MPC Silver card Marco Polo Silver

To achieve: 300 Club Points after qualifying for Green
To maintain: 300 Club Points as a Silver member
Oneworld equivalent: Ruby Oneworld Ruby icon

Silver-tier includes lounge access for the member-only, which is quite generous. Most of these benefits only apply for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon marketed flights. Benefits include:

  • Access to Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges (member-only) on all flights marketed by Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon (flight number has CX or KA).
  • Business Class check-in counters and priority boarding, including travel companions.
  • Free extra legroom seats for the member-only, reserved 24 hrs before departure.
  • At least 10kg special cabin baggage allowance and 10kg extra checked luggage
  • Similar priority benefits on CX-marketed, Air New Zealand flights between Auckland and Hong Kong.
  • At 450 Club Points, you get two free Business Lounge passes.

MPC Gold card Marco Polo Gold

To achieve: 600 Club Points after qualifying for Silver
To maintain: 600 Club Points as a Gold member
Oneworld equivalent: Sapphire Oneworld Sapphire icon

Gold tier includes oneworld Sapphire benefits, which means Business Class lounge access and priority perks for the member and one guest when travelling with any oneworld airline. Silver members can earn Gold status with an additional 600 Club Points. Benefits include:

  • Access to all Business Class Lounges with one guest, when flying on a CX, KA or oneworld marketed flight number.
  • Business Class check-in counters and priority boarding, including travel companions.
  • Free extra legroom seats for the member-only, reserved 24 hrs before departure.
  • At least 10kg special cabin baggage allowance and 15kg or 1 piece extra checked luggage
  • Similar priority benefits on CX-marketed, Air New Zealand flights between Auckland and Hong Kong.
  • Arrivals lounge access in Frankfurt on flights marketed and operated by Cathay Pacific. No guests are allowed.
  • At 800 Club Points, you get another two Business Lounge passes.
  • At 1,000 Club Points, you get four single-sector one-cabin upgrades that can be used on short or medium-length flights.

MPC Diamond card Marco Polo Diamond

To achieve: 1,200 Club Points after qualifying for Gold
To maintain: 1,200 Club Points as a Diamond member
Oneworld equivalent: Emerald Oneworld Emerald icon

Diamond tier gives the highest level of benefits, including First Class lounge access and ground priority, where available. Existing Gold members can earn Diamond status by collecting another 1,200 Club Points. Benefits include:

  • Access to all First Class lounges with one guest, when flying on a CX, KA or oneworld marketed flight number. Cathay Pacific-operated lounges allow two guests.
  • First or Business Class check-in counters and priority boarding, including travel companions.
  • Free extra legroom seats for the member-only, reserved 24 hrs before departure.
  • At least 15kg special cabin baggage allowance and 20kg or 1 piece extra checked luggage
  • Similar priority benefits on CX-marketed, Air New Zealand flights between Auckland and Hong Kong.
  • Arrivals lounge access in London (CX237, CX251, CX255) or Frankfurt on flights marketed and operated by Cathay Pacific. No guests are allowed.

How do I earn Elite status with the Marco Polo Club?

Elite status is earned with Club Points, which is similar to Status Credits. Club Points can be earned on all flights marketed by Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon, plus most flights marketed and operated by oneworld partner airlines. More expensive fare types and longer distances travelled will accrue more Club Points than short flights in Economy, for example.

You need to link your MPC member number to a flight booking to earn Club Points, and fly at least one Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight during your membership year.

Earning rates are usually higher on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon marketed flights than other oneworld airlines. For example, looking at Melbourne to Hong Kong return in Business Class, you would get 140 Club Points with Cathay Pacific and 120 with Qantas.

Marco Polo Club earn rates
You can check the number of Club Points earned here

As mentioned earlier, here are the Club Points needed to reach each level. One very important thing to note is that every time you upgrade, downgrade or retain a status level, your Club Points will reset to zero and you will have to start from scratch to earn the next status level.

GreenSilverGoldDiamond
20 Club Points300 Club points600 Club Points1,200 Club Points

This actually makes it trickier to make it to higher status levels. For example, to earn Gold, you’d need to first earn 20 Club Points for Green, then 300 Club Points for Silver, and finally 600 Club Points for Gold, for a combined total of 920 Club Points. 

In your first year of Gold membership, earning 1,200 Club Points would elevate you to Diamond. However, if you only managed 800 Club Points, you would renew Gold for the second year and would have to try earning 1,200 Club Points again to reach Diamond.

In a way, this membership structure challenges you to maintain your current status as long as possible, as dropping one tier means it is exponentially harder to get back to higher tiers down the track.

How do I contact Marco Polo Club?

If you have a query about the program, contact Marco Polo Club Service Centre at 1800 687 509 from Australia or +800 2747 5500 from anywhere else around the world. There are also dedicated numbers for Diamond members. See here for more details.

Summing up

Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club is certainly an interesting program for earning status, but it’s probably not the best option for Aussie travellers. There’s the $100 USD joining fee, which hits hard while our Aussie Dollar isn’t performing so well.

Then there’s the quirk where Club Points reset each time you renew, upgrade or downgrade, making it a lot harder to reach higher status tiers.

If you can see yourself flying Cathay Pacific a lot more in the future, then it’s worth considering. Otherwise, I’d recommend sticking with Qantas Frequent Flyer if you’re going to be flying around Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the benefits of Marco Polo Club? 

Depending on what tier you are on, Marco Polo Club may offer access to airport lounges, priority check-in and extra baggage allowance. Read our guide above for more details.

Is Marco Polo Club free? 

No, Marco Polo Club costs USD $100 to sign up. In subsequent years, you need to earn 20 Club Points to maintain Green-tier membership for free, otherwise, renewal also costs USD $100.

How does Marco Polo Club work? 

Marco Polo Club is a loyalty program that rewards you for flying on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, oneworld airlines and selected other partner airlines. You accumulate Club Points based on the fare purchased and distance travelled.

How do you become a Marco Polo Club member? 

Read our guide above for step-by-step instructions on how to sign-up for Marco Polo Club.

Supplementary images courtesy Marco Polo Club and Cathay Pacific.

New to the Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club? Start here! was last modified: September 23rd, 2020 by Steven