Cathay Pacific will retire the Marco Polo Club brand. Instead of having a separate elite program (Marco Polo Club) and points program (Asia Miles) the two will be combined in July. This means big changes for the entry level status of the program, and potentially for their U.S. credit card as well.
We learned last summer that Cathay would become a new lifestyle brand bundling assets like the elite and mileage program, shopping portals, etc. and calling themselves not just an airline.
Add more marketing buzzwords like relevant, millennials who prefer experiences over things, and big consulting fees and you have status quo + expensive advertising that doesn’t do much to change the underlying product.
- Consolidating to a single website and app makes sense
- There are very few changes, except for base (non-elite) Green members
Currently the entry Green level is a paid program costing US$100 to join and renewing each year for US$100 or points. That hasn’t been announced as going away, but “Asia Miles members who don’t belong to the Marco Polo Club will be assigned Cathay Green status in July 2022.” And that means anyone with an AsiaMiles account will also have access to the elite program, so it seems the program fee goes away.
At the same time the base level of the program devalues:
- No more premium economy check-in
- No more priority boarding
- No more Cathay lounge access redemptions
One benefit of the U.S. Cathay Pacific credit card has been green status which allowed points redemption for lounge access, so in a sense this makes the card a little less attractive unless other unannounced changes accompany the move.