How to book Eurostar tickets using Amex Membership Rewards points

In a day or so I will review my recent trip on one of the brand new Eurostar e320 trains – keep an eye out for it.

Today, I wanted to remind you about the ease with which you can use American Express Membership Rewards points for Eurostar travel.  I have just booked a one-way Standard Premier ticket from Paris for late July and I was impressed with how easy the process was.  It was also decent value for my Amex points.

Parts of this article are based on a piece written by Nick Burch for HFP back in 2013, for which I am grateful.

If you want to compare the two Eurostar loyalty schemes, read Nick’s 2013 article here.  If you want to learn about using Avios points to book Eurostar travel, go here.

Depending on where in the world you live, and what programs you’re already signed up to, there are potentially three different ways to book Eurostar tickets with your American Express Membership Rewards points. No one way wins out in all cases, so you’ll need to review your options and work out the best for your needs.

In my case, I converted Amex points into my Eurostar Frequent Traveller account because I had an existing balance of 200 points which was 25% of what I needed.


Route 1: Transferring Membership Rewards points to to book Eurostar

This article from 2013 looked at using Avios points in to redeem for Eurostar trains.   At some point, we need to get it updated!

American Express Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to British Airways Executive Club and can then be moved into via ‘Combine My Avios’ to book your seat.

When booking with, you have to book a return starting from the UK. It can be a mixed class booking (Standard Premier one way, Standard the other) if you want.

The cost per Avios varies largely with the cash price for the tickets.  When we looked at this back in 2013, you were getting roughly 0.55p – 0.6p per Avios point.  A ‘cash and Avios’ booking, when you can get up to around 0.9p per Avios, was a better deal.  This means around 0.6p per Membership Rewards point in value on a straight redemption.

One way of getting a better deal is using the ‘2 for 1’ voucher which comes with the Lloyds Premier Avios Rewards credit card.  The voucher is triggered after spending £12,000 on the £140 version of the card.  Not everyone knows that the voucher can also be used for Standard class Eurostar tickets as well as flights.

Eurostar 4

Route 2: Transferring Amex points to Eurostar Frequent Traveller

Eurostar Frequent Traveller is the core Eurostar loyalty scheme, not to be confused with Eurostar Plus Points which is aimed at occasional leisure travellers.

Eurostar Frequent Traveller comes with a barrier to entry – you cannot sign up unless you have taken a Eurostar trip costing at least £250.  However, there is a way around this.  American Express will open a Eurostar Frequent Traveller account for you if you attempt to link your Membership Rewards account.

I did this back in 2013 and it worked perfectly.  One reader recently reported a problem but it appears to have been an isolated IT issue – I checked with Eurostar and they said that this method still works.

Availability with Eurostar Frequent Traveller is generally pretty good, even fairly last minute.  A reader recently told me that, as long as there are physically seats left for sale, he can usually book himself on at very short notice.

To Paris or Brussels, a one-way in Standard Class is 450 points, a one-way in Standard Premier is 900, and a one-way in Business Premier is 1,250. Further afield, a one-way to the Alps or Avignon / Lyon / Marseille starts at 500 points in Standard which is excellent value given the distance.

The transfer rate in from Amex MR points is 15 Membership Rewards to one Eurostar Frequent Traveller point, so for the 450 points for a one-way single in Standard class you need 6,750 American Express points.  Full details are here – search for ‘Eurostar’.

Tickets can be booked as singles or returns (twice the price), in any of the three classes.  This has one benefit over redeeming via which does NOT allow one way tickets.

For late July, I booked a one way Standard Premier back from Paris.  This required 900 points.  I already had 200 points in my account from a trip two years ago so I transferred (700 x 15) 10,500 American Express points across.  These arrived in three days.

The cost of my ticket for cash, booked two months in advance, would have been £100.  I therefore received just under 1p per Membership Rewards point.   Had I not had 200 points already in my account, it would have needed (900 x 15 =) 13,500 points which would have been 0.74p per Amex point.  This is not bad at all.

Without wishing to state the obvious, there are no taxes or charges on Eurostar redemptions.  Free means free. 

Redemptions via Eurostar Frequent Traveller are also semi-flexible which allows you to change the date or time of travel.  This is NOT the case with a redemption via or booked directly via American Express Membership Rewards points.

Eurostar 350

Route 3: Redeem Membership Rewards points directly via American Express

You don’t necessarily need to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Avios or Eurostar Frequent Traveller. Amex is able to book Standard class returns for youSee here for details on the Membership Rewards website and search for ‘Eurostar’.

The rate is 15,000 MR points for a Standard class return or 30,000 Amex points for a Standard Premier return.  Business Premier is not available.

This offers a slightly more expensive route than the Eurostar Frequent Traveller one, which requires 13,500 Amex points for Standard or 27,000 Membership Rewards points for Standard Premier.  There seems little logic in letting Amex book for you directly.

There are other negatives:

You must book 14 days before travel

One-way trips are not allowed

Mixed class bookings are not allowed

You can only book into the cheapest fare buckets. Once the cash price is more than about £50 one way in Standard class or £100 one way in Standard Premier, you can no longer book onto that service with your Membership Rewards points.

If you really do want to book directly from your American Express Membership Rewards points, first use the Eurostar website to find return services available at the cheap starting prices.

You first need to ring up Eurostar on a special number (given in the Membership Rewards website), and tell them that you want to make a booking using American Express Membership Rewards points. They’ll help you find a suitable cheap train, will make the booking, and will give you a reservation confirmation number.

With that half done, you then need to ring up American Express. Tell them your Eurostar reservation number and dates of travel, and they will deduct the points then confirm your booking.

There is little logic to going through this process, however, when you can book via Eurostar Frequent Traveller instead.  It will only become relevant if Eurostar removes the ability of American Express to open accounts for cardholders without having already travelled.

Summary – which is the best way to redeem?

Using your Membership Rewards points via Eurostar Frequent Traveller is the most efficient way to redeem.  Availability is excellent and you maximise the value you get from your points.

The only reason to convert Membership Rewards points to Avios and get a Eurostar ticket that way would be if you were using a Lloyds credit card ‘2 for 1’ voucher.

With a bit of organising, you can get a return ticket from the centre of London to the centre of Paris for 9,000 Membership Rewards points all-in (no taxes or fees), so it can offer some good deals compared to flying!

based on an original article by Nick Burch  (@Gagravarr)

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  1. Not sure you should give zero value to the 200 points already in your a/c 🙂

  2. Towards the end of your piece you mention you can get from London to Paris for 9,000 membership rewards points, although you don’t mention how as the cheapest mentioned is 13750 MR

  3. Genghis says:

    Opening a Eurostar Frequent Traveller account via MR account method still works. I did it a couple of months ago.

    However, I was only given the last few digits of my newly created Eurostar account number. I called Amex and they wouldn’t provide the rest for ‘security’ (weird) but a secure message to Amex and they told me the full number. I quick call to Eurostar to change the email address on the account and it was all set up. A week or so later, my card arrived along with two security queue jump passes.

    • How did you open it using the MR account??

      • Genghis says:

        See this article from Raffles way back in 2013

        The instructions worked for me but there was a problem getting my full account number as I stated above so I would send Amex a secure message as I did.

        • All MR programmes work the same way. Initiate a transfer and you will be asked ‘Do you have an account or do you want us to open one for you?’. Choose the latter.

          For clarity, this is not a bug – Eurostar is perfectly happy for this to happen. They have a broader Amex relationship including letting Platinum cardholders use the lounges.

        • Yes, the new MR website only shows the last few digits of the a/c number so you need to secure message Amex to get the full thing (I’m off to do this now!)

  4. It’s the having to ring people bit that gets me. I’d rather make my decisions and book my seats in my own time. Unless they have people available 24/7, I can’t do my bookings at midnight. I’m out most evenings between 6.30 and 8ish and by the time I get in, I just want to eat and get over the pain!

  5. re : Transferring Amex points to Eurostar Frequent Traveller

    First of all can confirm that this method works , just used it 2 weeks ago , also they send me 2 lounge vouchers together with a card as welcome gift for joining.

    What I can’t figure our is how now having physical membership card attach is to on line account on eurostart to be able to use it for booking , it looks like all registration forms are for new accounts for those who don’t have Eurostar Frequent Traveller , any idea how to link them ?

    • Genghis says:

      Have you called Eurostar to change the email address for your online account (so you can then reset password)?

  6. Paul Gibbs says:

    Is there a list of how many points each route costs to redeem somewhere?

    I am consindering transferring some amex points in, but I’d like to know how many I would need for a London-Disneyland return in Standard.

    thanks if anyone can help

  7. christian kemp says:

    Do you “earn” points as well for depositing MR points into a Eurostar account? What I mean by this is, if I put 22,500 MR points into a Eurostar account, that will be 1500 points, so will I get a Carte Blanche for that?

    • Nick Burch says:

      Nope, points transferred in from Amex count as partner earnings (like from a handful of hotels), and don’t count for Carte Blanche

      • christian kemp says:

        Thanks Nick. I have 38k in my Amex Platinum account which I am about to cancel as I never use it. I dont want to transfer it to Avios, as I rarely fly. Maybe I will just transfer them to IHG via Virgin then.

  8. Renaud says:

    I’m surprised there’s no mention of “part pay with points”, which can sweeten the deal even further.

    Choosing to pay a fixed £30 for a one way Standard seat lowers the EFT points needed from 450 to 250. This is a very modest price to pay to save you 200 points (which can almost buy you half of your next one way redemption), keeping in mind that the same ticket typically cost £100-200 at short notice. This gives EFT points excellent redemption value (plus, redemptions have near perfect availability, up to 1h before, and are exchangeable for free, unlike Standard class seats)

    In the article you’re arguing that it’s worth transferring extra Amex points to cover the 200 EFT points difference and save £30, which gives those MR 1p of value based on the cash component
    This may be true if you’re Amex points rich and rarely need last minute Eurostar travel.

    For everyone else, you should probably use every opportunity to spare your EFT points stash, as they are hard to earn with Eurostar travel alone, but have excellent redemption value .

    • Fair point. I was trying to keep the article relatively simple which is why I left that out. I am tempted to go back over my other Eurostar articles and re-run them over the next week in one batch.

  9. 1nfrequent says:

    Sorry to ask but you say that the Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher is triggered after £12000 of spend. I thought it was triggered after £7,000?

    • I was talking about the 241 voucher and not the upgrade voucher. On the £24 card, the upgrade voucher is £7k as you say. On the £140 card, you get an upgrade voucher at £5k and a 241 (economy only) at £12k.

  10. Presumably no downside to registering for the Eurostar Frequent Traveller programme anyway? (just in case they get rid of instant membership) For example although points might expire, I take it membership doesn’t?

    • membership *does* expire – so worth waiting until you are reasonably close to booking a trip.

      this is a reason why I may be forced down “route 3” – where I created a Eurostar account (and took a reward trip) a few years ago, and now my Eurostar account has expired.

  11. If you need a connecting UK rail leg, is it possible/does it make sense to buy this also with points via the Eurostar Frequent Traveller programme?

  12. Hi

    Not sure if this is the right place to post a comment. I recently received an email from Eurostar informing me of the following:

    “For all our Eurostar Frequent Traveller™ members, points are valid for three years from the date you earned them. While we haven’t removed expired points before, on 30 September we’ll be updating our systems, so all unused points over three years old will expire.”

    I have been a frequent traveller on the Eurostar back and forth to Paris for many years and picked up a lot of points. Based on the email I have received I will “lose” 10,000 points if I don’t use them before September. This is very disappointing as I am being forced to use them or lose them.

    Thoughts on this or any bright ideas on how I can use the points?


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    Ends 20 June 2016
    Take les petits to Paris, Brussels, Lille or Bruges for just £10* one way this summer and enjoy everything from beaches and barbecues to boat trips and swimming, right in the heart of Europe’s top cities.

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  14. Paul Gibbs says:

    Does anyone have an email for eurostar so I don’t have to call them (to get them to change the email. I got the account number from amex)


  1. housetrip rome trastevere

    Using American Express points to book Eurostar