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Regus tightening up on free BusinessWorld Gold cards

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You may remember that I wrote a piece last year recommending Regus business lounges.  At that time, Regus was, amazingly, giving away free access (unlimited visits) to their lounges via a number of loyalty programmes.  Recently, though, Regus has been tightening up and you need to be more cunning.

Let’s take a step back, though.  The company Regus may or may not be familiar to you.   They are the worlds leading provider of ‘serviced office space’.  This is, fundamentally, treating office space like a hotel.

You want an office for a day / a week / a month / a year for 1 / 2 / 5 / 20 people?  They can provide it.  You don’t need to worry about furniture, IT, cleaning, receptionists etc – they provide it all.  It is an effective route for start-ups or for businesses which are growing quickly.

However, it is the other side of the Regus operation that is the point of this post.

Almost all Regus centres feature a ‘business lounge’.  A large percentage of Head for Points is written in Regus lounges!  They vary in size, but most feature open-plan seating areas, 1-4 Apple Mac computers available for free use and 1-10 ‘pods’, available on a first come, first served basis (for free) which provide a semi-private work area.

Free Wi-Fi and free tea and coffee are provided in all lounges.   Here is a picture of 1 Poultry in the City of London, which is next to Bank tube station (the pods are the blue and white things at the back):

If your job takes you ‘out and about’ a lot, or you work for yourself but simply don’t like sitting in Starbucks or your house all day, then working out of Regus lounges is a very viable alternative.  Regus also has a global network, so you can pop into centres pretty much wherever you are in the world.

Frankly, even if you buy an UK annual pass for £420 + VAT, it is a bargain if you use it a lot.  I use a Regus lounge 2-3 times a week, so £420 + VAT would be worthwhile.

Historically, though, you didn’t even have to pay that.  There were numerous loyalty programmes that issued a FREE BusinessWorld Gold card to their members on request.

Recently, though, Regus has clearly been tightening up.  They have introduced a new card called ‘Regus BusinessWorld Preferred’.  This is now the card of choice when giving out freebies to members of travel loyalty schemes.

Regus BusinessWorld Preferred is not a bad card.  You get 15 free visits per year to Regus business lounges, which is still very handy.  However, if you are there once a week or more, it clearly won’t do the job.

I have taken a look at some of the offers currently available via loyalty schemes:

IHG Rewards Club – offer seems to have ended

Avis Preferred (available free to Amex Plat holders) – downgraded to Regus BusinessWorld Preferred

American Airlines – Gold still seems available to elite members

United MileagePlus – only offers Regus BusinessWorld Preferred

Miles & More – offer seems to have ended

Virgin Flying Club – Gold still available to Silver and Gold members and Black credit card holders.  Importantly, as you can see from the link, Virgin offers their base level (free sign-up) members the chance to buy a BusinessWorld Gold card for half price at £210.  You will also receive 3,000 Virgin Flying Club miles.

TripItPro – offers BusinessWorld Preferred but also throws in a free day office voucher.  Not a bad deal for the $50 cost of TripItPro.

Diners Club Germanystill seems to offer BusinessWorld Gold (link deleted as now dead).  Not sure if you could activate this with a Diners Club card number from a different country.

National Car Rental – website says that Emerald level members receive BusinessWorld Gold, but when you click through it only offers you BusinessWorld Preferred

RICS (UK Chartered Surveyors) – now only offers BusinessWorld Preferred, although ironically the activation code remains MSREGUSBWGOLD

Delta – still offers Gold but only to those who have purchased Sky Club annual memberships

If you know of any other Regus BusinessWorld promotions available via travel loyalty schemes, please let me know.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (29)

  • David says:

    I have a free Gold card from Business Traveller plus a free one issued about 5 years ago from a tie in Australia with Diners Club which you could apply for in the UK by making up a pretend Australian account number if I remember correctly.

    I have used them in New York, Rotterdam, Hong Kong and London and Berlin for checking email, coffee and facilities. In Rotterdam the staff all left for the day at 5:00 pm and the cleaner and I were left alone with the coffee machine and computers.

    I have always assumed they never expire.

    • Rob says:

      I used the new ‘flagship’ one near Grand Central last year. A year before, I used one in an office block on Times Square which was interesting – one of these never-renovated 1930’s buildings!

  • AndyGWP says:

    Thanks Raffles – decided to go for this but wouldn’t have done without the reminder.

    My AA Gold expires next month, so it’ll be one of the last benefits I receive with the card 🙂

  • Elena says:

    When i activated mine it says gold on the membership rather than Preffered but i still have not used it yet. Iam. Waiting for the physical card to arrive first. So we will see when it comes what it says on it. Anyone knows how long it takes them to send the cards out?

  • Nigel says:

    What are the opening hours of the lounges?

    I have a Gold card from BMI days that I have never used, but I’ve just realised some of their London lounges would make good alternative to station waiting rooms.

  • Tony says:

    IIRC, when I last asked in London the lounges are open 8.30am to 5pm – that may be 30 mins out either way, but gives the idea.

    Got mine from the IHG promo two years back. Think the card was with me in about 7-10 days.

    • Rob says:

      Its better now. They are open to 6pm and Berkeley Square is open to 7pm. Mon-Fri only.

  • pazza2000 says:

    Do you need the physical card for entry? I’ve accessed ‘once’ before with my membership# (via email) & ID.

    • Rob says:

      No, a bit of paper should do it – my card often fails to swipe and they are happy to key in the number. Not sure what the official policy is however.

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  • uclalum says:

    as far as I can tell, Emerald Club members get one year of Gold Membership free:

    But when you click on the link it will only activate a preferred membership. Have had gold for ~3 years but never used it once.

    I also have the membership from another partner, can can’t remember: Delta Platinum, Marriott Gold, IHG Gold, AAA Plus, Costco Executive, AmEx MR (Green)….one of these…

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