A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to try out the new Eurostar e320 trains on a trip to Paris. That review will follow in a couple of days.
First, however, I got to review the Eurostar lounge at London St Pancras station again.
One of the lesser known benefits of American Express Platinum is that you and your supplementary cardholder get access to Eurostar lounges. I don’t use this benefit often, but it is a bit of a lifesaver when you do. St Pancras is chaotic at peak times in the main terminal hall and, until the current rebuilding work is finished, Paris is even worse.
(I won’t be reviewing the Paris lounge because a new one is due to open later this year.)
It is worth remembering that Standard Premier tickets do not come with lounge access. Without a Platinum card or Eurostar status you need to be holding a Business Premier ticket.
Having said that the terminal was chaos, the lounge was also overrun at 6.45am with a couple of trains due to depart imminently. However, once it hit 7am, calm descended and I had a very pleasant half an hour until I headed off to board.
The St Pancras Eurostar lounge is long, narrow and operates on two levels. A lot of people never venture upstairs, but the facilities are the same and there is more space. You also are not disturbed by people walking to and from the lounge entrance. I recommend looking upstairs first before taking a seat downstairs.
I have a soft spot for this lounge but it isn’t based on any hard benefits. I just like the feel of it and the way it is blended into the fabric of the old station.
There is also no shortage of reading material, which always wins brownie points with me:
which makes the weak British Airways Galleries selection look pitiful.
These pictures are all taken from the upper level:
There isn’t much variety in the food on offer. (I did say that my liking for this lounge was not based on its facilities!) It helps to have a love of pastries, which were pretty decent – better than the ones served on the train:
This is the food and drink station on the lower level. There is no shortage of alcohol although you don’t see it in this image. The coffee machines were also high quality which was welcome at 7am.
All in all, it does the best it can given the limited space. The Paris lounge is substantially larger and is due to become even bigger following the building work.
And if you don’t have lounge access, you will be stuck in the massive queue outside Caffe Nero!
How to earn Club Eurostar points from UK credit cards (December 2020)
Club Eurostar does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Club Eurostar points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These are:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 1,333 Club Eurostar points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 2,000 Club Eurostar points. Card benefits include Eurostar lounge access.
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 333 Club Eurostar points. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 15:1 into Club Eurostar points which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, so you will get the equivalent of 1 Club Eurostar point for every £15 you spend.
American Express Platinum comes with a great Eurostar benefit – lounge access! You can enter any Eurostar lounge, irrespective of your ticket type, simply by showing The Platinum Card at the desk. No guests are allowed but you can get entry for your partner by issuing them with a free supplementary Amex Platinum card on your account.