On Wednesday, I wrote about some strange happenings with the Aspire Lounge in Terminal 5 at Heathrow – the only third-party lounge in the terminal.
When the Aspire Lounge opened in Terminal 5 at Heathrow, there was some annoyance that, whilst it was open to Priority Pass cardholders, it was NOT available to members of sister scheme Lounge Club.
This was especially frustrating for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders, since they get two free entries to a Lounge Club airport lounge each year.
As I wrote on Wednesday, the Terminal 5 Aspire Lounge does now appear on the Lounge Club website – see here.
However, a couple of Head for Points readers who tried to get in late last week had been turned away, saying that it was a website error. One was told that they had been turning away a lot of people that day who had been trying to get in via Lounge Club.
The good news is that Lounge Club IS being accepted at the Aspire Lounge in Terminal 5. It turns out that Lounge Club members have been able to gain access since 3rd November.
It turns out that no-one actually told some of the staff in the lounge about the change, which is why people were being turned away. Following my article Aspire apparently acted quickly to correct this.
You should not now have any problems getting in with a Lounge Club card – apart from the usual problem that the lounge is small and it is often forced to turn people away at peak times.
With Lounge Club now accepted as the Terminal 5 Aspire Lounge – and with the lounge currently undergoing an expansion, which should reduce the risk of being turned away – the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card becomes more attractive.
Amex Gold is free for the first year and comes with passes allowing you two free visits (either two for yourself or one visit for you and a guest) to any Lounge Club lounge. This HFP article compares the UK lounge networks of Priority Pass and Lounge Club whilst the Lounge Club website shows you their full overseas network.
If you keep Amex Gold after the first free year – at a cost of £140 – you will continue to receive two free Lounge Club passes each year. Additional lounge visits cost £15 which is a lot lower than the standard rate for most of these lounges.
My full review of Amex Gold is here if you want to find out more. Don’t forget that you also get 20,000 Avios points (if you convert your 20,000 Amex points to Avios) for signing up For Amex Gold and spending £2,000 within 90 days.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2020)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
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.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee 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 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.