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Terminal 5 Aspire lounge is now in Lounge Club – a good reason to get American Express Gold

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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 (here is our latest review), 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 websitesee here.

Aspire lounge Heathrow

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.

Aspire Lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

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.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2022)

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Amex Gold

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 you get 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 (57)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sam Williams says:

    I’m sat in Aspire Lounge right now, and just witnessed a gentlemen get turned away because he had Lounge Club. He was showing the lady on reception but he was told it isn’t accepted here. Clearly the message hasn’t got to all staff yet!! Even when showing the web page he wasn’t allowed in.

    • the real harry says:

      Must be intensely frustrating for them 🙂

      No doubt issue will be resolved within days.

      What we need now is No1 @ T3 lol

  • Roger says:

    OT – Lloyds Avios Reward Card

    If a new CC is opened by someone who does not have account, does Lloyds open one for you? If so do I need to wait until statement date to find out account details? How do I get login detail?

    • AS says:

      Lloyds seems to have opened a new account for me even if I already had an account in my name! I had a letter from stating this and had to ring their( customer service to merger accounts…

      • mark2 says:

        It can sometimes be useful to have more than one account; when this happened to me I kept the extra one for E-Rewards etc (an acquired taste I agree), probably not if I was still working.

      • Alan says:

        Happens all the time with sadly – it’s a rubbish system that tries to match existing accounts but often fails (esp if you live in a flat). Online chat is probably your quickest way of getting the accounts merged.

    • the_real_a says:

      They can be merged very easily by phoning Its helpful if the “other” company can tell you the avios account number that it is using for points, otherwise the Avios agent can search on some key words to find you. Thankfully the call center is still in the UK so common sense is in play.

  • David says:

    Also now on LoungeKey it seems, making the HSBC Premier card even more appealing.

  • Nick says:

    I have an Amex gold but have s couple of questions re the lounge club passes.

    1. You say it comes with two free passes two for myself or one for myself and a guest. I’ve used it twice this year at STN for my wife and I. I’ve never been charged and I don’t recall ever being told by the lounge my free passes were now up and I’m being charged. I’m confused I thought it was two free passes for me and a guest i.e. As I have done this year.

    2. If I used it a third time for example is it £15 per person per visit?

    • the real harry says:

      You should have been charged ( @ £15 a time) after you used up your 2 free passes – this does happen a fair bit on lounge passes because of the human element

      • Roger says:

        do they swipe card to confirm use?

      • Nick says:

        Is that two free passes of me and my wife you mean? In which case this is what I’m upto

        • the real harry says:

          you’ve lost me somewhat 🙂

          you get 2 free passes, pure & simple

          either 2 for you or 1 each for you & your guest

          • Nick says:

            Probably me sorry! I’ll try again I used the lounge at STN one two occasions this year since getting my card. On BOTH those occasions I was with my wife. So two trips with two people on each trip. Used the lounge club card never been charged. I’m still confused by the wording not that it’s end of the world. It confused me as it appeared to be two visit for the card member only OR one visit for the card member and guest which my point is isn’t the case.

          • the real harry says:

            you just got lucky

            if it were me I’d try it another time just to see if you got a lucky card that doesn’t charge back to your Amex card

            some people have cancelled Plat but report that their Priority Pass still gives free lounge entry 🙂

          • Rob says:

            No they don’t. Would only work if the PP was handled manually.

      • Chris jones says:

        I would contact amex.

        When I had gold I phone up and said I was a family of 4 and 2 passes didn’t help me and I wanted more.

        Amex looked at my account and updated my lounge pass to 4 or 8. Can’t remember I’ve has Plat for a few years now.

        But if you don’t ask!

        • the real harry says:

          admire the initiative

          you probably got a particularly pleasant agent – highly unlikely to work more widely but I’d love to hear evidence to the contrary

    • Sandgrounder says:

      The lounge don’t know yur payment arrangements, they just swipe the card to bill you. You should get a £15 charge on your PRG for each entry after the two free ones. I can’t recall but doen’t the welcome letter include some log in details so you can check your usage history?

      • fivebobbill says:

        Yes you get a pin number in the Lounge Club welcome pack to create an account online, and from there you can manage and monitor your account (change payment card, check balance etc). You also used to be able to pre book lounges on the site up until a year or so ago, and take the print out with you to present at the welcome desk – that facility seems to have gone now, but would have been handy nowadays given the confusion at T5

    • Nate1309 says:

      Is your wife a supplementary card holder? Because then they get a pass for 2 entries also I believe. Same with Platinum the main card holder and supplementary card holder get a priority pass card each.

    • James says:

      I actually got told by Amex it was two passes for me plus a guest (ie four total entries). Used the card accordingly and was never charged.

  • Andy says:

    I have used my lounge club card to get me and OH into lounges about 5 times now(so that’s 10 entries) card is always swiped, and have never paid once. The lounges were no.1 BHX, Aspire LTN, the one at Venice Marco Polo,

  • Roger says:

    Since there is a lot of discussion today about Lounge Club card, what is the best possible way to use my 2 free visit for four people? I will be happy to pay for other two but not sure how it will work out for four of us i.e. any reservation required by prepaying?

    • Rob says:

      The only lounge you can reserve is No 1 Traveller for £5 a pop. If you can, save them for Plaza Premium at T2 or T4 which are great lounges and never full, so no risk of not getting in.

      • fivebobbill says:

        Roger, you just show your Lounge Club card at the entrance, you don’t need to show them anything else (although some ask you to sign in). Your pass is linked to the credit card you opened the account with (in this case Amex Gold Rewards). Your first 2 visits are free (either 2 for you, or 1 for you + one guest), your Amex card won’t be charged. After you have used your 2 free passes your card is charged at £15pp, for you and as many guests as you like! If you’ve never used your card before then for 4 people your card will be charged £30, ie 2 free, and 2 @ £15. (Officially! There’s always the chance someone makes a mistake and your guests get in for free 🙂

      • Leo says:

        Did you find out how to book the glass of champagne option Rob? The one that gets you a guaranteed reservation with the bonus of fizz?

        • Leo says:

          I meant for No1 sorry.

          • Rob says:

            Yes. It seems you go onto their site and book the champers as an extra item. The confirmation says the voucher guarantees you entry. (Not tried this myself though.)

        • n says:

          Glass of champagne for £7.50 inc guaranteed entry.

          (and you can save the champagne voucher for another day if you end up at the lounge horrifically hungover having gotten carried away the night before a 7am flight)

          It works!

  • Louise says:

    Visited the Aspire lounge in T5 in September and thought it wasn’t that good. Definitely wouldn’t pay to go in there. Very cramped surroundings

  • mark2 says:

    OT but Lounge.

    Has anyone experience of the Centurion Studio in Seattle for breakfast please?

    • Chris says:

      Yes, I was there earlier this year. Breakfast was great. The Centurian lounges are definitely the best lounge option you’ll find if you’re flying internally in the US.

      • mark2 says:

        Thanks; glad to hear that it can be used for internal flights as they tend to regard flights to Canada as being in that category in many lounges.

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