Over the weekend we are looking at whether it is worth using your Virgin Flying Club miles as part payment for a booking. (Short answer: it isn’t).
We’ve also looked at ‘part pay with Avios‘ quite a bit recently for British Airways tickets.
I thought it was worth a look at using ‘part points, points cash’ for Eurostar tickets.
As a member of Eurostar Frequent Traveller (not to be confused with Eurostar Plus Points, their leisure-based loyalty scheme) you can use your rewards on Standard Class, Standard Premier and Business Premier tickets.
There is also a ‘part points, part cash’ redemption option available. The key point to remember is that you can only use ‘part cash’ when booking REWARD tickets. You cannot mix Eurostar Frequent Traveller points and cash to buy a revenue ticket.
Here is the range of pricing for Eurostar Frequent Traveller redemptions:
Standard Class, return
- 900 points, or
- 700 points + £30, or
- 600 points + £45, or
- 500 points + £60
Standard Premier, return
- 1800 points, or
- 1400 points + £60, or
- 1200 points + £90, or
- 1000 points + £120
Business Premier, return
- 2500 points, or
- 2000 points + £75, or
- 1800 points + £105, or
- 1600 points + £135
One-way journeys cost half the amount of points and cash.
Note that ‘cash and points’ tickets can only be booked by telephone.
Is this a good deal?
It is certainly a good deal if you don’t have enough points to get the tickets you need! This scheme allows you to book a redemption for fewer Eurostar Frequent Traveller points than you would otherwise need, so on that basis it is a good deal irrespective of how the maths stacks up.
If you need two tickets, you may need to do the maths based on the cash price. Imagine you have 1,000 points. You can either redeem 900 points for one free Standard ticket and pay cash for another, or use 500 points + £60 for two redemption tickets.
If a Standard Class ticket would cost more than £120, ‘part pay with points’ is a better deal. You also get to retain flexibility – if you had one redemption ticket and one cash ticket, you would lose flexibility because the cash ticket would be non-changeable.
However, there is one scenario where I do not think that ‘part pay with points’ is a good deal.
Eurostar Frequent Traveller is an American Express Membership Rewards partner. The transfer rate is 15:1.
As you can see above, Eurostar is effectively charging you £15 for every 100 points you need. However, if you have some Amex points, you can get those same 100 Eurostar points by converting 1,500 American Express points.
Using 1,500 Amex points to save £15 values them at 1p each. That is a VERY GOOD return on Amex points, which are only worth 0.5p if redeemed for gift cards and rarely more than 1p when redeemed for airline miles or hotel points.
Before using ‘part pay with points’, consider transferring over Amex Membership Rewards points instead if you can. It is a better deal.
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.