Eurostar has confirmed that its long-delayed service to Rotterdam and Amsterdam will begin on 4th April.
There will be two trains per day from London St Pancras, leaving at 8.31am and 5.31pm. It will take 3 hours 1 minute to Rotterdam and 3 hours 41 minutes to Amsterdam.
The big problem comes on the return. It will take another year, perhaps more, to get full UK passport and immigration services installed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Until then, you will be able to board trains without any checks.
ALL passengers will have to get off the train in Brussels which will carry on (either empty or with passengers ticketed from Brussels) to London. They will be booked onto a later London train to allow time for full passport formalities – a process which could take a long time given the number of passengers involved. You will have the option of being booked on a Thalys / Eurostar combination which, because of how the timetable works, is actually quicker albeit still over four and a half hours.
If you want to try this new route, the HFP article explains how to use your Amex Membership Rewards points for Eurostar tickets. Remember that free Eurostar tickets really are free – there are no taxes or charges to pay.
Tickets will go on sale on 20th February. Prices will start at just £35 one-way as Eurostar attempts to use price to woo customers from the airlines and fill the early services.
How to earn Club Eurostar points via UK credit cards
As a reminder, Club Eurostar does not have its own 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 – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
American Express Rewards credit card – 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
Membership Rewards points convert at 15:1 into Club Eurostar points. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, so you earn the equivalent of 1 Club Eurostar point for every £15 you spend.
American Express Platinum also 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.