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 get Club Eurostar points and lounge access from UK credit cards (February 2024)
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.
Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:
- 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 four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 2,666 Club Eurostar points. Card benefits include Eurostar lounge access.
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 666 Club Eurostar points. This card is FREE for life.
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 will get the equivalent of 1 Club Eurostar point for every £15 you spend.
American Express Platinum comes with a great Eurostar benefit – Eurostar 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.