Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

No1 Lounges is bringing a Clubrooms lounge to Birmingham International Airport

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The No1 Lounge at Birmingham International suffers, along with its sister lounges at Gatwick and Heathrow T3, with capacity problems.  This is especially acute in the mornings, when Priority Pass holders are at risk of being turned away if they have not paid the £5 reservation fee (you can reserve spots here).

The good news is that No1 is bringing its Clubrooms product to Birmingham.  A new lounge is currently under construction opposite Gate 54, next to the Emirates lounge.

I took a look at the Gatwick North Clubrooms here.  At Gatwick South, the lounge has table service and is arranged in a more restaurant-like style.  Instead of one large open space it is made up of a number of small rooms, with individual airlines – or private individuals if they wish – able to reserve a particular space.  Gatwick North was done differently and looks more like a standard lounge, done out to a plusher standard than a standard No1 Lounge.

There is no opening date, and indeed there is no mention on the No1 Lounges website that the lounge is even on the way – but it is.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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 £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (76)

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

  • Ian says:

    Off topic..
    Anyone heard any rumours of when the BA sale is likely to start? I’m hoping it will be this week.

    Also, is there a way to view an available seat map for a BA flight before making a booking?

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Just looking at flights for next month last week and decided on going via DUB to LAS and flights in business was around £1700. Went to look just now to a view to booking and all over £3k now 🙁 Tried different devices and browsers. Any other tricks to see if I can get similar prices? Will try a VPN next.

    • Neil says:

      Some fares have a 28 day advance booking requirement. Perhaps that?

    • Kevin H says:

      Strange. Have just looked and dates next month from 16 July (ie 28d+ in advance) for DUB/LAS/DUB are shown from around €1800 ( £1,575) in business.

    • Chris says:

      Make sure you stay a Saturday night to get the cost down

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Yep going Thursday to Thursday 12-19th

        • Jonathan says:

          As mentioned above, you’ve missed the 28 day advance purchase requirement for most cheap Business class fares. If you were looking before Thursday last week then these would have been available. Unfortunately it’s a painful lesson to learn but airlines work differently to hotels and you won’t find a last minute bargain so take whatever you can find now as prices will increase again at t-21 & t-14 days. Rarely pays to book more than 6 months out but almost always significantly more expensive within 4 weeks as this is when a lot of business travel is booked (exceptions include the more tourist heavy airlines like Qatar who often have no or minimal advance purchase requirements in their sales).

  • the real harry1 says:

    Looks like I have a mortgage with Virgin Money, give us some points then.

    Yorkshire & Clydesdale names to disappear.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s certainly causing some confusion. There are newspapers who are using images of Yorkshire Building Society instead of Yorkshire Bank in their reports.

      Richard does have the kind of whispy hair and beard that bank note designers love to use on a bank note though! Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to Alexander Fleming (£5), Robert Burns (£10), Robert the Bruce (£20), Elsie Inglis (£50) and Charles Rennie Mackintosh (£100) and a big hello to a licensed image of Richard Branson.

    • Lumma says:

      I’ve got a “B” current account, only opened to get the £250 switching bonus. For an app driven account, the app is terrible, I wonder if it will improve of it turns into a virgin money account?

      Although I’ll have probably switched again by the time that happens

      • Jon says:

        I also have a B account, and also agree the app is terrible! It’s supposed to be targeted at people who want more data on their financial transactions (and also offers a FX free credit card for HfP readers…) But then, the app is slow and often requires several passwords if you are transferring over a set (but small) threshold. Will stick with Barclays (much much better app).

        • Lumm says:

          My account is used as the bills account for the flat I live in and the housemates pay their rent and their share of the bills into it. For “security” you can’t do more than £500 as a transfer without putting in the password, which I couldn’t work out what I used as I can log in with my fingerprint on the app. Solved the problem by doing multiple £499 transfers to my main account.

          I need to check that they won’t try and get back the £250 switch bonus and find a new switching bonus.

          Having said all this, the previous account was co-operative and their app was even worse

      • Nick says:

        Lumma, I’m in the same position. I’ve just applied to switch my B to M&S for £220 in vouchers over a year. Don’t normally shop at M&S but am sure I can make it work for a while since it’s essentially ‘free’. No doubt will switch again this time next year!

        • G says:

          @Lumm I switched a few weeks after getting the £250. They don’t claw it back so you should move as soon as

    • RussellH says:

      Were I running it it would be the Virgin name that went. Or has Branson got enough shareholder clout to force this on a couple of respected names? AFAIR Clydesdale + Yorkshire both avoided the worst exceeses of 2008-2010, while Virgin is just a rehashed Northern Rock, which was the first to collapse.

      Why is it that marketing geeks so love the word “Virgin”?
      I could come up with all sorts of unprintable Freudian explanations!

    • the_real_a says:

      More importantly – to “use” the virgin brand only costs them £15m a year… Absolute bargain.

  • PJK says:

    OT Hmmm, seeing the news this morning, hoping that the CYBG takeover of Virgin Money will help and not hamper the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards… ????????

  • Oh Matron! says:

    Virgin often have fares like this ex manchester. In fact, I’m off to NYC this weekend starting in manchester, UC for £1200

  • Geoff says:

    OT: Wondering if anyone has seen the promised refund of the ‘cash’ fees from using a Tesco CC via Curve? I have not.
    Or if anyone has successfully used Curve with a Tesco CC and not been charged since Tesco announced they would ‘pause’ the charges…? (I haven’t tried.)

    • Richard G says:

      No refund here yet. I’ve removed my Tesco card from Curve and I’ll be paying off / closing my account in due course. Terrible way to treat customers.

    • Jeff says:

      Do any other CC companies charge the fee?

      • Geoff says:

        No – not yet as far as the collective wisdom here has spotted.

    • Cuchlainn says:

      No refund yet and interest charged on cash transaction – all detailed out in monthly statement.


      • James knox says:

        nothing yet for me either – will also be cancelling my tesco card once this is sorted out, and will thank them for 25 months of interest free spending and balance transfer (that was zero fee to do the transfer)

  • PAL says:

    Hi, Qatar related, next month have a350-1000 on leg 1, 787-8, a350-900, a350-100 – I take it the only iffy one is a350?

    • Lumma says:

      All Qatar A350s have the same reverse herringbone seats as the 787s. Or did you mean a330 as the iffy one? I actually like Qatar’s old 2-2-2 seats over the reverse herringbone ones for comfort, although if you’re not in the centre 2 you’d need to step over someone or be stepped over yourself

    • Adrian says:

      I’m no expert on QR, but I thought all the new A351’s (A350, 1000) are being delivered with the new q suites, which are delightful. The 788 and 359 will have the reverse herringbone and are very nice seats. The only old angle flat seats are the a320’s. This is assuming you are in business.

      • Lumma says:

        Ah yes, I see. To be fair, I don’t think any of Qatar’s business cabins can be described as iffy. It’s like saying strawberry ice cream is your least favourite. Other flavours might be better but you’d never say no given the chance

        • Nick says:

          I don’t like ice cream. I’ve also never flown QR… now wondering if I should avoid it!

  • Benylin says:

    Applied for a platinum card upgrade from Gold charge card more than 5bd ago, nothing back yet. Anyone know how long it takes from experience? I know it says 10 days from after you apply.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.