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No 1 Lounges is bringing a Clubrooms lounge to Birmingham International Airport

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The No 1 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 No 1 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 No 1 Lounge.

There is no opening date, and indeed there is no mention on the No 1 Lounges website that the lounge is even on the way – but it is.

No 1 Lounges Clubrooms Birmingham

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual 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.

Comments (76)

  • nick says:

    My BA Premium Amex was just renewed and I was charged the £195. I would like to cancel asap, primarily to be able to get the 25k avios in 6 months time.

    I do have 2 companion vouchers in my BA account. I will continue to hold my Plat card.

    1) are my vouchers at risk? What if a book using the voucher, and then want to cancel and rebook at a later date?

    2) any instances of Amex “offering” me something to keep the card? Waived fee or increased avios?

    3) Anything else I should be aware of?

    • Kinkell says:

      I’m in same position, so would also welcome responses from ‘those who know’

    • the_real_a says:

      1) Although AMEX will tell you that you will lose the vouchers (provided they are showing at BA) i don’t think anyone has actually lost them.

      2) Yes retention offers can be very good, but depend on your spend history. I like the extra “point” for every £1 which is for 3 months as i can put some serious spend through the card at various points of the year. Typically your reason for leaving needs to fixed by the retention offer… you have to play the game a little.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Cancelled my BAPP a few months ago and the 241 is in the “bank” still

  • Geoff says:

    1) If you ask Amex they will tell you that the voucher becomes void if you cancel the card. However, experience here and on FT is that the vouchers is not voided once issued, and people report even cancelling a booking and the voucher returns to the BAEC account. However, you would of course have no grounds to complain if somehow the rule was enforced.

  • AndyK says:

    OT. Does anybody know if there will be a fee to use new Virgin Atlantic CC to fund Revolute?

  • Faithy says:

    OT. BAPP
    If I cancel with 241 voucher just received and want to reapply in 6 months. When would I be able to get new voucher? TY

  • William Jones says:

    Hi All,

    This may have come up or been explained previously and if so apologies for missing this.

    Since the closure of the UK Avios program I am no longer able to log into avios.com. This means I am unable to see the points my Lloyds Avios card would be generating. My understanding was that these points should now automatically drop into my BAEC account instead. The points posted immediately on statement date before the closure of Avios, it has been 18 days since my statement and no sign of them appearing in my BAEC account.

    Have I got this wrong, is there somewhere else I should be checking or is this a problem? Has anyone else experienced this?

    • Mark2 says:

      I just logged into my Avios.com account with no problem.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, they should automatically be going across. I would ring Avios and check they are linking to the correct BA account.

    • William Jones says:

      Thanks for your comments guys. I spoke to Avios using online chat, apparently my account had been blocked. I can get in now and see my Avios. For reference in case anyone else get’s this, the non-descript error I was getting was “A Key system is unavailable” when trying to login.

  • RussellH says:

    There was an interesting article in yesterday’s Observer Financial section about the impact of the interchange fee cap.
    The basic thrust was that by and large fees charged to retailers have **increased** since the imposition of the cap, because Visa and MasterCard have increased their “scheme fees” by around 100%.
    Shop prices have increased to cover these increases and further increases are expected, unless the regulator can be persuaded to insitute a proper review of card fees as a whole.

    • New Card says:

      I saw this too – looked very interesting and perhaps challenges the idea that meaningful reward cards can’t exist in a 0.3% world, if Visa/MC/Amex can earn the same amount by bumping up other fees.

      • RussellH says:

        Is it not the card issuer that issues the rewards, though??
        If Visa and MasterCard keep increasing their take, that puts pressure on the card issuer to **reduce** their ma\rgin, leaving less for us.
        But, as a vertically integrated operation, Amex surely should be clever enough to find ways around the problem, as however it is split up, it all goes to Amex in the end anyway!

        • New Card says:

          I guess i was thinking either VISA/MC/Amex might issue rewards cards directly, as Amex already do, or there might be some kind of rebate from Visa/MC (out of the increased scheme fee) to the card issuer (to put them in the position they would have been in pre-interchange fee cap)

    • Nick says:

      Yep, that’s definitely been the case at the (large) company I work for! We’ve gone to I++ and despite the breakdown we pay more overall. Visa and MC don’t tell you what they’re going to charge (or give you an itemised bill afterwards), they just hand you an invoice and demand their money. They are the real ‘demons’ now, and I would love for the next EU ‘investigation’ to focus on their duopoly.

      They’ll never issue cards themselves, it’s too risky and they make too much from the current structure to change that (unless forced).

  • Mark2 says:

    OT
    Has anyone managed to connect a new Virgin Money card to Curve lease?

  • Dave says:

    OT but is anyone having trouble paying for ‘business’ transactions with there Curve card? I cannot seem to make any.

    • Mark2 says:

      Almost all the payments that I have made have been classified by Curve as ‘business services’.
      I did have trouble at first, but found that lots of moderate payments, £300-400 do not cause a problem.

      • Dave says:

        I have had no problem, however over the weekend I have tried 5 times to put a payment through and it is not accepting them, not even the £200.00 ones…..