Regular readers will know that I am very fond of the new Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5. See my article here for example.
Even though I have British Airways status, I still pop in here if travelling through Terminal 5 on my own because it is less crowded than the BA Galleries and the food is better. The only thing that is poor is the newspaper and magazine selection.
The reason the lounge has always been quiet – the record number of guests ever spotted by myself or any HfP reader was 20 – is that it did not accept Priority Pass or Lounge Club cards. Look at the second photo below for an example of how busy it used to be.
The only way to get in is:
for cash (you can book direct here) or
by flashing an American Express Platinum Card or
by flashing a DragonPass lounge access card
Since DragonPass cards have historically been rare in the UK, they were not responsible for a lot of business. That all changed a couple of weeks ago when NatWest / RBS Black switched from Priority Pass to DragonPass for its lounge access partner. I wrote about that here.
The big problem is that the covering letter sent out to NatWest and RBS account holders with their DragonPass specifically mentioned Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 5 access. It says:
“Unlimited access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide – this includes our flagship Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 which replaces the Aspire lounge currently available in this location”
Since then, according to many Head for Points reader reports, the place has become a bit of a scrum. The ultimate insult came from a reader who said it was ‘nearly as bad as the Club Aspire lounge’ at the other end of Terminal 5.
So, be warned. It looks I may end up back in Galleries First after all.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
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.
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.
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
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
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.