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Here is an airport VIP terminal you can use with a Priority Pass card

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On Thursday we covered the new VIP terminal being built at Manchester Airport, which will allow any passenger willing to pay to bypass the main airport and be driven to their plane.

Reader Andrew dropped me a note about his trip to Ohrid in Macedonia.  The Priority Pass lounge at Ohrid St Paul the Apostle airport is the VIP terminal as the Priority Pass website confirms.

Ohrid St Paul the Apostle airport

Andrew checked in at the main terminal, went through security and was then walked down the apron to the VIP terminal which is in a separate building (photo below). 

Primeclass VIP lounge Ohrid airport

When it came for the flight to depart, they walked the 50 metres from the terminal to their WizzAir plane to Luton ….

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes 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 (129)

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

  • Roger says:

    OT – Do EDF accept Amex directly on their website?
    Assume you can make payments via website and it will reduce the DD accordingly.

    • Liz says:

      You can pay by Amex but I don’t think they reduce your DD. I use EDF but just pay by DD and earn some CB via Santander account. If they did reduce the DD like Sky and BT etc I would do it.

    • BJ says:

      As Liz states you can pay online by amex. However, you will need to call them to reduce DD which they are happy to do. Note that if you request a refund in the future or one is automatically trigger by submitting meter readings. the refund is to you credit card not your bank account. CS are unable to intervene, stop or reverse a system initiated refund, or so they told me. I got an unexpected and unwelcome £600 card refund this month. Note, there is a 6 month period between meter reading requests which is ample time to make even a card refund useful!

      • Roger says:

        Might stay with BG in that case!

        • Anna says:

          OVO take top ups via Curve, so hopefully this will work with Amex once that’s available. I just reduced my DD to the minimum amount they would accept (£29 per month). They have been refunding to the bank account where the DD originates but they’ve just had a big update to their systems so I don’t know if this is still the case, I’m due to try again in about 4 months!

        • Mark2 says:

          I just requested a refund from OVO and they said that it would be returned to bank.
          They pay interest of 3% upwards on credit balance, but only up to £1,000. This used to be hidden and they got quite shirty when I had £2,000+ in there.

        • Polly says:

          Try Affect, based in Shoreham. Find them v good. Reduced my dd to 20 pm. But l prepay bill balance with amex every month. Very competitive too.

  • Ronald says:

    OT… where do I put my Heathrow Reward number when I book HEX online? Is it after the payment page? Thanks.

  • Roger says:

    OT – which curve metal colour to choose?
    I am torn between Red hot and Rose gold.

    • Roger says:

      Also, will curve metal be classed at World Elite Master card?

      • Rob says:

        Yes BUT you don’t get World Elite privileges. N26 Metal is the same. Says World Elite on the back but you can’t access the World Elite benefits portal.

    • BJ says:

      You must be vrry indecisive! Red will clash with Virgin and rose gold may clash with PRG if that helps 🙂

      • Roger says:

        Virgin is red + black (more black), Rose gold will be quite unique (but may be girly! and might give out wrong impression!)

      • Mark2 says:

        Isn’t the idea that you only carry one card?

        • BJ says:

          That’s the idea but would you be confident to carry only Curve?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I now carry Curve my Amex and my iPhone. Most places take Apple Pay properly now so I effectively have most of my cards on me most of the time.

        • Alex Sm says:

          Is there any hope that Curve will soon be on Apple Pay at all?

    • Alex W says:

      The colour is surely the most insignificant feature of the card, closely followed by the material it’s made from…

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Didn’t you realise, the cards you carry in your wallet, including design, colour, material of said cards, are directly related to the size of a man’s appendage…

        This is sarcasm, in case that wasn’t obvious 😂

  • Matt says:

    OT Curve related: I had an email on Friday asking me to fill in a form to take part in the Beta. I filled in the form but haven’t had anything since. Anyone got any ideas? Is it possible to share the APK?

    • George says:

      Access is controlled by TestFlight so no ability to share. I signed up to the various rounds and got emails telling me to share my beta access but never actually got the TestFlight invite – waiting for general availability tomorrow to see what it’s like.

      Have concerns about being double insured though – happy to pay for metal but absolutely do not want the insurance, and it seems as though it’s provided by the same company (Axa) that platinum uses

      • Roger says:

        Looks like iOS app has already been updated with the option to upgrade to Black and Metal from free card.

        Not taking a plunge yet on partner’s card as that is also close to limit.
        In family will be quite happy to pay for metal if they sort out their irresponsible customer service.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Does having two policies matter as long as you only claim on one?

        Ie you have it bundled with a current account and have a Plat for 6 or so months a year.

        • John says:

          Both insurers may force you to claim from both, why would one insurer knowingly pay double what they need to if they have the option to split the payout with the other insurer

  • Frenske says:

    OT have people received their Virgin bonus points for taking out life insurance. Promotion ran in June. 11K points if I remember. I’ve not received them and it has been almost 7 months. That’s said I’ve been on paying £1.87pm.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Nope, still waiting.

      • Shoestring says:

        Most people have received them already. Some people thought the 10K points would show as latest points activity but actually Virgin shows them under June.

        • d4ve says:

          Mine show in June in 2 ten’s 1 x 2500 & 1 x 7500

        • Graham Walsh says:

          I have no activity in between 31/3 > 22/10. Then just credit card spend & Trains in Nov 18.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    OT Checked into the Hilton Manchester on Thursday and had the option to check in with my app. Looked at it as it was floor 1-8 with a few options on each for twin rooms. Didn’t bother, rolled up at reception and was given a room on the 22nd floor with lounge access for Diamond Membership. Why can’t they add this knowledge into the app??

    On a separate note, when in Spain this week, I stayed at an AC Marriott, checked in when I got there. No tea/coffee making facilities in my room. Compared to my suite upgrade in BCN at an AC hotel it was a bit crap. I questioned why no tea/coffee facilities and they said it was only for exec rooms. Their website clearly states all rooms have facilities. Let’s see if my complaint goes anywhere.

    • Pangolin says:

      OLCI in Hilton normally offers garbage rooms until the morning of check-in, when system upgrades will have cleared, so it’s best avoided unless you’re staying somewhere where all rooms are similar.
      I sometimes use it if I have an overnight at an airport Hampton but wouldn’t bother otherwise.

      AC Hotels don’t have lounges, so there isn’t really an exec room anyway. It just sounds like some BS from the front desk. OTOH, maybe you’re referring to Autograph Collection, which is a separate (better) brand that’s commonly confused with AC.

      • BJ says:

        Agreed, OLCI at hotels is a very bad idea. You lose single best chance at an upgrade which is check in.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Agree. I use OLCI for places that don’t have anything extra such as the LHR DoubleTreee.

        AC do have an Exec/Superior Room as I got upgraded when in BCN. Their “lounge” is the main bar/restaurant area. It wasn’t the autograph collection hotel either.

    • Anna says:

      We stayed at the Manchester Hilton just before Xmas and selected the upgrade option to exec room and lounge access as it was only about £15. When we checked in via the app, we got the exec room choice, and in the end they didn’t charge the upgrade fee. We only paid £115 in total for the DBB package so it was a very reasonable night!

  • Will T says:

    OT: have I missed the Qatar January Sale? Was there one? Will there be one?

  • N says:

    OT looking to go to HKG solo for one week… Best I can find it £400 return with Lufthansa in PE using the Amex 200 off 600 offer.

    Good deal?

    Or does anyone out there have a 2-4-1 and want to go to HKG and don’t have someone else to use it with? Ha!

    • Roger says:

      Wish with 241 for solo BA reduced the miles cost by half!
      May be if VS gave enough competition BA might budge and provide such option for single ticket!

    • BJ says:

      Go for LH, you will get to share with somebody there too, even if upgraded to business.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      £400 for PE to HKG sounds like a great deal to me.

      Business is great but I’d rather spend the £600-800 extra even the best business deals cost in Hong Kong.

    • tom1 says:

      1) I have a 241 and heading HKG/KUL/SIN later in the year -when do you want to go?
      2) I also looked at the LH PE with £200 off £600. When I came to book with Amex travel, they didn’t have availability on some of the cheaper flights, so if you haven’t already done so, might be worth checking on their site that they can access the same flights that LH are selling directly.

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