Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Do you know that American Express has a private lounge for cardholders at the O2 Arena?

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I was having a look at the reservations process for the American Express lounge at the O2 Arena last week, and noticed that it has changed entirely in the last year or so.

I thought it was worth running over the new details today, especially as Amex is offering a free drink to all guests.

A few years ago, American Express expanded its ‘Experiences’ programme – which gets cardholders early access to tickets for certain cultural events – by opening a private Amex lounge at the O2 Arena. They made quite a fuss about it at the time but you may well have forgotten that it exists by now.

American Express lounge O2 Arena

The procedure for getting in has changed entirely.

In the past, you had to register online up to 14 days before the event.  This has all gone.  There is now NO advance booking allowed until the day itself.

This is the new process:

“If you have already bought your tickets to an arena event at The O2, London, you have the opportunity to access this Lounge. Simply make your way to The Guests Services Hub under the ICON Staircase and show your American Express Card with a valid  show ticket to secure up to 4 passes per Cardmember, should they be available.

Passes are provided on a first come, first served basis. Capacity is limited so access cannot be guaranteed. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The Lounge is located on the ground floor of The O2. If you have managed to secure a pass at The Guest Services Hub, enter the arena through the VIP lanes at Entrance B and show your pass for entry to the lounge.

Yes, getting a lounge pass also allows you to use the shorter VIP entrance queues as well.

Full details are on the American Express website here.

Get a free drink at the American Express lounge at the O2

Until the end of 2019, American Express cardholders can get a free drink in the lounge between 6pm and 7pm.

This is how it works:

To redeem one complimentary drink, Cardmembers must present their American Express Card to collect a voucher from the venue host located at the welcome desk in the American Express Lounge, The O2. The Lounge is located by Entrance B after entering the VIP lanes and security bag searches and scan of event ticket. 

At the point of service at the bar or from the reserved table service, hand over the voucher to a member of the bar or waiting staff to claim one complimentary drink.

Only the products listed below are included in the promotional offer.

One glass of single house spirit and mixer (Vodka: Eristoff, Gin: Bombay Sapphire, Rum: Bacardi Carta Blanka (white Rum), Bacardi Oakheart (spiced rum), Whisky: Jack Daniel’s, Cognac Martell VS, Tequila: El Jimador Blanco)

One glass 125ml house red (Fico Grande Sangiovese Di Romagna Poderi Dal Nespoli, Italy), rose (Conto Vecchio Pinto Grigio Blush, Italy) or white wine (Tasari Inxolia Terre Siciliane)

One bottle of beer or cider (Beer: Budweiser (330ml) 4.8% ABV, Corona (330ml) 4.5% ABV, Bass Ale (500ml) 4.4% ABV, Leffe (330ML) 6.6% ABV, Hoegaarden (330ML) 4.9% ABV, Beck’s Blue (275ml) 0.05% ABV / Cider: Bulmers Original (330ml) 4.5% ABV, Bulmers Crushed Red Berries and Lime (330ml) 4.0% ABV, Old Mout Kiwi & Lime (500ml) 4.0% ABV, Old Mout Pomegranate & Strawberry (500ml) 4.0% ABV, Stella Cidre (500ml) 4.5% ABV)

Non-alcoholic option applicable to all soft drinks (Tonic Water/Slim Line Tonic, Soda Water ½ pint, Coca Cola ½ pint, Diet Coke ½ pint, Sprite ½ pint, Fanta Orange, Buxton Still, Buxton Sparking, Cranberry Juice, Apple Juice, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice)

Full details of the free drink offer can be found on this page of the American Express website.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (21)

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

  • Kevin C says:

    Talking of the O2, Tame Impala has been reduced from 45,000 to 30,000 points for two tickets in the Bonvoy Suite.

  • Kathy says:

    Might be worth trying it next week before seeing Hugh – if only for the shorter queue!

  • Nigel Williams says:

    Always full when I try to use it.

    I end up using the Virgin Lounge which for some reason seems to be much quieter (likely because the entrance is hidden away)

    • Jill. (kinkell) says:

      Thanks HFP. Managed to get a couple of tickets this evening prior to Michael Buble concert. Apparently only 30 tickets available at 5.30, with folk told not to bother queuing. Once in the lounge. later on…. and no queue for security… it wasn’t very full at all. Pleasant way to while away an hour before the concert. although the free plonk wasn’t quite to my taste!

  • Joan says:

    Thanks for this – never knew about this place and my daughter and I used it before Hugh Jackman last night and it was great and away from the madding crowd . We went back after the show to watch the fabulous band and then walked outside to an almost empty taxi queue . Perfect ! 😁

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

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