Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 12.5% off Plaza Premium lounges for couples – or kids go free for families

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If you want to book a Heathrow Airport lounge for this August, and don’t have access via a lounge scheme, Plaza Premium has launched an interesting offer.

As you can see here, you can:

save 25% on the 2nd person (so 12.5% off the total cost) on a Plaza Premium lounge booking until 31st August 2019


kids between two and 11 go free (maximum two per adult) when you use promo code “KIDSFORFREE” until 31st August 2019

All of the Heathrow lounges seem to be on the list of participating locations:

  • Arrivals, Terminal 2 – review
  • Arrivals, Terminal 3 – review
  • Arrivals, Terminal 4 – review
  • Departures, Terminal 2 – review
  • Departures, Terminal 4 – review
  • Departures, Terminal 5 – review, photo below

The ‘best’ lounges are Terminal 2, which regularly wins ‘best independent airport lounge in the world’ awards, and Terminal 4.  However, because it is not in Priority Pass or Lounge Club, the lounge in Terminal 5 is of particular interest to HfP readers.

You can find out more about the promos, and book, on the Plaza Premium website here.  These offers do NOT work ‘on the door’.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 2021)

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

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 and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients 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 £20 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.

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

Comments (104)

  • Cuchlainn says:

    I see Aer Lingus currently offering 45% bonus on Avios purchases but when does BA and IB normally do their normal 50% bonus ?

    Not necessarily needing Avios but need to spend £5K on Gold card in next 2 months to trigger 10,000 MR bonus, so may do the £1,615 / 100,000 ( + 50,000 bonus ) punt if offer comes around ASAP.

    • Londoner says:

      IB had 50 % until the July 27 so you just missed it. Your best bet is either BA or the Spanish Groupon offer coming back, however, the latter had a lot of issues the last time.

    • BJ says:

      Buying a iOS at over 1p is a bit daft if you have no plans for them, and especially just to hit spend target on PRG. There are other more practical ways to do that, for example vouchers for shopping and petrol.

      • Cuchlainn says:

        Cheers BJ – have a couple of 3-4-1 vouchers ending Nov 2020 but OH has no plans and having to start in BHD every time is a pain.

        • BJ says:

          Having 241 voucher makes buying at 1ppa worth considering, especially if flying First at busy times like Xmas.

    • Anna says:

      It’s only worth buying large amounts of avios if you have a specific use for them, e.g. an F booking with a 2 4 1 which would save you far more money than buying cash tickets. Otherwise they might just end up being devalued and feeling like a bad investment. As BJ says, you can spend a fair chunk on things like gift cards and topping up an Amazon account which means the money is effectively still there to use when you want it.

      • Mark2 says:

        especially with 10% back at Morrison’s at present.

        • Cuchlainn says:

          Nip Morrison’s over this side of the Irish Sea unfortunately Mark2, thanks.

      • Cuchlainn says:

        Thanks Anna – trying to maximise my Pay+ CC points and then convert to Avios. Gift cards do not credit to Pay+ unfortunately.
        To make matters worse I’m an eBay man unfortunately but may increase my and OH’s Kindle balance for holibobs reading 😀

    • Rooster says:

      Not worth it really not unless for an instant redemption!

  • illuminatus says:

    OT – I have flown the outbound leg of a reward BA booking, but got injured and now in a hospital abroad. The insurance company will arrange a new return flight.

    However, what are my options for this unused reward flight leg?

    • BJ says:

      I assume this is a return reward flight. Since you have already flown the outbound leg you cannot cancel the return leg. However, you can change it, so depending on ticket validity etc this might provide you with the opportunity to use it as the return leg of a future trip meaning you only need to book a new one way outbound flight. To avoid situations like this I always book 2x one way. Get well soon.

  • Voltron says:

    OT – I use the AMEX Plat Charge as my main card, but also got a BA free card to keep my avios alive, however I never plan to use a BA flight (only accrued 50k over a number of years) as prefer to collect hotel points. I know it’s a very subjective questions, but is there any point of me keeping the BA card long term or should I just cancel it and transfer tesco points / amex points to avios every 3 years to keep them alive.

    • BJ says:

      So easy to earn avios so keeping this card is just a waste. Best to cancel it, wait 24 months and sign up again to take advantage of referral and sign up bonuses if rules have not changed by then. If you are not bothered much about flying but use hotels a lot you could just use your avios to book hotels. However, if you do so wait for a promotion or try to find a hotel that offers great value with avios compared to booking via other channels.

      • Matt says:

        Hey BJ, how are you getting avois at the moment?

        Given lack of amex new card bonus I am finding it a bit of a struggle getting avois at the moment, only about 10k a year on credit card amex spend.
        Is there a decent visa/MasterCard with a good provider for earning avois you can still apply for?
        Thanks Matt

        • Genghis says:

          HSBC Prem WE (if you qualify).

        • BJ says:

          The changes motivated me to make more from amex referrals, I did three on BAPP last month alone before ‘downgrading’, and 2x PRG referrals this month already. Tesco mobile was over 100K and I took over 20K with a bonus from some place we cannot chat about on here.. Would like to get HSBC but patiently waiting until qualifying date shifts so that I can get another switch bonus. I’ll put proceeds of that in the pot with funds from Nationwide recommend a friend to buy avios if price comes down to something more appealing. More or less gave up on regular tesco spend, except fuel sometimes and MOC incentives, in favour of nectar which is much more lucrative for earning than clubcard and I save those for LNER double value such as now. Going forward I think I will become a more passive mile’s collector and a more active hotel points collector but that will depend on continued availability of premium revenue flights that I am prepared to pay. My goal is two return flights in CW/F to zone 7 over Xmas and New Year each year so if I continue to manage that I will be happy.

          • Harry T says:

            Nice plan. If you don’t use Nectar for LNER, is there any point earning Nectar over Clubcard points? Wondering whether I should switch my grocery shopping from Tesco to Sainsbury’s.

          • Genghis says:

            @Harry T. Don’t let such points earning drive actual spend. My advice: go to Lidl / Aldi with occasional specialist “staple” shop from Tesco.

          • BJ says:

            @Harry/Genghis, I hate shopping and it has been my lifelong habit to shop at my most convenient supermarket whatever that was. In more recent years I’ve shopped online for the same reason. Aldi and Lidl are out as they are not my most convenient and don’t let me shop online. Tesco sometimes wins, like this week, because I have a £13 MOC, can earn 10p/L off fuel, and can get the car washed at the same time because I hate that as much as shopping 🙂 Otherwise, it’s Sainsburys online and their neverending stream of bonus coupons. Apart from LNER, I used these once in double up against a £200 gtech vacuum, cleaner and once for a £50 double value on Ebay. I don’t dislike Aldi and Lidl, quite the opposite actually, but I don’t like them enough to go shopping.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, Genghis and BJ.

          • Bill says:

            You could try flying too?!?!

          • BJ says:

            @Bill, flying is gor earning FB miles but badly need to revisit that. New Finnaur schedules to EDI might allow for avios-earning flights which I would prefer.

    • Memesweeper says:

      I was in a similar position a few months ago. Switched to SPG for daily Amex spend and ditched the Plat and BA cards indefinitely.

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    Just landed 20 mins early on BA 206 from MIA.

    • Andrew says:

      Great story!

    • Sanddgrounder says:

      Did you use the Centurion lounge Nigel? How was it?

      • RIccatti says:

        MIA AMEX Centurion Lounge is decent but very crowded.

        They have not planned to have numbers they have. It is not the place to spend hours.

        There is food, quality varies it was gourmet in the first year of Lounge operation.

      • qwertyknowsbest says:

        I used the MIA Centurion lounge last week.

        Long walk from BA gate, lounge was busy with a long and narrow layout. Good drink selection, food ok, salads etc. Seating is more tables and chairs/stools than lounge chairs. Also tried the AA flagship lounge (the standard AA/BA lounge near the BA gates is bobbins) which I thought was good with good food/drink/seating and a few quiet corners. Again a long walk from the BA gate.

        • Simon says:

          Talking of Centurion lounges, has anyone heard any more about the opening date of the LHR T-3 Centurion lounge?

  • Dave says:

    Had anyone got those bonus 1000 Avios for £100 BA spend to post yet?
    I saved the offer on Thursday, spent £110 in 4 different transactions. The transactions have cleared and points posted to my BA account.
    However no sign of the 1000 bonus Avios, also the offer is still in my saved offers. Usually when I hit an amex offer I get an email straight away saying I’ve used it. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, anyone else having issues?

    • Andrew says:

      Cumulative spend doesn’t always work, but usually a call to Amex and they will credit the bonus.

    • LewisB says:

      Had the bonus 1000 on the weekend, I made a single transaction of £101 off my BA Holiday on the same day. That reminds me to do this on my partners BA Amex 😀

  • LewisB says:

    OT: My consistent plugging of AMEX is paying off and I have a few referrals I need to do although I’m pretty sure I only have 1 left before maxing my 90k on my BAPP. Is there an easy way of checking this? I can’t seem to go back far enough on my amex avios earned history. Id rather use my BAPP then any of the other cards because of the referral rate. Also my card anniversary date is 22/11 which means the 90k then resets? and resets again come January?

    • Anna says:

      If you can’t see enough in your history, the online chat people might be able to tell you. They’re generally extremely helpful.

    • SimonW says:

      Check your PDF statements online. They have a summary on them of Avios earnings each period.

      • LewisB says:

        PDF statements are hard to tell. Some months I’ve put thousands through. Online chat was helpful, I have 2 left. woop!

    • Genghis says:

      The 90k is per calendar year, not card year

  • Concerto says:

    In the comments to one of the articles yesterday, someone mentioned Lufty beginning to introduce BoB service. Any ideas when that will be?

  • Kamil says:

    Can you run an article about the IHG creation voucher? I find it hard to get any information about it online. Can you literally book any IHG hotels in the world without restrictions?

    • Chris says:

      AS long as there’s reward availability then yes.

      Actually used my Principal free night certificate in Bangkok last week and received points for my rate but not sure how

      • Rooster says:

        Yes also got stay/accelerate credit!

      • Dr Tom says:

        I got points for my Principal voucher stay at IC NY Times Square last month as well (and can also see a bill with, presumably, the rack rate in my account – but thankfully wasn’t charged). A nice bonus to what was otherwise a very disappointing stay.

    • Alastair Actually says:

      Would be keen to hear more too as I am well on the way to earning my first voucher.

      • Rob says:

        Any hotel showing reward nights, with a few restrictions (not the four casino hotels, not the 6 Regent hotels)

        • Rooster says:

          Sometimes you can still book if no reward availability is showing, I think at some point they changed it to this which is great!

    • Rooster says:

      You can use it anywhere with a few exceptions such as the Intercontinental’s in Vegas/Macau and also surprisingly you can often use it when points redemption availability is not available which was a nice surprise for me!

      • Anna says:

        How do you actually book the free night, do you have to phone them or can it be done online? Hoping to get 2 nights at the GCM Kimpton at some point (one free night plus one on points). Now the Lloyds cards are going I’m changing my non-Amex spend to IHG and want as much value as possible out of it!

        • slonik says:

          It can be done online. If you log into your account, the points page will show you have a voucher and there will be a link to book using it.

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