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Our review of Aspire Rewards – and Priority Pass visits count!

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After a long delay, the new Club Aspire lounge at London Gatwick’s South Terminal opened over the weekend.

This signifies a major improvement to Priority Pass and Lounge Club availability at the South Terminal, which is the one used by British Airways.  No 1 Lounge Gatwick South is often full for lounge card holders but there will now be substantial extra capacity.

If you are going to be using the new Club Aspire lounge at Gatwick South, you should join Aspire Rewards.

Importantly, you can earn credits in Aspire Rewards even if you get in via Priority Pass, Lounge Club etc.

You can find out more on the Aspire Rewards website here.

Aspire Rewards loyalty scheme review

Aspire Rewards is app based.  I don’t think there is any opportunity to take part if you do not have a smartphone.

You need to download the Aspire Rewards app, create an account and then scan the QR code in the app each time you enter an Aspire lounge.

As far as I can see, there is no ability to drop the membership card into Apple Wallet which is frustrating, as it means you need to keep the app installed.

How do you earn Aspire Rewards points?

The scheme is simplicity itself:

You earn 4 points per £1 if you book via executivelounges.com or pay on the door

You earn 50 points per lounge visit (25 points for a child) if you enter via a Priority Pass, Lounge Club or other lounge scheme card

Importantly, “multiple visitors within one transaction can be added to one loyalty account

You can only earn points at UK Aspire lounges and, importantly, the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 is not participating.  Heathrow T5 is the only exception, however.  Gatwick North already takes part so I don’t see any reason why Gatwick South would opt out.

How do you spend Aspire Rewards points?

There are two sorts of rewards:

500 points gets you a free lounge visit – this does NOT seem to be transferable because you redeem by scanning your phone

700 points gets you a £5 shopping voucher for:

John Lewis

Pizza Express

Debenhams

Amazon

Marks & Spencer

You are basically getting 35p per lounge visit, assuming you get in via a Priority Pass or Lounge Club card, as the only redemption worth getting if you have such a card is the shopping voucher.

It is a lot more generous if you are paying cash for your visits.  At an average of £25 per visit, you’d be getting a free pass after every five paid visits.

Note that your points have a 24 month hard expiry – activity does not keep them alive.

How does Aspire Rewards work?

Which lounges are taking part?

Here are the participating lounges, according to the app.  I have linked to our reviews:

Belfast City (Aspire) – review here 

Birmingham North (Aspire) – review here 

Birmigham South (Aspire) – review here 

Bristol (Aspire) – review here 

Bristol (Aspire Plus) – review here 

Edinburgh (Aspire) – review here 

Humberside (Aspire) – review here 

Inverness (Aspire) – review here 

London Gatwick North (Club Aspire) – review here 

London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Club Aspire) – review here 

London Luton (Aspire) – review here 

Liverpool (Aspire) – review here 

Manchester Terminal 1 (Aspire) – review here 

Manchester Terminal 2 (Aspire) – review still required if you’re visiting!

Newcastle (Aspire) – review here 

Newcastle (Aspire Plus) – review here 

Plus, of course, the new Gatwick South lounge.

You can find out more about Aspire Rewards on its website here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (November 2020)

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

30,000 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 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

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

The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list.  Additional visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  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 HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to almost all of them – indexed here.

Comments (12)

  • Dave says:

    Went to Gatwick north yesterday to try and use the aspire lounge, was told they are only accepting reservations…

    Not heard of this before.

    Oh well no 1 lounge was fine.

    • Tanya says:

      I was in Gatwick north last Sunday and couldn’t get into any of the lounges. Staff were extremely unhelpful and quite rude especially in no 1 lounge

  • MD says:

    The reviews in the android Play store suggest the app is essentially unuseable. Rarely seen so many 1* reviews.

    • David D says:

      Never had a an issue with the app. Use it fairly regularly at Edinburgh. Pop in, pick up the reward on the scanner, have a cup of tea and a bite to eat, then head off to the No1 Lounge. Should be even better when the second Aspire lounge opens soon.

  • roberto says:

    Aspire at Heathrow
    Present your Heathrow Rewards card on arrival to receive a complimentary Bellini. Valid on travel until 17 October.

  • James says:

    Does the 500 points for a free lounge visit enable you to bring a 2nd guest free of charge on a Priority Pass visit?

    • Shoestring says:

      no

      in the sense that if you have an Amex Plat Priority Pass, the guest is free but so is your entry (both unlimited), so you don’t need to worry about your question

      or if you have the 10-shot PP (Standard Plus), then you always have to pay for guests, I guess if you got a friendly desk agent they might bend the rules and let your guest use the freebie

    • Rob says:

      My reading is, yes, as long as you are there.

  • Pointbreak says:

    The fact that you can’t transfer them seems like an own goal. I had PP access as a gift a few years ago when I was flying twice a week. They used to provide the loyalty card where 5 stamps got a free visit. I used to give these to colleagues who I was flying with and some subsequently got their own passes or paid for entry.

    If you can’t hand them out they will slowly accumulate until PP renewal, at which stage it makes sense to cancel subscription until you have used them all. So by not being transferable, it is encouraging you to postpone or not renew.

    I know most people get their PP through platinum but still slightly flawed logic