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Plaza Premium lounges relaunch Smart Traveller loyalty scheme – and Priority Pass visits count

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The Plaza Premium Group is a Hong Kong based company specialising in premium travel services including airport transit, meet and greets, airport dining and airport lounges.  They have carved out a strong niche at Heathrow for premium third party lounges.

Plaza Premium has its own loyalty scheme. This has now been relaunched, probably after they realised that the old name of ‘Arrture’ sounded too much like a consultancy firm!

The new scheme is called Smart Traveller.  To be honest it is fairly underwhelming at the moment but if you are a regular visitor you might as well sign up.

You can find out more on their website here. It is only available as an app, however.

Smart Traveller by Plaza Premium

Currently there are over 50 lounges worldwide included in the Smart Traveller loyalty programme of which SIX are in Heathrow:

T2:  Rob reviewed the departure lounge in Heathrow T2 here and here and it is pictured below.  We looked at the T2 arrivals Lounge here.  

T3:  Anika reviewed the T3 arrivals lounge (the old Delta arrivals lounge) here 

T4:  Our review of the impressive Plaza Premium departure lounge in Terminal 4 is here and the equally smart arrivals lounge is reviewed here 

T5:  Rob looked at the Terminal 5 departure lounge here 

The Aerotel hotel, which opened in Heathrow Terminal 3 recently and which we reviewed here, should also allow you to earn points, although it is not currently listed.

Plaza Premium Arrture loyalty scheme

Smart Traveller is a pretty simple programme.  For every lounge visit you get 100-300 points depending on the lounge:

Plaza Premium – 100 points for complimentary entry (like Priority Pass), 150 for paid

Plaza Premium First – 150 points for complimentary entry, 300 for paid

Flight Club, Root98 & The Green Market – 1 point per $1 spent

The interesting thing is that you still earn points even when getting free entry on Priority Pass or another lounge program.

(Our main review article on Priority Pass is here if you don’t know anything about it.)

Plaza Premium lounge

2,500 points can be exchanged for a three hour stay in participating Plaza Premium lounges.  You can also redeem for services which are not normally include in a free visit.  1,000 points gets you free use of a shower for example.

You can see the snag here.  Having to do 25 lounge visits to get a free visit is not hugely generous!

Oddly, you also have the option to exchange your points in return for some kind of electronic or ‘wellness’ item. The range isn’t massive, but you could choose from an electronic thermometer (8,800 points), a Braun 5030s electric shaver (18,500 points), a Google Chromecast 3 (6,300 points) and more.

These are better options if you are getting your points via Priority Pass, since redeeming for a lounge pass makes little sense. The selection may be limited but it’s better than nothing!

Whilst the Heathrow Terminal 5 lounge is NOT in Priority Pass or Lounge Club, you can get free access for yourself and a guest by showing an American Express Platinum charge card at the door.  It is also part of the DragonPass network.

Smart Traveller points are valid for 1 year after the last transaction, and can be extended by activity.

If you sign up for Smart Traveller before 31st March you will get 200 bonus points. You can earn an additional 100 bonus points if you stay in an eligible Plaza Premium lounge before then, too.

You can find out more online here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 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 all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (31)

  • James says:

    What a load of rubbish!

    The glory days of points and rewards are well and truly over ☹️

    • Shoestring says:

      you say that when BJ is earning 500K points this quarter?

      • meta says:

        Agreed. I collect more points now than ever because like with anything with practice and time you get better at it.

        This is actually not bad. If you pass through Hong Kong you can get some nice bottles of whiskey for less than 1300-1500 points. Some of the bottles retail at £200+. So not bad return for 10-12 visits. Hope to take advantage of it after all this coronavirus thing passes.

        You also get double points in your birthday month!

      • Harry T says:

        @Shoestring
        I still don’t see how BJ does it!

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          500k in 1Q is a hell of a lot, must be considerable spend to acheive those figures.

        • BJ says:

          I did post how the other day so you must have missed it. On top of that there is Revolut as Rob has ‘spoon-fed’ the HFP community quite frequently.over a prolonged period, and by the sounds of it @Mark2 has made a mint from Monny too, so there is little excuse 🙂 Attitude is part of it too though and my tendency to procrastinate (Economist) and moralise (IB+90) has cost me dearly in the past. By contrast, @Shoestring and some others generally seize the moment and proactively seek and exploit opportunities almost as soon as they arise. For example, many cats were alrwady counting their avios just a day after I got round to getting Polly insured. Again there is no excuse for missing opportunities, Rob and Rhys provide reminders when the biggest deals are about to close and there are the dates for your diary articles every few weeks. So while things may have changed a lot in tbe past two years there is still no shortage of opportunities to win big from time to time. That keeps things interesting and rewarding. Things were certainly easier in the past but I cannot say our hobby is dead or dying, rather it has just become different, and in some respects more challenging and more fun.

          • Lady London says:

            As an ace procrastinator I agree with you @BJ. So many opportunities have passed me by…..I watch with respect and awe the achievements of some on here.

          • mark2 says:

            Yes @BJ I did well out of Monese until they or more likely PO or PrePay Technologies said no more credit cards at PO. At £14.95 per month for £5,000 at PayPoint it is borderline worth it. But it was good while it lasted.
            Please someone show me that I am wrong!

          • BJ says:

            @LadyLondon, not so many for me but the ones I did miss were some of the bjg ones I wished I hadn’t. @Mark2 despite numerous issues I’ve had some value from Monese but only manage two PO top ups before that closed.

    • Rob says:

      Given that you could have spent the last year charging £1k+ per day to your credit card on Revolut and immediately withdrawing it to your bank, I doubt that ….

    • Jay H says:

      Not over just very different…

      At the bare minimum you should be able bank a bit from the Morrison’s 10% offer (if you have it) when a well known gift card marketplace will give you cash for them at 10% off the retail price…

      • mark2 says:

        Not forgetting the 8 Virgin points per £ (ends today) and 5 Morrison’s More points.

      • avstar says:

        which site would you say is best for selling giftcards?

        • Jay H says:

          Normally use Card Yard – 10% off Amazon Vouchers at Morrisons – Card Yard will buy up to £1,000 a month before additional checks at 10% off retail value.

          • Dolly says:

            A quick look at Card Yard show they will buy (for example) £500 of Amazon gift cards for £450. Even with the Morrisons discount you’re making a loss…

  • Den says:

    So does Arrture still exist as well, or is this a replacement? I can’t see any obvious info about this on the site… If this replaces Arrture are points transferred across? Despite it being a relatively poor return, I’ve racked up 7000 points over the last year, so don’t want to lose them!

    • Rhys says:

      Replaces, and it works on the same backend system (this is more of a rebrand than anything else) so you should be able to keep your points

  • Paul Anderson says:

    I’ll stick with the Aspire loyalty program. Even when I’m flying BA, I pop into the Aspire lounge next door (Edinburgh), to collect my points and pick up a bacon roll then head into the BA lounge with my status. Also last week I got a triple points promotion with Aspire pop up on the app for Edinburgh and Manchester lounges. Surprised it’s not been mentioned on HeadforPoints.

  • Fraser says:

    Even more confusingly, the app is called Airport Rewards if you scroll through apps alphabetically in Android.

    I got the same popup in Edinburgh for triple Aspire points but only got the usual 50 points after my visit.

  • NP says:

    OT – re Curve. Apologies if this has been mentioned recently but I’ve not read through the comments in a while. I’ve tried several times to upgrade to Metal through the app but keep getting error messages. I raised this with Curve over 3 weeks ago and despite going through several ‘fixes’ the problem persists. More recently they have gone a bit quiet and are not answering emails as promptly as in the past. Has anyone else had issues upgrading or noticed the Curve team becoming unresponsive?

    • Paul says:

      Curve related – if I use curve at an ATM and underlying card is Virgin + is it treated as cash or a purchase? Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  • Sergey says:

    The best usage is access to Plaza First at HKG with Arrture points.