News in brief:
Hilton Manchester Airport rebrands
The Hilton Manchester Airport hotel has quietly rebranded as a DoubleTree. Here is the new website.
This is not a great sign. These changes usually happen when a hotel no longer meets the standards required to retain the Hilton brand but wants to stay within the Hilton ‘family’. It is possible that, in the current circumstances, the owners are not willing to make any required investment.
The same story has happened in Bracknell. Hilton St Anne’s Manor has just rebranded as DoubleTree St Anne’s Manor – website here.
Elsewhere in Manchester …..
Downtown, there is some better Hilton news. A brand new 221-room Hampton by Hilton has just opened in the Northern Quarter. This is the first Hampton hotel to open in the city.
The Hampton Manchester website is here and an image is below.
Get triple Membership Rewards points at Amazon with Amex Gold
You need to look for this under the ‘Offers’ tab on the Amex website or app, and save it to your card. It looks like this:
As you can see, you will receive triple Membership Rewards points – 3 per £1 spent – on all purchases at amazon.co.uk until 23rd December.
This should, almost certainly, also work if you choose to top up your Amazon account via this link before 23rd December. The credit will last for ten years!
You can learn more about Amex Gold below. Remember that the sign-up bonus is now 20,000 points (=20,000 Avios) which is exceptionally good for a ‘free for a year’ card.
Lounge Club rebranding?
A HfP reader in Spain got in touch to say that the Spanish version of American Express Gold was changing. The Lounge Club card, which gives two free airport lounge visits each year, is turning into a Priority Pass. The ‘two free visits’ rule will still apply.
If this happens to the UK Amex Gold card too, it would be an improvement. Despite the fact that both Lounge Club and Priority Pass are owned by the same group, Lounge Club has a smaller reach. I have always assumed that it paid less to lounges.
This would be a sensible tidying up of the lounge card portfolios. One upside for the owners is that you can buy a stand-alone Priority Pass (here’s their Black Friday deal) but you cannot buy a standalone Lounge Club card.
You can be sure that a percentage of people who cancel Amex Gold will choose to buy a Priority Pass to retain that benefit. At present, anyone who tries to buy a Lounge Club membership will be disappointed.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (April 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge 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.
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 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
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.