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News: Hilton Manchester Airport rebrands, triple Amex Gold points at Amazon, Lounge Club

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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

Most American Express Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders appear to have received a new offer from Amazon.

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.

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

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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

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:

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 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 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 (65)

  • JDE says:

    I’ve just checked out the link to the new website for the Db Manchester Airport and if those images are actual images – that is a big step up from the hotel previously. Looks fresh and modern. The Db brand is largely one I like – the Doubletree Leeds City is a great example of a brilliant modern hotel in a superb location.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I often take a DoubleTree over a Hilton. Some of them are excellent. Chester being a fine example.

      • Harrier25 says:

        ….and the Double Tree Cadbury House in North Somerset is very nice too.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Agree with other comments here. Doubletree > Hilton in many (most) instances. Cadbury House is very pleasant, and the Doubletree Leeds is HUGELY better than the Hilton. Harrogate Doubltree is promising and will be good if they iron out some service wobbles. Could go on. The UK is odd in that the Doubletree estate is far newer and usually better kept than the Hilton so the relative “level” of the brands is completely the opposite of what it is in most other countries.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            See reply on Page 1 its because these old tired Hiltons were branded prior to Hilton worldwide taking back the UK part of the business.

          • RussellH says:

            I had always thought that Hilton had decided to make Copnrad their top brand. There are so many Hilton Hotels these days that if they want Hilton to again become a genuine 5* brand, they are going to have to push a lot of the poorer quality places into a separate brand – “Hilton Sort Of” or “Hilton Minus” perhaps. Or maybe not. 🙂
            Another of my assumptions has always been that the not-very-nice-Hiltons were frequently the former Stakis Hotels which Ladbrokes bought in 2000.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            There are very few new actual Hilton’s.

            Conrad is meant to be more luxury than 5*.

          • Josh says:

            Hilton Leeds is tired but has nicer staff and a better breakfast I’ve found. DT Leeds is good in that HH Gold get drink vouchers.

    • Rhi says:

      Yeah, the new website looks like a definite improvement on the old MAN Hilton. The little bar area aside, I thought it was poor. Last time I needed to stay over at MAN I stayed at the Clayton using Hotels.com and I was quite impressed. Much nicer rooms than the Hilton and the Crowne Plaza. I’ll try the Hilton again now, looks like the rooms have had a little make-over, albeit mostly cosmetic.

    • Sloth says:

      Agree with this , stayed at the DT Leeds in September and was happy, esp for what I paid. Also got upgrade as gold and 2 free drinks in the bar as the sky lounge was closed

    • Mike says:

      DT Leeds City is a former Mint, when I stayed there a it was an old dump that is in need of refurbishment. It was never a Hilton.

      It will be popular here as its cheap.

      These hotels are really rubbish when you take away the Diamond benefits and they’re bare bones Hiltons where the Hampton in town is better. It shows how scuppered they are without the soft product.

    • Tom says:

      The hotel has just gone through a large refurbishment so it’s hugely improved from its previous statement.

      My understanding is that a DoubleTree Hilton would cost less in fees to run than a full Hilton?

  • Peter K says:

    Last time I stayed at Hilton Man Airport it was a dump. Very worn fixtures and fittings and decided then I’d avoid in future.
    The photos on the current gallery do suggest a recent refurb, but who can trust a hotel’s own gallery.

    • Anna says:

      I’m glad it’s still in the Hilton fold. We generally use it the night before an early flight and although it is a bit run down we are always treated very well as gold, AND you can get a family room for 30k points which is a huge deal in the school holidays!

      • Anna says:

        Though family rooms now seem to have gone up to 60k plus points per night which is NOT a welcome improvement.

    • Tiff says:

      A year ago a few new hotels were being planned or developed at MAN, including a new Holiday Inn and an Ibis, which would have provided a bit more competition. Don’t know if they are still going ahead.

  • Oz says:

    Hi. Re the Amazon points, does anyone know if it works on the supplementary as well as main if you load the offer to the main card? TIA

    • dezbez says:

      Hello – someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure offers like this only work on the specific cards they are attached to.

  • Andy S says:

    The Hampton Manchester is very close to the Marble Arch Inn on Rochdale Road. An excellent real ale / craft beer pub which has the original Victorian interior.

  • Iain says:

    Does anyone else feel like BAPP cardholders are being neglected?

    • BuildTheWall says:

      BAPP has more rewards (1.5 vs 1 for gold); is co-branded, so interchange fee is capped; Amex has to shave revenue with BA. Granted the annual fee is higher, but the reward for spend is also bigger (voucher for 10k spend vs 10k points for 15k spend on gold). No wonder Amex tries to keep its own branded card customers happy.

  • Richard says:

    Does anyone know if the amazon points is a one off or for every transaction? One part says can be used once per card and in the conditions it indicates for every transaction till 23rd December .?

  • Mike says:

    Yes, Rob is not correct.

    The hotel HAS been invested in, just like many other Hilton to DT conversions in the UK. I can’t think of a conversion from Hilton to DT where there wasn’t investment and it improved from what it was before as a Stakis Hilton. Even Treetops had money spent on it when it went to DT and then later closed.

  • Andrew Wells says:

    DT in the UK is usually a step up from a Hilton, not the other way round. For those who haven’t visited either of them, the DTs in Hull and Lincoln are both good, modern versions of the brand.

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