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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 (January 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 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 (65)

  • H says:

    The Amazon points deal also appears to work if you use Amazon Pay from other websites.

  • Vin says:

    The (now) Doubletree at MAN is still the better choice compared with the CP which has outdated decor, malfunctioning fixtures and fittings and appears to have deteriorated further (in terms of cleanliness) in the past year – despite the very cheap redemption nights they’re offering (12,500 points!). Have never tried the Radisson as always felt it to be expensive for a ‘bed before a flight’.

    • Crafty says:

      You’re right the Radisson tends to be expensive but if you require parking the combined one night stay with X nights parking deal can be competitive.

      • Nick says:

        The Radisson also can’t be beaten on convenience, as it’s on the walkways between terminals. For a ridiculously early morning flight, not having to worry about transfers is worth a small premium in my eyes.

      • RussellH says:

        I stayed at the Radisson once, around 12 years ago I would think, when I found it selling for £60 for the night, but every other time I have looked since it has been way above that.

    • RussellH says:

      The CP had (probably still has) tiny rooms compared with the Hilton/DT, but I have found the CP restaurant much more interesting. And redemption rates were 75000 too.
      Still, the rooms were a little less small than those at the CP LGW/Crawley. 2 people+2 largish suitcases+ hand baggage was a very tight fit. Was able to book the tiny room for £45, though (booked at Christmas for 1 July the following year), so not all bad.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      I remember staying once at Bewleys (think it’s Clayton now?) 10+ yrs ago, which was pretty decent, and looking across to the next door CP – which was looking particularly run down and dumpy at that time – and its clientele, and saying to Mrs Squirrel, “thank F we’re not staying there!”
      +1 for very early mornings Radisson is worth it. Amex MR points can turn out very good value for some room types in this location.

  • Nick G says:

    The Hilton Bracknell is truly shocking. Stayed twice and it’s a disgustingly dirty run down dump. Last time in September the sticker was on the door to say it’s COVID clean yet walked in and everywhere was covered in an obvious layer of dust. Clearly they just put a sticker on the door for a room that was half cleaned months before

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Or it had been so long since the room was used fibres/dust had gathered.

      These Covid seals mean the cleaner isn’t in everyday dusting etc even when no one stays.

      • Tom says:

        No, it’s a total dump. I’ve had the misfortune of staying there many times. HH status is never recognised and agree with Nick re the distinct lack of cleanliness. I wonder if the prices will also fall in line with it being booted out of Hilton mainline; I won’t hold my breath!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Faro enough. The “Hilton” in Warwick is a dump too I hope they get stripped by Hilton. Though it’s owned by the owner of park lane so might get away with it.

          • RussellH says:

            You mean the one next to the A429 exit off the M40?
            No, fancy it is not, but at ~£40 a night (more than once) and in the right place there are far worse options.

          • Nick G says:

            Stopped there as well….and yes it’s on a par as being a cross between crossroads and faulty towers. I would rather stay in a nice doubletree over a garbage Hilton any day. Try the DT Lincoln … lovely hotel

          • Nick says:

            I actually quite like the Warwick one! They’ve always looked after me. I don’t like the location much, but it’s ok as a hotel. Wouldn’t mind a cookie either though.

  • Nick says:

    Hmmm hope they extend the Amazon offer to Plats too, can’t have Goldies getting the better deal!

  • Mike says:

    The chaps pictured in the Mr Porter advert in the article aren’t my idea of style – they look like they are queueing up for the barbers (and not socially distanced either !) Some chaps look they haven’t shaved (and not just the bloke with a beard)

  • Maciek says:

    I have not received a single new offer on any of my cards (platinum and gold) since the Marriott offer a while back.

  • Nigel W says:

    FYI, Mr Porter next Monday (Cyber Monday) have some items up to 50%.

    • Jane C says:

      Do you think any of this might be on the home stuff or just clothes? Trying to decide if it’s worth hanging on…

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks, I have the offer on four Amex cards so I will save two for Monday.

    • Harry T says:

      Do you have a link to the Cyber Monday sale?

      • TomD says:

        Wonder if I can call up Amex and ask to split the payment onto 2 cards hmm…

      • Nigel W says:

        No link yet Harry, but from the email I got on Tuesday:

        ‘I am pleased to announce MR PORTER’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday 6-day sale event starting from the 25th of November, this will end on the 3oth of November.

        Just in case you missed out on some pieces in the EIP SALE last week, selected items will be discounted at 30% off for Black Friday from the 25th of November until the 29th of November. On the 30th of November a Cyber Monday promotion of up to 50% off will be applied to select items for that day only.’

        • DodgyDCF says:

          Does anyone know the tiers at MR P? I got an email for a 30% sale on selected seasonal items on 18th November which included some nice Canada goose jackets which seems to be excluded from the Black Friday promotion. The html link suggested I was in their ‘Top Spender’ bracket, is EIP the next level up? @Nigel how much do you spend on Mr P if you don’t mind me asking?

          • Nigel W says:

            I’m EIP because it was an old perk of Centurion Cardholders. Mr Porter still has a benefit with Amex Cent but I think it is only free delivery and a few other benefits.

            From my understanding to be EIP you have to spend at least 10k annually with Mr Porter.

        • KBuffett says:

          Out of interest, did you get your Centurion directly or via your bank?

  • ChrisW says:

    Erm, Doubletree is a solid Hilton brand!

    Some of the “Hilton” branded Hilton’s , especially in the US are much worse.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      True of the ex Mint UK hotels that don’t match brand standards. Sadly not true of the Bracknell dump, chose the Travelinn in preference last time….

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Vast majority of Doubletrees in the UK are properties which have been refurbished to a good standard but aren’t 5* so can’t be branded a full Hilton.

      If you start slapping the doubletree name on tired old Hilton properties which are just no longer of the Hilton standard you end up diluting the reputation you’ve built.

      • RussellH says:

        There are not many Hiltons that are 5* in the UK, are there? Certainly neither the (now DT) at MAN, nor the Warwick one you mention above, nor the Northampton Hilton for that matter are anywhere near 5*.
        The Gateshead Hilton is quite pleasant, but certainly not 5* either.
        But then there are certainly nominal 5* hotels around that are not up to that standard either.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          No

          Hilton in the UK was actually a separate company to Hilton worldwide so slapped the Hilton name on lots of rubbish properties.

          Hilton now owns the brand worldwide and is trying to get Hilton back to being a proper 5* brand.