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Plaza Premium launches Lounge Pass

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As we covered three weeks ago, Plaza Premium is leaving the Priority Pass airport lounge card scheme at the end of June.

This is bad news for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders, as it reduces the options for using your two annual free lounge visits. It make NO DIFFERENCE to holders of The Platinum Card, because Amex has a direct deal with Plaza Premium for Platinum cardholders.

Plaza Premium has just launched a new product called Lounge Pass. See this page of its website.

You can prepay for visits to Plaza Premium lounges globally:

  • 2 visits costs £54
  • 4 visits costs £108
  • 6 visits costs £142

Until the end of May, you save 10% on the prices above if you are a member of Plaza’s Smart Traveller loyalty scheme.

The reason I am mentioning this is that I think Plaza Premium has bigger plans for its Lounge Pass.

The company has been making aggressive statements recently about sharply increasing the number of lounges it works with, and about creating new partnerships.

It wouldn’t surprise me if we soon see other independent lounges joining Plaza Premium Lounge Pass with a view to creating a more focused competitor to Priority Pass.

If, for example, No1 Lounges (which has also split with Priority Pass) and Plaza Premium were available via the same membership scheme, it would prove attractive to UK banks looking for an alternative to Priority Pass.

Let’s see where this ends up. You can buy a Lounge Pass, or learn more, here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 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 (21)

  • JohnT says:

    Presume no more news on Dragonpass expiring? Has anyone been reinstated or tried for a refund.

    • Stuart314 says:

      I emailed to get a refund on 5 unused visits, (the Red by Dufry, really cheap promo ones that were highlighted on HFP). Was offered a year’s extension of membership and the 5 visit coupons. I was more than happy to accept.

    • Char Char says:

      Well you probably read my previous comments about this, I managed to get a refund eventually but took over a month, they were delaying replies due to negotiations.

      They will reactivate them for you and extend membership but they had already done this once before expiring them again so I decided to go for refunds rather than go through the same process again iincasethey decide to expire them again.

      Was not a lot of money per visit obviously but its no good if you are travelling and wanted to use them over the past month and your visits weren’t showing or if it happens again and you can’t get a reply.

  • lumma says:

    You’ll need a decent credit limit to get the 1.5 million virgin miles from the credit card

    • cinereus says:

      Yeah this was trivial before but since the changes at the start of last year 1.5 million points will take a lot longer.

      • Alex D says:

        Even a 50K credit limit, which is rare for virgin is going to take you 2.5years providing you hit your cap every single month!

      • Dave says:

        What changes at the start of the year?

        • Jonathan says:

          Your points earning is limited to credit limit monthly. Ie. With £10k limit you can keep spending 10k, pay it off & spend again but you will only earn £10k worth of points/statement period.

  • Carol says:

    Hi Rob, I have sent you an email for a platinum card referral please

  • Julian says:

    Surely a complaint would see the bonus membership points still awarded retrospectively if an application is not approved straight away and before May 12th as the member or potential can’t control that. It seems bonkers not to make the date of application rather than the date of approval the critical date.

    • mark2 says:

      The offer clearly states approval, so it is up to the card holder to act accordingly. I speak as someone who has cut it very fine.

  • R C says:

    Any ideas on what a referral from Business Plat to BA Premium Plus earns for the referrer? Do self-referrals still work?

  • mhuk01 says:

    Can I refer someone to the BA premier card for them to get the 30,000 avios and to then downgrade to the free card? If so how long would they need to keep the premier card for?

    • Rob says:

      1 Yes
      2 As long as it takes to spend the qualifying amount

      • mhuk01 says:

        Brilliant. Could they then theoretically upgrade when they get near to the 10K spend threshold for the 2-4-1?

        • Rob says:

          Yes, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to risk Amex coming after me by downgrading at £3k and upgrading at £9.5k!

  • Fred S says:

    How is the 24 month Amex wait calculated? Is it to the day, so for example if previous card cancelled 9 May 2019, making an application now 10 May 2021 would mean I’m eligible?

  • Andrew says:

    Amex New Accounts (0800 032 7404) told me today explicitly that the ‘approved by’ is wrong, they have communicated this out already, and as long as you have applied by 12 May 2021 you will receive the bonus points. As with many things Amex not sure if this is correct?

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