What are Club Eurostar points worth?
I had pondered this question – without answering it – in various articles, including this one on which is the best American Express Membership Rewards points redemption.
With Eurostar now close to its pre-pandemic service levels on the three key routes (Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam), I wanted to take another look at what your Club Eurostar points are worth.
Before the pandemic, Eurostar had announced plans to add a £32 fee to redemptions. This was postponed and still appears to be off the table, but you would be foolish to believe that it will never come back.
How much are Club Eurostar points worth?
Whenever I write about Club Eurostar I have said, historically, that I value a point at 10p.
10p per point always seemed fair, in my mind, based on my personal Eurostar travel. However, my use of Eurostar is NOT typical. When I go to Paris it is usually to review a hotel for HfP, and I take off-peak mid-morning trains out and mid-afternoon trains home. These trains tend to be relatively cheap, even if booked at 2-3 weeks notice.
Most Head for Points readers do not use Eurostar like this. Even if they take the same trains that I do when working – which will normally be a cash trip paid for by their employer – they are likely to want to redeem for a weekend break.
Here is the key point – Club Eurostar lets you redeem on ANY train. You need more points for peak services, but as long as seats are bookable for cash you can book them for points.
Here is the pricing:
- Standard class – 1,000 Club Eurostar points off-peak and 1,500 points peak, return
- Standard Premier – 2,000 Club Eurostar points off-peak and 2,500 points peak, return
- Business Premier – 3,000 Club Eurostar points at all times, return
Peak and off-peak is NOT driven by date. There are a fixed number of tickets available for each service at off-peak pricing and then it switches to peak.
For the purposes of this analysis:
- I am only looking at London to Paris, the most popular redemption option
- I am only looking at Standard and Standard Premier. In my mind, Standard Premier is the ‘sweet spot’ in terms of value – you get the same Business Premier seat and a three course meal with wine, but you don’t get fast track security, lounge access or a ‘premium meal’. Many people are perfectly happy with Standard, however, especially if travelling as a couple (I think that there are no solo seats in Standard).
I looked at pricing for a weekend break to Paris booked one month, two months and four months ahead of travel.
I took the same trains on each occasion, which I thought were the ideal ‘weekend break’ services:
- 18.01 from London St Pancras on Friday, arriving at 21.17 in Gare du Nord
- 19.13 from Paris Gare du Nord on Sunday, arriving at 20.39 in St Pancras
Here were the prices:
One month ahead: £199 return
Two months ahead: £164 return
Four months ahead: £149 return
One month ahead: £299 return
Two months ahead: £269 return
Four months ahead: £239 return
Let’s look at the value you are getting for your points on this basis, turning the prices above into ‘pence per Club Eurostar point’.
One month ahead: 15.9p per Club Eurostar point (1,250 points return)
Two months ahead: 16.4p per Club Eurostar point (1,000 points return)
Four months ahead: 14.9p per Club Eurostar point (1,000 points return)
One month ahead: 15.0p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)
Two months ahead: 13.5p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)
Four months ahead: 12.0p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)
Club Eurostar redemptions are currently excellent value
As you can see from the numbers above, you are currently getting a lot more for your Club Eurostar points than you did historically.
I used to aim for 10p to 12p per point, which I dropped to 10p when the £32 redemption fee was announced.
With the fee now dropped (as least short term) and cash prices creeping up due to high demand, 12p to 15p per Club Eurostar point is now a fair valuation.
Assuming that you will get your Club Eurostar points by transferring American Express Membership Rewards points at 15:1, I should increase my ‘value of an Amex point when used for Eurostar’ from 0.66p to a range of 0.8p to 1.0p.
This valuation will definitely drop if the £32 fee returns and may drop if cash prices start to soften once the post-pandemic boom is over. You should also, if you’re being picky, factor in the fact that cash tickets would earn valuable Club Eurostar points back.
As with airline miles, you will find that your points have substantially more value if your lifestyle means that you are likely to need to travel at short notice.
How to get Club Eurostar points and lounge access from UK credit cards (May 2022)
Club Eurostar does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Club Eurostar points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 4,000 Club Eurostar points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 1,333 Club Eurostar points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points (SPECIAL OFFER) converts into 4,000 Club Eurostar points. Card benefits include Eurostar lounge access.
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 333 Club Eurostar points. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 15:1 into Club Eurostar points which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, so you will get the equivalent of 1 Club Eurostar point for every £15 you spend.
American Express Platinum comes with a great Eurostar benefit – Eurostar lounge access!
You can enter any Eurostar lounge, irrespective of your ticket type, simply by showing The Platinum Card at the desk. No guests are allowed but you can get entry for your partner by issuing them with a free supplementary Amex Platinum card on your account.