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Our review of Aspire Rewards – and how Priority Pass lounge visits count

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Aspire Rewards is the little-known reward scheme for Aspire and Club Aspire airport lounges in the UK, except for those at Heathrow.

It isn’t widely used, but it shoud be on your radar because Priority Pass visits count.  Visits via Lounge Key and DragonPass also count.  What is better than picking up an extra reward from something that you are not paying for in the first place?

A reader dropped me a note this week to highlight that there have been some changes to the rewards you can claim, so I thought it was worth another look.

Aspire lounge Newcastle entrance

You can find out more on the Aspire Rewards website here.

Aspire Rewards is app based, available via the Apple and Google app stores.  There is no ‘non digital’ alternative.

You need to download the Aspire Rewards app, create an account and then scan the QR code in the app each time you enter an Aspire lounge.

As far as I can see, there is no ability to drop the membership card into Apple Wallet which is a little annoying.

Aspire Rewards loyalty scheme review

What happens to my LoungeMiles card?

Aspire Rewards replaced the previous card-based LoungeMiles scheme in September 2020.

In theory, as LoungeMiles cards had to be redeemed within 24 months of the first stamp, most remaining LoungeMiles cards are now invalid.

However, the Aspire Rewards website says that you should not give up hope, albeit this message was posted 18 months ago:

“Due to the impact COVID-19 had on travel in 2020, we will review LoungeMile stamp redemptions on a case by case basis. If you have stamps which you collected in 2018 and are yet to be redeemed, please contact a member of our team by emailing and we will review this.”

How do you earn Aspire Rewards points?

The scheme is simplicity itself:

  • You earn 50 points per lounge visit (25 points for a child) if you enter via a Priority Pass or other lounge scheme card

Importantly, “multiple visitors within one transaction can be added to one loyalty account“.

You can only earn points at UK Aspire lounges, excluding the two Heathrow sites.

How do you spend Aspire Rewards points?

There are two sorts of rewards:

  • 500 points gets you a free lounge visit – this does NOT seem to be transferable because you redeem by scanning your phone
  • 700 points gets you a £5 shopping voucher

Historically you could get shopping vouchers for John Lewis, Amazon and Marks & Spencer. As a reader flagged with me this week, the John Lewis and M&S options have disappeared from the app. The only shopping redemption currently available is a £5 voucher for the UK Amazon site.

You are basically getting 35p per lounge visit, assuming you get in via a Priority Pass card, as the only redemption worth having if you have such a card is the shopping voucher.

It is a lot more generous if you are paying cash for your visits.  At an average of £25 per visit, you’d be getting a free pass after every five paid visits.

Note that your points have a 24 month hard expiry – activity does not keep them alive.

How does Aspire Rewards work?

Which lounges take part in Aspire Rewards?

Here are the participating lounges, according to the app.  I have linked to our reviews:

Belfast City lounge (Aspire) – review here 

Birmingham North lounge (Aspire) – review here 

Birmingham South lounge (Aspire) – review here 

Bristol lounge (Aspire / Aspire Plus) – review here 

Edinburgh x 2 lounges (Aspire) – review here and review here

Humberside lounge (Aspire) – review here 

Inverness lounge (Aspire) – review here 

Liverpool lounge (Aspire) – review here 

London Gatwick South lounge (Club Aspire)review here

London Luton lounge (Aspire) – review here

Manchester Terminal 1 lounge (Aspire) – review here 

Manchester Terminal 2 lounge (Aspire) 

Newcastle lounge (Aspire / Aspire Plus) – review here 

Note that the lounges in Heathrow Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 do NOT take part.

You can find out more about Aspire Rewards on its website here.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2023)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four 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 four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get 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 (7)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Cranzle says:

    There have been many recent reports of Aspire denying access to Priority Pass holders.

    • Nick says:

      Depends on the airport. BHD and BHX rarely turn people away. MAN almost always does.

      • AFKAE says:

        Not my experience, I’ve been turned away plenty of times at BHX. It’s a standing joke with me and the Mrs what excuse they’ll come up with.

  • John T says:

    Presumably people earning points from their PP membership visits have access from one of the Platinum Amex cards.

    Does anyone spending £600 on a credit card annual fee each year really care about earning 35p in rewards each time they visit a lounge? It surprises me that someone would be such a spendthrift on card fees but so cheap with accruing rewards at the same time.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      “Does anyone spending £600 on a credit card annual fee each year really care about earning 35p in rewards each time they visit a lounge?”

      It’s the feeling of getting something for nothing rather than the value of the free thing.
      Aren’t all of us within the HfP readership somewhere on this spectrum by definition 😉

  • ianM says:

    More hassle than it’s worth, particularly if the Heathrow lounges don’t count. Plus what use is an extra lounge pass!

  • Paul says:

    Good luck getting into any T1 lounge at Manchester. I was there at 4am yesterday, just before escape and aspire opened. Before opening the doors, they put up signs saying bookings only.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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