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News: £80 off Virgin Atlantic Caribbean flights, Priority Pass airport lounge access changes

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News in brief:

Save up to £80 on Virgin Atlantic flights to the Caribbean

Virgin Atlantic is running a new promotion on Caribbean flights, with savings of up to £80.

The routes covered are Antigua, Barbados, Tobago, Saint Vincent, Bahamas and Jamaica.

You save up to £40 on Economy flights, up to £60 on Premium and up to £80 on Upper Class tickets when you use the promotional code SUNNY.

You need to book by 7th July and complete your travel by 31st August.

You can find out more on the Virgin Atlantic website.

Priority Pass

Priority Pass changes in the US which may be coming our way

Whilst this is NOT directly relevant to the UK market yet, I thought I would mention it as a sign of what may be coming soon.

Some credit cards in the United States which offer Priority Pass airport lounge access have just started allowing users to enter an airport lounge via their credit card.

The lounge swipes your credit card and, before the charge is processed, the credit card company checks to see if you are entitled to free access. If you are, the charge is waived. If not, the charge hits your card statement.

The upside of this method is that you don’t need to carry your Priority Pass card with you, albeit that you can use a smartphone virtual membership card these days. There is also presumably a benefit for the credit card company, since it ensures that you are carrying this particular card in your purse or wallet and are therefore more likely to use it for other purchases during your trip.

To be clear …. this is not yet a benefit for any UK credit cards which issue a Priority Pass, but I can imagine it being rolled out if the US trial is successful.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2022)

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

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

American Express Amex Gold

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 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.

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