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Get FREE airport fast track security with Mastercard – why didn’t we know about this?!

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In a discussion on HfP yesterday about the value of the Fast Track airport security passes that you get at Gatwick when you pre-book the No1 Lounge, reader Keith mentioned that you can get free Fast Track security at selected airports if you have a Mastercard.

This includes London Gatwick and London Luton, plus five other UK airports.

This was news to me, and is probably news to you too.

You need to register here for Mastercard Travel Experiences.

How does Mastercard Travel Experiences work?

It’s very simple:

  • you receive THREE Fast Track airport security passes every 12 months
  • you receive discounts at selected airport restaurants when you show your Mastercard Travel Experiences ‘e-Cert’ or the app

The only catch as far as I can see is that only the named cardholder can use the Fast Track passes. Your family or partner can only accompany you if they register a Mastercard of their own.

Which Mastercard cards are ‘participating’?

It isn’t clear, so you need to use trial and error.

My Curve Card was accepted. Our reader yesterday said that his Barclaycard Avios card was refused, but this was very shortly after launch so the situation may have changed.

If you don’t have a card that works, you can order a free Curve Card here. Curve will even give you £10 for ordering it via our link. It doesn’t show on your credit file as it isn’t a credit product.

Please post your successes or failures in the comments.

(EDIT: Reader feedback below is mixed and confusing. Curve cards seem to work for some people but not others. The same goes for Currensea. Other UK cards seem to fail, but cards issued in the EU seem to be OK. It is all very odd.)

Which airports offer Fast Track security to Mastercard holders?

You cannot see the full list of 177 participating airports on the Mastercard Travel Experiences website. It shows the first 15 alphabetically but you can’t see the rest. The app doesn’t show any of the 177 airports and insists that you plug in random airport names to search.

Mastercard Travel Experiences fast track

However, I tried the major UK airports with manual searches.

You can get free Fast Track security passes for the following airports:

  • Aberdeen
  • Glasgow
  • Liverpool
  • London Gatwick
  • Luton
  • Newcastle
  • Southampton

It doesn’t work for Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Derry, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Humberside, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, London City, London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, Newquay, Norwich, Southend or Teesside.

What restaurant discounts are available?

The list of airports with restaurant discounts is far bigger than the list of airports which offer Fast Track.

At Heathrow, for example, you have:

  • 10% off at Leon (T2)
  • 15% off at Giraffe (T5)
  • 15% off at The Curator (T3)
  • 15% off at The Prince of Wales (T4)
  • 15% off at Wonder Tree (T2)
  • 15% off at Spuntino (T3)

Remember that, whilst I have focused on UK airports here, you can use it at airports globally.

I haven’t tried it out yet but I can see it being useful for low cost flights from Gatwick and Luton. If you have used Mastercard Travel Experiences, please let us know how it went in the comments.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

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

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (241)

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

  • Chas says:

    When you specify the UK airports where it doesn’t work, you mention London Luton. But in several places in the article you mention that it does work there.

    • Alex G says:

      Website is clear. Luton is on the list. Minor error in the article.

    • Charles Martel says:

      I think the point is the way they’ve been alphabetised – LTN is listed as “Luton” not “London Luton”, etc.

  • Ro says:

    If you type country name it does show all in that country I.e. 26 in uk and 10 in Spain.

  • John says:

    Many premium CC have similar features. E.g., Amex Plat gives fast track in MAD as well asat several Scandinavian airports such as ARN.

    • Tom says:

      Since when does AMEX plat give you fast track in any airport? This is news to me.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      It does?

      • tony says:

        And Italy… It’s almost like we need a blog/website aimed at people with these benefits to help them sort the wheat from the chaff

        • aseftel says:

          Italy is Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Turin Caselle, Naples Capodichino, Palermo Punta Raisi and Catania Fontanarossa.

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            In Italy if you have lounge access in Bologna you automatically get fast track due to the airport being landside. Since the pandemic the dedicated security line in the lounge is mostly closed but if you’re on a flight that doesn’t come with lounge access but you have free lounge access with Priority Pass or similar pop by the lounge if there’s a big queue at security and they can enable your boarding pass for fast track even if you have no time to stay in the lounge itself

      • Ian says:

        Not sure about uk issued card but Spanish issued platinum gives fast track security (cardholder only) at most Spanish airports.

    • Dean Calvert says:

      Only Spanish issued Amex cards, I tried platinum and they wouldn’t accept, complained to Amex and they confirmed only Spanish cards

      • Deb20 says:

        Used it in Geneva many times without a problem (both UK and US issued cards worked, they only checked that the cards say Platinum on them). Pre-pandemic though, so that’s the caveat to my comment.

    • memesweeper says:

      I think HEL fast track you with Platinum — was a long time ago though

  • Andrew says:

    I have tried Curve metal, Barclay Avios and Virgin this morning. None work in the website or the app.

  • Philondon says:

    Halifax Clarity doesn’t work.

  • Ziggy says:

    Thanks for the tip!

    HSBC Premier Card (the free one) seems to work.

  • Rob says:

    Curve worked for me. Looks like I may be able to add another car to get 3 additional fast tracks haven’t tried yet as will do it in a few months so the may reset at a different time. Has anyone tried adding two cards

  • Nick says:

    IHG Premium M/C doesn’t work.

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

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