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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? – October 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.

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.

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

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 long list of travel benefits 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 (242)

  • buchanan101 says:

    Curve? No
    Virgin? No
    Currensea – declined after entering details (probably because no money on it?)
    BA prepaid? No

    Pretty darn useless. Just plain stupid really

  • ADS says:

    Rob – wouldn’t it be fair to add a highlighted warning at the start of the article warning that very very few UK mastercards actually work ?

    The article feels a bit clickbaity considering just how many people have tried and failed to register their mastercards

  • Steve says:

    Blue standard curve didn’t work for me. I have zero balance. Wonder if you need a few £ on?

  • Nick Sparks says:

    Tried Curve, Halifax, Santander, Barclaycard and Monzo and all failed at the card check. Amazon card was accepted but then failed when trying to create the account. I’m beginning to wonder if this is just a scam site set up to harvets card details as it asks for the CVV as well as the number and expiry. Looks like the only safe option now is to report it as a scam and cancel all the cards I tried and get new ones!

  • Sarah Hayashi says:

    I have tried the following Mastercards for all of my family members and NONE of them work –

    • Barclaycard Avios Plus
    • John Lewis Partnership Card
    • Marks and Spencer
    • MBNA Horizons
    • NatWest Debit Card
    • TSB
    • Virgin Money
    • Virgin Atlantic

  • Grant says:

    Curve cannot verify, it did on Friday but wouldn’t complete registration, today it won’t verify.

  • SP says:

    I tried HSBC Premier, Barclaycard, Curve and Halifax today, nothing worked. Did they set a limit on the number of cards that could participate?

  • C Davies says:

    If you search by country name (as suggested in the search box), 18 airports are listed for “United Kingdom”, with fast track available at 9 airports (only 7 listed in article, and incorrectly states that they aren’t available at Bristol and Edinburgh):
    Same Day Bookings Available:
    – Aberdeen Airport (ABZ) – Refundable
    – Glasgow Airport (GLA) – Refundable
    – Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) – Non-refundable
    – London Gatwick Airport (LGW) – Refundable
    – London Luton Airport (LTN) – Non-refundable
    – Southampton Airport (SOU) – Refundable
    Advance Bookings Only:
    – Bristol Airport (BRS) – Non-refundable
    – Edinburgh Airport (EDI) – Refundable
    – Newcastle Airport (NCL) – Non-refundable

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