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As Eurostar fares go sky high, are ‘Amex to Club Eurostar’ transfers now a great deal?

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Some recent press coverage elsewhere (eg Business Traveller here, by the ever-excellent Alex McWhirter) has drawn attention to the huge spike in Eurostar ticket prices since the pandemic eased.

This isn’t price gouging by the train company. In a meeting with MPs last week, Eurostar explained how it has been forced to cut capacity by 30% due to Brexit-related passport issues – it simply isn’t possible to process passengers quickly enough to run full trains.

Fares, as you would expect, have shot up in response. If you still think you can get £39 tickets, think again. You won’t get much under £200 return in Standard at a sensible time, even booking a couple of months ahead.

What are Club Eurostar points worth?

As Club Eurostar points have NO CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS (Seat for sale for cash? It’s yours for points) they are worth serious consideration.

How much are Club Eurostar points worth in 2022?

Historically we have valued Club Eurostar points at around 10p. Based on a 15:1 transfer ratio from American Express Membership Rewards, this valued your American Express points at a poor 0.66p.

More recently I edged up my valuation to 12p – 15p per Club Eurostar point. This meant that, at 15:1, you were getting 0.8p to 1p per American Express point which is ‘good to very good’. Where are we now?

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

One way tickets are available for half of the above prices.

What are Club Eurostar points worth?

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:

Standard:

One month ahead: £300 return

Two months ahead:  £225 return

Four months ahead:  £165.50 return

Standard Premier:

One month ahead: £330 return

Two months ahead:  £300 return

Four months ahead:  £240 return

What are Club Eurostar points worth?

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’.

Standard:

One month ahead: 20p per Club Eurostar point (1,500 points return)

Two months ahead: 18p per Club Eurostar point (1,250 points return)

Four months ahead: 16.5p per Club Eurostar point (1,000 points return)

Standard Premier:

One month ahead: 14.7p per Club Eurostar point (2,250 points return)

Two months ahead: 15p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)

Four months ahead: 12p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)

What are Club Eurostar points worth?

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.

With cash prices creeping up due to high demand and capacity constraints, 15p per Club Eurostar point is now a fair valuation for Standard Premier trips, and 18p – 20p per Club Eurostar point for trips in Standard class.

Assuming that you will get your Club Eurostar points by transferring American Express Membership Rewards points at 15:1, you would be getting 1p per point for Standard Premier redemptions and up to 1.33p per Membership Rewards point for Standard redemptions.

Eurostar tickets could now be the best use of American Express Membership Rewards points, especially if your lifestyle means that you are likely to travel at short notice. You can read our review of Eurostar Standard Premier to Amsterdam here.


How to get Club Eurostar points and lounge access from UK credit cards

How to get Club Eurostar points and lounge access from UK credit cards (December 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

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

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.

Comments (147)

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

  • David says:

    I just had a look at some dates for November and there are a lot of £39 tickets-assume just released

  • teaboy says:

    I always have one question when a Eurostar article comes: any insider info as to whether the direct Eurostar train to the south of France will appear again?

    • Rob says:

      Unlikely – read the Govt testimony linked to in the Business Traveller article.

    • Sloth says:

      I had read somewhere that they were hoping to reinstate the south of france trains next year but I can’t remember where I saw that tbh

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

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