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Bits: new £100 Amex Travel cashback offer, new Eurostar logo – and new Eurostar loyalty scheme

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New in brief:

New £100 Amex Travel cashback offer – for some

According to a handful of reports from HfP readers, a new Amex Travel cashback offer has launched on some cards.

This seems to be a very restricted offer, with none of the HfP team or our immediate families having it. It is definitely out there though.

If targetted, you will receive £100 cashback on a £400 pre-paid hotel booking made via Amex Travel. You need to book by 23rd March although the stay can be at any point.

Remember that stays booked via Amex Travel are treated as third party bookings, so you won’t earn any hotel points or receive any status benefits. You also won’t qualify for any discounted ‘member rates’ offered by the big chains.

New Eurostar livery

Eurostar launches a new logo – and a new loyalty scheme is coming

Last year, Eurostar and Thalys, the French train company merged to form ‘Eurostar Group’, the largest high-speed rail franchise in Europe.

Both companies were already majority owned by French group SNCF so this isn’t a radical change, although it will allow the two companies to to consolidate operations.

As part of the merger ‘Eurostar’ will become the single brand with ‘Thalys’ being ditched. This could get confusing, given that ‘taking the Eurostar’ is often used to mean the train service from London to Paris, Brussels and beyond.

A new brand identity is emerging from October this year. A new logo has been designed, inspired by ‘l’Etoile du Nord’, and it looks quite classy (click to enlarge):

New Eurostar logo

The existing Eurostar trains will retain their blue and yellow branding, whilst ex-Thalys trains will retain their existing red paint job.

A new, unified website will be launched, as will a new loyalty program, although details are firmly under wraps.

Eurostar has set an ambitious goal of carrying 30 million passengers by 2030 which would be an increase of 57% over 2019 numbers. That will be even more challenging, given the new border restrictions that Brexit has introduced which have led to 30% longer processing times. Only 61% of seats are being sold on the first London-Paris, London-Brussels and Paris-London trains of the day due to the inability to process a full load.

In St Pancras, in particular, the extra border checks mean that the station will have to be structurally altered to cater with longer waiting times – not an easy task in an operational train station.

The crunch point will come in December when the ETIAS visa waiver programme is introduced. On top of the time taken to confirm that each passenger is ETIAS registered, first time users will need to have their photograph and fingerprints taken at passport control, a process which will lead to subtantial queues.

Comments (83)

  • polly says:

    Could stack well with Hyatt offers? Nice treat if you are targeted.

    • Andrew J says:

      If by stack you mean back-to-back stays one booked through Amex and one booked direct, then yes. But not stacking the cashback on the same booking.

  • Steve Linter says:

    Rather than spend money structurally altering St Pancras International to cope with increased demand and border checks, why not reopen Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International !

    • John says:

      That won’t make a dent in the number of passengers wanting to travel from St Pancras

      • louie says:

        So why did they bother building Ebbsfleet and Ashford if no-one would use them?

        In any case, it would definitely reduce it by two. As things stand, I get on at Ebbsfleet and off at St Pancras, then back on at St Pancras to travel through Ebbsfleet. Hardly environmentally or customer friendly. Even if they could just let you off, it would help.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          What about Stratford International that has never had any international traffic? The only time the international platforms have been used at Stratford was during the Olympics when they needed extra capacity.

        • John says:

          Yes it’s silly you have to backtrack, but again the vast majority of passengers want to go to and from St Pancras

      • Martin says:

        At the moment they’re artificially restricting capacity on some departures because they know they couldn’t get a whole train load through passport control in time. If they sold the remaining seats as starting from the Kent stations, they may well find there’s demand there.
        (Or here’s a crazy idea – how about international services from Stratford International?)

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          I guess one problem would be staff. Are Border Force still currently short staffed? So if they resume international services from Ashford and Ebbsfleet or start it from Stratford they’d need to get the Border Force staff from somewhere.

          • Rob says:

            It’s cost, apparently. Eurostar has to pay for these people, not the Government. Not sure why this is, but it seems it is.

  • Can says:

    Thank you Brexit!

  • Peter says:

    Do we know if that Amex offer will stack with that £200 travel credit on Amex Platinum which you get when you reach spending threshold? Thx

    • Rob says:

      Is that a credit or a discount? The Bus Plat one is a discount so you’d need to spend £600 to stack them.

      • Ed_fly says:

        Someone has reported in forums that they received the emails that the two credits had triggered on a £400 spend. I had the same question as Rob, whether the spend would need to be £600.

        • Rob says:

          I’ve not used my Bus Plat one yet but it looked like a straight discount. If I’m wrong and – irrespective of how it shows on my Amex account – it is a credit that triggers later then, yes, Amex history implies it would double up.

  • Matt says:

    *railway station 🙄

  • Amy says:

    I have a £200 Amex travel credit which I got as part of my platinum sign-up bonus. I’ve also been targeted for this offer. Anyone know if they will stack? Due to book a trip to Japan and this could be handy for hotels!

    • Rob says:

      Would stack on a £600 spend, yes.

      • Peter says:

        Why does it need to be £600, please? I don’t get it. Thx

        • Rob says:

          If the £200 is a discount and not a credit (is it?) you’d need to spend £600 to leave £400.

          I think the Bus Plat and personal Plat credits work in different ways though.

          • Nancy says:

            It is credit.

          • Peter says:

            I have credit from personal Platinum. What I found in T’s&C’s that it must be a pre-paid stay of minimum £200 pounds and you get your credit back.

        • ed_fly says:

          The question is whether the £200 gets applied as a discount or a statement credit. If it’s a discount and you book a £400 room, your card will only be charged £200 thereby no triggering the, spend £400 get £100 back.

          If you spend £600 (or more) then you’re certain the card will be charged £400 and the £100 should then also come off.

          On the forum, in amex statement offers thread, SteveJ has reported that it’s working on a £400 spend. At least he’s received the trigger emails, and expects to get a £300 rebate on a spend of ‘just over £400’.

          • Nancy says:

            Like I said, it’s credit. It gets applied after the full payment, not as a discount during the checkout (talking here about personal Amex Platinum).

          • Peter says:

            Many thanks for clarification! What I have found is that £200 is given back as a statement credit!

      • Amy says:

        Thanks Rob. That will be easy done for me. Great deal!

  • Pete M says:

    I’m really not sold on the new logo – it looks like a cheap electronics brand from the 90s!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      When I looked on Twitter yesterday not many were keen on the new logo. Have they shown what their new livery will be going forwards? At the moment all I’ve seen is the new logo being stuck on the old livery.

      As an aside this isn’t the first time the Eurostar brand was used for trains that don’t cross into the UK. Trenitalia used to use Eurostar as the name for their high speed domestic services before the Frecce brands started being used. Although the name was the same, the brand had no connection to the Eurostar that ran to/from the UK.

    • Andrew. says:

      Looks very similar to the Euronics logo.

  • Al_Wiltshire says:

    If I’m reading it correctly, it’s £400 cumulative spend to get the £100 credit. Makes it a little easier to spend.

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