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What are Club Eurostar points worth after the scheme relaunch? We do the maths

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What are Club Eurostar points worth?

After the Club Eurostar relaunch this week, which doubled the cost of free trips – albeit with a higher earning rate going forward and a status bonus for elite members – I thought it was worth taking a fresh look at their value.

The numbers we came up with will be fed into a revised article on the best American Express Membership Rewards redemptions.

What are Club Eurostar points worth?

How much are Club Eurostar points worth?

Prior to last week, we valued a Club Eurostar point at 12p-15p. This was higher than its pre-pandemic level to reflect the increased cost of cash tickets.

Remember that Club Eurostar lets you redeem on ANY train.  You need more points for ‘anyime’ redemptions but as long as seats are bookable for cash you can book them for points.  This means that the value you get depends on whether you prefer to travel on the most expensive services at peak times.

Here is the new points pricing from 1st October 2023:

  • Standard class – 2,000 Club Eurostar points for normal reward availability and 3,000 points ‘anytime’, return
  • Standard Premier – 4,000 Club Eurostar points for normal reward availability and 5,000 points ‘anytime’, return
  • Business Premier – 6,000 Club Eurostar points at all times, return

You now earn 1.2 points per £1 spent, with a 25% to 75% status bonus if you have elite status. A Carte Blanche (the old top tier, now 2nd tier, which has a 50% elite bonus) member would need to spend £2,800 for an ‘anytime’ return in Standard Premier.

What are Club Eurostar points worth?

‘Normal’ and ‘anytime’ reward pricing is NOT driven by date.  We understand that there are a fixed number of tickets available for each service at the base price and then it switches to ”anytime’.

For the purposes of this analysis:

  • I am only looking at London to Paris, the most popular redemption option. However, it is worth flagging that one benefit of the new scheme is the ability to travel further into Europe – for the same points price – via a free connection to a Thalys service.
  • 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 yesterday for one month, two months and four months ahead.

How much are typical Eurostar weekend break tickets?

I took the same trains for each example, which I thought were the ideal ‘weekend break’ services:

  • 18.01 from London St Pancras on Friday, arriving at 21.20 in Gare du Nord
  • 19.12 from Paris Gare du Nord on Sunday, arriving at 20.30 in St Pancras

Here were the prices:

Standard:

  • One month ahead: £238 return
  • Two months ahead:  £193 return
  • Four months ahead:  £138 return

Standard Premier:

  • One month ahead: £318 return
  • Two months ahead:  £298 return
  • Four months ahead:  £183 return

What does this mean for ‘value per point’?

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: 9.5p per Club Eurostar point (2,500 points return as one leg was ‘anytime’)
  • Two months ahead:  9.7p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)
  • Four months ahead:  6.9p per Club Eurostar point (2,000 points return)

Standard Premier:

  • One month ahead: 8.0p per Club Eurostar point (4,000 points return)
  • Two months ahead:  7.5p per Club Eurostar point (4,000 points return)
  • Four months ahead:  4.6p per Club Eurostar point (4,000 points return)
What are Club Eurostar points worth?

What about upgrades?

Good question. In my article yesterday I said that upgrading from Standard to Standard Premier is now better value than it used to be, because the upgrade cost has not risen sharply.

Let’s look at what you get, comparing the cost of Standard and Standard Premier. Remember that the cost to upgrade is 1,200 points return.

  • One month ahead: cash difference is £80, value per point is 6.7p
  • Two months ahead: cash difference is £105, value per point is 8.75p
  • Four months ahead: cash difference is £50, value per point is 4.2p

Upgrades can only be done by phone after you have booked your Standard seat for cash.

Club Eurostar points have fallen in value but less so over the longer term

Based on the analysis above, we can say a few things:

  • Eurostar cash pricing has continued to creep up which offsets some of the devaluation in the reward chart (your free ticket now has a higher value)
  • Standard class redemptions are the best value, and it is still possible to get just under 10p per Club Eurostar point
  • Travelling in Standard Premier – either as a points upgrade or as a direct redemption – will get you 7p-8p per point on a good day
  • There isn’t a major difference in ‘pence per point’ between a Standard Premier upgrade and a Standard Premier direct redemption

So …. to my surprise, the value of Club Eurostar points has not fallen as far as I thought if you look over a longer time horizon. This is especially true when you adjust for the 20% boost given to your existing points balance last weekend and the 20% increase in your earn rate going forward (now 1.2 points per £1 vs 1 point).

What does this mean in practice ….

Your existing stash of Club Eurostar points is worth less than it was last week. This is undeniable.

However, compared to the value you would have got pre-pandemic (in terms of pence per point, not in terms of the number of free trips your pot would get) the difference is smaller.

Arguably all that has happened is that – via a mix of the 20% boost to your existing pot, the new higher earning rate of 1.2 points per £1, the status bonus for elites and the ongoing increases in cash fares – the value of your points has been pulled back to the level they had when the scheme launched back in 2017.

One clear place where value has been lost is with transfers of American Express Membership Rewards. 15 Amex points gets you 1 Eurostar point, and with that Eurostar point worth 9p-10p in Standard or 7p-8p in Standard Premier, we need to decrease our ‘value of an Amex point when used for Eurostar’ to 0.55p.

Not adjusting this transfer rate was a mistake (the transfer rates from Accor were adjusted) and means that it is no longer worth it unless you plan to redeem on a very expensive day. Moving this from 15:1 to 10:1 would mean that Eurostar transfers continued to be attractive and would ensure the payments from American Express keep coming.


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 (February 2024)

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.  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 (45)

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

  • Mark says:

    If upgrading to standard premier with points do you need to have “normal” reward availability in standard premier or can you upgrade for 1,200 even if only any time standard premier reward seats are available?

    • Rob says:

      Don’t need reward seats at all – as long as cash seats are for sale you can upgrade.

  • BahrainLad says:

    I thought the value/anytime difference was not about a capacity allocation, but a fare threshold (i.e. if the cash fare for the particular service is above a certain price, it tips into ‘anytime’)

  • tintin38 says:

    Useful analysis as always but nevertheless it’s a massive devaluation and loss of stored value. This time last week I had 3000 points and could make a booking for 2 single journeys in Business Premier. Now I have 3600 points and can’t even make a booking for 2 single journeys in Standard Premier. So objectively I am very much worse off (at least £325 in the example above). I don’t care at all about the 20% extra, it has no value for me!

  • Parislondon says:

    I’ve been travelling on Eurostar most months for over 18 years. I used to feel more valued as a customer by them than most companies. I certainly don’t now. I was saving my points to get a ticket at Christmas and now I need to buy it instead. I consider this a mean trick to play on existing customers, and if they were going to devalue our points so drastically (I have normally only needed 500 points for one free trip) we should have been warned in advance.

  • Felix says:

    Does anyone know how to contact Eurostar for an upgrade, the points option is not showing on the app (only cash). I hold a carte blanche and still can’t find a number anywhere.

    • Rob says:

      “Upgrade your seat on Eurostar

      For an extra special trip, why not use your points to upgrade your seat?

      Upgrade from Standard to Standard Premier starting from 600 points each way per person.

      Once you’ve booked call us on +44 (0)3432 186 186 to upgrade.”

  • John says:

    I had 6 points and now I have 8!

  • Max says:

    Quite a shocking devaluation and hurting the points / miles concept as a whole. Whilst the value of most assets do change over time as well, the way some operators litteraly wipe out customers’ balance overnight and without notice should send a warning to everybody else too. Also sounds very counterproductive for any brand wishing to build a loyal customer base.

  • Erico1875 says:

    Re Amex points. Due to inflation, I’m earning about 35% more MR points than I was 2 years ago on many of my everyday spending.
    I don’t think this has been factored into the calculations

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

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