Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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.

  • Paul T says:

    As someone who frequently travels to the French Alps by train, it will be interesting to see a calculation with an onward connection factored in

  • Kilian says:

    I was surprised to hear that “travel further into Europe – for the same points price” was possible. I tried redeeming my points and it seems that you can only redeem from London to Bruxelles and then separately an old Thalys connection from Bruxelles to Cologne, each need 1000 points. So the London to Cologne option is not for 1000 points, rather for 2000 (cheapest ticket)

    • Rob says:

      This is not what the person who runs Club Eurostar told me.

      • Bert says:

        It would be great to clarify the mechanism for booking thru-tickets on the Thalys network under the singular redemption price, this is quite a meaningful driver of the value of redemptions (e.g. if you can use for the Eurostar Snow route)

      • Ben says:

        @Rob just spent an hour on the phone with Eurostar in both UK and Brussels. They are absolutely adamant that there is no such thing as ““travel further into Europe – for the same points price”.

        For example, for a ticket from London to Cologne next Sunday; they want an additional 3000 points for the (ex) Thalys segment! This is a Premium seat currently selling for £80.

        It appears your contact has misled you.

        • Rob says:

          It does like the chart I was shown entitled ‘one reward price’ did forget to mention that connections were not included. I DID ask if Thalys was included and they said yes. Potentially they didn’t realise that I was talking about a Thalys to Eurostar connection being included.

          I did update the Eurostar article a couple of days ago to reflect this after I met the Eurostar CEO and CCO on Monday night.

  • Peter says:

    Really annoying how they f*** everyone over without any prior warning! At the end of the day though, why even have a loyalty programme if you run a monopoly. It’s not like I’m gonna add 2 extra hours to my journey to take a plane to Paris, just so I can earn 100 Avios.

  • thelargeguy says:

    in addition child tickets to 11 are now pricing at the same price for cash as adults whereas they were around 20% cheaper before?

  • Cormac says:

    Sad as I did collect Amex MR to potentially use on the Eurostar, but not surprising ultimately. People are earning more points due to spending more with inflation, and higher prices make redeeming points increasingly better value.

    But Eurostar had been knocking on the door of devaluation a couple of years ago in introducing a £16 flat charge per journey for Club Eurostar redemptions, though this never materialised. In doing so I stated that it may be better value to convert Amex Membership Reward points to Avios, then convert those to Nectar points, which Rob wrote about here:

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/03/01/club-eurostar-american-express-membership-rewards/

    If converting Amex MR to Avios to Nectar, then a Nectar point is worth effectively 0.66p, more than Rob’s 0.55p valuation for redeeming MR to this new programme.

    With this in mind, a Value return costing 30,000 MR (2,000 Club Eurostar) points equates to £198 worth of Nectar points. Using MR to Avios to Nectar is better value unless the cash ticket costs more than £198. When compared to the Anytime redemption, costing 45,000 MR points (3,000 Club Eurostar), a redemption is only worth it if costing over £297 in cash.

    And for the record, Standard Premier Value at 60,000 MR (4,000 Club Eurostar) is only justified if the cash fare is over £396, Standard Premier Anytime at 75,000 (5,000 Club Eurostar) only pays for itself if over £495, and Business Premier MR redemptions require 90,000 MR (6,000 Club Eurostar) points to justify the MR redemption over the Nectar route.

    Without any improvements to the MR to Club Eurostar redemption ratio than this redemption route is just not worth it as it stands.

  • Joe says:

    Downgraded to Avantage, was supposed to have kept Carte Blanche till December this year. Apart from points devaluation and loss of fast track, it’s a bit unclear what lounges I have access to? London no, but Brussels and Paris seems like there is contradictory information on FR and EN versions of the website. Is the Bxl access now not to Bus Premier past security, but in fact the old Thalys lounge across the street? And for Paris, is it still the Bus Premier lounge or another one?

    https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/eurostar-experience/lounges

    https://www.eurostar.com/be-fr/voyage/experience-eurostar/salons

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.