Club Eurostar is to introduce a new fee for members redeeming points for travel with the high-speed rail operator.

From October 6 all redemption bookings made entirely with points will incur a £16 charge per individual journey, so £32 per round-trip redemption.

The fee will only apply when redemptions are made using points only – those redeemed using a mix of cash and points already have the charge “incorporated into the price of the ticket”.

Announcing the move in an email to members, Eurostar said:

“This fee is paid by all passengers and is always incorporated into our ticket prices. Previously, we’d pay the fee on your behalf when you made a booking using just your Club Eurostar points. However, in keeping with the rest of the travel industry, we’re now asking passengers to pay this £16 (or €18 / US$22) fee on full points bookings.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to continue covering the cost due to the tough times we’re facing. This is a necessary change that will allow us to keep on offering tickets in exchange for points.”

The redemption fee will be the same irrespective of the class of service, the destination, whether it is an adult of child ticket, and the membership tier level held by the customer.

All existing bookings, and those made between now and October 6 will be exempt from the charge. Where trains are cancelled, customers will be eligible for a refund of both their points, and the fee.

In better news for Club Eurostar members, the rail operator is adding a five-month extension to current membership years, to make it easier to attain tier status in the light of Covid-19.

However note that the extension only applies to renewal dates from August inwards, so some members may lose out – although Eurostar states that “We have given all club members five-month extensions, so you will have extra time to qualify for a higher tier in your current membership year”.

The firm also said that “We continue to monitor the situation and reserve the right to review the membership extension at any given time”.