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Can you earn Avios points on Vueling?

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International Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways, took full control of Spanish low-cost airline Vueling this week.  See the Bloomberg story here.  The cost was €123m to take IAG’s stake to 91%.

There are some interesting nuances here.  Unlike Iberia, which is bleeding cash like there is no tomorrow, Vueling is profitable.  Oddly, despite being based in Madrid, Vueling will NOT be merged into Iberia but will be run as a third leg to the company alongside BA and Iberia.

Vueling is a bit like easyJet, with a low cost structure and, more importantly, a low paid crew.

There are rumours about what IAG will do with Vueling.  The company already flies from the UK to various destination, as I have written about before.  Vueling now flies from the UK to Florence and from various regional airports to Spain.

One possibility is that BA’s operations at Gatwick will be transferred to Vueling, possibly with it operating as a BA franchise in BA colours.  This would massively reduce costs and allow it compete better with easyJet.

Another option is that more of Iberia’s short-haul operations will be transferred across.

If all of this sounds familiar, it is because Lufthansa has done exactly the same thing this year.  From June, all Lufthansa flights which do not start or end in Frankfurt or Munich (eg London to Hamburg, London to Berlin) will transfer to Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary Germanwings, as I posted earlier.

One thing IAG needs to do is to sort out the issue with Avios earning and burning on Vueling.  At present, you can only earn Avios and spend Avios on Vueling via the Iberia website.

You need to open a free Iberia Plus account and put that number in your Vueling booking AND book via the Iberia site.  The Avios can be moved to your avios.com or BA account via the ‘Combine My Avios’ function online. 

To spend Avios on Vueling, you need to open an Iberia Plus account and HAVE SOME ACTIVITY ON IT (easiest way is to transfer some Amex points or hotel points in).  Once activated, you will be allowed to transfer Avios points into Iberia via ‘Combine My Avios’ from BA or avios.com.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (5)

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

  • David says:

    Worth noting that while Vueling are a low cost carrier, they do something things that are unusual for a LCC: They offer official connecting flights, with through checked baggage. Unlike most LCCs which are strictly point-to-point airlines, any connection needing to be made unofficially, on your own if it goes wrong.

    As a result, I think IAG are actually sitting on almost the perfect shorthaul model (since they need their shorthaul to feed longhaul anyway). If you took 80% of Vueling model, and added 10% of Iberia Express ideas and 10% new (keeping a business onboard product). Much better to have baggage controlled by which airline code you book under, supporting choice in all sales channels, rather than BAs recent hand baggage only fares at LGW.

    As we all know, right now you need an Iberia Plus account to earn and burn on Avios on Vueling. And it needs to be 90 days old and ‘active’ to be able to transfer Avios points freely into it from your BA account to spend on Vueling.

    Just found another potential free way to activate it:
    http://www.ukpoints.com/2013/04/26/way-to-activate-an-iberia-plus-account-with-50-free-avios/

  • Phillip says:

    I think this is probably the only way that an airline like BA can seriously compete with the LCCs on short haul flights without having to differentiate within its own product but by offering a different brand as part of the wider franchise! Thus, it means BA as an airline (assuming the first possibility you mention goes ahead) can remain a full service carrier, while some of its “cheaper” operations are taken over by a no frills carrier. As such, I don’t expect Vueling to be absorbed into BA in any way, but rather operate alongside. It will certainly be interesting to see what the earn/burn situation will be, especially compared to the Reward Flight Saver.

  • Morgan says:

    It’s worth noting that a lot of Vueling flights have an IB code-share. If you book using the code-share then not only do you get Avios on your BA account but also you get an inclusive baggage allowance.

    • David says:

      Have you successfully got Avios points from Vueling flights credited (*directly*) to your BAEC account when booked under the IB code? – strictly speaking you should not have done.
      “Codeshare flights booked under the code of a British Airways partner airline but operated by an airline who is not a British Airways partner are not eligible for Avios or Tier Points. ”
      And Vueling are not a BA partner.
      The officially support route is to credit them to you Iberia Plus account, then transfer them to BAEC.

  • Tara says:

    I noticed that Vueling routes are cheaper with IB Avios than regular IB routes, I hope that doesn’t change.

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

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