Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Time running out to redeem Avios on Air Malta and Aurigny

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Avios (as in avios.com and not British Airways Executive Club) is, very quietly, winding down its redemption partnerships with non-oneworld or IAG airlines.

What is happening?

When the Avios scheme was launched in late 2011, avios.com brought in a range of new airline partners alongside BA and Iberia.  These were Air Malta, Aurigny (the Channel Islands airline) and Monarch.

These redemptions are with avios.com, not British Airways Executive Club.  To book them, you need to open an avios.com account and use the ‘Combine My Avios‘ function to move Avios from BAEC into avios.com.  There is no charge to move your Avios and you can reverse the transaction if required.

These partnerships are now being wound down.  Monarch has already gone – the last day to book a redemption with them was 4th January.

Aurigny – ending 1st April 2017

Aurigny flies to various Channel Islands destinations from Gatwick, London City, Bristol, Southampton, East Midlands, Stansted and Manchester.  You can see a full list of routes by visiting their website and clicking on ‘Timetable’.

Availability from Gatwick is good.  When I checked in January for a random midweek date in June 2017, there were six departures to Guernsey available (economy seats only) and a return ticket would cost you 9,000 Avios plus £35 in tax.

These are OK deals.  A typical cash ticket for the dates I checked was £99 return.  That is around 0.72p per Avios of value.

Air Malta – ending 1st April 2017

The Air Malta partnership will also end on 1st April.  Tickets booked before that date will remain valid and can still be cancelled if necessary.

This was always a bit of an odd partnership.  When it was launched, BA did not fly to Malta and so it filled a gap in what was presumably seen as a core target market for Avios customers.  British Airways launched its own flights to Malta a couple of years ago which meant that this partnership became less valuable.

As with all of these partner airlines, you can seach for Air Malta flights using the standard avios.com reward booking site. If there is availability, it will show up but only in Economy.

Seats have historically been available on the scheduled routes from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Malta.  You do not tend to see redemptions offered on some of the Summer seasonal routes from smaller UK airports.

Economy flights from Gatwick cost 20,000 Avios return plus £55 of tax.  Business class is not available.  This is poor value compared to the British Airways flights which, on off peak dates, require 17,000 Avios return plus £35 of tax.

Conclusion

There is currently a lot of ‘tidying up’ being done at Avios.  We have seen various redemption options dropped (see this article) including theme park tickets, sporting holidays, Eurostar tickets and the ability to earn and redeem Avios on package holiday bookings.  We now have the loss of three airline partnerships.

This is all in preparation for the full merger of the various schemes on the avios.com platform.  In order to do this, Avios needs to drop partnerships which would conflict with these airline partners.  Eurostar conflicts with BA and I doubt BA would want Executive Club members to be able to redeem for it directly.  Earning and spending Avios on package holidays conflicts with BA Holidays.  Redeeming on Monarch, Air Malta and Aurigny conflicts, on some routes, with British Airways.

At some point we should start to see benefits from this move.  Royal Air Maroc, for example, is adopting Avios as its currency which should bring extra reward availability to Morocco and, via connections, into parts of Africa not served by British Airways.

In the short term, though, redemption options will get worse before they get better.  This is especially bad news for flyers outside London who will see a sharp drop in the number of flights on which they can redeem their Avios points.

Remember to book your Aurigny or Air Malta redemptions in the next couple of weeks if you’re interested.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (7)

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

  • Nigel says:

    Has anybody had their avios from the recent Economist subscription offer credited to their avios.com account yet?

    • Kathy says:

      No. I contacted Economist customer services to chase, and they said my gift had been ordered and to get back in touch if it hadn’t arrived in 6-8 weeks!

  • Steve R says:

    Avios with Monarch was good for us whose, nearest Airport is Manchester hey ho. Last trip this Easter with them. It was good value

  • RussellH says:

    > When the Avios scheme was launched in late 2011, avios.com brought in a range of new airline
    > partners alongside BA and Iberia. These were Air Malta, Aurigny and Monarch.

    There was a short period before that when you could use Airmiles on a fairly large number of airlines.

    I flew LHR-MUC on Lufthansa in May 2008 using Airmiles.

  • Cate says:

    I’ve always thought the spa treatment on board Air Malta was an interesting development Anyone tried it?

  • pr99 says:

    Aurigny had been an Airmiles partner that started when BA dropped Guernsey as a destination in 2007 or 2008, of course now flybe is a major partner and also flies that route. Air Malta has been a partner before avios was launched. Monarch flights were available through redemption with Cosmos long before avios launched and was introduced as redemption flight before avios was launched as well.

    I wonder if this is just bringing everything into a single offering.

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

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