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Get 250 free Avios for joining Meridiana Club (but any use?)

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You may never have heard of Italian airline Meridiana, even though it uses Avios for its reward programme.

I wouldn’t blame you.  It does appear to be a slightly bizarre operation.  It is the 2nd biggest Italian-owned airline in Italy but that isn’t saying much.  In terms of passenger numbers, the league table goes Ryanair / Alitalia / easyJet / Vueling / Meridiana, with Meridiana just 15% the size of Ryanair in Italy. 

You also have Meridiana’s odd ownership.  Formerly almost wholly owned by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, a 49% stake was acquired by Qatar Airways in April 2017.  This follows the trend of Middle Eastern airlines investing in loss making Italian airlines, following Etihad’s debacle with Alitalia.


Etihad wasn’t totally mad. Rumour has it that the money it invested in Alitalia was secured on its Heathrow landing slots.  With the airline clearly unable to repay the loan, it may give Etihad backdoor access to the extra slots it needs at Heathrow to compete with Qatar Airways and Emirates head to head.

In 2014, Meridiana adopted Avios as its loyalty currency.

I wrote about the deal here.  It is an odd agreement because, at present, you cannot move Avios between Meridiana Club and any other Avios programmes.  However, you can redeem Avios points on Meridiana flights via (long haul routes seem to require telephone booking) and Meridiana Club members can redeem across BA and Iberia.

Whether you would actually want to redeem your Avios on Meridiana is a different question.  Taxes are huge – a return economy flight from Olbia to Naples costs 9,000 Avios plus £133 for example.  The option is there, though.

Get 250 free Avios for joining Meridiana Club

All of the above is just a long way of saying that the offer below is not necessarily any use to you.  As it’s a Sunday, though, you might want to give it a go if you have a quiet minute.

When you join Meridiana Club in July, you will receive 250 free Avios.

There is no small print.  The Avios will be added within 10 days.

For total clarity …. there is no logical reason to do this at the moment.  The points will be stuck in Meridiana Club.

However ….. at some point soon, all of the various Avios programmes, including Executive Club, will be moved onto the central Avios IT platform. It is more likely, although not certain, that you will then be able to move points around freely and move your 250 Avios from Meridiana Club into British Airways Executive Club.

Frankly, if it is a choice today of joining Meridiana Club or going out for a kick around with your kids, I’d take the latter.  On the other hand, if you’re reading this on the sofa whilst your other half is watching Fake Or Fortune? then it might be worth a minute out of your life ……

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (33)

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

  • Doug M says:

    After 3 ignored emails, and many tweets and Twitter DM I finally today received 250 Avios Ex-Gratia from Aer Club. They are a disgrace, and the offer is entirely counter productive, not that they’ll care but they are never going to see any business from me. I’d sooner ‘slum it’ on Ryanair.

    • Genghis says:

      … until you’re next looking for cheap TATL flights…

    • the real harry1 says:

      why would you form that negative reaction for free points worth perhaps £2.50?

      • Doug says:

        Because they were not free, I exchanged my time and access to my data in exchange for the other. Aer Club then failed to honour its offer. The negative view comes from the numerous communication it took for them stick to their side of the bargain.

        • the real harry1 says:

          250 Avios?

          lol 🙂

          • Doug says:

            Exactly. Why offer something of so little value and then fail to follow through. Laugh all you want but there’s plenty of comments expressing anger at Aer Club. As to why, if a company won’t honour £2.50 what’ll they be like over a significant amount.

          • the real harry1 says:

            it’s called cutting off nose to spite face, but hey, no problem

  • Joe A says:

    OT, but flew United in early May. I out down my Aerclub number, but the miles still haven’t posted. Contacted Aer Lingus and they’ve basically told me just to wait. Anyone had any Avios posted to Aerclub following a United flight?

  • Simon Schus says:

    Meridiana have two US routes to JFK, from either Naples or Palermo. Don’t know the taxes on these admittedly.

  • ECR says:

    I dread the day that Executive Club moves onto the central avios platform. I find using appalling. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t even allow stopovers which makes it almost impossible for those of us in the regions to book flights to anywhere other than London, unless there is a connection within a few hours.

  • robstaaaar says:

    …ok, so i’m late again to the comments ‘party’…Also never got my Aerclub sign up Avios pre Nov ’16. Called up and they have ‘no record of my application’. Should I bother to even sign up again?

  • Concerto says:

    I looked for info about Meridiana’s route network, especially in Europe, and couldn’t find anything. For me, it’s another ‘joke’ airline. I once flew DUS to MXP with an IG flight number operated by AB, didn’t get a single TopBonus mile for it.

  • Frenske says:

    Hmmm Meridana do £36 routes to Sardinia. I might bite.

    • David says:

      Just make sure you credit them to BAEC / rather than getting them stuck in Meridiana Club.

  • RussellH says:

    I seem to recall Rob telling us that Royal Air Maroc were also going to join Avios.

    (Not that I have used them since 1977/78.)

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

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