Nutmeg Avios

Vueling switches to Avios – what does it mean for you?

IAG’s Spanish low cost carrier Vueling (pronounced bwelin) confirmed yesterday that it is switching its loyalty scheme to Avios in a few weeks.

This is worth knowing about because of Vueling’s strong regional presence at UK airports.

What is Vueling?

Vueling is a low cost airline, based in Barcelona, owned by BA’s parent company IAG.  It is run separately to Iberia.

Whilst Vueling doesn’t have the greatest reputation for punctuality or comfort, it now serves 130 cities on 345 short-haul routes.  The main base is in Barcelona with a secondary hub in Rome.

Vueling operates from seven airports in the UK including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as London Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton airports.  It is flying 28 routes from the UK this summer with more than two million seats on offer.  Typical destinations are Barcelona, Rome, Alicante, Mallorca and Malaga.

Alex Cruz was CEO of Vueling before moving across to British Airways.


And what is happening with Avios?

Vueling confirmed that it will be moving its existing reward scheme, Punto, to Avios next month.

Punto will be renamed Vueling Club.  Existing points will be transferred into Avios at the rate of 1 Punto to 9 Avios.

The new programme will have revenue based earning and revenue based spending.  

In an interesting departure from the BA model, you will be able to use ‘part pay with Avios’ to cover the entire cost of a flight including taxes.

Full details of Vueling Club can be found on the Vueling website here.

This is a bigger upheaval for Avios than you may think.  There are two million people with a ‘Punto’ account, so the Avios customer base will jump from 7m to 9m overnight.

Does this mean I can now earn Avios when flying Vueling?


That said, you already could although you may not have known it.

All Vueling flights to or from the UK are operated as codeshares with British Airways.  A number of other Vueling routes are BA codeshares including all domestic Italian flights.

The British Airways Executive Club Avios earning chart for codeshares is the same as for standard BA flights – see the chart here.

For tickets booked on, only ‘Optima’ or ‘Excellence’ fares currently earn Avios.  These need to be credit to Iberia Plus.  Any Vueling tickets booked on will earn Avios in Iberia Plus but the cheapest ‘Basic’ tickets are not available there.

What is changing?

Once Vueling Club is launched, you can earn Avios on ANY Vueling ticket booked via their website.

You will need to have a Vueling Club account and the points will be sent there.  However, you can move them to British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’.

How many Avios will I earn?

It is a revenue based system.  The more you spend, the more you earn:

Basic Fares earn 3 Avios per €1 spent

Excellence and Optima Fares earn 4 Avios per €1 spent

Premium members – who take 40 Vueling one-way flights each year – will earn double Avios.

It isn’t clear how the earning rates are adjusted for the taxes and charges element of your ticket price.


Will I be able to spend Avios on Vueling?

Yes.  Again, you already can although you may not have known it.

Despite the codeshare agreement, you cannot redeem for Vueling flights at  You currently need to redeem via Iberia Plus. This involves:

  • opening an Iberia Plus account at
  • having it open for at least 90 days
  • earning at least 1 Avios in the account from a BA or oneworld flight, from crediting a hotel stay, from another partner or from moving across some American Express Membership Rewards Points and then
  • using Combine My Avios to move your points to Iberia Plus

The problem at the moment is that, in the absence of Reward Flight Saver, Avios redemptions on Vueling are not competitive due to the taxes.  Cash tickets on Vueling are usually fairly cheap although Avios redemptions get a free suitcase too.

This should change.

Whilst we don’t know the full details, it seems that Vueling Club will be fully revenue based.  The ONLY way to redeem will be via ‘part pay with Avios’ with the quirk that, if you wish, you will be able to pay 100% with Avios.

All three Vueling fare classes – ‘Basic’, ‘Optima’ and ‘Excellence’ – will be available via ‘part pay (or fully pay) with Avios’.

The upside of ‘part pay with Avios’ is that you can use your Avios to book ANY Vueling flight with no availability concerns.  The downside is that the value you get per Avios point is fixed – it will probably be around 0.5 cents per Avios.

I never fly Vueling – is there anything in this for me?


Another Avios programme gives you more opportunities for earning.  We saw an example this week, with Aer Lingus offering 18,000 Avios for £145 if you buy a digital subscription to the Irish Independent newspaper.

If there are any Vueling-only promotions running with partners, such as hotels or car hire groups, you can take advantage, earn points in Vueling Club and then move them across to British Airways Executive Club.

That said …. Vueling will be using the platform in the same way that Aer Lingus AerClub does.  If you already have an account, this will also be your Vueling Club account number – but it will also be your AerClub account number and your account number.  Confusing.

In summary …..

If you have any Punto points, they will be turned into Avios next month at a 1:9 rate

You will be able to earn Avios on any Vueling ticket, irrespective of cost, as long as you credit to a Vueling Club account (which will probably be the same number as your account)

You will be able to redeem Avios for a discount on any Vueling flight in any class via ‘part pay with Avios’ by moving your points to Vueling Club and redeeming from there

‘Part Pay with Avios’ will actually be ‘Part Pay or Fully Pay with Avios’ where Vueling is concerned

It isn’t clear if Vueling flights will also be available for redemption via or, as they are today,  If they are, it isn’t clear if they will use fixed distance-based pricing or the variable pricing – based on ticket price – that Vueling Club will charge

It may be worth opening a Vueling Club account, even if you never fly with them, in order to take advantage of Avios promotions – but don’t do it now as it isn’t clear if your existing account will be a Vueling Club account automatically

You can find out more on this page of the Vueling website.

PS  Vueling is not entirely low cost ….

If you are travelling on business or are willing to pay a premium, the ‘Excellence’ fare on Vueling gives you something which is pretty comparable to BA Club Europe.

This page on the Vueling site outlines the ‘Excellence’ benefits:

  • Row 1 seating with the middle seat empty
  • Unlimited ticket changes with no fees, except any fare difference
  • Free same-day flight changes
  • 2 x checked suitcase
  • Dedicated overhead locker for hand baggage
  • Dedicated check-in desks at Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao
  • Fast Track security at selected airports including Gatwick
  • Lounge access at selected airports including Heathrow
  • Priority boarding
  • Free on-board catering from the buy-on-board menu
  • Avios earned in Iberia Plus (and soon Vueling Club)

It doesn’t sound too bad!  I will try to give it a go once redemptions are available.

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

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  1. Lewis Watson says:

    Are there any other benefits other than bring extra avois for being a premium member?

    • Adam Brown says:

      As well as the Double Points (Soon Avios) you recieve:
      Premium Check In
      Priority Boarding
      Fast Track where Available
      Exclusive Customer Service Line
      Advance Preview of Special Offers
      and a free companion ticket each year

  2. Chelseafi says:

    Sorry O/T I’ve upgraded gold to Plat via the 20k bonus link my online account card changed straight away to Plat, received card 10 days now, registered, so far £700 spend but I don’t have the spend bar showing, I want to complete the £1k spend in next day or so get points and then cancel, should I contact them now via chat to ask about the spend bar, so not to delay things or should the bonus just appear on account when I hit the spend? Thanks

  3. Great. Another 2 million people fighting for the already limited number of Avios redemptions.

    • Exactly my thoughts Alex!

      Who knows how many more Avios will be put into the Hopper?

      Will the shute be widened to allow better flow-I doubt it.

      Looks like a further devaluation is ahead.

    • to be fair… im sure many of those 2 million are already BAEC or Iberia members

    • @Alex W – I assume you live near an airport where Avios redemptions are already a possibility. For people living in the regions, such as myself, this is a welcome move by Vueling

      • I retract my statement – just accidentally found out that a booking i made with Vueling in April for a flight in October (BHX-TFS), was cancelled in May. They have put me and my family on a later connecting flight (via BCN) which ends at TFN and not TFS. Called customer services and asked why that hadn’t told me. They said that they would have done, 15 days prior to departure!!! No compensation offered because an alternative journey has been arranged (despite finishing at a different airport).

    • Lady London says:

      Plus a lot of offers to get more have been around recently. That people who don’t actually do the miles in airline seats, can get.

      My gut feeling is something anti-consumer is in the offing so far as Avios is concerned.. This cannot end well.

      • the real harry1 says:

        it’s not a Ponzi scheme, at least 🙂

        however, it’s not that different to the mill-owners part-paying workers in tokens that are only redeemable at the company shop…

        whilst there are ways to get wine delivered @ 0.5p, I’m not that concerned about a healthy bank balance – but yes, devaluation or worse is a niggle of worry

  4. The only real novelty here is the ability to earn Avios on the cheapest Basic fare. We could already get Avios on Excellence and Optima via Ib+, and redeem avios for Vueling flights via Ib+. It’s likely that you will still earn more Avios if you credit your flights to Ib+, instead to VuelongClub/Avios, except for Basic fare where you can only eat. avios via Vueling Club

  5. Simon Fisher says:

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but do I have to join Vueling Punto (or the Avios future equivalent?) When I did this for Aerclub, they mixed up mine and my wife’s accounts and my account got her name on it. I have only just got it back ;-(

    I suspect the fact we had a family account on Avios caused the confusion, but either way don’t want that hassle again.

    • If it is like AerClub, you will need to register for Vueling Club to access their website but your membership number will remain your current (and AerClub) number. At a guess.

    • Same with my partner and I on Norwegian – we’ve even got the same account number, but Norwegian insist two people can’t possibly have the same account number so the conversation went to a dead stop. It ‘s nice that the rewards are pooled though 🙂

  6. Would be nice if this was a precursor to them joining Oneworld and thereby awarding tier points as well as Avios…

    • Yes, being based in BCN I dream of the day they somehow convert into something that means I can somewhat use OW benefits as normal.

    • Lewis Watson says:

      And lounge access for us lowly silvers

  7. BigDave says:

    I’ve used vuelling a couple of times… excellent value for money – nice to have another way to spend avios as reward flights for the dates I want are nearly always unavailable… and as the article says part or full pay with avios not so bad on a budget ticket…

  8. Ot- would like some advice on whether these redemeptions Are good value or of should convert to cash bookings to get points etc
    1) 3 nts at hilton for 30k pts total, cash price is £245. I am diamond.
    2) 3 nts four points by sheraton for 9k spg total or £125 cash in Sandakan. No status in spg.

    I think better to book all of them for caah as doing China, Japan and hk next year and may use them then.

    • 1) Yes, excellent value, I normally expect 0.33p per Hilton point so I’d be happy with £90 of free rooms let alone £245

      2) No, SPG points are worth 1.5p to me so I would be tempted to pay cash, but it is close enough that I wouldn’t cancel your HFP subscription if you told me you’d used points 🙂

      • Thanks Rob…..Im doing ok with the Hilton redemption it seems!

        Just wondering whether you know of any SPG promotions upcoming that i should hold out for before booking or do they usually allow future promotions to apply to bookings?

        • Only Accor usually insists you book after a promo launches. You won’t have any issues with SPG.

    • Genghis says:

      Hi Ammar. From your comments yesterday you’re off to Borneo. I’ve never been but I’ve read good things about Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa at 10k Marriott / night.

      • Thanks Genghis! Just had a look at this, no time on my current trip to check this resort, but will definitely be thinking about this next time i am in Borneo! Looks a brilliant redemption….shame I do not have longer this time! Some good options in the far east…..

  9. Vueling also serves Newcastle.

  10. Stephan says:

    OT but relating spending avios. For the companion voucher is it possible to book one way with Business and return with economy?
    And I think this may be the case but just to confirm, you can use household avios towards to the purchase of the ticket?

    • Yes, you will be given the option when you choose your flights. It should show available Economy, PE and Business seats, unless you select First, when it shows First, Business and PE. I’ve not yet worked out how you would fly First one way and Economy the other without making 2 separate bookings or calling!

      • Stephan says:

        Thanks Anna. I do seem to see the options but for some reason I get an error. I may try calling them up and seeing if they can by pass that issue.

  11. Discount Mike says:

    The biggest news for me is Vueling is pronounced “bwelin”…

    • Yeah. Thanks for the heads up, Rob – I’ve always wondered how it should be pronounced! 🙂

      • the real harry1 says:

        well, the V & the B sounds are interchangeable, so ‘vwellin’ / ‘vwelling’ is OK as well – they are trying to be cool and assume many passengers will understand the ‘-ing’ ending in English, ie they are trying to say ‘flying’ in a hip Spanish way

        • It has nothing to do with being “cool” or “hip”. They’re an airline based in Catalonia and they pronounce “V” as “B” there, as they do in several Spanish regions. Same way you would pronounce “vivo” (I live) as “bebo”.

        • the real harry1 says:

          yo vuelo – I fly
          vuelo – flight
          vuel-ing = ‘flying’ in cool Spanglish if you like
          the same way the French talk about le shopping, thinking they are being hip because they use a bit of franglais
          btw your ‘vivo’ would be ‘beebo’ but I assume you know that and messed up typing

        • the real harry1 says:

          oh look what a quick google turns up – I didn’t need to see this to work it out for myself 🙂

          Adopting the simple ethos that cheap flights don’t have to mean lower standards, we created a brand idea that embraced simplicity and straightforwardness as well as a quirky and down-to-earth personality. We called it ‘Espritu Vueling’.
          A bi-lingual brand
          With ambitions that reached beyond Spain, it was vital that the brand embraced the English language. The name Vueling itself is a composite word, made by joining ‘vuel’ the Spanish for fly and the ‘ing’ from flying.
          From this unexpected starting point, we developed an amalgamation of the two languages that has become a fun and friendly tone of voice that is completely aligned with the positioning.

  12. OT
    I have an ANA flight coming up. Can I credit the miles to Virgin Flying Club rather than ANA Mileage Club?

  13. Was supposed to fly Vueling in July from LGW-BCN at 14.45. That was the day when the AC tyre burst on the runway and shut LGW down. After an absolute horrendous handling of the situation (including going through immigration 3 times at LGW and LHR but never leaving the country and then at 01.00 saying “sorry…you’re not flying…go fend for yourself”), would never ever recommend Vueling. Yes cheap…but abysmal handling on-the-ground and after. They don’t want to compensate so the class-action lawsuit led by others has started!

    • Why should they compensate when a completely unrelated airline suffered a burst tyre? What should AC have done, landed in a field or the Bristol Channel just so you could get to Spain?
      I would expect them to pay duty of care stuff, i.e. hotels, meals and calls. But not full EU261 compensation.

  14. lgflyer says:

    With the current Punto scheme, you get 1 point every 2€. If 1 point will be converted to 9 avios, you are essentially getting 4.5 avios per €. With the new scheme, you will only get 3 avios per € for Basic and 4 avios per € for Optima. So it is a bit of a devaluation…
    Also something to note is that with Punto you get the points when you buy the ticket, not when you fly. You get the points even if you do not show. It would be interesting to see if this continues once it integrates into Avios.

  15. O/T

    Is it recommended to keep at least ONE Amex card ahead of future applications? I’ve mistimed a churn cycle with Mrs. R., and I’ve currently got an SPG card which I’m deriving limited value from.

    I want to cancel it so I can start the 6 month counter but that would effectively leave me Amex-less (except for a supplementary card from the Mrs). Would Amex look unfavourably on this come the next application round i.e. impacted credit history with them? Would my online amex account be effectively closed as I have no cards?

    Any input appreciated.


    • Genghis says:

      I was Amexless for about 3 months earlier this year. No probs getting all cards again. Online account remains open.

    • Doubt it makes much difference. What DOES make a difference is having one long-term card showing on your credit report. Someone who has a credit report with no card older than 2016 and someone who has a credit report where they have had a specific card since 1999 will be treated differently.

    • You can have an SPG card as well as a Gold/Plat card – you just have to have not had an MR account in the previous 6 months to get the signup bonus

  16. Thank you both for your prompt replies! Much appreciated.

    I’ve got an old Natwest Visa credit card which I’ve had for quite a while now, but is basically useless except for the sole purpose in your comment Rob. I channel a very tiny amount of spend here and there on it but the bare minimum tbh – not sure if this is affecting my credit score.

    Already cancelled the SPG and now just waiting for the clock to tick – something which unsettled me a bit was the customer service agent identified the supplementary card on my wife’s account to me. Hope this doesn’t affect the sign-up bonus…

    Thank you both again.

  17. Great news for regional redemptions with the ability to pay for the entire flight with Avios with part pay if you are Avios rich and have an airport they fly from nearby.

  18. Norman Anderson says:

    What you may not know is when you book through BA for a vueling flight, you get the avios and tier points.

    If you then log in to your vueling account and add the booking.
    You then the P-points as well in your vueling account!

    Win win.

  19. Vueling actually seems like a bit of an earring sweet spot via IB+.

    If you book the optima fare its 1 Avios/Mile. These are often not very expensive at all (MAN-BCN can be had for ~£40 OW, including a checked bag and seat selection). At 852 Avios each way, if the price differential between Ryanair is within £10 it seems decent value.

  20. You might want to add that every Vueling flight flown on the Excellence fare counts as three flights towards Premium status. So you only need seven flights per year with them to get your Premium card.