Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

A change in how ‘Combine My Avios’ works, and a reminder of its quirks

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Whilst you can earn Avios in, Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club, the system is designed so that you can move points from one to the other using ‘Combine My Avios’.

In theory it is foolproof:

There is no limit to how many points you can move

The points move instantly

It seems that the system was, perhaps, a little too foolproof.

The ‘Combine My Avios’ page on is here.

New security measures

As I found yesterday, when I tried to move some Avios from my wife’s account to her British Airways account, security has been improved.

Historically you could move points between and British Airways as long as there was a general match between some account information.  Name and date of birth might be enough, potentially email too.

What you didn’t need was a matching address.  Now you do.

It turns out that, when we moved two years, I never updated the address on her account.  As they never post anything, it wasn’t a problem.

I have been able to move Avios across over the last two years, until yesterday when I got a vague error message about a data mis-match.  As soon as I updated the postal address on her account, ‘Combine My Avios’ worked again.

This could cause a problem

You must have a UK postal address to join

A British Airways Executive Club account can be set to any address globally.

Going forward, it seems that you will need to have a UK address on your British Airways Executive Club account if you want to use ‘Combine My Avios’ from

This will cause problems for some people, although those people – if we’re honest – are mainly people who really do not live in the UK and were using under false pretences in order to take part in certain promotions.

This may actually be the ‘fraud’ that Avios was referring to when it explained why it had changed the ‘Combine My Avios’ system, rather than any sort of hack attack.

Avios wing 7

PS.  As a reminder, because newcomers may not know this, here is a summary of how ‘Combine My Avios’ works with Household Accounts.

This is the issue which tends to confuse people. Here are the T&C’s:

“Members of a Household Account under the Programmes may not use CMA other than (a) from a British Airways Executive Club Household Account to an individual account under the Avios Programme or the Iberia Plus Programme and (b) from the individual account under the Avios Programme to a Household Account under the British Airways Executive Programme. Any other Household account transaction will not be permitted under CMA.”

What this means in English is:

A member of a BA household account CAN move Avios to or from their Iberia or account (as long as the account is not a household one)

A member of an household account CANNOT move Avios to or from BA or Iberia

Note that you cannot move from Iberia to a BA household account. This is easily circumvented, though, by moving your Avios from Iberia to and then from to BA.

PPS.  As a further reminder, you will often encounter an error if you try to move Avios from Iberia Plus to British Airways.

The first thing to remember is that an Iberia Plus account must be 90 days old and must have earned 1 Avios before you can use ‘Combine My Avios’.  The easiest way to do this is to transfer some American Express Membership Rewards points into Iberia Plus, or a credit a BA flight, hotel or car hire.

It still may not work.  This is a long-standing IT issue.  In this case, use as a conduit.  Using the website, transfer points from Iberia Plus to and then do a second transaction to move them to British Airways Executive Club.  This usually works OK.

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 (76)

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

  • Alex says:

    I think that there may be legitimate users outside the UK, as for example when I created an account with Aer Lingus it provided me with an profile. I wonder how this will affect Aer Lingus point accounts?

    • neuromancer says:

      The case with Aer Lingus is interesting, it seems the Aer Club account is not exactly…
      I have an Aer Club account, went there and changed my address to outside of the UK. The address on my account did not change, however…
      I wonder if I can create a new Aer Club account with an address outside the UK and if it will be in

      So for now I cannot do Combine my Avios with an address outside the UK.

  • James says:


    I have an Avios RFS booking I don’t need anymore (positioning flights for a now non-existent AirBerlin Longhaul Business class redemption to the Caribbean for my Mother’s 70th Birthday).

    The AirBerlin flights were booked using TopBonus (AirBerlin) points so I lose out big time 🙁 About £4k of flights and no refunds / compensation 🙁

    I therefore have some BA RFS Avios bookings LHR-DUS-LHR which I no longer need.
    I’d prefer to cancel for all money & Avios back (unlikely I know).
    I’d settle for some money & all Avios back ??
    If I can’t do either of those and I’m going to lose the Avios I’d like to either reschedule them both (or at least one way) and still visit Dusseldorf (perhaps for a Christmas market?) OR change both the destination & dates.

    What have people found have been their options in this situation ?
    Might BA be a little more flexible with options given the circumstances for the change (a OneWorld Partner leaving me in the lurch !).

    • Brian says:

      Avios bookings are refundable – you get the points back and the cash, too, apart from a 17.50 fee or something like that. For a RFS, that probably means you won’t get any money back. But you will definitely get all the Avios back.

    • Rob says:

      You will get all of the Avios back, but not the RFS taxes as they offset the £35 per person cancellation fee. This is standard BA policy. The AirBerlin angle has nothing to do with it, since BA has no proof you were connecting to AB – had it all been on the same ticket it would have been a different story.

  • Max says:

    Yes, they’ve had this security feature in place for at least 3 or 4 months as around that long ago I hit this exact same snag (having also not updated my Avios address). At the time, the person I spoke to on the online chat thing (on, not BA) said that if there was a problem sorting out the mis-match, he could do the transfer for me, so that _may_ still be worth trying if you can’t match addresses for some reason.

    • memesweeper says:

      I’ve also had to get my and FLYBE /email/ addresses in sync, to avoid issues. Why would they would assume we all use the same email address for everything?

  • Suzi says:

    I do not understand your comment about Avio users without a UK address may be committing fraud, or are at least using the facility of under false pretenses, by wanting to move their Avios.
    Many Spanish, and UK expats, gain Avios genuinely through Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club flights without having a UK address. I would like you to apologise for this statement and help us by telling us how best we may use

    • Stu N says:

      Rob isn’t accusing anyone of fraud. He’s quoting Avios who have said they are tightening up procedures due to “fraud”.

      He is speculating this isn’t just fraud in the conventional sense (eg someone making an unauthorised transfer from acustomer’s account), but may also be more inforcement of the T&Cs around residency.

      The rules are separate from iberia plus and BAEC programs and did limit accounts to U.K. residents, so if non-residents have been using them then they shouldn’t have been and will be in breach of the T&Cs….

      • George J says:

        As Genghis has correctly posted above there are no rules about residency for being a member of Avios (quite rightly since residency is a very complex subject, very often confused with its cousin tax residency). You must however provide an address in the UK to be a member of Avios. This is their right and one I am happy to go along with so I use my UK home for Avios. As someone who has worked or lived outside the UK for many years I also have an overseas home and that appears on my BAEC account.
        It is, as they say simples, and I don’t see why BA and Avios think it unusual. Of course I could move my BAEC address to the UK as well and this might solve the problem – though don’t see why I should bother just to sort out BAs lack of understanding of their customer base. I have tried to call them to query this but after an age holding on a line to Bremen I gave up.

    • Phil says:

      Which is different quite different to a requirement that members must “live in the UK”. So no fraud in having a UK based account if you “provide an address in the UK…”.


  • DerekH says:

    I had recourse to close my Household account, transfer all the avios to my account, leaving my wife without any, before I could use some of the points to offset the cost of BA flights to South Africa. I found it, thanks to earlier instructions on here about how to do it, a very easy task. And then after saving myself some money, I reinstated the Household account! So once again, thanks to this site for showing me the way.

  • Dan G says:

    It doesn’t seem to be covered in the topic: does the order of actions matter to maximise the available avios on a household account. Should family members first use Combine My Avios individually, then they open a BA household account, or other way around? My family is relatively new to this, any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Rob says:

      With a BA household account, it doesn’t matter. You only have issues with CMA when you have an household account.

  • Nigel Cohen says:

    I have an household account with approx 61,000 avoids that I want to transfer to my BA household account. How do I do it?

    • Rob says:

      You need to break up the HHA by posting back the paper form downloadable from Once the HHA is broken up, you can move the points across to people with the same name inside your BA HHA (which does not need to be broken up).

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