Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Vueling launches an Avios credit card in France – but is it any good?

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In an interesting move, Vueling – IAG’s low cost short-haul carrier – has launched an Avios Visa credit card in France.  This is, I think, only the second airline credit card on the French market.

The benefits package is worth a look, because it gives an idea of what Avios considers to be ‘affordable’ in the new world of 0.3% interchange fees.

This is what you get:

€24 annual fee

4000 Avios sign-up bonus, plus a further 2000 Avios for spending €2000 within three months

1.6 Avios per €1 spent with IAG airlines (BA, Iberia, Vueling etc)

0.8 Avios per €1 spent elsewhere – including cash withdrawals!

Other benefits: use of premium check-in desks when flying with Vueling, 25% extra Avios on hotel bookings, 20 flight credits towards Vueling Premium status (requires 40 flight credits)

All in all this is a surprisingly impressive package.  You are getting the equivalent of 1 Avios per £1 spent, and on a Visa card.  This is even more aggressive than the recent UK launch of the Virgin Atlantic Reward credit cards, and we felt those were rich in the new environment.

Interestingly, it is a different balance of fee and reward to the Vueling card launched in Italy earlier in the year – see here.  This card has a higher annual fee of €49 but also a higher earning rate of 1 Avios per €1.  For anyone who spends less than €1000 per month on the card, the French version is better value (and vice versa).

There is no guarantee that Avios would look to replace its current UK cards with something similar, but it is clear that someone believes you can still make money with an earning rate this good.

You can learn more on the Vueling website here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 £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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points 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 (140)

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

  • Stephan says:

    Think you need to spend a minimum of €10 to earn avios on the vueling cards: ‘8/16 Avios tous les 10 € dépensés’

    • Rob says:

      The small print says you don’t – I think they have just used €10 units to avoid having to talk in fractions.

  • Richard says:

    Off topic. Does anyone know how long it takes for Marriot status to update following the posting of the final qualifying night? I am doing the platinum challenge and trying to do it before end of July (in the hope that platinum will move to platinum premier in the new scheme). I am looking at my last stay being 28th July, but am worried it might be too late for my status to update if the points don’t post before end of July.

    Any help / insight much appreciated

    • Ian says:

      Your status should update as soon as the points/nights post to your account for your last stay of the Platinum challenge. Normally that will happened within 48hrs of checking out.

    • Rob says:

      Instant, because I got mine yesterday. Stayed on Saturday at Manchester Airport, points posted Tuesday, status immediately updated to Platinum. Spookily, my linked Starwood status became Platinum too.

  • Lee says:

    Thought about SPG points, but for Dubai it says ‘All rooms at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai are villas; therefore, Starpoint Award reservations must be booked at a higher Starpoint rate through your local customer contact center.’

    So I am not sure if the maximum rate applies there as mentioned on this site. Certainly you can’t book it via points online.

  • Nigel says:

    Are Marriott rewards and Ritz Carlton rewards the same thing? I have a gold RC card which was issued in lieu of a gold Marriott card. Can i transfer spg points purchased via the 35% discount to my RC account 3 for one, and then book any spg, marriott or RC hotel at a max of 60000 points per night??

    • Rob says:

      In August, yes. And R-C Rewards won’t exist post August anyway, in anything except name. All points across all 3 schemes are pooled with one new account number.

  • David says:

    On the Vueling card, I note the Cartes Bancaires ‘CB’ logo.

    IIRC domestic payment networks are out of scope for the interchange fee cap. While I know CB has some kind of connection to the Visa network, and I’ve not been following the interchange cap in France in any detail, I do wonder if that plays a role in making the economics of the card work – if certain fees are not capped as low for a percentage of the transactions they expect. It might also explain the position on cash withdrawals.

    But as I said, I’ve not been following French market too closely.

    • Jeff says:

      The French CB card system used by all the banks there is a bit different, so I don’t know if it is caught in the interchange fee cap. Their equivalent of our debit card is actually a deferred debit card whereby when you spend on it, the sum is immediately blocked on your bank account, but they don’t actually take the money until the end of the month, so a bit more like a charge card as there is no credit involved and it is always paid in full because the money is secured at the time of purchase.

      • Lumma says:

        That’s weird. Is there any point in them doing it like that? If your current account accrues interest would you get interest on the amount you’ve spent on your card?

        • Jeff says:

          I was never able to find a current account that offered interest in France, in fact there was a monthly fee of €14 just for having the account; no additional benefits and that is very standard there. There are now more online banks but with the inertia factor, the domestic business of the main French banks is very profitable. Cheques and cash are still used far more than in the UK.

        • Concerto says:

          I manage to get 6% interest out of La Poste, but I opened the two accounts (Livret A and PEL) 20 years ago during a special offer.

        • Bob says:

          Current accounts do not accrue interests in France… old habit in the French market.

          Livret A and PEL are not current accounts.

          Interests on Livret A and PEL are not paid on a daily basis.
          On the Livret A, interests are paid at the end of the year.

          You need to mouve your funds between those and your current account.

          You cannot have a credit card linked to a Livret A or a PEL.

          And the interest on the Livret A is most of the time inferior of the inflation rate.

          The interest on the PEL is better but you cannot cash it before something like 4 or 5 years or more : it is meant to help you to get a reduced interest loan for buying a house.

          Then if you manage all those caveats, it may work fine.

      • Bob says:

        I do not know if interchange fee is different for the CB cartes bancaires network.

        I believe the CB cartes bancaires was created in the 80s to reduce the cost for the shops to accept the CB cartes bancaires cards.
        So the interchange fee, and maybe all other costs related to the cards, were already lower than in any equivalent country.

        I am not really sure the new european directive changes substantially something in France.

        Economic newspapers are not writing about that and interchange fees.

        All the buzz is in the uk ;-).

      • RussellH says:

        When I had a French CB Visa, it worked in exactly the same way as my UK debit cards in terms of when debits were charged to my account. I closed the a/c in 2012, though, so things may have changed. Bank was CCF, taken over by HSBC.

    • Bob says:

      All mastercard and visa cards (issued in France) are inside the CB Cartes Bancaires network in France.

      CB here must not be confused with Carte Bleue which is the Visa “name/brand ” in France.

  • Lev441 says:

    Looks more encouraging than the supposed changes with Lloyd’s Avios card…. maybe they’ll be a rethink…

  • Gill says:


    I’m after the SPG card but was declined back in Feb . Couldn’t see any reason aside from a secondary Lloyds amex triggered a credit check. I’ve since cancelled one card leaving me with one amex issued card.

    Anyone advise on how long to wait to reapply ? 4 months too soon?


    • Lev441 says:

      You shouldn’t have been checked if you were an additional cardholder?

      • Gill says:

        Never been checked with amex issued secondary cards but the Lloyds secondary left a mark . I wasn’t expecting it but shouldn’t have been a surprise given their disjointed IT systems.

    • Lumma says:

      Use the eligibility checker on the amex website as a guide. I cancelled the old gold charge card, waited 6 months to reapply and got turned down. I had opened a couple of other credit accounts in that time so I think that may have been why. Waited about 5 months and used the checker. It only gave me a 5/10 chance of being accepted for the new gold credit but I applied anyway and got accepted.

      Strangely, it gives you a rating for all of the cards that they offer and it doesn’t seem to have any logic to it. I had a 9/10 chance of getting Platinum, green or BA premium, 5/10 for gold and BA free and only 3/10 for nectar

      • Gill says:

        Thanks Lumma – That’s handy – hadn’t come across that.

  • Marcw says:

    It’s not that surprising though: I believe this are more marketing tools other than generating a profit.
    Also, look at Spain. There are the Iberia cards, but also the Air Europa Visa card, totally free, 0.5 Miles per EUR. And you get free tier on top (Silver, which matches SkyTeam Elite), basically getting free luggage and seat selection when flying Air Europa (even on basic fares). Whatever, don’t believe these cards are there to make money, but rather as marketing tools.
    The problem with the Uk there’s really no competition in the FF schemes. Avios or Avios (Virgins one is more a niche FFP).

    • Lumma says:

      I actually think it makes sense for airlines to offer some kind of benefits to credit card holders. Take the free BA AMEX, you could fly exclusively on BA’s rivals and the only time you use BA is when you cash in your avios for almost free flights.

      Giving card holders some psuedo status benefits such as limited numbers of free seat selection, checked bags or even lounge access could push customers into favouring BA or even warrant charging a moderate annual fee on a card

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