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.

  • mark2 says:

    Has anyone had their statement for the new Virgin card and received points for purchases through Curve please?

  • Andrew S says:

    Bits OT but relating to credit cards: My latest Amex SPG statement has a paragraph at the end stating the change in earning rate effective 1 August as being 3 points per whole GBP spent on purchases and 3 per every 2 whole pounds at warehouse retailers in the UK

    • New Card says:

      What is a warehouse retailer?

      • the_real_a says:

        Oddly there is a MCC code in the AMEX handbook for “Home Supply Warehouse – 5200″… If i were you i would call AMEX to have this defined further however.

      • ali says:

        the likes of Costco I presume

    • Stu N says:

      SPG-Marriott is currently 3:1 so makes sense when aligning to the new program. Not sure what a “warehouse retailer” is – do they definite that in T&Cs?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      With the Marriott merger the 3 points is to be expected, but why the half points at (presumably) Costco I wonder?

      • New Card says:

        Weird rule – presumably something to do with the Amex Costco card?

    • Mark2 says:

      So is that 3 Marriott points or 3 SPG i.e. 9 Marriott points?

      • Andrew S says:

        They’ve changed the definition from starpoints to points, so it will be the equivalent of 3 new scheme points for every £1 instead of 1 starpoint for every £1

  • Simon says:

    OT – Cancelled my Amex Plat card and there was a tiny residual amount of MR points left in there. It said they would be forfeited in 30 days…..Will this affect the 6 month wait before i can re-apply ??

    • Mark2 says:

      You can transfer small amounts to Nectar FWIW, but anecdotally it does not seem to matter.
      You should have received a letter with the cancellation date on it.

    • Peter K says:

      No, it does not affect the 6 month rule. Likewise a credit balance does not as well (eg if the card fee is refunded pro-rata).

  • Liz says:

    OT what is the cheapest digital download for IHG pts for the Accelerate target. I tried the one that was zero pts a few weeks ago and that didn’t work – what is the next cheapest option?

    • Liz says:

      Found a recipe one for 200 pts and 1000 pts instantly credited!

  • rams1981 says:

    OT Hilton Be My Guest Certificates. Mine were due to expire in July and I couldn’t use them but their customer relations team have agreed to extend by a year – superb service from Hilton.

  • hamiltus says:

    Awesome ! Finally an Avios earning card other than AMEX ???? Now I can finally start earning points at places that still don’t accept American Express. And thanks to combine my Avios that means a whole lot more BA Avios in my piggy bank ????

    France is one of the worst when it comes to Rewards card offerings. Until Vueling came along you only had two choices : regular AMEX or Air France Flying Blue AMEX

    • Bob says:


      Please let us know how goes your acceptation process for the card, the limit and how you can use it easily every day.

      That will be interesting to learn from your experience.

      • hamiltus says:

        I will report back once I’ve got it ! So far not so good with the application form crashing every time I send in my details. But finally found a phone number that’ll hopefully get my issues resolved.

  • Bob says:

    Crédit agricole is issuing the Carte Visa Vueling.

    Or more accurately CA Consumer Finance is doing it (in english inside ^^, more modern I guess than the crédit à la consommation, at least they show the Sofinco brand which is still more know for French people).

    It is a card mandatorily attached to a revolving credit.
    You probably cannot refuse that revolving credit.

    This market is dominated by let say three banks only in France despite all the marketing/brands around it.

    They all work the same way.

    You get a revoling credit and card attached to it, here the vueling card.

    You can only pay by direct debit.
    You cannot refuse direct debit.

    But of course because this is a revolving credit, you will be debited only the minimum and the remaining amount will trigger the interests to be pay monthly on top of your use.

    I am not sure if you can change that minimum amount to be debited before it is to be debited.
    You may be able to connect on your internet revolving account to do so but I do not know if it is really possible.
    You can send an additionnal cheque for the remaining amount but this is a manual process.

    Transfers/credit card are not an habit for paying the remaining amount in France and never advertised, unless you are declared bankrupted.


    On the Crédit agricole (CA Consumer Finance) side:
    – they may give you a limit of maybe 1000 euros on te card at the beginning… a bit short for a First class ticket on BA, but works enough for a vueling trip to BCN…
    – they expect you not to pay your full balance every month, and do not help you to do so, (zero transfer balances between cards do not exist in France) and charge you interests where they can generate some revenue from you for them
    – they probably do not target high level spenders and people generating high revenue, I guess, because they want you to use the revolving facility
    – they will propose you a bit later a regular credit/loan not associated with a card, to buy a car or renovate your house/appartment but not to buy a house/appartment : another source of revenue from you

    I see here where Crédit agricole can make it work for them but the target customer may not be a HFP type of consummer :
    – low limit on the credit card
    – intensive use of the revolving facility
    – expectation you will use them to have an additional loan to buy a car.

    On the IAG/vueling side:
    – for sure people have the vueling card in te wallet and may impress people ?
    – non frequent travellers may more use vueling instead of easyjet to go to BCN ? Or even use LEVEL to go to Martinique or Guadeloupe ?
    ( Air France has also that with BNP to get a credit (without a card) to pay your every 5 years trip to your born oversea city for non rich people, and Corsair and Air Caraibes have a similar credit solution)
    – this may increase the brand knowledge in France ?

    BA had in 1998 a visa premier card with Cofinoga (owned by BNP now, which may be the Creation company now in the UK) also attached to a revolving credit.
    But I am not sure it has worked well because they were no marketing campaigns at that time.
    And I guess this card does not exist anymore.

    On the consumer side:
    – you get more avios
    – but maybe limited on the limit of the credit card, so the limit of what you can buy
    – and may have to pay interests on top of your expenses
    – but get your avios being alive…

    At the same time, I know someone being refused to have the Galeries lafayette card, not a carte bancaire, just because he was rich enough that Cofinoga/BNP behind it estimated he will never use the revolving facility.

    And revolving credit have bad reputation in France with the consummer associations and the people in general.

    But well it might work…

    • Nick says:

      Any way you could put that in English we might understand rather than siphoning it off google translate? I appreciate English isn’t your first language but it really doesn’t make a lot of sense here.
      What – for example – is ‘revolving credit’?

      • Rob says:

        ‘Revolving credit’ is an overdraft.

        • RussellH says:

          Not really an overdraft, I would have thought. It is (or was, when I lived there) common American usage, applied to store cards and the like rather than Visa/M/Card.

          The idea is that you should always be in debt to the card firm, and there always paying interest. Paying off the full balance, as we do here with our cards, was difficult, or maybe impossible, without closing the account.

        • Bob says:

          Thanks RussellH

          I would not have been able to explain clearer than you.

          This is exactly what you write.
          That’s the point.

      • Bob says:

        Er it is called revolving in France or “crédit renouvelable”…

        I understand overdraft is more for current accounts thna for loans but Rob may be right: that maight be the name in the UK.

        Basically if you have a credit limit of 1000, you buy something for 400, your credit limit is then 600 minus the interest.
        You pay 10 by direct debit so now your limit is 610 and you can only buy for this amount now.

        How does it work in the UK?

        Crédit renouvelable ,in an automatic way, is that.
        It is a loan first before being a credit card.

        You have a free to use loan withou futher question inside your limit.
        You pay nothing if you do not use your limit at all, apart from the fee of the visa card every year.
        If you use your loan, you pay interests except maybe the first month (I may be wrong even for the first month).

        Well this is why Rob says overdraft probably.

      • Bob says:

        And by the way I do not use google, I think directly in english with my english knowledge inside my brain…

        Is this called artificial intelligence?


      • Bob says:

        In France you apply for a loan not a credit card, with the exception of Amex.

        Either you open a bank current account.
        And you may have some means of payment such as a cheque book or a card.

        Either you “ask” for a loan and you may have a card attached to it, but not always.
        That’s the case here for the vueling card.

        It is mandatory to put this sentence:
        Un crédit vous engage et doit être remboursé. Vérifiez vos capacités de remboursement avant de vous engager.
        And vueling has put it on ist web site.
        (You commit to a loan, you need to pay back this loan. So check you are able to pay).

        And on the crédit agricole site, where you are going to create your commitment, you read:
        Offre de crédit renouvelable réservée aux particuliers, sous réserve d’acceptation par SOFINCO, marque de CA Consumer Finance
        It is a loan service.

        Your deal is with Crédit agricole, not a new-tech payment company.

        I hope this helps a little bit more.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          We have similar here in Australia, although standard credit cards are the norm. Generally, when you apply for store finance (via Apple, Fantastic Furniture, or whatever), you open an account to finance the goods at whatever rate. Alongside that, you get a credit limit and a card (a debit card bizarrely, with some) which allows you to keep re-borrowing the amount you repay. They hope you’ll continue to do so, and they can charge you a fortune in interest.

          The plus side with them here is that the payment platforms tend to accept PayPal, which means you can pay them off using Amex cards. They make no attempt to make it easy for you to repay what you borrow, but it’s possible to use them to your advantage. That’s maybe not the case in France though.

          As an aside, my understanding of ‘revolving credit’ is any credit you can borrow and repay over and over again, a credit card being a form of revolving credit, for example.

  • Chris L says:

    OT, anyone been affected by this? British Airways cancels ‘incorrectly’ cheap tickets

    • Steve says:

      Seem to recall Rob recently commenting on ‘Fare Errors’ and the fact/prospect that BA and others would honour the tickets where the differential wasn’t so large as to be ‘manifest’ (as seems to be the case here as the story infers). BA however clearly didn’t feel the need to do that on this occasion!

      • Rob says:

        They are saying that it IS a massive differential because of the usual cost of a REFUNDABLE ticket. Technically they are correct.

        • David says:

          Pretty sure my ticket says it’s non-refundable though (despite being in B class)

    • Lev441 says:

      Yep – was supposedly flying next week – flight now doubled in price even after taking into account the evoucher

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