Let’s be clear ….. avios.com is NOT closing. Your questions answered.

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A disproportionate percentage of my inbox in the last 6-8 weeks has been on the topic of the closure of the avios.com website.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the correspondence from British Airways and Avios on this subject, there is substantial confusion over what is going on.  I thought it was worth taking a bit more time today to clarify certain issues.

BELIEF:  The avios.com website is closing down

TRUTH:  The avios.com website is not closing down, and will actually become far more important than it is at the moment

The thing that is being closed down is the Avios Travel Rewards Programme.  This was set up to be the ‘Avios scheme for people who don’t fly’ and there was a hope that it would compete with Clubcard or Nectar.  It has failed to do this – not helped by the fact that BA doesn’t fly from the regions – and is closing.

Your 3081xxxxxxxx account will be closed very shortly, if it has not already closed, and the balance moved to a British Airways Executive Club account.

Going forward, avios.com is where members of Vueling Club, Flybe, Aer Lingus AerClub and other Avios-earning schemes – except for British Airways and Iberia – will go to manage their accounts and book redemptions.

questions about avios.com closure

BELIEF:  I have no way of accessing avios.com once my Avios Travel Rewards Programme account is closed

TRUTH:  Not true.  You can continue to log in at avios.com – and book flights and make other redemptions – using an Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club account

AerClub and Vueling Club accounts use the same 3081xxxxxxxxxx numbering system as Avios Travel Rewards Programme accounts and you can log-in at avios.com using AerClub or Vueling Club details.  Set up a free account at aerlingus.com or vueling.com and test it out.

BELIEF:  I can’t transfer Avios to AerClub or Vueling Club (or vice versa) because they don’t appear on the ‘Combine My Avios’ dropdown menu

TRUTH:  This is not the case

When you use ‘Combine My Avios’, the menu option for avios.com actually refers to ANY Avios account which starts 3081.  As well as Avios Travel Rewards Programme, this includes AerClub, Vueling Club and indeed Avios South Africa.

To move Avios into AerClub, for example, simply use ‘Combine My Avios’, select avios.com as destination and give your AerClub number.

If you want to move between two schemes which use the Avios platform, ie from AerClub to Vueling Club, you will need to move them via BA or Iberia as an intermediary – you cannot move Avios directly between two different schemes on the Avios platform.

Flybe Avios collection

BELIEF:  I can no longer earn Avios from Flybe because my Avios Travel Rewards Programme account has been closed and migrated to BA

TRUTH:  This is not the case

You can give Flybe ANY Avios account which starts with 3081.  If you are flying with Flybe, open an AerClub or Vueling Club account, credit the Avios to that and then use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them using the route above.

Flybe will launching its own Avios scheme in the near future which will work in the same way as AerClub and Vueling Club.

Avios closure Vueling Club

BELIEF:  I can no longer use avios.com to move Avios between Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club, which is often the only functioning route, because my Avios Travel Rewards Programme account has been closed

TRUTH:  This is not the case

Simply open an AerClub or Vueling Club account, which operates off avios.com as I described above, and use that as a ‘middle man’ when you use ‘Combine My Avios’

avios.com closure questions answers

BELIEF:  Avios sent to my old avios.com account will be lost now my account is closed

TRUTH:  This is not the case

Once you Avios Travel Rewards Programme account is closed, any Avios sent to it will be automatically sent to your BA Executive Club account.

Hopefully this clarifies most of the questions you may still have about the closure of the Avios Travel Rewards Programme.  Ask in the comments below if you have any other queries.

(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.)

Bits: Amex MR now 2:3 to Marriott, more Hilton McLaren factory tours, Iberia adds Buenos Aires and Mexico City
How to get cheaper Avios redemptions to the Middle East by exploiting the 3000 mile rule
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Comments

  1. OT – Marriott – so i have been matched to Plat Elite despite my SPG being via AMEX PLat…

    • Peter K says:

      Several yesterday found the same thing, myself included. Someone said they asked and were told this will continue until next year… but can we really trust their call centres for info. It’s a wait and see situation I think!

      • guesswho2000 says:

        It would certainly tie up with what was originally reported (that us who got Marriott Gold via SPG Gold via Amex Platinum would be Platinum Aug-Dec 2018).

        • fivebobbill says:

          Not so, been inconsistent, my missus got status via that route and has remained Gold in Marriott

        • Everyone I know have been upgraded to Platinum except one who never stayed at Marriott.

          • Without wishing to state the obvious, don’t go off booking hotels for the Platinum benefits until we are 100% sure this will stick.

        • I did status match via Amex Plat and didn’t get Marriott Plat, so don’t think everyone got it…

        • Same here both of US are Gold only via SPG gold obtained from Amex Platinum.

      • Agreed all still a bit of a mess – I still can’t access my SPG account using either email or membership number.

    • fivebobbill says:

      Just to update on a post I made yesterday, My Amex account info has been updated and is now showing 2 MR points = 3 Starpoints as of today, although all activity has been suspended until tomorrow (21st Aug).

  2. They are crooks I would not trust them with a barge pole. I almost exclusively use c/b sites instead of airline portals, since once you withdraw your c/b they don’t erroneously claw it back leaving you with a negative balance…

    • Yes I wouldn’t put it passed them to nab the points I’m now earning from the Virgin Credit Card!

  3. Rob/Raffles,

    You don’t seem to have covered “Can and how I do use a Lloyds credit card earned avios.com one class flight upgrade voucher” after BA Executive Club and avios.com sever their connection?”

    Logically one might have thought that such a voucher would move on to one’s parallel (or newly opened in a few less common cases) BA Executive Club account and be able to be used there to upgrade a BA Executive Club avios redemption booking by one class. But not so as BA’s view seems to be that because the class upgrade voucher is also being completely withdrawn by Lloyds (as the Lloyds Amex card disappears for any :Legacy Duo or Rewards card account holder, even though a poorer lower Avios rate collecting Mastercard card will remain) then there is no point in them spending money on updating their own IT infrastructure (even though most of that is now being done very cheaply in India) to accommodate this.

    Instead to use a Lloyds Avios flight upgrade voucher the route to do so will remain a telephone call to the avios.com sales centre, which will remain open (I have been told) for Lloyds Avios card class upgrade vouchers until such time as the validity of all such vouchers has expired.

    Although the Avios site will remain open as a collection hub for some other Avios schemes the fact is that the bulk of the jobs with Avios.com actually related to its BA Executive Club and link and therefore the vast bulk of those jobs will go at the end of this month. For instance the guy I spoke to on the avios.com customer service line two weeks ago assured me that his job was going at the end of August and only some of his colleagues on the sales side were remaining in post to facilitate the continued flight class upgrade voucher redemptions.

    I also can’t see how it makes sense for Vueling Club to remain linked with the scheme in the long run given that the airline is now again wholly owned again by IAG. But probably at some point Iberia Express and Vueling will be amalgamated (or may be Vueling will just hook up with the Iberia Plus Rewards program instead of avios.com) unless by their continued separate existence this makes it harder for the EU competition authorities to act against them?

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Who said BAEC and Avios.com would be severing their connection? My understanding is that you’ll still be able to transfer between them, as well as Iberia.

      What I’m not clear on is where the upgrade vouchers are going to go, will they stay in Avios.com, as I have an Aerclub account, or will they transfer to BAEC? As long as I can still use them I don’t care, but would prefer the former, as I can do that online.

  4. RussellH says:

    Speaking as one of those who has pressed Rob to produce this article: THANKS!

    I have come to the conclusion that much of the confusion could have been avoided if the implementation had been thaought through more clearly.
    I imagine that the idea was to create something similar to miles-and-more.com.
    One of the seriously confusing things has been the creation of AerClub with the same 3081 number as one’s existing avios.com a/c, meaning the Award Wallet, for one counts tthose avios twice, while BAEC and IB+ appear to be totally independent of avios.com.

    IMHO what should have been does was this:-
    1. Ask existing BAEC members if they also had an avios.com a/c.
    2. If ‘yes’, then renumber the BAEC a/c to the avios.com a/c. Ditto, at a later date, for Iberia, Vueling, Flybe and anyone else. Always to the same 3081 number. No more need to ‘Combine my Avios’ or to run different a/cs.
    3. If ‘no’, then replace the exisiting BAEC a/c no with a new 3801 a/c number. Tell the BAEC memebr to create a new online avios.com a/c with this number. Then gradually replace other a/c nos. as above.
    I accept that this would in time automatically end the anomalous exchange rates between third parties and avios, such as accor->IB or e-Rewards->IB, but this is bound to happen sometime, anyway.

  5. RussellH says:

    > The thing that is being closed down is the Avios Travel Rewards Programme. This was set
    > up to be the ‘Avios scheme for people who don’t fly’ and there was a hope that it would
    > compete with Clubcard or Nectar. It has failed to do this – not helped by the fact that BA
    > doesn’t fly from the regions – and is closing.

    When first set up, long before either Clubcard or Nectar incidentally, it did work. I do not think I had heard of frequent flyer schemes when Air Miles launched. The only way that we knew of to get Air Miles in the 1990s was through shopping. I got silly number of miles when buying things like a kettle and a rug at Debenhams. They were paper vouchers, which meant that giving them away to someone else, or combining yours with those of a partner or friend for a trip together was dead easy. The AirMiles price included all taxes, so the flights really were free! The disadvantage back then was that if you had to cancel your trip, you lost the AirMiles – your travel cancellation insurance did not cover that. You could buy a stand alone policy from AirMiles…
    AirMiles soon signed up Access – at the time the only UK MasterCard franchise.
    Then came Clubcard, and AirMiles stopped the paper vouchers and gave out cards. I recall using this card in restaurants too. Sainsbury’s came out with their own loyalty card, and the points could be converted to AirMiles. Sainsbury’s was a mess, though, because you needed a different card for each Sainsbury’s you used (I had three). Then Sainsbury’s brought Nectar to the UK, and that killed Sainsbury’s->AirMiles. Indeed, that may have been the start of the decline of AirMiles, which seemed to try and re-invent itself every 5 years or so.
    At one time it seemed to be just another travel agent, with the USP that you could also pay in AirmIles rather than cash. Around ten years ago I booked LHR-MUC on LH with AirMiles, and managed to screw a few Miles and More miles out of the flight too.
    I wonder if the reason that avios.com ultimately failed as a general loyalty scheme was because they were the first in the UK, with Clubcard and Nectar seeing what worked and what did not.

    • Nectar was also rubbish though, losing all its key partners except Sainsburys who just bought it for peanuts (when you strip out the points liability and cash balance). Clubcard is a shadow of its former self.

    • Mikeact says:

      In what way have Avios.com failed……just because it is the de facto standard for all IAG partners ?
      And Access was set up by the competing banks when Barclays/Barclaycard hit the market first with Visa followed by MasterCard …when we all carried around both Barclay cards. The other UK banks had to do something….hence Access…….the registered name still held by NatWest.

      • RussellH says:

        Rob gives his feelings in the article that the avios.com travel programme has failed to do what it was set up to do, hence it being closed down.
        As I remember it, Barclaycard arrived in the mid-to-late 1960s (1966 according to Wikipedai); the response of the ‘other’ banks was the cheque guarantee card.
        I certainly had a Barclaycard in 1970. Access only arrived in 1972; some will remember the big stushie when thousands of new, unsolicited Access cards were sent out in bulk mailings. At the time I assumed that I got mine because I had just been granted a cheque guarantee card in late Aug or early Sept – I was given the card because for the last four months of 1972 I was having to cash cheques in Edinburgh, while the bank branch was in Stirling. The first ATMs did not appear unti afterl I returned to the UK from the USA in 1976. You got a pack of punched cards which you fed into the ATM – each card was worth £10 and it was cleared like a cheque, and returned with your bank statement..

      • Avios was meant to be adopted by big name High Street retailers as a loyalty currency.

  6. As we have a BA Household account I’ve always had to push/pull avios between BA and Iberia via Avios.com. Am I right that I now need to set up an aerclub or veiling account to do this? I know that this seems to be explicitly covered in the article above but do either vueling or aerclub have issues with BA Household accounts etc. like IB does? Sorry for the dumb query – does that even make sense?

  7. Has Avios said anything earned via Bink will now go to BAEC.

  8. It is strange, isn’t it, that VA online shopping is so poor % wise as compared to BA?

    It has been each time I’ve compared to the extent I almost never do any more – is there a reason for this?

  9. Change of topic but any idea when the new hilton credit card will be launched and when it does launch will the current one cease to exist completely?

    Also, I have spent over £10k this year on my hilton card but it shows my hilton status for next year as Silver- will they update this in the new year or do I have to let them know?

    • I doubt even Hilton knows yet as they are still sending out questionnaires asking for your views on proposed benefits package. It must be 2019 now.

    • RussellH says:

      > when it does launch will the current one cease to exist completely?

      I had both the IHG Barclaycard and the Creation IHG M’Card for a few months. Turned out to be a bad option as when the IHG Barclaycard finally closed there was a bonus sign-up offer from Creation offered to those who had just lost their Barclaycards.

      However, I do not recall a long period between the IHG Barclaycard being closed to new applicants and the card being withdrawn from existing holders, as we are seeing with the Hilton card. Maybe Barclays suffered more than they let on when they lost the IHG contract?

  10. OT – Marriott Breakfast.
    I am platinum in the old scheme and remain platinum in the new (thanks for nothing Marriott), but whereas I used to get breakfast AND a welcome gift, it now looks as though you only get one or the other? So many terms and conditions around breakfast/each chain, I am struggling to understand what is going on to be honest – It also still looks as though you get no breakfast at AC hotels or courtyard – looks as though there is some nasty changes creeping in? I thought they claimed benefits were being standardised in each property?

  11. Talking about avios and hotels (questionable segue coming) can I book hotels with the Iberia promotional avios or will that put me in negative equity as they suggest? Cheers.

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