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Aegean changes its rules to stop you getting your 1,000 free Avios

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A few weeks ago we wrote about an interesting offer from Greek airline Aegean and its Miles+Bonus frequent flyer programme.

Aegean was offering 5,000 of its own miles for free just for signing up. The miles posted immediately.

The reason this was interesting to us is that you can convert Aegean Miles+Bonus miles into Accor Live Limitless points at 4:1. You can convert Accor Live Limitless points into Iberia Plus Avios at 1:1. This meant that you could turn the 5,000 free sign-up miles into 1,000 Avios.

It was a relatively harmless bit of fun from the Avios perspective. However, Aegean had a bigger problem. Miles+Bonus allows miles to be transferred between members for a nominal fee.

It appears that some people (not HfP readers, as the rules had already changed) had been opening tens if not hundreds of Aegean accounts and paying the small sum needed to move the miles. They were ending up with huge mileage balances which could be redeemed across all 26 Star Alliance airlines.

Aegean has pulled the plug – and you are impacted

By the time I wrote about the offer, Aegean had changed the rules. You received 1,000 miles immediately and the remaining 4,000 miles on 15th December (ie today).

This bought them some time to think.

Today, the extra 4,000 miles posted to your account. If you take a look, you will see that you now have 5,000 Aegean Miles+Bonus miles.

But take a look at this …..

The following message has appeared on the Aegean website:

It says:

“Update on the terms of the program

We would like to inform you that as of 15.12.2020 the terms of the program will be updated. More specifically, Miles+Bonus members that haven’t registered at least 1 flight with AEGEAN, Olympic Air or Star Alliance in their Miles+Bonus account, and are not AEGEAN Bonus Visa or AEGEAN Visa Cyprus cardholders, they will not be able to redeem Miles on non-air partners, but also they will not be able to transfer miles to other members.”

What does this mean?

It means that you won’t be able to get your 1,000 Avios via Accor Live Limitless until you have credited a Star Alliance flight to your Aegean account.

To be fair, this is not a massively stretching goal. Most of us will have the occasional flight on Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, United, ANA, TAP etc and the miles often get wasted.

If you credit your next one to your Aegean account, it will unlock your Avios or 1,000 Accor Live Limitless points.

Some you win …..

…… and some you lose. You still have enough Aegean Miles+Bonus miles for a free one-way domestic redemption inside Greece, if nothing else.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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 sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (50)

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

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Would this be legal ? As i agree it is you win some lose some ?
    But i signed up for the offer on those terms in their program
    Anyhow (luckily for me my cousin is solicitor and married to a solicitor) One of them will look into it and make a nuisance to Aegean’s legal team. (no cost to me, might cost Aegan couple grand or Euros or more) lol
    I will post how i get on

    • Lyn says:

      I would think this would be legal. Aegean, like many other airlines, probably has a clause in their Ts&Cs which gives them to right to change aspects of their frequent flyer programme at their own discretion and without prior notice. And of course it would probably be subject to Greek law.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Lyn Not always true BA couple of years ago altered their meals from (i think Nov/Dec) but i’d booked previous to their date any how we didn’t get the hot meal we had been expected. and we was separated as well even though (disabled and insisted on sitting together 3 of us)
        My solicitor took action got compo plus solicitor costs large amount subject non-disclosure, solicitor got over 2k

        • David says:

          And you think that is comparable?

          (I remember the meals issue you mention. Utterly different.)

        • Josh says:

          I really can’t believe you tried to sue BA because they changed the hot meal?!

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Josh i bet we (3) are the only one’s who got a free holiday out of a missed meal lol
            Well to be honest although the meal was part of the issue the main issue was a disabled passenger (s) was denied sitting next to the other 2, because it was only declared at boarding.
            Yes should have informed them earlier, but thought i had
            They have to move other passengers but didn’t.
            I always inform them now and free seat selection for 3 of us

          • Coucou says:

            New low.

            Where’s the guy that emailed the CEO and CFO for a cancelled reward flight to keep him company?

          • xcalx says:

            Sobered up yet Chris

    • David says:

      I hope you are joking.

      • BJ says:

        No, Lyn is correct, with devaluation this is the main reason you should earn and burn, not hoard. No loss for me, always planned on keeping mine to make a Greece trip more interesting.

    • Mario says:

      Not sure you’ll get far. In any case it sounds beyond petty. They are clearly a not mature enough business who tried to come up with a clever idea that back-fired as they didn’t think it through. Should they be punished with extra legal cost from people like you for it? 1000 avios is something like £10-£15, I’m almost tempted to give you the money myself…

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Mario, lol I don’t need to get far, when a solicitors letter goes in they have to reply to it, then the toing and throwing begins.
        mostly they reach an agreement to avoid publicity or increased costs
        They could have a stone walled case of course, that’s a wait and see lol
        i don’t need your £10/£15 honest

        • Andrew says:

          Why would they ‘have to reply’? They know there’s zero chance of a Brit taking legal action against them in Greece over €20 of Accor vouchers. I imagine your letter will promptly be filed in the bin.

        • Number9 says:

          No one HAS to reply to a solicitors letter, that’s complete nonsense.

    • Lady London says:

      Not gonna fly, @Chris H.

      The very specificity of the new conditions, and the fact that they are changes to the programme not the promotion, says this has already visited their lawyers before being published.

      I thought A3 dealt with the problem rather well

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Lady London Well its a wait n see lol, no cost to me either way

        • Jake says:

          The depths some people will sink to…..

        • BLG says:

          Your cousin fighting your petty battles. Grow up

        • Mingus says:

          Your cousin and their other half must be pretty bad lawyers if they have enough time to draft letters for every nonsense grudge you involve them in. Don’t they have actual clients? Do you care about wasting their time? Are they indulging you? At what point are they going to accidentally forget to tell you that they’ve changed address, email, and telephone numbers?

          • Number9 says:

            Vexatious litigant I believe is the polite term, in the end we all end up paying for this kind of nonsense as companies just add the cost to their product. So Chris you might be chuffed you blagged a free holiday but the rest of us are the ones down the line who will pay for it.

    • James says:

      Oh dear, Chris.

    • TFDB says:

      It may be legal, but it’s definitely bad business practice and in bad faith. If you’re bothered that you now have an account with your personal information with them, go the GDPR road and request erasure of your personal data.

    • Number9 says:

      Normally I’d champion people fighting for disabled rights, but you seem to revel in it. Anyone with a disability knows you have to inform airline at time of booking. Your inactions affected other people it’s no wonder people groan when they see wheelchairs coming. It’s always been policy with BA you get free seating for all on same booking ref if you are disabled. You “ won” what has been law for years.

      • Jonathan says:

        Chris has mentioned previously that the disability involved is minor & doesn’t actually require seating with his companion to mitigate. I’d be thoroughly pi££ed off if he marched up and tried to boot me out of my carefully chosen seat.

        I do take 99% of his posts with a shovel of salt though as they’re clearly bluster & bravado.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Jonathan lol i like it i wouldn’t think of “Marching” up to you its up to BA staff to inform passengers not me.
          99% of the time i book seats for the 3 of us as is our right, but in that instance the BA cs hadn’t reserved the 3 seats i’d asked for that’s why i thought they was booked (never checked, ok should have)
          My (or ANY disability minor or otherwise) allows seating together by right (like it or not) whether you or anyone else thinks it’s minor is irreverent it’s what i’m allowed to claim due to dwp letter

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Number9 lol you haven’t a clue “you don’t have to inform airline at time of booking” it’s good form to inform the airline but you can inform them at “any” time before boarding airline.
        Also yes if there are disabled passengers on a booking it’s their right to be seated with companion (s) But in this instance BA asked 4 passengers to move, but the passengers refused and BA didn’t insist or remove them
        That’s why winning was a no brainer

        • Number9 says:

          I’m a wheelchair user you idiot I’ve got more idea than you have. You’re a fking disgrace!

  • Steve says:

    Talk about bait-and-switch. This certainly doesn’t endear me to Aegean…

    • David says:

      Oh come on, this is not bait and switch, the cost is zero. (If you had sent a flight their way, it would unlock the restriction). Its only stopping outright abuse.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    somethings are better just left unsaid that being told to joe public 😉

    • Baji Nahid says:

      some things*

    • BLG says:

      Yeah you should know after what you posted yesterday re the free teachers flights. A couple of low life bottom feeders rise to the surface in two days.

      • Baji Nahid says:

        you sound quite jealous sweetie,

        very hypocritical of you going off at me even though I LEGITIMATELY got the teacher flights. Hypocritical that everyone breaches the rules on this site with MS and all.

  • jil says:

    Just tried, “You are not eligible to proceed with this redemption. Please check Miles+Bonus terms and conditions for more information.”

  • Josh says:

    There is one blogger who has past form in abusing mileage programs. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’d spend hours opening accounts and try to pool accounts together.

  • 123fly says:

    I created 8 accounts for 8 family members.
    Points have arrived to 3 accounts but nothing received on the other 5.
    Has everyone received the points?

    • James says:

      And no doubt you are a prime example of why the scheme rules were changed 🤦

      • 123fly says:

        They are all genuine accounts, I could provide IDs if required.
        I agree that creating fake accounts is abusing the promotion

  • JohnT says:

    Had a feeling that something wouldn’t work with the added wait period. Do these companies not remember Hoover flights?… Fortunately Accor clubopinions saved my existing balance from expiring.

  • Paasan69 says:

    I opened my account with Aegean on Nov 21st as I booked a flight with them for the beginning of Dec. 1k + 4k Award Miles + 1k Tier Miles posted to my account when I opened it. On the same day as my flight, the Award + Tier Miles posted for this. Pretty impressive.

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

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