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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 (January 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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.

  • Vit says:

    Managed to get the 5k award miles quickly and transferred 4k through to my ALL account but yes the new condition stop me from transferring across the 5k from my partner account which could combine with the 1000 leftover across to ALL again. Oh well, you win some you lose some as Rob said! 🙂

  • Rob Collins says:

    For those who are not considering taking legal action (!) but won’t be using their 5,000 miles, remember that you can donate your miles to an NGO and do some good this Christmas. SOS Children’s Villages is the only one of the 3 NGO’s mentioned on the website that I know about and I’m sure they’d appreciate your donation.

    • DavidB says:

      Thank you for that tip. Unable to do the Accor transfer (and would never consider moving ALL points to AVIOS as the BA program is one of the worst vis a vis miles value and additional fees) I’ll donate them. Who knows when I might ever get on a plane again, let alone one in Greece…though I have flown Aegean a few times and quite liked them and their service.

    • Coucou says:

      Great idea, Rob!

    • Graham Coombes says:

      How do you donate to an NGO?

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

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