Very few people lose their Avios via expiry. The rules are very lenient – you only need to earn or spend one Avios every 36 months, from any source, to keep your balance alive.
People may use the odd small balance but, by definition, any even half-serious collector will have activity.
However, Virgin Flying Club recently changed its policy. To coincide with the launch of the Virgin Group-wide Virgin Red scheme, the expiry rules were removed entirely. Your Virgin Points are now safe for life.
Is Avios about to announce the end of expiry?
I imagine that most of you will have been tucked up in bed on Friday night with the 91 tightly-written pages of IAG’s 2020 financial results (PDF).
For those of you who didn’t make it all the way to the end, there is an interesting note at the top of page 56. This is where you have the details about the accounting treatment of outstanding Avios.
“Deferred revenue relating to customer loyalty programmes consists primarily of revenue allocated to performance obligations associated with Avios. Avios are issued by the Group’s airlines through their loyalty rogrammes, or are sold to third parties such as credit card providers, who issue them as part of their loyalty programme. Avios do not have an expiry date and can be redeemed at any time in the future. Revenue may therefore be recognised at any time in the future.“
You need to remember that this is in the formal, albeit unaudited, financial statements. Every word has been gone over carefully. It would be surprising if it had slipped through by accident.
Let’s see if there is an announcement in the next few weeks.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.