In this article I want to help you understand the difference between British Airways Executive Club and avios.com.
British Airways Executive Club, like many frequent flyer programs, operates in two different ways.
Avios is the reward currency, letting you earn points on your flights with British Airways and purchases with its partners. You can use your Avios for reward flight redemptions or upgrades, or with British Airways’ spending partners which include car rental, insurance, tours and experiences and wine purchases.
Tier points are used for the elite status development program that British Airways offers. They cannot be spent and are only earned on flights with BA and its partners. These tier points determine your status level, from Blue, Bronze and Silver to Gold. Each tier has its own level of benefits, including free lounge access, additional baggage and bonus Avios earning rates.
Are my British Airways tier points and Avios connected?
Your tier points and Avios are not connected. You may hold a very high Avios balance but no tier points, since you might be earning your Avios from spending unrelated to flights, such as via an Avios credit card.
You could also have a lot of tier points but few Avios, if you had recently made a redemption.
British Airways shares Avios as a reward currency with its sister airlines. Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL are all part of the International Airlines Group, IAG.
Despite sharing Avios, they all operate different frequent flyer programs. Iberia, for example, has a frequent flyer program called Iberia Plus which operates a different elite status program from Executive Club.
What is the avios.com website for?
If you are a British Airways Executive Club member, you will not use the avios.com site on a regular basis. You cannot even use it to see your Avios points balance.
You can view your Avios balance and elite status on the British Airways website by logging into your account. Once logged in you can also choose ways to spend your Avios balance, including on redemption flights. The same is true for Iberia Plus members on the Iberia website.
avios.com is only for members of Aer Lingus AerClub and Vueling Club
If you are an Aer Lingus AerClub, or Vueling Club member, you must use avios.com to spend your Avios. You will still see your balance on each individual airline’s websites but you will not be able to find reward flights. avios.com is now ‘the place where Aer Lingus and Vueling frequent flyers go to book reward flights’.
Three reasons why a BA flyer may use avios.com
You may find yourself needing to move Avios between British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus. Possible reasons include:
- earning some Avios in Iberia Plus via an Iberia-only partner, and wanting to move them to BA
- wanted to spend Avios with an Iberia Plus partner which is not available via BA Executive Club
- wanting to book an Iberia flight with Avios since, whilst they can be booked by BA Executive Club, the taxes and charges are FAR lower if you book via Iberia Plus
In theory, you can use the ‘Combine My Avios’ function to move Avios between British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus. This is often not possible in reality, either because you are part of a BA household account or simply because the IT has failed. In these cases, you can use avios.com as an intermediary site. This article shows you how to move Avios between the different loyalty schemes which offer it.
So the difference between British Airways Executive Club and avios.com is …..
British Airways Executive Club is the place where members of the British Airways frequent flyer scheme go to see how many Avios and tier points they earn, and to spend their Avios under the terms of the BAEC rules.
avios.com is where Aer Lingus AerClub and Vueling Club frequent flyers go to see how many Avios they have earned, and to spend their Avios under the terms of the avios.com rules.
‘Combine My Avios’ lets you move your points back and forth, instantly and for free, between the two platforms.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.3 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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 good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available 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.