Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to earn and spend Avios points on Vueling flights

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IAG’s Spanish low cost carrier Vueling (pronounced bwelin) has been part of Avios for four years now, although not everyone is aware of it.  It is worth knowing about because of Vueling’s regional presence at UK airports.

The options for earning and spending Avios are very confusing even by HfP standards, so heaven knows how members of the public are meant to cope.

To put it simply:

You earn Avios on Vueling flights based on your ticket price – unless you buy it at iberia.com as a codeshare, in which case you earn based on the distance flown

You can redeem Avios on Vueling purely on a ‘money off’ basis – unless you redeem via Iberia Plus, in which case you pay a fixed amount plus taxes based on the trip distance. 

This article does NOT cover the few Vueling flights which are sold on ba.com which are codeshares and come with a British Airways flight number.  These flights credit to your British Airways Executive Club account in the usual way.  Note that you will usually pay more to book Vueling via ba.com than via its own website.

What is Vueling?

Vueling is a low cost airline, based in Barcelona, owned by BA’s parent company IAG.  It is run separately to Iberia.

Whilst Vueling doesn’t have the greatest reputation for punctuality or comfort, it was serving over 100 cities pre coronavirus.  The main base is in Barcelona with a secondary hub in Rome.

Vueling operates from five airports in the UK.  All of these routes are currently showing as active on vueling.com although this does not necessarily mean they will operate in Summer 2021:

Edinburgh to Barcelona

Manchester to Barcelona

Birmingham to Barcelona

Cardiff to Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga

London Gatwick to Paris, Rome, Pisa, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Asturias, Florence, Valencia

About Vueling Club

Four years ago, Vueling moved its existing reward scheme, Punto, into Avios.  Punto was renamed Vueling Club.

Vueling Club has revenue based earning and revenue based spending. 

In an interesting departure from the BA model, you are able to use ‘part pay with Avios’ to cover the entire cost of a flight including taxes.

Full details of Vueling Club can be found on the Vueling website here.

EARNING AVIOS ON VUELING:

Does this mean I can earn Avios when flying Vueling?

Yes.

You can earn Avios on ANY Vueling ticket booked via their website.

With the closure of the Avios Travel Rewards Programme, you will need to either:

use an existing Aer Lingus AerClub number or

open a new Vueling Club account

Both of these options will give you an account number starting with 3081 which can be used to log in at the avios.com website, from where you can transfer your Avios from Vueling Club to British Airways Executive Club.

You can also enter an Iberia Plus number on the Vueling website.

You cannot use a British Airways Executive Club number.

How many Avios will I earn from Vueling?

It is a revenue based system.  The more you spend, the more you earn:

Basic fares earn 3 Avios per €1 spent

Optima, Family and Timeflex Fares earn 4 Avios per €1 spent

Premium members – who take 40 Vueling one-way flights each year – will earn double Avios.  Ancilliary spend is included.

This page of the Vueling website explains the earning rates in more detail.

It gets more complicated though ….

If you book a Vueling flight via iberia.com (note that the cheapest fares are not available on iberia.com, so there don’t do this if your main concern is the lowest price) you earn Avios in a different way.

Take a look at the Vueling partner page on the Iberia website:

If you book a Vueling flight via iberia.com, it will have an Iberia (IB) flight number.  This means that you earn Avios based on the distance flown:

  • Business – 2.5 Avios per mile flown (min 1250)
  • Discounted Business – 1.5 Avios per mile flown (min 750)
  • Economy Flexible – 1 Avios per mile flown (min 500)
  • Economy Classic – 0.5 Avios per mile flown (min 250)
  • Economy Basic – 0.25 Avios per mile flown (min 125)

Similarly, if you book a Vueling (VY) flight on the Vueling site which is operated by Iberia, you also earn Avios based on distance flown:

  • Business – 2.5 Avios per mile flown (min 1250)
  • Discounted Business – 1.5 Avios per mile flown (min 750)
  • Flexible Economy – 1 Avios per mile flown (min 500)
  • Classic Economy – 0.5 Avios per mile flown (min 250)
  • Basic Economy – 0.25 Avios per mile flown (min 125)

SPENDING AVIOS ON VUELING

Can I spend Avios on Vueling?

Yes.

Have they made it insanely complicated by creating two separate pricing models?

Yes.

You can either book Vueling redemptions on the Vueling booking site or via Iberia Plus.

Note – and this is important – you cannot book Vueling redemption flights via ba.com or avios.com.

Pros and cons of booking Avios flights on Vueling via vueling.com

Redemptions on vueling.com are ONLY available via the ‘part pay with Avios’ method.  You can use Avios to pay as much or as little of the flight cost as you want.  Unlike redeeming Avios for BA flights at ba.com, you get a flat value per Avios and there is no limit to how many you can use..

You need to log in using your avios.com account details on vueling.com.  If your Avios currently sit in a British Airways account, you will need to move them into avios.com – giving your Vueling Club account number – using ‘Combine My Avios’ (click here).

Select the flights you want.  You can book ANY flight.  There are no availability restrictions.

On the payment page you will be offered the chance to pay with Avios.

The rate is very poor, unfortunately.  You will be offered 0.52p per Avios.  Personally, I think you need your head examining if you accept such a weak redemption rate for your points.  I would want to get double that when redeeming.

Pros and cons of bookings Avios flights on Vueling via Iberia Plus

You can also redeem Avios via Iberia Plus for Vueling at fixed Avios prices.  This involves:

  • opening an Iberia Plus account at iberia.com
  • having it open for at least 90 days
  • earning at least 1 Avios in the account from a BA or oneworld flight, from crediting a hotel stay, from another partner or from moving across some American Express Membership Rewards points and then
  • using ‘Combine My Avios’ to move your points to Iberia Plus

The problem is that Avios redemptions on Vueling are usually not competitive due to the taxes.   Avios redemptions do get a free checked suitcase, however, which may swing it.

Here is a pricing example

I looked at a typical Vueling flight from London Gatwick to Rome for a long weekend in September.

Via iberia.com / Iberia Plus, it priced up at 16,500 Avios + £80.43 in taxes

Via vueling.com / Vueling Club, a cash ticket was £105 for Basic (no luggage) or £158 for Optima (suitcase included, as you would get with an Avios redemption via Iberia Plus).  The £158 Optima flight could be reduced to £0 by using 30,500 Avios, which means you get 0.52p per point.

Given these options, I would pay cash and ignore both of the Avios options. What’s the point, when I could get 0.8p per Avios by converting them to Nectar points and using them to pay for my weekly shopping?

If we assume a value of 0.8p per Avios, booking with Avios on Iberia Plus ‘costs’ us £212 including taxes.

We already know that the Vueling website will only offer us 0.52p per Avios to pay for our ticket with points.

Paying cash and saving the Avios for another day – or for a Sainsbury’s trip – is a better deal here, unless you specifically need the flexibility to cancel that comes with an Avios ticket.

Only if the cash price went above £212 would a redemption via Iberia Plus become a better deal.

In summary, with Vueling …..

You can earn Avios on any Vueling ticket, irrespective of cost, as long as you credit to a Vueling Club account or an existing Aer Lingus AerClub account starting 3081.  However, on more expensive ticket types you may earn more Avios by booking at Iberia Plus where you will earn based on distance flown.

You can redeem Avios for a discount – of up to 100% – on any Vueling flight in any class via ‘part pay with Avios’ when you book at vueling.com.  You need to log in using your Vueling Club / Aer Lingus AerClub details and, if necessary, use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move your points from BA to avios.com.

You can also redeem for Vueling flights via Iberia Plus.  These rewards are priced using the standard distance model.

You cannot redeem via the avios.com platform and you cannot redeem via ba.com.

You can find out more about Vueling Club on this page of the Vueling website.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

Do you have a small business? Until 20th May 2021, you can receive a special sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. This offer is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to learn more.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (20)

  • Catalan says:

    Most people who complain about Vueling are those that book with ‘tap water money’ and expect ‘champagne service’.
    Adjust your expectations. Simple.

  • bafan says:

    I don’t like them but they’ve flown a couple of routes I needed and I survived the experience (FLR-LGW and VLC-BRU if I remember correctly). I paid to check my hand luggage because I don’t have the energy to use travel size tubes of anything, but they had a cheaper “check the luggage in for €6” service I would have used if I’d known.

  • Lashious says:

    Worst airline bar interjet. Was hours late, lost luggage, no compensation and no customer service. No thank you. I’d rather go easyjet or Ryanair. I don’t expect champagne service, just a working service

  • BobT says:

    I think booking Vueling via the BA website is the best deal going. You get all BA service such as cancellations on tap, as well as lounge access (if gold). So what if it costs a tenner more. And sometimes the BA flights are too expensive for one leg hence the benefit of having the Vueling schedule to choose from as well.

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