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.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(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)

  • John says:

    Does anybody here really want to spend hard-earned avios on Vueling?

    Seat pitch, punctuality, or service: They are competitive for being the worst European carrier in all of those areas!

    • ChrisBCN says:

      No, you shouldn’t spend your avíos on Vueling as the return is poor. As for the other things, I don’t think they are any worse than most over the last couple of years.

  • sayling says:

    Good to know how to say their name, though!

    • MD says:

      And there was me pronouncing it “VIEW-ling” all this time. Something of a moot point as there’s zero chance I’ll ever fly with them, they sound pretty terrible.

  • Isherwood says:

    Nothing good to say about this airline. If plane flies then it might work but non- existent customer service and poor onboard experience has placed them in the ‘no fly’ zone. Massive battle to get refunds last year when flights cancelled – both cash and Avios. Point blank rejected (with lies) my Amex chargebacks. Only settled when IAG head office took an interest in my complaint and suddenly the brick wall melted away and the refunds turned up. Dreadful. Never again.

  • RussellH says:

    Booked one-way flights from BHX-BCN last year. When the flight was cancelled Vueling was exemplary in the way they handled the refund.
    IIRC, it was “do you want a voucher now, or phone back in two weeks for a refund?”
    I phoned back in two weeks, waited about 3 mins before an agent answered, requested the refund. A few simple checks, total call time about 8 mins.
    Cash re-credited to my card withing 10 days, exactly as promised.
    BA could, by all accounts, learn a lesson from them.
    {I had been expecting a long fight, based on comments here about Vueling).

  • Matarredonda says:

    Living in Spain have used Vuelling a few times and never had an issue with service, punctuality, seat pitch or anything else. They are a LC airline comparable with easyJet, etc so if you book with that mindset you won’t have a problem.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Likewise, I use them a lot as they are the only airline on some routes I fly. I would compare them similar to easyJet, a step above Ryanair.

    • Anuj says:

      They had a modern looking plane when I used them before covid. No frills but the interior didn’t have the cheap look of Ryanair

  • r* says:

    Ive never been able to create an acct on vueling as it’s always given an error message

    • PeterK says:

      I’m the same, when I launch the veiling app it recognises my vueling account but then when I try to proceed further it just returns error messages. I’ve tried numerous attempts to reset my password to no avail. Also I’ve raised this with vueling three times over the past 18 months, never have they responded with a solution. Thankfullly, given the poor redemption rates, I have no desire to redeem avios on vueling.

  • Toby Stanbrook says:

    If I book a Vueling operated flight (say Gatwick to Florence) on the Iberia website and the flight has an IB flight number, will I earn Avios (or tier points) directly on my BA Executive Club card?

    • marcw says:

      No. You earn Avios and Tier Points based on the operating airline, not the marketing one (the only exception is Qantas IIRC).

  • Lady London says:

    speaking of Spanish airlines, there are only 6 months more to wait for some of us to find out if untended negative avios balances are snatched back by Iberia after three years no activity just the same as positive ones.

    90,000 reasons for being interested in this. (And no I wasn’t gaming Iberia messed me around.)

    • Russ says:

      “90,000 reasons for being interested in this. (And no I wasn’t gaming Iberia messed me around.)’

      Sounds intriguing! Iberia can be pretty hard work sometimes.

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