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How to earn and spend Avios points on Vueling flights

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IAG’s Spanish low cost carrier Vueling (pronounced bwelin I think) has been part of Avios for a six 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. The earning rules changed last week as Iberia moved to revenue-based earning, so I though it was worth updating this article.

To put it simply:

How to earn and spend Avios on Vueling flights
  • You earn Avios on Vueling flights based on your ticket price – unless you buy it at vueling.com as a codeshare and credit to Iberia Plus, 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 hasn’t historically had the greatest reputation for punctuality or comfort, it has reportedly improved in recent years and now serves over 100 routes.  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 2023 – the route map has a habit of being swapped around at short notice:

  • Edinburgh to Barcelona, Paris
  • Manchester to Barcelona
  • Birmingham to Barcelona, Paris
  • Cardiff to Alicante, Malaga
  • London Gatwick to Acoruna, Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Florence, Gran Canaria, Granada, Lanzarote, Malaga, Paris, Rome, Santiago, Seville, Tenerife, Valencia

About Vueling Club

Six 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.

How to earn and spend Avios on Vueling flights

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 2 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 credit a Vueling flight to Ibera Plus 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 what you spend based on Iberia Plus earning rates. Standard level members of Iberia Plus will earn 5 Avios for every €1 spent. It is unlikely you would do this, however, because such a flight is likely to be more expensive than if you had booked it at vueling.com.

If you book a Vueling flight at vueling.com then it will have a Vueling flight number. If you credit this flight to Iberia, you earn Avios based on what you spend at Vueling’s earning rates (2 Avios per €1 on Basic fares, 4 Avios per €1 on other fares).

The exception is if you book a Vueling (VY) flight on the Vueling site which is operated by Iberia and then credit it to Iberia Plus. In this case, you earn Avios based on the distance flown:

  • Business – 2.5 Avios per mile flown (min 1,250)
  • 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)

I think I’ve got this right! Check the comments for any clarifications from readers.

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 January.

  • Via iberia.com / Iberia Plus, it priced up at 15,000 Avios + £82.52 in taxes
  • Via vueling.com / Vueling Club, a cash ticket was £75 for Basic (no luggage, no seat selection) or £152 for Optima (suitcase and seat selection included, as you would get with an Avios redemption via Iberia Plus).  The £152 Optima flight could be reduced to £0 by using 29,500 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 0.66p per Avios by converting them to Nectar points and using them to pay for my weekly shopping?

If we assume a value of 0.66p per Avios when used at Nectar, booking with Avios on Iberia Plus ‘costs’ us £182 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 with luggage went above £182 would a redemption via Iberia Plus become a better deal, and even then this assumes that you would be checking in a suitcase. If you were only travelling on hand baggage there is no point in using Avios – the £82 of Iberia Plus taxes is higher than the £75 all-in price charged for cash on the Vueling site!

In summary, with Vueling …..

  • You can earn Avios on any Vueling ticket, irrespective of cost, and can credit them to either an Iberia Plus or Vueling Club Avios account – both of these allow transfers via ‘Combine My Avios’ into British Airways Executive Club
  • 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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (25)

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

  • Erico1875 says:

    Those same LGW – FCO flights are £43 RTN with WIZZ , reduced to £28 with WIZZ discount Club membership. HBO

  • Tracey says:

    Were put on a Vueling flight by BA holidays on a trip to Seville earlier this year. No lounge access at Gatwick unless you are Gold, no Gold guesting. Less than impressed given it was a BA holiday booking.

  • JR says:

    Vueling is fine if everything goes according to plan, but any issues with weather / aircraft / crew and you’ll get absolutely no help from their customer service department. After a fiasco going to Barcelona last month I can only echo the previous comments AVOID.

    • RussellH says:

      The only time I have booked with Vueling was in 2019 for a May 2020 flight, which was cancelled, obviously.

      Getting the money back was simplicity itself.
      Click a button on the website to say I wanted a refund.
      Given a London phone number to ring.
      Rang the number, a man with a strong Spanish accent answered within 30s- no queue.
      I explained that I had ordered a refund, his response was “certainly sir, the money will be back on your card within 5 working days.”
      Money received exactly as promised

      A model of how customer service should be.

  • Jonathan says:

    I thought that Iberia Plus is now fully onto the new Avios earning system, based on how much you paid for the airfare ?

    Rob, you’ve written above that if you can credit to Iberia Plus, you earn based on distance flown. I’m guessing that this article needs a little update…

    • Rob says:

      No. Click the link to the Vueling page on the Iberia site. Weird but true.

      • Nick says:

        Believe it or not, Iberia and Vueling haven’t agreed full data sharing, so unless it’s sold on an 075 ticket they wouldn’t actually know how much you paid. Hence the distance based model.

        Unless they’ve been ditched very recently, VY have many more UK routes than in the article above. GLA and NCL for example, and more routes from CWL.

        • Rob says:

          Those are what the website showed on Friday. A lot were culled recently.

  • lumma says:

    I don’t know why but Vueling’s seats leave me crippled after a flight like no other economy seats0

  • Mike says:

    Has anyone (ie Rob) ever asked IAG Loyalty why they have created such a mishmash of conflicting and confusing schemes all under the one Avios banner?

    Surely there is strategic value in creating some sort of consistent overall framework that still allows each airline to choose to be more or less generous?

    Flying Blue and the Lufthansa Group schemes seem much better organised with single sign-on etc

    • Rob says:

      FB / M&M are simplified to the lowest common denominator though.

      IAG is a mash up of airlines with no willingness to invest in new group-wide IT.

    • Jonathan says:

      Such a circumstance would cause problems where agreements between an airline that has agreements with an airline that’s a rival to others that use Avios, like BA and United for instance, which would mean you’d be able to earn BAEC/Iberia Plus/Qatar Privilege Club Avios on two of the big three American carriers that go to Transatlantic (and Transpacific).

      The things currently stand, is that to get Avios from United flights to Qatar Privilege Club (for instance), is by doing two separate transfers

    • Adam says:

      Essentially the reason is that the airlines designed programmes for their specific customers, although it may seem confusing to people who are enlightened via websites like this to see the entire infrastructure you have to realise that this makes up a tiny % of the scheme users.
      So looking at customers on a program vertical rather than a cross currency level it is designed to serve the different customer profiles – so when Vueling Club was created it was created with low usage, mainly tourist and price sensitive customers in mind, so it was essential to bring in low minimum levels of redemption as well as the chance to get entirely free flights (what is the point of still paying taxes when the taxes make up 90% of the fair) Iberia Plus on the other hand is based on more frequent, mostly business and less price sensitivity hence their program is based more on status and delivery of standard redemptions. So whilst it may seem confusing when looked at as a whole that is only because you are looking at it in a unique way, a way that is only available to the more savvy collector who wants to gane the system – and they should appreciate the flexibility the system brings (and if you don’t feel free to stick to one program)

  • PeterK says:

    For the past 2 years I haven’t been able to log on to my Vueling account. No end of phone calls to both Vueling and avios have resolved the issue. Even trying to create a new account with a new email didn’t solve the problem once the system realised I already had an avios/aer Lingus account. In the end Avios just told me to credit to my Aer Lingus account.

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

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