How to transfer Avios from BA to Qatar, Iberia, Aer Lingus or Vueling using ‘Combine My Avios’
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When Qatar Privilege Club started using Avios as its rewards currency in 2022, it became the fifth loyalty programme to adopt Avios. The others are British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, Vueling Club and Aer Lingus AerClub.
Somewhat confusingly, the five different loyalty programmes don’t share an Avios ‘bank’. Instead, each individual account you have acts as a unique points bank. In theory, you could have a separate stash of Avios sitting with British Airways, Iberia, Qatar Airways and Aer Lingus / Vueling.
Moving Avios between the various programmes can be complicated because there isn’t one single way of doing it. Moving Avios from the Executive Club to Qatar Privilege Club is entirely different to moving Avios to AerClub. This guide should help.
Why should you want to move Avios between five different frequent flyer schemes?
As a Head for Points reader, you have a 90%+ chance of using British Airways Executive Club as your main Avios frequent flyer scheme. Why would you bother with the others?
The answers relate to both ‘earn’ and ‘burn’.
Each programme has its own unique partners. This is especially true with Qatar Airways, which has a huge list of partners (airline, hotel and car hire) for earning and spending Avios which are unique. The full list of ‘new’ partners Qatar Airways brings is here.
If you want to earn or spend Avios on Virgin Australia, for example, you need to do it via a Qatar Privilege Club account.
If you want to earn (but not spend) Avios from United Airlines flights, you can only do it via an Aer Lingus AerClub account.
There are plenty of other examples like this – here is an article showing all 30 airlines which you can book with Avios, and which frequent flyer scheme you need to use to do so.
By connecting your Avios accounts, you are able to transfer Avios back and forth as many times as you like between the different programmes. Each transfer is free and instantaneous.
Note that you will only be able to transfer Avios to other accounts in your name using this method. This article looks at how you can transfer Avios to another person.
How to transfer your Avios to/from Qatar Privilege Club
Before you can transfer your Avios to Qatar Airways or vice versa, you first need to link up your British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club accounts. If you don’t already have a Qatar Privilege Club account, click here to open one.
(Make sure your personal details match on both accounts so you can link them smoothly. I am told by Qatar Airways that there must be a match of first name, surname and date of birth and I would suggest using the same email address too.)
Once you’ve opened a Privilege Club account, head to this page on the Qatar Airways website where you should see a prompt to connect your BA Executive Club account like this:
Once you’ve gone through the linking process you should be able to see your total Avios balance across both Privilege Club and Executive Club:
To initiate the transfer of Avios from Qatar Privilege Club to British Airways Executive Club or vice versa, click the ‘Combine Avios’ button under ‘More to explore’. It will take you to this page:
You can move as many or as few Avios as you like. You don’t have to transfer Avios in round numbers as the amount you transfer is a text field rather than a drop-down of options.
To transfer Avios from Qatar Airways to British Airways, just click on the reversible arrows.
Avios transfers between British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club are instantaneous. Of course, you can always transfer them back if you change your mind.
Before you transfer Avios to Qatar Privilege Club ….
There’s one thing to note. In theory, you can book Qatar Airways redemptions on ba.com for the same number of Avios and the same taxes as you’ll find on the Qatar Airways website. You don’t need to move your Avios to Qatar Privilege Club, and there are some benefits (easier cancellation, easier changes) to booking via ba.com.
Due to IT quirks, however, you may find different availability between the two sites so it is worth checking both. Qatar Airways also releases ‘double Avios’ redemptions where those who are willing to pay 2x the standard Avios rate get access to a wider pool of reward seats.
Want to transfer Avios from Iberia, Aer Lingus or Vueling to Qatar Privilege Club?
At present, you can only link a British Airways Executive Club account to Qatar Privilege Club.
If your Avios are with Iberia, Aer Lingus or Vueling, you would need to move them into a British Airways Executive Club account via the routes explained below and then transfer them from BA to Qatar Privilege Club.
How to transfer Avios to/from Iberia Plus
The process for transferring Avios to Iberia Plus is similar, although there are a few more rules you need to be mindful of.
You can cannot move Avios into or out of an Iberia Plus account unless:
- the Iberia Plus account is 90 days old and
- the Iberia Plus has ‘earned’ at least 1 Avios
The easiest way to have the account ‘earn’ an Avios is to transfer 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. You could also credit a British Airways or oneworld flight to the account, credit an Avis or Budget car rental or transfer some hotel points.
If this applies to you, you need to wait until your Iberia Plus account meets both of the criteria above before carrying on with the transfer process. For this reason, we recommend opening an Iberia Plus account now, even if you don’t need it yet. You’ll thank us later.
Once you’ve got an Iberia Plus account that is over 90 days old and has earned at least one Avios you head head to the Iberia Combine My Avios page here.
Click on the button at the bottom and you’ll be taken to this page:
Simply select which programme you’d like to transfer Avios to and log in with the details from that programme. (‘Avios Partners’ is for transfers to Aer Lingus and Vueling.)
You can select how many Avios to transfer, and in which direction (ie BA to Iberia or Iberia to BA):
That’s it. The Avios should transfer immediately.
If this process doesn’t work, it may be that there is a mismatch with your personal details on both accounts. Make sure that your date of birth, first name, second name and email address are identical.
If you want to transfer Avios to/from Qatar Privilege Club to Iberia Plus, you need to transfer them to a British Airways Executive Club account as an intermediary step. It cannot be done in a single transfer.
How to transfer Avios to Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club
Due to the size of the airlines and their redemption opportunities you’re less likely to need to transfer Avios to Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club, but we’ve included them for completeness.
Here are a few reasons why you may need an Aer Lingus or Vueling account:
- you are booking a cash flight on Aer Lingus or Vueling and want to part-pay the flight using Avios (you can pay 100% of the cost using Avios, including taxes and charges – your flight can be genuinely ‘free’)
- you are flying a heavily discounted Aer Lingus flight, which is likely to earn zero Avios if credited to British Airways Executive Club but will earn in Aer Lingus AerClub
- you are flying on Vueling, which only earns Avios when credited to Vueling Club
Here’s an important point to note: Aer Lingus AerClub accounts are the same as Vueling Club accounts. Only the branding is different – both have account numbers starting 3081xxxxxxxxxxx. You can log in with either at aerlingus.com or vueling.com and it will pull up your Avios balance. There is no reason why you would need a separate AerClub and Vueling Club account.
Unlike British Airways, Iberia or Qatar Airways, neither Aer Lingus nor Vueling manage their own Avios redemption infrastructure. Instead, it is centralised on avios.com.
If you don’t already have an Aer Lingus AerClub account, open one here. Alternatively, you can open a Vueling Club account here. Make sure to use the same date of birth, name, address and email address as your other Avios accounts.
Once that’s set up you can head to avios.com and log in using the same credentials.
After logging in, click on ‘Manage my account’ to bring up the following menu:
Once again, you’ll want to click on ‘Combine my Avios’. You’ll then get the option to transfer Avios from either your BA Executive Club account or Iberia Plus:
The process is the same as for Iberia Plus: you simply log into your Iberia or British Airways account, select how many Avios you want to transfer and in which direction and click through to the confirmation page. The transfer is free and instant.
Moving your Avios between the five different frequent flyer schemes which use it is – by far – not as simple as it could be.
On the upside, because each programme has a high degree of independence, it is able to cut its own partnership deals and have its own flight redemption structure. This allows the switched-on flyer to benefit from the sweet spots that each programme offers.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
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
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 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.