The Easiest Way to Lose All of Your Avios, and How to Avoid It…

Many families take advantage of British Airways’ Household Account to pool the Avios of the entire family. Click here to be reminded of how it works. Iberia Plus is popular with those who hate paying British Airways’ excessive surcharges for flights to Europe. These two groups of InsideFlyer readers often overlap. However there is one particular problem – you cannot combine your Avios FROM Iberia Plus INTO a BAEC Household Account.

You can take advantage of a work-around, though. You need to open up an account with Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club. Both of these frequent flyer programs use Avios as their currency and you can also combine your Avios to/from Iberia Plus or British Airways Executive Club. Many people still refer to AerClub or Vueling Club as Avios.com, because that’s still the easiest website address to remember.

But if you want to move some Avios from Iberia Plus into a BA Household Account, you need to take an extra step that adds a couple of minutes to the process…

Iberia Plus –> Avios.com –> British Airways Executive Club Household Account

Don’t Forget Expiration Policies

Your Avios will expire if you do not earn or redeem Avios within a period of 36 months. This applies to all of the loyalty programmes that use Avios as their currency – British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, Aer Lingus AerClub, Vueling Club. And perhaps most importantly… you must remain active in each programme separately.

To be absolutely clear, Combining Your Avios does NOT count as activity.

36 months is certainly long enough for most members to remain active. If you are a serious collector Avios in the United States, you probably have one or both of the British Airways / Iberia co-branded credit cards. Even if you only earn a handful of Avios each month, that activity is more than enough to keep your Avios from expiring.

But Avios.com / Aer Lingus AerClub / Vueling Club? Unless you also have the AerLingus credit card or collect American Express Membership Rewards points, you won’t find it nearly so easy to keep your Avios alive…

If you aren’t paying attention to keeping your Avios.com account active, you might find that your Avios immediately expire when attempting to use the Avios.com workaround!

Avios.com Activity

I have yet to discover any particularly good reasons to REDEEM Avios via AerLingus Aer Club instead of British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Plus. You certainly won’t be able to book Oneworld award flights. You can only book reward flights on British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

As a result, you might want to focus on the options for EARNING Avios via Avios.com. Here are your options…

British Airways / Iberia Flights

You certainly could choose to credit the occasional British Airways or Iberia flight to Avios.com.  Except you would miss out on Tier Points, bonus Avios due to your status, etc.

Car Rentals

If you rent cars occasionally, you could choose to credit an Avis or Budget rental to Avios.com. However I typically find that Iberia Plus offers better and more frequent bonus promotions. So I would only credit a car rental to Avios.com if Avis/Budget happened to be the cheapest car rental option (for when I need one) AND there wasn’t an Iberia Plus promotion available.

Avios Hotels

You could earn 15 Avios per £ spent on a hotel stay. The Terms & Conditions are very onerous, however, and you wouldn’t earn any points or elite status credit from a hotel chain stay.

E-Store

The AerClub E-Store offers some merchants that you might be familiar with. Luckily, AerClub offers a US-focused shopping portal.

However, e-stores / online shopping portals are notoriously unreliable. If you are desperate for some activity to keep an Avios.com account active, you certainly don’t want to rely on an online purchase:

  • tracking correctly
  • crediting to your account in time to avoid expiration

The Bottom Line

If none of the above options work for you, then you might need to buy Avios every three years. It won’t be cheap, at over 4.2 cents per Avios…

But that would be a small price to pay for keeping your Avios.com account active. You would not be happy if you sent some Avios from Iberia Plus to Avios.com, only to find that they expired immediately!

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