If you collect points through UK Avios Travel Rewards, time is running out. The programme will shut this summer and members will be moved to the British Airways Executive Club.
If you don’t want to make the switch, you’ll have just six months to spend your points. Avios points can be earned in a variety of ways, including through spending on certain reward credit cards.
Which? takes a look at what’s changing, what it means for collectors with Avios credit cards or household accounts, and what to do if you don’t want to switch.
Transfer to British Airways Executive Club
Currently, you can collect Avios points through three different schemes: the Avios Travel Rewards Programme, BA Executive Club and Iberia Plus.
But in July 2018, the Avios Travel Rewards Programme will shut down. A BA Executive Club account will be set up for existing Avios Travel Rewards members and the balance of points moved over.
Avios says it will contact affected members within the next few weeks with their new account details and how to activate their account. If you haven’t heard from Avios, you should contact the customer service centre on 0344 493 3349 to make sure your points are properly transferred.
If you’re already a BA Executive Club member, you can transfer your Avios points now using the Avios website rather than waiting for a new account.
Will you be better or worse off?
Chris Treadwell, Avios commercial director, said the move would mean ‘very little change’ for members.
You’ll still be able to collect Avios points and spend them on flights, hotels, car hire and shopping.
In fact, the shake-up will mean collectors can access 12 more partners.
As well as British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, you’ll be able to earn and spend points with Latam, Malaysian, S7, Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Qatar, Japan Airlines, Air Italy and Alaska.
As a BA Executive Club member, you will also be able to collect Avios points using the BA Avios e-store, and use Avios to make part payments on flights.
Do credit card holders need to do anything?
If you collect Avios using the British Airways American Express credit cards you don’t need to do anything. Your Avios should already be linked to the BA Executive Club rather than the Avios Travel Rewards Programme.
If you collect Avios using the Lloyds Avios or TSB Avios credit cards, you also don’t need to worry. The Avios you earn on your spending will be added to your new BA Executive Club account.
The same goes for if you collect Avios through the Tesco Clubcard scheme.
If you have a Lloyds Avios credit card upgrade or Lloyds/TSB credit card companion voucher, you can still use it online until the programme closes in July.
Once the Avios scheme is shut, you will need to redeem the voucher by booking over the phone on 0344 493 3349.
What happens if you have a household account?
If you have a household account, Avios will equally divide what’s in it between the members into their new BA Executive accounts.
To split the balance differently, you should fill in this form and send it to Avios.
Once each member has their BA Executive Club account, you will be able to create a new household account online.
Can you opt out of the transfer?
If you don’t want to be transferred onto the BA Executive Club scheme, you can opt out by filling in this form and sending it to Avios.
You’ll need to do this before 20 May. From the date you opt out, you will have six months to spend your Avios points before they become worthless.
For more information on the change, check out the Avios FAQ page.
Why is Avios closing its scheme?
Avios says the change is meant to simplify the scheme and give members more ways to collect and spend their points.
Treadwell said: ‘This consolidation will improve collection and spending opportunities, simplify the customer experience and be more attractive to current and future Avios partners.’