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How do Avios points work?

You earn Avios points every time you use a credit card affiliated to the programme. Here is everything you need to know about Avios.

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Guide to how do Avios points work?
Each Avios point is worth around 1p, although they can be worth as much as 1.5p depending on who you collect points with and what deals are running.

When you join the Avios programme, you can earn points for general credit card spending, including your weekly shop. The points you earn can be exchanged for money off flights, hotels and experience days.

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What are Avios points?

You earn Avios points when you use your Avios-affiliated credit card, whether that’s to pay for airline tickets, groceries or anything inbetween. Collect enough points and you can use them to pay for hotel rooms, flights (including upgrades) and experiences. You can also pay for wine, car hire and shopping trips at specific stores around the world.

What are Avios points worth?

Each Avios point is worth around 1p, although they can be worth as much as 1.5p depending on who you collect points with and what deals are running. 

There are also a few hacks that are worth knowing about. For example, you can convert points on your Nectar card to Avios points and vice versa. The conversion rate is 400 Nectar points for 250 Avios; and 300 Avios for 400 Nectar points. So, if you have a lot of Nectar card points, you could decide to convert them before booking a British Airways flight. Alternatively, you might want to boost your Nectar Card points with Avios credits if you’re planning to splurge at Argos, Sainsbury or eBay.

For many people, the main benefit of Avios points is to reduce the cost of flights. If you travel with British Airways, you can get a flight to Nice for as little as 9,250 Avios points, while a longer trip, for example, to Los Angeles costs 30,000 Avios points. You can also use fewer points if you pay part of the cost in cash.

How do you join Avios?

To collect Avios points, you must join a frequent flyer programme affiliated with Avios. This includes those run by British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia, Finnair, Qantas and other members of the Oneworld alliance. 

Once you become a member, you can use the points collected with any of the stores, services and hotels affiliated with your scheme.

Here’s a summary of four of the most popular frequent flyer programmes: 

British Airways Executive Club

  • Free to join

  • Get Avios points when booking flights with British Airways and partner airlines

  • Use points to pay for reward flights (destinations are detailed on the British Airways Executive Club webpage)

  • Use points towards the cost of general flights to any destination, in any class of travel, with BA and its partner airlines

  • Earn points on hotel bookings, as well as groceries, fuel and online purchases

  • Earn Tier Points with every British Airways (and partner airline) booking to get extra benefits, such as access to exclusive airport lounges

  • Option to set up a ‘household account’, so that all the family can earn points

  • Triple your Avios points by specifying specific purchases made in the previous 30 days

AERClub from Aer Lingus

  • Collect three Avios for every €1 spent on Aer Lingus flights, excluding taxes, fees and charges

  • Earn points when you book flights with Aer Lingus partner airlines, including British Airways and Iberia

  • Pick up points when shopping with partner brands – including Nike, Asos and Apple – plus hotel bookings, car hire with AVIS and shopping at Kildare Village

  • Build up bonus points through Silver (plus 25%), Platinum (plus 50%) and Concierge (plus75%) levels

Iberia Plus

  • Use an Iberia Plus card to earn Avios points and reap extra benefits

  • Depending on how often you fly, you could qualify for a Clásica, Plata, Oro, Platino, Infinita or Infinita Prime card

  • Benefits with the Infitina Prime card include eight Avios points per euro spent on trips, exemption from additional fees and four free upgrades a year

  • Children from two to 12 can also earn points with the Iberia Plus Kids card   

  • Earn Avios points when you spend with partner brands at Areas venues in Spanish airports, including Burger King, Starbucks and MásQMenos

  • Swap points for flights, cinema tickets, spa treatments, and car hire, among other things. You can also gift Avios points to friends

Vueling Club

  • Collect Avios points on Vueling flights through Iberia to and from Spain, as well as to Cape Verde, Croatia, Norway, Sweden and more

  • Bank points for stays in a range of resorts offered through Iberostar, Kaligo, Melia and Rocketmiles

  • Earn points online and at shopping outlets, such as the Las Rozas designer shopping centre in Madrid

  • Spend Avios points on baggage and other extras, including travel insurance

  • Earn four times more points with Optima, Family or Timeflex tickets (four Avios points per euro)

  • Become a Premium Club member when you book 40 one-way flights in a year – or 20 returns – and get extra benefits. These include double Avios points, one flight a year at half price and priority boarding

Pros and cons of Avios

There are a number of benefits to joining Avios, but also some potential drawbacks.


  • You can earn points at a wide range of outlets, including service stations, coffee shops and supermarkets, as well as with airlines, car hire firms and hotels

  • You can use a range of credit cards to collect Avios points, including the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard and the British Airways American Express credit cards. You can also get bonus points when you take out and use a new credit card. For example, you get 5,000 Avios points if you spend £1,000 or more on a new BA Amex credit card within the first three months

  • You can gift Avios points to friends and family 


  • Avios points can be used to pay for goods and services but they have no cash value, meaning they can’t be exchanged for currency

  • Avios points expire if you don’t use or collect at least one point every 36 months

  • Points aren’t covered by the ATOL scheme, meaning you can’t claim back points lost if a package trip, including flights, goes wrong

Are Avios points worth collecting?

If you’re a regular flyer with one of the Avios-affiliated airlines or spend a lot of money at partner hotels and car hire firms, Avios could offer great savings. 

If you’re not a frequent flyer, you may be better off using a different loyalty card that gives you more points or better bonuses. This is something to think about, especially if you would prefer to save more money on everyday shopping throughout the year than on flights.

Likewise, a cashback credit card could see you reap more money, which, of course, you can spend pretty much anywhere.

Find out more about Reward credit cards and compare the best deals

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