Avios Group is to close its UK Avios travel rewards programme and transfer members into the British Airways Executive Club starting in May 2018.
It said the move would simplify the programme and improve collection and spending opportunities for members by providing a new home for the rewards programme with additional benefits.
Avios will begin contacting members about the changes from today, with new British Airways Executive Club accounts being set up from 21 May 2018.
New account details and how to activate them will be sent to customers by the British Airways Executive Club and members’ Avios balances will be moved across to the new programme by the end of July 2018. Meanwhile, customers who already have a British Airways Executive Club account can choose to transfer their Avios across now.
How will it affect you?
The change does not affect the underlying Avios currency and members can continue to collect and spend Avios as normal until the new account is ready, although Avios notes that while the balance transfer is taking place “it is possible customers will be unable to access their Avios for up to 48 hours while their balance is transferred across”.
It adds: “To ensure there is no gap between Avios balances being available, customers can go online to Avios.com as soon as their new British Airways Executive Club account has been activated and transfer their Avios across ahead of time.”
Customers who do not want to switch to the new programme can opt out before 20 May 2018. But they will only have six months in which to spend their existing Avios or they will lose them.
Chris Treadwell, commercial director at Avios, says: “Outwardly there will be very little change for them other than their Avios will have a new home. However, they will also enjoy all the advantages that being a British Airways Executive Club Member offers including a smoother online experience, even more ways to collect and spend Avios, plus the tier benefits.”
Customers will continue to collect Avios through their credit card partners as normal, including Lloyds Avios ad TSB Avios credit cards. After they have been moved into the British Airways Executive Club, the Avios collected through these partners will be credited to customers’ new accounts.
Regarding existing offers currently available with Avios, it says: “The vast majority of partners will remain, and customers will also be able to collect and spend their Avios on new partners as well.”
Will there be additional benefits?
Avios says extra benefits for members who transfer include:
· Access to additional to 12 airline partner airlines, which are: LATAM, Malaysian, S7, Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Qatar, and Japan Airlines, Air Italy and Alaska.
· Members can continue to collect and spend Avios with British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus.
· Ability to spend Avios with 60,000 additional partner hotels and on 50,000 additional sightseeing experiences and excursions around the world.
· Members can also collect Avios on everyday spending with more household-name partners across retail, travel and credit cards and continue to collect with hundreds of popular retailers on the British Airways Avios eStore.
James Hillier from the British Airways Executive Club, adds: “We offer the ability to collect and spend Avios on a wide range of holidays, trips and experiences. But it isn’t just limited to travel, as members can also collect Avios through everyday purchases like the weekly food shop or by topping up their car with fuel.”