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Avios travel rewards programme set to close

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The UK Avios travel rewards programme is to close this summer with customers being moved to the British Airways Executive Club instead.

From today, customers are receiving letters and emails about the changes, including that British Airways Executive Club accounts are to be created, with balances moved across by the end of July 2018.

However, members of the airline loyalty programmes Vueling Club and AerClub which use the Avios website can continue to do so after its closure and there’s no change to Avios currency.

If you want to opt out of the transfer to BA, you need to do so before May 2018 where you will then have six months to spend the Avios.

Avios said the move will “simplify the programme and improve collection and spending opportunities for everyone”.

Chris Treadwell, commercial director at Avios, said: “This move is good news for members. 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.”

Avios said UK travel rewards programme members will gain 11 additional airline partners to collect and redeem points once they’re transferred to BA, including LATAM, Malaysian, S7, Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Qatar, and Japan Airlines, Air Italy and Alaska. Members can also continue to collect and spend Avios with British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus.

Further, Avios said 50,000 additional sightseeing experiences and excursions around the world will become available once members join the BA scheme, and an extra 60,000 places to redeem will be offered.

If you’re a member of both the Avios and British Airways schemes, you can transfer your balance earlier than 21 May when Avios will start creating new BA accounts for customers. A handy FAQ of the Avios changes can be viewed here.

All Avios will be worth the same with the British Airways Executive Club.

If you have a Lloyds Avios or TSB Avios credit card, you can continue to collect Avios – again a BA account will be set up for you. Further, anyone with a Lloyds upgrade voucher will still be able to book online until the programme closes. After this, you’ll need to book by phone.

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