Breaking news: to close for UK customers

Avios bonus

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There has been a lot of rumours that there would be a major Avios announcement last week with the temporary disappearance of BA First rewards adding to the speculation. It has just been announced that the UK platform is to close as a separate entity. Although we knew there would be a streamlining of the Avios platforms it wasn’t clear exactly what form this would actually take. The official announcement says “You may have heard the news. In the coming months, the UK Avios Travel Rewards Programme will close, but Avios, the currency, will remain. As part of the closure, some of our customers will be moving to the British Airways Executive Club. You’ll still be able to collect and spend your Avios in many of the same ways, plus there’ll be lots of exciting new benefits coming your way.”

The wording here is interesting about collecting Avios “many of the same ways”. Currently, there is a far better selection of partners, particularly in the travel sector, with I have been waiting for to come back with comments on the issues with crediting Hilton stays booked through the portal for some time now. Though interestingly the stays that were outstanding suddenly started appearing on my account in the last 10 days. Has anyone else had the same? This could have been part of the preparations for the move.

I think this announcement is good news in terms of making the scheme less complicated but I am sceptical about what it means for the choice of partners that were only available on Avios eStore. Avios says that customers will gain 11 additional collection/redemption airline partners, as well as “60,000 additional partner hotels” and “50,000 additional sightseeing experiences”. However this is versus what Avios currently have so not any real difference if you are a member of both. I have now had time to have a quick look and so far most of the travel retailers seem to be on the BA eStore now. Unfortunately Hilton is not one of them.

If you don’t already have a BA Executive Club Account one will be set up for you from 21 May 2018. If you already have one you can transfer across your Avios to BA at any time using combine my Avios. All the balances at will be moved to the BA Executive Club by end of July. While your Avios Travel Rewards Programme balance is being moved across to your British Airways Executive Club account there will be a short period where you won’t be able to spend your Avios. Therefore it would be better to do it yourself at a convenient time. If you don’t want to do this you must notify them by 20 May and you will then have 6 months to use your balance. You can join the BA Executive Club here. 

However, Vueling and Aer Lingus loyalty programmes will still use the Avios platform even after the closure of the UK Avios Travel Rewards Programme.
Lloyd’s Avios credit cards will still earn Avios but these will be credited to your BAEC account. You can still earn and use the upgrade vouchers but you will need to phone up to use it.
If you auto collect with Tesco Clubcard this will continue but with the Avios going to your BAEC account.

22 Comments on "Breaking news: to close for UK customers"

  1. Amanda Battman | 9 April 2018 at 9:39 am | Reply

    I wonder how this will affect the Tesco Clubcard relationship with Avios.
    I auto convert my CC points at a legacy rate of 800 Avios per £2.50 not 600. I imagine any changes will see this disappear.

  2. Sad news..I will particularly miss ‘Chat’.

  3. Do you know what will happen to the Avios & upgrade vouchers that we earn on Lloyds cards?

  4. If only the Avios platform could now become a simple stand alone platform, from which you could book reward flights with all of the airlines that accept them for reward seats and 241’s, that would be so very very useful. I have no idea how to find for example QR flights for avios on! Leave the book and upgrade and avios and cash on airlines own pages but please make the cross carrier use of avios simpler….

  5. What might happen to a Lloyds upgrade voucher? At the moment this is only visible on and I planned to transfer any shortfall in avios from BAEC when I wanted to make this redemption.

  6. Thanks for your efforts trying to get an answer to the issue on the Lloyds Upgrade Voucher. I currently spend all my Mastercard spend on this purely for the upgrade voucher. If this is going to be withdrawn I will use the new Virgin MasterCard instead. However I don’t want to get to £5000 spend on the Lloyds Account only to have it withdrawn and miss out on the upgrade voucher.

  7. There’s enough FAQ’s on to answer these questions. Some people just can’t be bothered to take a look.

    • Thanks Mike. The website is acting up a bit probably due to the volume of interest. I have updated the article now I have had time to do some more research. These announcements always happen as I am rushing to the airport!

  8. Apologies Michelle if I should have looked at the Avios website. Because you were so quick with the announcement it didn’t even occur to me!!

    • Don’t worry Tracy. It’s not that obvious. I hadn’t had a chance to look in detail myself as I had to leave for the airport!

  9. I just checked the BA executive club site for ways to spend. Not many! It seems to me that the changes are only good for London based people. I have always used my points on extras like lounges, car parks etc. Not impressed at all.

    • The official announcement does suggest there may be more partners added so hopefully there will be some more added but it is definitely not as good when they lose

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