For Avios collectors ideally, you should have the full trifecta of accounts – BA Executive Club, Aer Lingus Aer Club and Iberia Plus. In this article, I will look at why, even if you only ever want to collect BA Avios, you should consider having an Iberia Plus account and an Aer Club account for Aer Lingus.
Aer Club – earn Avios for booking major hotel chains
When Avios.com ended as a separate UK entity there was a lot of confusion and most people now have given up with avios.com and reverted to just having a British Airways Executive Club account.
However, if you use the BA online shopping portal to earn Avios you will (and if not, why not unless you are getting a better rate from Topcashback!) notice that there is not such a good range of travel partners as there used to be on Avios.com.
What you may not realise is that if you have an Aer Lingus Aer Club account, it allows you to still earn points on a number of good travel sites through Avios.com. If you are new to online shopping portals, it works by giving you a link to click on to another website. The website for John Lewis, Hilton or whatever is just the ordinary website you would usually shop on. But by clicking through avios.com, you earn Avios for your transaction. Regular bonuses are offered too. Once you have received the Avios, you can simply use combine my Avios to transfer them over to your BA account if wish.
Here are some of the deals on Avios.com but not BA shopping
- Ebookers 6 Avios per £1 spent
- Expedia 6 Avios per £1 spent
- E dreams 1 Avios per £1 spent
- TripAdvisor hotel booking 6 Avios per £1 spent
- Accor hotels 8 Avios per £1 spent
- Hotel Du Vin 6 Avios per £1 spent
- Malmaison 6 Avios per £1 spent
- Caesars 3 Avios per £1 spent
- The Montcalm 10 Avios per £1 spent
- Singapore Airlines 2 Avios per £1 spent
So you can see that Aer Club also allow you to collect on Singapore Airlines based on the purchase rather than the miles flown. It also allows you to earn Avios on United flights as well if you credit it to your Aer Club account.
Aer Club also offers some cheap redemptions for flights vs BA. You can read more about it here.
If you don’t already have an Iberia Plus account, I would urge you to get one. Iberia frequently have some great offers not available to BA Executive Club members such as reductions in Avios needed for redemptions, buy Avios deals with Groupon and of course recently the famous 90,000 Avios for booking ten flights (and not flying them in many cases).
Unfortunately, some of the best offers require you to have been a member of the scheme for at least 90 days, so it’s best to just join now. You can quickly move Avios between the schemes but probably will want to credit most of your flying to British Airways in case you earn enough to gain status. For Iberia Plus you will also have needed to earn at least 1 Avios before you can partake of some of the offers.
With Iberia Plus you can only do this when your account is at least 90 days old, and you have ‘earned’ 1 Avios. This can be done by transferring Amex or hotel reward points or earning them on a flight, car hire or hotel. For example, a cheap economy ticket where you are not worried about the tier points for BA is ideal to credit to Iberia as you can always transfer the Avios back out. If you have issues with Iberia’s terrible IT it is often easier to do combine my Avios through Avios.com which is another good reason to have an Aer Club account.
The other reason for having an Iberia account is some of the exceptionally cheap Avios redemptions. I have flown Iberia long haul twice on the A340 (review) and the A350 (review). While the crew aren’t as friendly as BA, it’s a comparable product when taking into account everything such as seats and food.
The Iberia peak and off-peak times are different to British Airways. You can find the Iberia off-peak chart here. Combine that with lower Avios required on most routes anyway, and it can make a big difference. For example, my flight to New York from Madrid cost 34,000 Avios for one way in business class. With British Airways (or via Avios.com) the same flight would cost 50,000 Avios (and the same for London to JFK). You can also use varying amounts of Avios versus cash like you can on BA and Avios.com.
The cost of taxes is significantly lower too. The price for my one-way flight from Madrid to New York was £91, if I had booked on ba.com on Iberia, it would have cost £175. If I had booked London to New York the cost would have been a ridiculous £339! Even factoring the cost of getting to Madrid, it still represents a saving of around £200.
I would only recommend redeeming long-haul on Iberia in most situations as BA offer reward flight saver for short haul which will usually work out cheaper in Avios and cash unless there is a difference in peak/off-peak status.
You can find out how to redeem Iberia Avios in this article.