Earn Avios on Star Alliance – why you should join Aer Club and Iberia Plus even if you never fly them!

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.

Iberia Plus

 

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.

Iberia.com will also show different availability to ba.com and avios.com (usually more). Finally, the cost of changing or cancelling your booking is also cheaper at €25 versus £35 on ba.com

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.

12 Comments on "Earn Avios on Star Alliance – why you should join Aer Club and Iberia Plus even if you never fly them!"

  1. Good article and a useful reminder to check Iberia when looking for redemptions. Also wasn’t aware Avios.com still lives on through Aer Lingus.

  2. Ann Perkins | 24 May 2019 at 11:32 am | Reply

    I recently flew with 2 guests from LHR T5 and considered using my priority pass and paying £20 for one guest. However, I opted to use the Amex Platinum card in the plaza lounge expecting to have a better experience. £30 for the guest reduced to £28 as an Amex Platinum holder. The lounge was poor and there was additional charge for sparkling wine or premium drinks. We paid £15 for our 3 glasses of Prosecco plus the entry fee. Definitely not good value. Some Jacobs cream crackers and one inch sized Brie.

  3. Duncan Riddell | 24 May 2019 at 1:29 pm | Reply

    Hi Just spent hours entering details numerous times on Iberia website to no avail. It would not respond to details and on calling number to ask it kept ending call..Even trued different computers and different browsers!! POINTLESS

  4. Talking of bad IT. I tried to sign up with Iberia a couple of days ago and everytime I pulled me month or year of birth down from the drop down the day reverted to “01” with no option to select another day. Typing manually and trying with 3 different browsers did not work. I tweeted Iberia with a screenshot and have heard nothing back. So I’m stuck because I suspect having the wrong DOB will cause issues!

    • I would try again as often it resolves itself

    • AlohaDaveKennedy | 2 June 2019 at 2:24 pm | Reply

      The wrong DoB wil prevent you from combining AVIOS. Recently found my Iberia account had the wrong DoB. You have to get a form from Iberia and email in a copy of supporting documents to get the Iberia DoB changed if that happens. Always review your all your account information after you sign up for Iberia and get it corrected if their system made any mistakes.

  5. I joined Aer Club to bank some Groupon Avios bargains. I have found that, for example, booking a reward flight from LHR to BHD there are more flights available through Aer Club to fly on BA than those offered through BA Executive Club. I just transfer miles from BA to Aer Club to make my booking.

  6. Live in Dublin so I have Aer Club membership. The supermarket I shop at offers one Avios per one of their points if you exchange them. Plus they do 1.5 times bonus offers sometimes. So it’s handy but my problem is I can’t get these points into my BA account as I’m part of a Family account! Is there any around it? Do BA allow you to gift Avios for free, ever? Thanks

    • Are you part of a family account in Aer Club/Avios as it certainly works with a BA household account. You can only gift free if you are a Gold member of the BA Exec club.

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