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British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts are popular with families. Click here for details of how they work. Iberia Plus is popular with those who prefer to avoid paying BA’s excessive surcharges. These two groups of people often overlap, with one particular problem – you cannot combine your Avios FROM Iberia Plus INTO a BAEC Household Account.
There is a fairly well-known work-around, however. It requires an Avios.com account – now either Aer Lingus AerClub or Vueling Club but still available on https://www.avios.com/gb/en (so I’ll use Avios.com for short) – and an extra step.
Iberia Plus –> Avios.com –> British Airways Executive Club Household Account
Don’t Forget Expiration Policies
Your Avios will expire if you do not earn or redeem Avios within a period of 36 months. This applies to all of the loyalty programmes that use Avios as their currency – British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, Aer Lingus AerClub, Vueling Club. And perhaps most importantly… you must remain active in each programme separately.
To be absolutely clear, Combining Your Avios does NOT count as activity.
For many InsideFlyer UK readers, remaining active in British Airways Executive Club does not require any thought – it happens almost automatically. To a lesser extent, this is often true about Iberia Plus, because there are several earning partners only available via Iberia Plus. But Avios.com / Aer Lingus AerClub / Vueling Club?
If you aren’t paying attention to keeping your Avios.com account active, you might find that your Avios immediately expire when attempting to use the Avios.com workaround!
I have yet to discover any particularly good reasons to REDEEM Avios via AerLingus Aer Club instead of British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Plus. Although there is often no difference in the Avios + taxes/surcharges to be paid on BA reward flights, Avios.com members aren’t eligible for Reward Flight Saver unless they have earned an Avios point during the previous 12 months (this would obviously have already solved our activity problem). If that reward flight should require changing or cancelling, most of us are going to be far more comfortable phoning Executive Club / Iberia Plus instead of Aer Club or Vueling Club.
As a result, you might want to focus on the options for EARNING Avios via Avios.com. Here are the options…
British Airways / Iberia Flights
You certainly could choose to credit the occasional British Airways or Iberia flight to Avios.com. Except you would miss out on Tier Points, bonus Avios due to your status, etc.
If you rent cars occasionally, you could choose to credit an Avis or Budget rental to Avios.com. However I typically find that Iberia Plus offers better and more frequent bonus promotions. So I would only credit a car rental to Avios.com if Avis/Budget happened to be the cheapest car rental option (for when I need one) AND there wasn’t an Iberia Plus promotion available.
You could earn 15 Avios per £ spent on a hotel stay. The last time I looked at it, however, the terms and conditions were atrocious and definitely something to avoid.
The AerClub E-Store offers many of the same merchants that you would find on Topcashback. In most cases, however, you would usually be better off aiming for cashback – actual cash in your bank account – rather than earning Avios for your online shopping.
However, e-stores are notoriously unreliable. If you are desperate for some activity to keep an Avios.com active, you certainly don’t want to rely on an online purchase:
- tracking correctly
- crediting to your account in time to avoid expiration
And notably… Hilton is NO LONGER available through the AerClub e-store. Previously this was one of the best ways to earn some additional rebate from your Hilton bookings…
Aer Lingus / Vueling Flights
Which leads us to the remaining flight options. With both Aer Lingus and Vueling you will:
- Earn at least 3 Avios per Euro spent
- Not be missing out on any Tier Points or Tier Bonuses from British Airways Executive Club
In the case of Vueling, you CANNOT credit your Vueling flights to Executive Club, unless you have booked as a BA codeshare. You would earn these same 3 Avios per Euro from Iberia Plus.
In the case of Aer Lingus, you CAN earn Avios via Executive Club, but the number of Avios earned will depend on the distance flown.
For cheap flights to/from Ireland, you might earn a few more Avios from AerClub (3 per euro). For expensive long-haul flights, you should earn more Avios by crediting to BAEC…
The Bottom Line
Of course you can keep your Avios.com account active by buying Avios every 3 years. Or you can follow my lead and fly with Vueling every 2-3 years. I’m already set up to automatically credit these flights to my AerClub account, keeping my account active for when I need to send some Avios from Iberia Plus to my British Airways Household Account…