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How Does Closure of Avios Travel Rewards Programme Affect British Airways American Express Cardholders?

You might have heard that the UK Avios Travel Rewards Programme is closing this summer. If you have a British Airways American Express credit card you may be wondering if you're affected. Will the Avios you earned on the Amex be moved or be lost? Will you still earn Avios the same way after the change? Do you need to do anything ahead of the closure?

The Avios Change: What's Happening

The Avios "Travel Rewards Programme" at avios.com—one of a few Avios plans on which to earn/store/spend Avios—will close in the UK as of 21 May 2018. Existing Travel Rewards Programme (TRP) accounts will essentially be turned over to British Airways Executive Club (or Lingus/Vueling/Flybe if you have those Avios plans instead), so the TRP closure is really a consolidation of Avios programmes. In some sense, we welcome the change because it might reduce the confusion of multiple Avios programmes for earning, storing and spending Avios.

Will I Lose my Avios?

Avios the "currency" is not being shuttered, so no Avios collector should lose points. If you have any Avios sitting at avios.com's TRP, then the closure will affect where your Avios are earned, stored and spent. TRP Avios will be moved over to a BA Executive Club account if you already have one. If you don't, one will be set up for you (unless you already have another Avios air rewards account, like Lingus, Vueling or Flybe, in which case your points should be moved there). Once in their new air rewards programme home, going forward you can continue to earn and spend Avios with those partners.

The Good News for BA Amex Cardholders

There is essentially no change to those earning Avios on a BA Amex card. Why? Because Avios earned on a BA Amex already accumulate in a BA Executive Club account—those Avios were not collected in an avios.com Travel Rewards Programme account to begin with, so the closure won't affect them (here we have a taste of why multiple Avios programmes is confusing, as mentioned above...). When you originally signed up for a BA American Express card, you would have provided your Executive Club details so your accounts should already be linked correctly. That means you don't need to do anything regarding Avios earned on a BA Amex Card.

When the TRP Closure Might Affect a BA Amex Cardholder

There is one situation in which the Avios closure might impact a BA Amex cardholder—if you have Avios sitting in both an avios.com Travel Rewards Programme account AND a BA Executive Club account. Theoretically, your Avios at avios.com should automatically transfer over to your Executive Club account shortly after 21 May 2018. We spoke to Avios customer service who advised us that the move should happen so long as the name, address and date of birth on the two accounts match up. If you've moved house and haven't updated one of the accounts, you might find that your points don't automatically move and you might need to call Avios at 0344 49 333 49. Regardless, you may want to be sure your account details are up to date in both accounts to help with a smooth transition.

Comments and Questions

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.