From Air Miles to Avios
Air miles was with us for more than twenty years launched in 1988, the brainchild of Sir Keith Mills, one of the first loyalty schemes in Europe and the successful formula subsequently exported to the United States. The scheme was recently re-branded and now goes under the name of Avios. A year after its launch we take a look at what it offers.
Is it worth joining up now even if you have never used air miles before? Avios was launched in 2011 in a nutshell it allows you to accumulate points with your everyday spending, not just when you purchase airline tickets.
Do you buy groceries, fill your car up each month or shop online for clothes, entertainment and electrical? If you answer yes to these questions, then you may want to consider using Avios, to turn all that shopping towards helping you catch a flight. In a year this could get you flights to another western European capital without too much effort on your part.
The team at Avios has also developed a rather quirky TV ad where they make a whole range of objects take to the sky, for this alone they deserve a mention.
Earning your Points
You can use any of the Avios partner online shopping outlets to earn points as you shop for clothes, fuel, electronics, holidays, travel experiences and just about anything else.
- If you commute by car to work and spend a fortune on fuel each month? Each time you fill your car with fuel you could be earning points towards your Avios total.
- You can trade in your Tesco clucbcard points for points towards your next holiday or weekend away
- Online shopping probably has to be one of the easiest ways to add to your Avios balance, there are over 70 online stores where you can collect points as you shop.
You will from time to time also find specialist promotions that will enable your to increase the number of points earned for any given purchase.
Signing up Avios’ own newsletter and keeping an eye on the various online loyalty scheme blogs that specialise in points accumulation will be your best bet here.
Spending your Points
If you shop at Tesco and spend an average of £450 a month on qualifying grocery spending, buy your monthly fuel (around 200 litres) at Shell, and spend around £150 at the online stores via the Avios eStore, you would collect around 16,000 points a year. Do some of that spending on one of their promotional credit cards and you would easily have enough for two return flights to one of their Zone 1 destinations in Europe. You pay the points plus £30 ‘Reward Flight Saver’ (to cover taxes and fees) per person. There are of course terms and conditions for the flights which you need to check on the Avios site, dont try and book a points flight during a peak holiday weekend.
You don’t have to restrict your purchases to flights, your points can be redeemed for hotel accommodation car hire or other travel experiences, if you don’t have enough points for something you fancy you can always top up with cash..
Using the Avios Site
Using the website is easy and they have even prepared some easy video guides to help you get started, they are user friendly and will help you make the most of the site.
Find our more about the Avios club here
Is Joining Avios worth it?
If you are going to be spending your monthly hard earned cash on these monthly essentials, then you might want to consider signing up for this loyalty programme, particularly if you like to travel. It costs you nothing other than a few minutes of your time to get registered and this time next year you could be flying off to Berlin or Barcelona for a long weekend for next to nothing.
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