Finding cheap hotels and flights with Avios (2018)

The Avios Travel Rewards programme as we know it is about to disappear, yet the years to come have a lot in store for travellers who wish to continue collecting points and get free flights and hotels or, at least, significant travel discounts.

From summer 2018 onwards, you must be registered as a member of one of the airline programmes below in order to accumulate Avios in your personal account. Conditions and rewards will vary according to your country of origin and the specific programme you have adhered to. However, you are advised to keep an eye out for updates since new benefits are likely to be added in the upcoming months. Subscribing to their newsletter in order to receive special promotions and changes is a good idea. Below you will find a quick guide to getting started.

Registering as a member to earn Avios and get free flights and more

Even if you are not a frequent flyer, this is still for you. By signing up for a membership with British Airways Executive Club, AerClub, Vueling Club, Meridiana Club, Iberia Plus or the new Flybe programme, you will be earning Avios every time you purchase most of their services and, in the case of the British Airways Club, also through a wide variety of transactions that include online shopping, buying travel services, using credit cards or refueling your vehicle.

Booking hotels with Avios and getting travel discounts

If you are wondering if you can redeem your points in order to get cheap hotel stays, know that –for the time being- only the British Airways Executive Club allows members to book hotels with Avios. In all cases, you will need to log in to your account and make a search through the specific website of your Avios programme; then, a list of different combinations of points and money to pay for your reservation will be displayed for you to select the one that suits you best. The more Avios you spend, the cheaper your stay will be. Furthermore, your accumulated points will equally get you lower fares when flying with British Airways and their OneWorld Alliance partners, renting a car abroad or purchasing other travel services like train tickets or guided tours.

As a member of AerClub, you will be able to book flights with Avios to fly with AerLingus, British Airways, Iberia Airlines or Flybe, up to the point that you may only have to pay for the additional taxes. Similarly, In the Iberia Plus and the Vueling programmes, you can get substantial discounts on the final price of your flight. If you want to fly with Air Italy for less, the Meridiana Club card is the one you must go for, although it also entitles you to get benefits from other airlines.

How to accumulate Avios

When it comes to accumulate travel points to get cheap hotels and flights, some of these programmes are really flexible and add Avios to your account every time you book a flight with participating airline companies, make a reservation with partner hospitality establishments, make purchases through the Avios eStore and in selected shops, use your Tesco Clubcard, complete an E-Rewards survey, spend time in airport lounges or leave your vehicle in an airport parking. Nevertheless, if you urgently need a certain number of Avios to book a flight or you want to use a specific amount as a gift for someone else, you can always buy them and so avoid the wait.

Wheter you fly frequently or not, signing up for one of these programmes is highly recommended, especially due to the many ways in which you can earn Avios by simply buying online or at your favourite stores and travel retailers.