by Adam Williams, The Telegraph, April 9, 2018
British Airways' Avios rewards programme is to close, with members and their points being transferred to the British Airways Executive Club this summer.
Avios, the currency, is not closing, just its travel rewards programme.
The travel reward scheme, which allows users to collect and spend points on flights and hotels, will close by the end of July 2018.
All existing members will have a BA Executive Club account set up automatically by the end of July, unless they choose to opt out.
Avios – part of BA-owner International Airlines Group – said the move will provide more opportunities for users to collect and spend points, and confirmed all points already accrued will be transferred.
Customers who already have a BA account can transfer their points straight away. This can be done through the Avios website.
Avios' Chris Treadwell, said: “This move is good news for members. Outwardly there will be very little change for them other than their Avios will have a new home.
“However, they will also enjoy all the advantages that being a British Airways Executive Club Member offers including a smoother online experience, even more ways to collect and spend Avios, plus the tier benefits.”
What will happen to my existing Avios points?
Customers with Avios accounts will have all their points transferred in full to the British Airways Executive Club. You can continue to earn and spend your points with Avios until the changeover, and after that point you can spend and earn in the same way with the BA rewards scheme.
Avios customers will be contacted through the post or via email by BA with details of their new account. Customers do not need to set up a BA Executive Club account.
When will the change take place?
The changeover will start on 21 May 2018 and is expected to be complete by the end of July. Avios said there will be a short outage on accounts while each transfer takes place.
What other changes are happening?
Currently, those travelling by air can only collect points when they book flights with a limited number of airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia.
The BA rewards scheme lets users collect points from each of these brands, plus other partner airlines. This means customers will be able to earn and spend points with airlines such as American Airlines, Qantas and Qatar Airways.
BA Executive Club users can spend points on 60,000 more partner hotels and 50,000 extra sightseeing experiences compared to the Avios scheme.
What happens to my points collected on my credit card?
If you collect Avios points using a credit card, such as the Lloyds Bank Avios credit card or TSB Avios account, you should continue to use these normally. Users will accrue Avios points as normal and these will be moved to BA.
Can I opt out of the move?
Members who who do not want their points to be moved to BA can opt out of the move between now and 20 May 2018. However, you will be required to spend your Avios points within six months of your opt out date or the points will be lost.