Avios is a loyalty currency created by the International Airlines Group (IAG), which formed after British Airways and Iberia Airlines merged in 2011. Currently, four airline loyalty programs use Avios as a points currency: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Qatar Airways Privilege Club.One of the unique characteristics of this partnership is that Avios can be easily transferred between the four programs that use it as a points currency.This feature can come in handy if you have points sitting around in separate accounts and need to move them around to take advantage of a specific program’s sweet spot.What Are the Different Types of Avios?The idea of having four different loyalty programs that use the same Avios currency can be a bit confusing at first.To be clear, the four airlines have separate loyalty programs: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Qatar Airways Privilege Club.However, what’s unique is that the four separate loyalty programs use the same points currency, Avios, for earning and redeeming. In this sense, you can think of each loyalty program as a different “flavour” of Avios.Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar Airways all use Avios as a points currencyFurthermore, you can freely transfer between different flavours of Avios at a 1:1 ratio, which can be useful for several reasons.For example, it’s easy to earn British Airways Avios, since it’s a transfer partner with many transferable points currencies in North America. Other flavours of Avios are more difficult to access; however, since you can transfer Avios between programs, you can essentially access all four by way of British Airways Avios.In a similar vein, each loyalty program has a variety of sweet spots. Rather than booking, say, Qatar Airways Qsuites with British Airways Avios, you can stretch your points farther by making a redemption with Qatar Airways Avios instead.How to Earn Different Types of AviosIn North America, it’s easier to come by certain types of Avios than others.British Airways AviosOf the four flavours of Avios, British Airways Avios are by far the easiest to earn.In Canada, you can access British Airways Avios as a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, RBC Avion, and HSBC Rewards. Amex MR and Avion points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, while HSBC Rewards has a 25:10 transfer ratio.You can also earn British Airways Avios directly with the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card.Canadian Credit Cards for Earning British Airways AviosCredit CardBest OfferValue100,000 MR points$499 annual fee100,000 MR points$1,976Apply Now70,000 MR points$250 annual fee70,000 MR points$1,654Apply Now90,000 MR points$699 annual fee90,000 MR points$1,646Apply Now75,000 MR points$199 annual fee75,000 MR points$1,561Apply NowUp to 77,000 MR points$99 annual feeUp to 77,000 MR points$1,419Apply Now50,000 Avios$165 annual fee50,000 Avios$899Apply NowUp to 80,000 HSBC Rewards pointsFirst Year FreeUp to 80,000 HSBC Rewards points$724Apply Now30,000 MR points$156 annual fee30,000 MR points$636Apply Now35,000 RBC Avion points$120 annual fee35,000 RBC Avion points$580Apply Now35,000 RBC Avion points$120 annual fee35,000 RBC Avion points$580Apply Now35,000 RBC Avion points$175 annual fee35,000 RBC Avion points$525Apply Now35,000 RBC Avion points$399 annual fee35,000 RBC Avion points$301Apply Now20,000 RBC Rewards points$120 annual fee20,000 RBC Rewards points$280Apply NowMoreover, there are occasional transfer bonuses of up to 50% from all three programs. If you manage to take advantage of one of these promotions, your Avios balance will grow quite quickly.If you dabble in US credit cards, Amex US Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards also transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. As is the case in Canada, it’s not uncommon to see a transfer bonus of up to 50%.On both sides of the border, Marriott Bonvoy points can also be transferred to British Airways Avios at an optimal ratio of 60,000 points = 25,000 Avios.Aer Lingus AviosThe Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus also uses Avios as a points currency.Aside from transferring Marriott Bonvoy points at the optimal ratio of 60,000 points = 25,000 Avios, you’ll have to look to US credit cards for transfer partners.Amex US MR, Bilt Rewards, and Chase Ultimate Rewards all transfer to Aer Lingus Avios at a 1:1 ratio.It’s worth noting that there are occasional transfer bonuses to Aer Lingus Avios; however, the promotions tend to come around less often, and when they do, it’s usually with a lower bonus than we see with British Airways Avios.Iberia AviosIberia Avios is a transfer partner of Amex US MR, Bilt Rewards, and Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. While there have been some instances of transfer bonuses in the past, they tend to be quite infrequent and don’t go above 30%.You can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Iberia Avios at the optimal ratio of 60,000 points = 25,000 Avios.Qatar Airways AviosThe newest member of the Avios family, Qatar Airways, joined the program in March 2022. This addition was a huge boon for the Avios program, as it gave way to a new sweet spot for Qatar Airways Qsuites.Book Qatar Airways Qsuites with AviosWhile it may seem surprising that Qatar Airways decided to join forces with Avios, Qatar Airways is the single largest shareholder in International Airlines Group, the parent company of Avios.In the US, Citi ThankYou points transfer to Qatar Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio.Otherwise, you’d have to look to a less favourable transfer from a hotel loyalty program:60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 Qatar Airways Avios10 Hilton Honors points = 1 Qatar Airways Avios5 World of Hyatt points = 2 Qatar Airways AviosAs you can see, the easiest way to earn any flavour of Avios is through British Airways on both sides of the border.While it’s technically possible to access other airlines’ Avios either through hotel programs or other points currencies, your best bet is to enter the Avios ecosystem by way of British Airways, and then transfer to other flavours from within.How to Transfer Avios Between AccountsPrior to moving Avios between accounts, be sure to check that you’ve used the exact same information to sign up for each program. Otherwise, there may be extended delays in transfers, and you’ll have to call in to get your points to hit the proper account.In a similar vein, you aren’t able to transfer your Avios to another person’s account with this feature. You can only transfer Avios between your own accounts with the below methods.Transferring Avios to/from Aer Lingus AerClubOn Avios.com, you can transfer points between the three European flavours of Avios.If you’re looking to transfer Avios into or out of Aer Lingus AerClub, this is your best option. Once you have all of your accounts set up, head to the Avios website to complete the transfer.It’s important to note that if you want to transfer on Avios.com, you need to login with your Aer Lingus AerClub account or Vueling Club account. Vueling is a Spanish ultra-low-cost carrier which was purchased by IAG in 2012.Otherwise, you’ll be directed to British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Plus.Transferring Avios to/from British Airways Executive ClubFor all intents and purposes, British Airways Executive Club is the best hub for transferring Avios.You can transfer Avios from British Airways Executive Club to and from Iberia Plus and Qatar Airways Privilege Club.To initiate a transfer, head to the British Airways website, sign in to your account, select the program to which you’d like to transfer Avios, and proceed as per the instructions.Note that you’re unable to transfer points from British Airways Executive Club to Iberia Plus if your British Airways account is a part of a family-sharing pool.If you’re planning to transfer Avios to Iberia Plus, there are other restrictions to be aware of, which are covered below.Transferring Avios to/from Iberia PlusOn the Iberia Plus website, you can transfer Avios to and from British Airways Executive Club and Aer Lingus AerClub.However, there are two odd caveats to keep in mind during this process.Moving points to and from Iberia requires your Iberia account to be at least 90 days old, and have had some sort of activity in the past three years. These requirements can pose a challenge for anyone who doesn’t tend to engage with Iberia regularly.Therefore, to have your Iberia Plus account available for Avios transfers, you’ll either need to transfer a small sum of points from Amex US MR, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Marriott Bonvoy, or find another way to organically earn Iberia Avios. This can be accomplished through a shopping portal, crediting a paid flight to the program, or by purchasing points outright.Transferring Avios to/from Qatar Airways Privilege ClubOn the Qatar Airways Privilege Club website, you can transfer Avios to and from British Airways. Aside from completing the transfer from within British Airways Executive Club, you can also initiate it on the Privilege Club dashboard.After you’ve linked your British Airways Executive Club account, you’ll be able to move points freely between the two using the “Combine my Avios” button the dashboard.Simply enter the number of Avios you wish to transfer, click “Move my Avios”, and the new balance will be reflected instantly.When Should You Transfer Avios Between Accounts?The main reason for transferring Avios between accounts is to take advantage of each program’s sweet spots.For example, a flight between Montreal and Doha in Qatar Airways Qsuites has roughly the same cost using British Airways Avios and Qatar Airways Avios at 70,000 Avios. In this case, there’s no tangible difference in booking with one program or the other.Similarly, by continuing onward to Bangkok in Qsuites, the total cost would come to 95,000 Avios in either program.However, if you were to add an additional leg in Qatar Airways First Class from Doha to Bangkok, you’d most certainly want to book using Qatar Airways Avios for more favourable pricing. In fact, you’d pay the same 95,000 Avios as you would have for two legs in business class, which is a spectacular deal.Transfer Avios to Qatar Airways Privilege Club to score Qatar Airways First Class at a discountOn the other hand, to book one leg in business class and one leg in First Class using British Airways Avios, you’d wind up with a cumulative sum of two separate flights, which would be substantially higher than booking with Qatar Airways Avios.Aside from the Qatar Airways Qsuites sweet spot, you could consider transferring Avios in the following circumstances:Transfer Avios to British Airways Executive Club to take advantage of a Multi-Carrier Award or short-haul flights in Europe, Asia, or OceaniaTransfer Avios to Iberia Plus to take advantage of the North America–Madrid sweet spot for 34,000 Avios in business classTransfer Avios to Aer Lingus AerClub to take advantage of cheap economy flights between North America and IrelandConclusionAer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia Airlines, and Qatar Airways all use Avios as a points currency, despite having different loyalty programs.One unique feature of Avios is that you can freely transfer them between Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Qatar Airways Privilege Club.As long as you’ve set up your accounts consistently and followed all of the rules, it’s quite easy to complete the transfer. Moving Avios around between flavours can be useful if you’d like to leverage a specific program’s sweet spot and need to top up your account.

Source: princeoftravel.com