In this three part series I discuss the collection Avios on a macro level as I feel this has not been widely explained to well unless you are in the know. In any event there are enough articles out there explaining how to collect Avios from shops or the obligatory “fastest way to get Avios” articles – however I want to focus on the rational of why you need three Avios accounts to best manage your collection. I discuss the need to have a BAEC account, an Air Lingus Account and an Iberia account. The chart below sums this up nicely.
In this second article I focus on the Aer Lingus AerClub (AC account)
Aer Lingus AerClub
If an AC account is your main account then it is likely you are a resident of Ireland (Northern or Republic) as the main benefits with having such a card would be most applicable to you. Although there is a very specific reason why you need this account, even if you are not a user of Aer Lingus and that is because it allows you access to Avios.com. There are some other benefits due to the legacy of the airline being bought by IAG which should also not be forgotten.
Code Share Agreements
Much of the interesting aspects that have been formed around codeshare agreements with Aer Lingus has developed as a result of IAG’s purchase of the airline back in 2014/15.
As a result, some of the alliances that existed before the purchase still remain in place – the big notable one being the agreement between Aer Lingus (No Alliance) and United (Star Alliance). Without expanding too much into why it exists other than a remnant of the Golden Circle days, this effectively means that you can use the airline as a passthrough to collect Avios points from a Star Alliance member and credit a Oneworld member.
On the other hand, being a quasi offshoot of a Oneworld member who are not in the Oneworld alliance or an affiliate member leads to some interesting Avios rewards. You cannot credit all Oneworld partner flights to AerClub. The only participating airlines are British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and United.
Because Aer Lingus is not in the oneworld alliance member (or an affiliate for that fact), you cannot credit all oneworld partner flights to AerClub. The only participating airlines are British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and United.
In most cases, the earning rates are the same as crediting flights to British Airways Executive Club so there is no real advantage to crediting to AerClub. The only notable differences are – and in any case it is somewhat arbitrary and would only be beneficial if one was status rich and Avios poor:
- Qantas Premium Economy is 110% in AerClub vs 100% in BAEC
- Qantas Economy (K, L, M, V, S) is 50% in Aer Club vs 25% in BAEC
- Cathay Pacific Premium Economy (W only) is 110% in BAEC vs 100% in AerClub
- Cathay Pacific Economy (H only) is 100% in BAEC vs 50% in AerClub
- Cathay Pacific Economy (L, K, M, V) is 50% in AerClub vs 25% in BAEC
- Cathay Pacific Economy (M, N, Q, S) is 25% in BAEC but nothing in AerClub
The importance of the Avios.com account should not be understated as it namely allows the transfer of Avios between all three cards. Therefore, if you want to convert Iberia Avios to BA Avios you will need an Avios.com account.
While it is possible to get to Avios.com website via the Iberia and Vueling pages – the Iberia website is complicated to navigate (when it works) and the benefits of having an Aerclub account outweighs the benefits of a Vueling account. In my opinion, the only reason it would be beneficial to go for a Vueling account if you are able to do 40 flights a year to lock in premium.
On the other hand, as stated in part one, BAEC and Avios operate two different E-stores since BA pulled out of the Avios.com. Avios.com offers a far superior product than BAEC. Not only does Avios.com allow you to collect Avios via affiliate links which do not exist on BAEC, it also allows you to collect in different countries and currencies… Groupon Spain vs Groupon UK is a prime example.