Compare Avios credit cards

Frequent flyer reward schemes like Avios can be a little flighty when you try to pin them down. We've done the hard work to help find which card is best for you.

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Compare credit cards that earn Avios points directly

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Finder Score Finder score Max. intro bonus Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Link Incentive Representative example
British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
25,000 points
1.5 points per £1 spent
£300 per annum
139.9% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Terms apply. 18+, subject to status. New Cardmembers only.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31.0% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £300 per annum, your representative rate is 139.9% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express® Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
31% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Earn 5,000 points when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Terms apply. UK 18+, subject to status. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Avios Plus Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
25,000 points
1.5 points per £1 spent
£20 per month
80.1% APR (variable)
Earn 25,000 Avios when £3,000 spent on card over the first 3 months of opening. Earn 1.5 Avios for every £1 you spend. Spend £10,000 or more during the year and receive a British Airways cabin upgrade voucher to use on an Avios Reward Flight booking, or 7,000 bonus Avios. Avios value varies dependent on reward (min 1,000pts for flights)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £20 per month, your representative rate is 80.1% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Avios Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
29.9% APR (variable)
Earn 5,000 Avios when £1,000 spent on card over the first 3 months of opening. Earn 1 Avios for every £1 you spend. Spend £20,000 or more during the year and receive a British Airways cabin upgrade voucher to use on an Avios Reward Flight booking, or 7,000 bonus Avios. Avios value varies dependent on reward (min 1,000pts for flights)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
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Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

Compare credit cards that earn points you can exchange for Avios

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first

If you’re a regular traveller, it’s worth knowing that some credit cards let you exchange their loyalty points for Avios. At the time of writing, American Express Membership Rewards points can be exchanged at a rate of 1:1 (in multiples of 1,000), for example, and you can also swap 400 Sainsbury’s Nectar points for 250 Avios. HSBC has also periodically run promotions allowing Premier customers to exchange reward points for Avios.

1 - 5 of 6
Name Product Finder Score Finder score Max. intro bonus Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Link Incentive Representative example
American Express® Rewards Credit Card
3.9
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
31% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent thereafter. Earn up to 90,000 bonus points per year through refer a friend, 4,000 points awarded for every friend approved. 1 point = 0.45p (min 1,000 points) to shop, other rewards have differing conversions.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
American Express® Nectar Credit Card
3.8
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
20,000 points
2 points per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £30 per annum
37.8% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
New welcome offer: Earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months. Earn a minimum of 3 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners, and 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £30 per annum, your representative rate is 37.8% APR (variable).
American Express® Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
30,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195 per annum
88.8% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Limited time offer: New Cardmembers earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Plus, spend anything in month 15 and get 5,000 Membership Rewards® points. Offer ends 16 July. Terms Apply. 18+, subject to status.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195 per annum, your representative rate is 88.8% APR (variable).
The Platinum Card® by American Express
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
40,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£650 per annum
704.6% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
New Cardmembers earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend £6,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. T&Cs Apply. UK 18+, subject to status.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31.0% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £650 per annum, your representative rate is 704.6% APR (variable).
Sainsbury's Dual 20 Month Credit Card Mastercard
Not yet rated
Not yet rated
N/A
N/A
£0
23.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 Nectar point per £2 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos, and 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere. Additional points can be earned by also using the Nectar card or app at the time of transaction. 1 point = 0.5p (min 500pts)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 23.9% APR (variable).
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What is Avios?

Avios is a frequent flyer scheme that allows you to earn points towards the cost of a flight as you spend. You can earn points through flying, spending with Avios partner brands or converting points from other programmes, such as the Sainsbury’s Nectar points scheme.

The number of points you can collect from flights you buy depends on which airline you fly with, how far you fly, and whether you’re flying economy, business or first class. How much you can collect through partner brands will depend on the scheme and where you shop.

BA Executive Club

In 2018, all Avios members were moved to the BA Executive Club. You can choose to collect and spend your Avios with BA, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus. You can also fly with LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, S7, Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Qatar, Japan Airlines, Air Italy and Alaska Airlines.

Can I convert Tesco Clubcard points into Avios?

As of 18 January 2021, you can no longer exchange Tesco Clubcard points for Avios. Now, Avios is partnered with Nectar.

How can I compare cards that offer Avios points?

There are different factors you should consider when choosing a card. These include:

  • Is there a sign-up bonus?
  • Where you can earn points?
  • What is the earn-rate?
  • Are any types of transaction exempt?
  • Does the card have an annual fee?
  • How easy is it to convert the points?
  • How much will the card cost to run?
  • Does the card have other benefits?

Which credit card is best for Avios?

The right card for you will ultimately depend on whether you are happy to pay an annual fee. For both British Airways credit cards and the American Express Rewards cards, for example, the sign-up bonuses and earn-rates are considerably more generous if you’re willing to pay an annual fee.

The earn-rate of Avios points on the British Airways Premium Plus is 1.5 for every £1 you spend, rather than the 1 point for every £1 you spend with the standard card. This would give you 10,000 extra Avios points on a spend of £20,000. You also get an extra year to use your Companion Voucher.

Although an annual fee can put some people off, it’s always worth weighing this up against the extra benefits that these cards typically entitle you to. Ultimately, whether or not the fee is worth paying will come down to how many points you expect to earn over the year, and how much those points will then go on to save you – you could be surprised.

If you don’t want to pay a fee, the Amex Gold is the best for sign-up bonuses, with an offer of 30,000 membership rewards points, which is the equivalent of 30,000 Avios points. However, the annual fee is only waived for the first year.

It’s worth noting that many of these cards have a foreign exchange fee of around 3%, so you may wish to get a separate credit card for spending money abroad.

Can I get a 0% credit card with Avios?

None of the dedicated, Avios-earning credit cards offer interest-free spending (in fact, interest rates tend to be high which means it’s important to clear your balance in full each month).

However, as of 25 January 2021, Sainsbury’s customers can exchange Nectar points for Avios air miles. And the good news is that Sainsbury’s does offer 0% deals.

Sainsbury’s cards allow you to earn Nectar points which can then be exchanged for Avios. You’ll collect up to 3 Nectar points for every £1 spent on Sainsbury’s shopping, and 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere. That means, for example, that if you’re putting a hefty purchase on a Sainsbury’s 0% card to spread the cost, you’ll be able to earn Nectar (and thus, indirectly, Avios) on your purchase.

Under the Nectar/Avios scheme, all existing and future Avios air miles can also be converted to Sainsbury’s Nectar points at the rate of roughly 0.8p per Avios. This means you can use your Avios air miles towards purchases at places like Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay and many more. To convert points, you’ll need to link your Nectar and British Airways Executive Club accounts.

How do I spend my Avios points?

You can redeem your Avios points via the Avios website. You can use them to book flights, a hotel or car hire, or to book days out and experiences or even order wine.

The number of points you need to use per flight depends on the zone you travel in. The zone depends on the distance between your departure airport and your destination, and there are 9 zones. Generally, if you’re travelling in Europe, your flight will be within Zones 1 and 3 (up to 2,000 miles away). For example:

  • 20,000 Avios will get you one return flight from London to Athens
  • 15,000 Avios will get you one return flight from London to Barcelona
  • 9,000 Avios will get you one return flight from London to Berlin

You still need to pay taxes and charges on flights. But under Avios’s “Reward Flight Saver” scheme, you can pay a low, flat fee to cover taxes, fees and carrier charges, and a fixed Avios amount. Depending on where you are flying, you can pay as little as £1 and 18,500 Avios. To qualify, you will need to earn at least 1 point during the year before you book.

The cost of flights in Avios points is fixed – it doesn’t fluctuate as it does if you’re paying in cash. However, availability can be lower, so book early if you want to use your points. Booking generally opens 355 days before a flight.

Expert analysis: What you need to know about Companion Vouchers

Liz Edwards profile pic
Liz Edwards

Editor-in-chief

One of the most prized rewards from the British Airways American Express Credit Card is the Companion Voucher you can earn if you spend £12,000 in one year. The voucher entitles you to a second economy class seat for a friend travelling with you, for no extra Avios points, if you book a Reward Flight with British Airways, Aer Lingus or Iberia. Or you can use it to get a 50% discount on the Avios price of your own ticket.

But there are a few catches. For example, you'll need to pay the fees and taxes for both tickets, and the vouchers have an expiry date. You must book your flight before this date (and make the outbound journey, too) or you'll lose the voucher. With the standard BA Amex credit card, you get 12 months from when the voucher was issued to use it; for Premium Plus, it's 24 months.

Try our Avios calculator

What are the pros and cons of Avios points cards?

Pros

  • You can use your points for long-haul business trips and lounge passes.
  • Companion tickets – you can take someone on the same conditions as your flight – so if you fly long-haul in business class, they can join you.
  • You can use them like any usual credit cards for your everyday spending – and as long as you pay off in full every month, this could mean more points.
  • If your card is a credit card (rather than a charge card), you’re protected by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you buy anything costing between £100 and £30,000, at home or abroad.

Cons

  • Availability is more limited when booking flights, so it helps to be flexible.
  • You still need to pay taxes and charges on flights, so they’re not entirely free.
  • Some do come with annual fees.
  • You should only use them if you know you will pay them off in full every month, because of high interest fees.
  • For some, only high earners are eligible.

Are there any alternatives to Avios credit cards?

There are other frequent flyer cards, including the Virgin Atlantic Reward card , which offers double points on Virgin flights, as well as offers from Virgin Experience Days, Virgin Trains and Virgin Wines, which can help you earn miles. Other schemes include Emirates Skywards Miles, Iberia Plus, and Miles & More.

There are also cards aimed specifically at hotel stays, such as the IHG Rewards Club credit card (no longer active), which included offers for IHG properties like Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.

Do Avios points expire?

You’ll need to spend or collect 1 Avios point on your credit card every 36-month period to avoid losing any points.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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