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How to transfer Avios

How to Transfer Avios Between British Airways, Qatar, Aer Lingus & Iberia

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If you’re looking to use points and miles to fly on airlines like Qatar, Aer Lingus, Iberia, or even American or JetBlue, you’ll want to become familiar with Avios. 

Avios is the points and miles currency used by Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Qatar, and soon, Finnair. Uniquely, you can combine Avios between airlines, opening up an avenue to transfer points from cards like the *chase sapphire preferred*, the *amex gold*, or the *venture x* to book flights through any of these airlines.  

This all leads to some interesting opportunities to book certain flights for fewer points, lower fees, or just have more options to book the flights you want, period. The ability to transfer Avios means you can have the first crack at booking Qatar Qsuites, save hundreds in fees for a nonstop flight to Ireland, and potentially save a ton of points if there are any transfer bonuses to any airline that uses Avios. 

While transferring Avios between airlines is mostly straightforward, each program has some quirks. Here's how to do it. 


Overview of Transferring Avios Between Airlines

In a perfect world, there would be one central location to transfer Avios between all of these airlines. In the Avios world, that's not the case.

Here's a chart that gives an overview of how and where you can transfer Avios between specific airlines.


To / FromAer LingusBritish AirwaysIberiaQatar Airways
Aer LingusN/AAvios.comAvios.comTransfer to BA, then to Qatar
British AirwaysAvios.comN/ABA websiteBA or Qatar website
IberiaAvios.comBA websiteN/ATransfer to BA, then to Qatar
Qatar AirwaysTransfer to BA, then to Aer LingusBA or Qatar websiteTransfer to BA, then to IberiaN/A


So how do you get any of these miles in the first place? You don't necessarily need to fly these airlines. Instead, you can transfer credit card points directly to certain airlines.

The following banks and rewards programs are partners with airlines that use Avios as their miles currency – Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar.

  • Amex Membership Rewards: You can transfer Amex points instantly to all four of these airlines.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Transfer Chase points instantly to Aer Lingus, British Airways, or Iberia.
  • Capital One Venture Miles: It's only possible to transfer Capital One points to British Airways. The good news is it's an instant transfer.
  • Citi ThankYou Points: Citi points can be transferred to Qatar Airways – it usually takes 24 to 48 hours.
  • Bilt Rewards: Transfer Bilt points instantly to Aer Lingus, British Airways, or Iberia.

Read more: The Master List of Credit Card Transfer Partners

All roads go through British Airways. This is because the BA Executive Club program has the most transfer partners. In some cases, you'll need to first transfer to British Airways, then transfer from BA to another airline partner. Luckily, all of these transfers are instant.

One important note is that you can only transfer to or from Iberia if your Iberia Plus account is at least 90 days old. We always recommend opening frequent flyer accounts right away so you are ready to book when a deal strikes.

Follow the links below to open free frequent flyer accounts with all of these airlines if you haven't done so already. When creating accounts, make sure your name and address match exactly to avoid any issues when transferring Avios between the different airlines. This includes middle names or middle initials and email addresses.

Now that you've got accounts set up and know how you can transfer your credit card points to these airlines, let's have a look at how to transfer Avios between these airlines and a few specific cases of why you'd want to do so.


How to Transfer Avios Between British Airways & Qatar

This is the easiest Avios transfer there is. Essentially, once you have Avios in either your British Airways or Qatar account, you can pool them together to book with either program.

To get started, you'll need to sign up for a free account with Qatar. If you don't already have a British Airways account, you'll also need to sign up for a British Airways Executive Club account so you can link the two.

By linking your accounts, you'll open up more transfer opportunities. While Amex Membership Rewards transfer to both programs, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Capital One Venture miles only transfer instantly to British Airways. And if you have Citi ThankYou points, you can transfer those to Qatar Airways.

It's incredibly easy to link your British Airways and Qatar Airways accounts. After registering with Qatar, you'll get a prompt to link your British Airways Executive Club account.


link qatar and ba avios accounts


Simply follow the prompts to link the accounts. It will bring you to a sign-in screen to provide your login details with British Airways and you'll receive a few one-time password codes to your phone or email for verification.


link british airways avios with qatar


If you already have existing accounts with both programs and are trying to link your accounts, you can do so either at this link on Qatar's website or here on British Airways. I find it easier to combine British Airways and Qatar Avios on the British Airways site.


combine Avios British Airways Qatar


After clicking “Log in now,” you'll need to go through a few steps to verify your identity. I'd suggest clicking “Try another method” and then choosing to receive an SMS text message or email with a one-time passcode.


British Airways Qatar log-in combine Avios


Once your accounts are linked and you're logged in to both, you'll be able to instantly move Avios between British Airways and Qatar. Just type in how many you'd like to transfer and click “Combine my Avios.” You can also toggle which direction you'd like to send them.


transfer avios British Airways Qatar


Here's what it'll look like if you're doing this on Qatar's website. You'll have the same functionality here to transfer Avios in either direction after logging in to both accounts and verifying your identity with one-time passcodes.


Qatar British Airways transfer avios


The most common reason you'd want to transfer Avios from British Airways to Qatar is to be able to take advantage of British Airways' extra transfer partners (or transfer bonuses) to book Qatar's Qsuites to far-off destinations like the Maldives (MLE), Cape Town (CPT) … or all the way to Bangkok (BKK).


qatar airways qsuite


Read our full review of Qatar Qsuites – the best business class in the world!

While you can easily book nonstop Qatar flights to Doha (DOH) through British Airways' website, not all connecting itineraries will show up there. This means you'll want to search and book directly on Qatar's website if you want to fly Qsuites beyond Doha.

If you have your British Airways and Qatar accounts linked, you can just pool your points together and book the flights you want on Qatar's website.


Chicago to Bangkok Qatar Qsuites


Related Reading: The #1 Trick to Booking Qatar Qsuites Right Now


How to Transfer Avios Between Aer Lingus & British Airways or Iberia

Looking to book Aer Lingus flights with Avios? You'll want to book the flights with Aer Lingus itself to save on fees.

To do so, you'll need to first set up an AerClub account on aerlingus.com and then use those credentials to log into your Aer Lingus account over at avios.com.

The Avios.com website is notoriously buggy so you'll need to pack some patience. To navigate to the transfer page from the homepage, click “Manage my account” and then choose “Combine my Avios.”


navigate avios website


If all goes well, you can also go directly to this page by clicking this link. After logging in, you'll see the following screen.


transfer avios aer lingus choose program


Choose which program you'd like to transfer points to or from and then log in to that account using those credentials. In most cases, you'll likely be transferring points from British Airways to Aer Lingus, but you can transfer your Avios between Aer Lingus and Iberia this way, too.


transfer avios aer lingus british airways


Once you're logged in to both accounts, enter how many Avios you'd like to transfer and which direction you'd like to move them, either to or from “Avios Partners.” In this case, “Avios Partners” is your Aer Lingus AerClub account as this is what you always use when logging in on Avios.com.


review transfer avios


It's a fairly straightforward process when Avios.com is functioning correctly. You'll just confirm your transfer on the following screen and your points will be transferred instantaneously.


confirm transfer avios


However, there are many times when you may get error messages along the way, or even from the start. I've often come across this error after logging in at avios.com and navigating to the “Combine my Avios” page.


Avios transfer error


When this happens, you can call Aer Lingus at 1-855-585-8264 and transfer the points over the phone with an agent or you can do it via live chat. The live chat is only available during U.K. working hours, Monday through Friday, so you'll need to contact them in the morning U.S. time if you want to use this option. Phone lines are open later than the live chat.


Avios transfer live chat


Either way, it's pretty easy to transfer your Avios with an agent. I've used the online chat feature before and it was a pretty painless process. You'll just need your membership numbers and then answer a few security questions to confirm your identity.


avios transfer live chat


In just a few short minutes, my points were instantly transferred from my British Airways account to my Aer Lingus account and I received an email confirming the transfer.

If you follow these simple steps, you can avoid paying the extremely high fees that British Airways charges to book Aer Lingus flights between the U.S. and Ireland, like this Aer Lingus business class flight from Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Dublin (DUB), for example.

If you were to book this flight on the British Airways website, it would cost 50,000 British Airways Avios plus $986 in fees one-way. No thanks!


Washington DC to Dublin using British Airways Avios


Instead, you can transfer Avios from British Airways to Aer Lingus and book the same flight on Avios.com (or more easily with an agent over the phone) for just 50,000 Aer Lingus Avios plus only $137 in fees.


Washington D.C. to Dublin using Aer Lingus Avios


That's $850 in savings by simply transferring miles from one airline to another. The fact that you have more transfer opportunities (and more frequent transfer bonuses) with British Airways compared to Aer Lingus makes this an incredibly lucrative option if you're looking to book Aer Lingus flights.


aer lingus business class


Read our full review of Aer Lingus business class – the best way to fly nonstop to Ireland.


How to Transfer Avios Between British Airways & Iberia

If you need to transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia, the easiest way to do so is on British Airways' website.

Keep in mind that your Iberia Plus account must be open for at least 90 days to transfer Avios to or from the Iberia Plus program. This means if you're just opening a new Iberia account, you won't be able to transfer Avios yet. We always recommend opening frequent flyer accounts right away so you are ready to book when a deal strikes. Go here and sign up now!

If you're trying to navigate to the transfer page from British Airways' homepage, click “My Account” in the upper-left of the page after logging in to your account.


british airways navigate to my account


On the following page, click “Executive Club” and then select “Combine my Avios” from the dropdown.


navigating to combine Avios on British Airways website


Alternatively, you can just follow this direct link and log in to your account. It should bring you directly to where you need to be. Once here, just click “Combine my Avios” in the Iberia section.


British Airways Iberia combine avios


While British Airways' IT is not as bad as Avios.com, it's still not the best. You may get an error message at this point. If that happens, you can try again later or contact an agent via online chat or a phone call to complete the transfer.


British Airways Iberia transfer error


If all goes well, you should land on the transfer tool page, which will look very similar to the one on Avios.com. You may also be able to use this link to go directly to this page after logging in. Select “Iberia Plus” from the dropdown menu, enter your Iberia credentials, and then click “Log in & continue.”


British Airways Iberia Avios transfer


Then, simply follow the steps to transfer your points in the direction of your choice.

To be honest, there aren't too many cases where it makes sense to transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia. Since the rates and taxes & fees to book Iberia flights are now the same whether you book with British Airways or Iberia, you're probably better off just booking with British Airways for simplicity.

However, Iberia's website will sometimes show better availability for its own flights than British Airways does so you may have more dates to choose from when booking with Iberia.


Iberia business class


Read our full review of Iberia business class – one of the cheapest ways to fly lie-flat to Europe.

Iberia also has some airline partners that British Airways does not, such as Avianca, that you may be able to book flights on using Iberia Avios – though it could require several calls. But the sweet spot is the fact that you'll pay much lower fees if you book American Airlines business class to Spain using Iberia Avios compared to booking the same AA flights with British Airways.

For example, this one-way American Airlines business class flight from New York (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN) costs 62,000 British Airways Avios plus a ridiculous $986 in fees one-way when booking with British Airways.


New York to Barcelona using British Airways Avios


But you can book the exact same American Airlines flight through Iberia for 62,000 Avios plus just $48 in fees one-way. That's a monumental savings in fees.


New York to Barcelona flying AA using Iberia Avios


However, there is a major caveat to booking partner airline flights with Iberia Avios. Your ticket cannot be changed or canceled at all if you book an American Airlines flight (or most other partner airlines) using Iberia's program.

Iberia's policy states that changes and cancellations are only allowed on flights operated by British Airways, Iberia, or a couple of small regional partners in Europe. If you want to book another partner airline with Iberia Avios, make sure your plans are firm. If you can't take the flight you booked initially, you'll just need to eat the cost.

Otherwise, you may want to book those flights with another program that has a better change/cancellation policy. In the case of booking American Airlines business class to Europe, consider booking with Qatar Avios if you don't have AA miles. Qatar's fees of around $200 each way are considerably better than what you'd pay to book AA flights with British Airways Avios – and you can change or cancel your flight for a $25 fee when booking with Qatar.


How to Transfer Avios Between Qatar Airways & Aer Lingus or Iberia

Looking to use Citi ThankYou points to book an Aer Lingus or Iberia flight directly with those programs? It's a little complex, but it's possible.

Since Qatar is the only Citi transfer partner that uses Avios, you'll need to first transfer Citi points to Qatar and then move those Avios from Qatar to the other airline programs.

In this case, you'd need to follow the steps above to first transfer Avios from Qatar to British Airways, then follow the next steps to transfer from British Airways to either Aer Lingus or Iberia. There isn't currently a way to do this directly.


Bottom Line

No matter which type of transferrable credit card points you're earning, you can use them to book flights with any of the Avios programs because you can transfer Avios between Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, or Qatar.

It's mostly straightforward to make these transfers happen if you know where to go and understand the quirks involved – even though some of them take multiple steps.

By following these steps to transfer Avios between these airlines, you can take advantage of all the different sweet spots each program offers.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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