As the Avios rewards scheme closes, is it the end of points programmes? 

Avios has announced the closure of its UK travel rewards programme, with all users being transferred to the British Airways Executive Club this summer.

The changeover will take place before the end of July, with all customers being contacted before the switch. While users will still be able to collect and spend points at the same rate under the BA scheme, the move signals a further change in the UK rewards market.

Many credit card providers have withdrawn products or reduced the rewards on offer in recent months following an EU ruling which limited the amount card providers could charge retailers for processing payments.

With these interchange fees now capped, card companies have found it difficult to make rewards cards pay their way.

Popular products including the TSB Avios credit card and MBNA’s entire range of airline cards have been withdrawn from sale. The Lloyds Bank Avios card is now restricted to branch applications and the Hilton Hotels Barclaycard has also been closed to new customers.

Rob Burgess, of frequent flyer comparison service Head for Points, said Avios customers will see little negative from the switch to the BA Executive Club, but that the wider market for rewards credit cards had collapsed.

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