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British Airways Executive Club: Guide to Avios, elite status and transfer partners

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

British Airways is the largest full-service airline in the United Kingdom and flies to more destinations in the U.S. than any other European carrier.

The airline’s loyalty program is called the Executive Club, and the program’s currency is called Avios. With a substantial global route network and a loyalty currency that is easy to earn and redeem, it is a program that should be on your radar, even if you aren’t traveling to the U.K.

Here’s what you need to know about earning and redeeming British Airways Avios for rewards and how to earn elite status in the Executive Club.

What are Avios?

Avios are the points currency used by the following loyalty programs:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Iberia Plus
  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Vueling
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Finnair Plus (from March 9. 2024)

Avios can be transferred between any of these programs at a ratio of 1:1, so each Avios is theoretically worth the same in each program. There are, however, different ways in which Avios can be redeemed in each program. This means the savvy reader can achieve different values depending on which program they are used in — and how.

This guide focuses on Avios earned and redeemed in the Executive Club program.

A British Airways Club Suite. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

How to earn elite status in the British Airways Executive Club program

Tier Points count toward status, and there are four different status levels:

  • Blue — the level where everyone starts
  • Bronze — achieved after 300 Tier Points earned in a membership year
  • Silver — achieved after 600 Tier Points earned in a membership year
  • Gold — achieved after 1,500 Tier Points earned in a membership year

Like some other airline programs, the British Airways Executive Club also has two additional levels of status that aren’t published:

  • Gold Guest List — achieved after 5,000 Tier Points earned in a membership year and maintained in subsequent years by earning 3,000 Tier Points in a membership year
  • Premier — invitation-only elite status

Blue benefits

  • Collect Avios on revenue flights with BA or its partners
  • Share Avios in a household account (up to six members)
  • Free seat selection 24 hours before departure (excluding exit row seats and not including travel on basic fares)
  • Save preferences, such as special meals and seating
  • Access to Reward Flight Savers

Bronze benefits

  • All the Blue benefits
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Free seat selection seven days before departure
  • 25% bonus Avios when flying with Japan Airlines
  • Status freeze for maternity/paternity/adoption

American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Barcelona BCN

Silver benefits

Silver is the equivalent of Gold on many other airlines, where the benefits kick in.

  • All the Bronze benefits
  • Free seat selection at the time of booking
  • 50% bonus Avios when flying with Japan Airlines
  • Two 71-pound checked bags economy (applicable to everyone on your booking, except basic fare)
  • Business-class lounge access when flying BA and partner airlines (with one guest)
  • Priority baggage delivery
  • Priority phone support

Gold benefits

  • All Silver benefits
  • Free seat selection at the time of booking, including exit row seats and exclusive access to 1A and 1K in first-class
  • 100% bonus Avios when flying Japan Airlines
  • Additional free checked bag in any class and a weight allowance of 71 pounds per bag (applicable to everyone on your booking)
  • First-class check-in desk and lounge access when flying BA and Oneworld airlines (lounge access includes one guest)
  • Use of BA arrivals lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) Terminal 5 after a long-haul flight (no guests)
  • Access to Gold Priority Rewards, which allows you to force an Avios reward ticket by paying double Avios for flights (you must book more than 30 days in advance)
  • Additional reward availability in economy
  • Gold upgrade voucher for two (at 2,500 Tier Points in one year)
  • Two Gold upgrade vouchers for one (at 3,500 Tier Points in one year)

Lifetime Gold is earned after collecting 35,000 Tier Points; there’s no limit on the amount of time you can take to collect.

Gold Guest List benefits

  • All Gold benefits
  • First-class lounge access when flying BA and Oneworld airlines (with up to five guests for BA-operated lounges)
  • Access to Gold Guest List redemptions, also known as Jokers, which allow members to get BA to open up Avios redemption seats (for up to five passengers), provided certain booking classes are still up for sale
  • Priority assistance helpline
  • Concorde Room card for access to the Concorde Room at LHR and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) (with one guest)
  • BA arrivals lounge access after a long-haul flight (with one guest)
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • Upgrade to Business First on the Heathrow Express
  • Gift one Gold and two Silver partner cards each membership year

Related: Still better than business class: A review of British Airways First on the 777 from London to Washington

Requalifying for status with British Airways requires the same amount of Tier Points, with the exception of Gold Guest List. However, BA has a “soft landing” for members who don’t retain the same status level in the following membership year. If a member fails to maintain their status, they’ll slip to the level directly below.


What is the difference between Avios and Tier Points?

Many frequent flyer programs differentiate between redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles. This is partly because airlines award multiples of actual miles flown to passengers in premium cabins or those with elite status for redeeming, but they award progress toward status based on actual miles flown.

British Airways Executive Club has a split. Rather than having elite qualifying miles, BA awards Tier Points, which count toward status. Sometimes confusingly for those new to the world of miles, BA calls its mileage currency — i.e., the miles that are earned and can be used for spending — Avios.


Avios are the air miles earned for flying, credit card spending and spending with partners through online shopping, hotel stays and rental cars. Therefore, Avios are the currency customers can use for reward flights, upgrades and other things like gift vouchers.

You can earn Avios points based on the price of your ticket and any additional add-ons when you fly, such as carrier charges, cabin upgrades, seats pre-booked and paid for, and additional bags.

Then, you will receive additional Avios points based on your Tier status. If you have Bronze Tier status, you will earn 7 points per British pound ($1.26) spent, 8 points per pound spent as a Silver Tier member and 9 points per pound as a Gold Tier member.

Related: Airline status vs. hotel status: Which is better, according to these TPG staffers?

Tier Points

British Airways awards Tier Points for all flights taken on British Airways or any of its Oneworld partners, which count toward status in the Executive Club. The number of Tier Points awarded depends on your ticket type and the class flown.

Short economy-class flights that are less than 2,000 miles can earn between 5 to 20 Tier points, depending on the fare class booked and, essentially, the price. The more expensive the ticket, the more likely you are to earn more Tier points. Short-haul business-class flights (or domestic first class, in the U.S.) of less than 2,000 miles typically earn 40 Tier points for each sector. So, taking lots of short flights in premium cabins can be a way to earn elite status quickly.

Once a year, Tier points balances reset to zero, and earnings for the next year start anew. BA currently does not use calendar years, but instead, each membership year is based on when someone joined the British Airways Executive Club. (It always comes on the eighth of the month.) This system will change in 2025 when all Executive Club members’ Tier Point year-end dates will begin on April 1 and end on March 31 each year.

Unlike the loyalty programs of some U.S. airlines, there is currently no spending requirement to earn status in the Executive Club program. You just have to earn the Tier Points and take two qualifying flights on British Airways each membership year for Bronze status. You must take four qualifying flights and meet the Tier point thresholds to earn Silver or Gold status.

Related: Avios vs. Tier Points: British Airways Executive Club status explained

How to earn Avios

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: A British Airways plane lands at Heathrow Airport on March 19, 2010 in London, England. The planned three day strike by BA cabin crew this weekend will now go ahead as talks between the airline and the union Unite collapsed earlier today. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Credit cards

The easiest way to earn a meaningful number of Avios for everyday spending is by applying for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

This card — issued by Chase and, therefore, subject to the 5/24 rule — is currently offering new applicants 75,000 Avios after they spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. TPG values Avios at 1.5 cents each, making the full bonus worth $1,125.

The British Airways Visa Signature has a $95 annual fee and earns 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Level. Plus, you can earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. All other purchases earn 1 Avios per $1 spent.

Transferable rewards cards

Savvy TPG readers know that we usually recommend sticking with cards that earn transferable points because of the added flexibility they offer. This strategy still applies if you’re trying to accrue Avios. British Airways is a transfer partner of Capital One, Chase Ultimate RewardsAmerican Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, making Avios one of the easiest currencies to earn.

Points transfer from Capital One, Chase, Bilt and Amex at a 1:1 ratio (in addition to occasional transfer bonuses), while Marriott points transfer to Avios at a 3:1 ratio. Plus, you’ll get a 5,000-Avios bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.

The following cards all currently offer strong welcome bonuses that you could easily convert to Avios:

Other ways to earn Avios include:

  • Purchasing Avios: They are often on sale.
  • Online shopping portal: Earn bonus Avios from many online merchants, with some stores offering 10 Avios per dollar or more.
  • Vacation packages: Search the British Airways Vacations website since it can earn you an extra 1 Avios per $1 spent. BA partners with major hotel brands such as IHG and Accor, so you can earn additional Avios. 
  • Airbnb: Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on vacation rentals.
  • Car rentals: Earn 5 Avios per pound ($1.26) spent with Avis and 1 Avios per dollar with Budget.
  • Lounge Pass: Earn 5 Avios per dollar spent when you buy access to a club lounge at over 350 airports worldwide.
  • Heathrow Rewards: Earn 1 Avios per pound (about $1.26) when you shop, dine or park at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), British Airways’ primary hub. You can then convert these Heathrow Rewards points to Avios at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Surveys: Members can use e-Rewards and Avios for Thoughts to earn Avios for completing surveys, including 600 Avios when you complete your first survey.

Which airlines can I book with Avios?

Qatar Airways QSuite
Qatar Airways’ Qsuite. ZACH HONIG/THE POINTS GUY

British Airways is a founding member of Oneworld, a global alliance of more than a dozen airlines.

Assuming there’s award availability, you can use your Avios from your British Airways accounts for flights on any Oneworld airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Fiji Airways (Oneworld connect partner)
  • Iberia, including Iberia Express and Air Nostrum
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Oman Air (joining in 2024)
  • Qantas, including QantasLink and Jetconnect
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • S7 Airlines (currently suspended)
  • SriLankan Airlines

In addition to the Oneworld partners listed above, you can also use Avios from British Airways Executive Club to redeem for flights on:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Vueling
  • Sun-Air, a BA franchise partner in Scandinavia

How many Avios will I need?

Though British Airways Executive Club does not publish an official redemption chart, TPG has found that the airline follows this award pricing for one-way Avios redemptions:


(distance in miles)

Economy off-peak Economy peak Premium economy off-peak Premium economy peak Business off-peak Business peak First class off-peak First class peak
Zone 1


4,750 5,250 N/A N/A 8,500 9,750 N/A N/A
Zone 2


7,250 8,250 N/A N/A 13,500 15,750 N/A N/A
Zone 3


9,250 10,750 N/A N/A 17,750 18,350 N/A. N/A.
Zone 4


10,000 12,500 N/A N/A 31,250 37,500 N/A N/A
Zone 5


13,000 20,000 26,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 68,000 80,000
Zone 6


16,250 25,000 32,500 50,000 62,500 75,000 85,000 100,000
Zone 7


19,500 30,000 39,000 60,000 75,000 90,000 102,000 120,000
Zone 8


22,750 35,000 45,500 70,000 87,500 105,000 119,000 140,000
Zone 9


32,500 50,000 65,000 100,000 125,000 150,000 170,000 200,000

British Airways has introduced Reward Flight Savers on all BA-operated routes. This allows Executive Club members to pay more Avios in exchange for a reduction in the significant fuel surcharges the program instates, some of the industry’s highest.

Here is the partner award chart for flights operated by partner airlines, excluding Zone 1 to 4 American Airlines and Alaska Airlines (all flights are charged at the peak price):


(distance in miles)

Economy Premium economy Business/Domestic first First
Zone 1


6,000 6,750 12,500 24,000
Zone 2


9,000 11,250 16,500 33,000
Zone 3


11,000 15,000 22,000 44,000
Zone 4


13,000 25,000 38,750 51,500
Zone 5


20,750 40,000 62,000 82,500
Zone 6


25,750 50,000 77,250 103,000
Zone 7


31,000 62,000 92,750 123,750
Zone 8


36,250 72,250 108,250 144,250
Zone 9


51,500 100,000 154,500 206,000

For some flights operated by partner airlines who also use Avios, you may see slightly different pricing than on the table above when redeeming through British Airways Executive Club. For example:

  • Aer Lingus Zone 1 flights are priced at 4,000 Avios in economy
  • Iberia Zone 1 flights are priced at 5,000 Avios in economy; and
  • Qatar Airways Zone 1 flights are priced at 8,000 Avios in economy.

Related: 4 versions of Avios: When to use Aer Lingus, Qatar Airways, Iberia and British Airways

For shorter flights operated by American Airlines or Alaska Airlines, the following prices apply:

Zone (distance) Economy first-class
Zone 1 (up to 650 miles) 8,250 Avios 16,500 Avios
Zone 2 (651 – 1,151 miles) 11,000 Avios 20,500 Avios
Zone 3 (1,152 – 2,000 miles) 14,500 Avios 29,000 Avios
Zone 4 (2,001 – 3,000 miles) 16,000 Avios 42,000 Avios

Flights in Zone 5 or above (such as to Europe) operated by American Airlines are priced using the regular partner award chart.

If you do a mixed-cabin redemption, the number of miles payable will also be the highest fare class amount.

How do I book flights with British Airways Avios?


First, to transfer points or search award availability, you will need a British Airways Executive Club account. Click here to sign up if you don’t already have an account.

British Airways’ website is one of the best options for searching Oneworld award availability. Most redemptions can be booked online through the Executive Club website.

There are two main ways to search for award availability. Immediately after logging in to BA’s website, I usually hover over the “Book” tab in the upper left corner and click on “Book a flight with Avios.”

british airways avios search

BA lets you easily search plus or minus three days at the top of the results page.

british airways avios

When you select your preferred flight, you will then see the Avios and fees and taxes cost.

british airways avios

Can I use a combination of Avios and cash?

There are two different ways to do this:

  • You can partly pay with Avios to reduce the cost of a cash ticket. This is not dependent on award availability, and you will earn Avios and Tier Points as normal.
  • You can reduce the number of Avios needed for redemption by paying additional cash (beyond just the fees and taxes).

You may not have sufficient Avios in your account to cover the cost of the entire flight, or you may not wish to use so many Avios for one redemption. So, British Airways gives you the option to pay with a combination of Avios and money for redemption on British Airways or its partners.

Bottom line

British Airways has a huge route network, especially in North America and across Europe, making it a great option for those flying from the U.S. to Europe. Plus, BA remains committed to maintaining international first class, and while none of its products are world-leading, they are fairly consistent.

Avios is one of the easiest loyalty program currencies to earn and redeem. Redemptions for short-haul travel can offer great value, though fuel surcharges remain the biggest frustration with the program.