British Airways Executive Club is one of the most popular frequent-flyer programs in the United Kingdom and also one of the more unique loyalty programs. British Airways Executive Club prices its redemption rates based on distance rather than by regions. This can be extremely advantageous when booking short-haul flights in expensive markets.

For instance, short-distance flights within the United States are notoriously expensive, and you can find some high-value redemptions for short domestic flights.

Avios is the rewards currency of British Airways as well as Iberia, Qatar Airways and Aer Lingus, meaning that you can earn and spend Avios with any of the four aforementioned airlines. However, each of these airlines has its own award pricing, so your Avios will have different values depending on which of these airlines you redeem them with.

The fact that you can use their rewards currency with any of these four airlines greatly widens your options when it comes to redemption opportunities.

Let’s take a look at the many ways to earn and redeem Avios through the British Airways Executive Club program and briefly touch on how to move Avios among the four frequent-flyer programs that share this currency, one of the few programs where you can easily combine Avios amongst family members.

British Airways

British Airways Executive Club Overview

British Airways is one of the largest U.K.-based airline carriers with a fleet size exceeding 250 aircraft. The carrier has its home base at Heathrow Airport in London and operates flights to more than 200 destinations.

In 1999, British Airways helped found Oneworld alliance, which has grown to include 14 member airlines today. So, if you’re able to achieve elite status with British Airways Executive Club (or any other Oneworld member), you’ll automatically earn elite status with Oneworld as well.

Here are the other members of the Oneworld alliance:

Alaska AirlinesFiji Airways
American AirlinesFinnair
Cathay PacificIberia
Japan AirlinesRoyal Air Maroc
Malaysia AirlinesRoyal Jordanian
QantasSriLankan Airlines

In addition to its previously mentioned Oneworld partners, British Airways also has partnerships with several other airlines, including:

Air Tahiti NuiHawaiian Airlines
Cape AirIndiGo
China Southern AirlinesJetBlue
Etihad AirwaysSilver Airways
GOL Airlines

When it comes to earning Tier Points that count toward British Executive Club elite status, the only way to do so is through paid flights with British Airways or one of its partners. However, there are many ways to earn Avios, including flying with British Airways or one of its partner airlines, signing up for a British Airways co-branded credit card, booking rental cars, staying at hotels, shopping online and more.

When it comes to redeeming your Avios, there are many ways to do so. However, the best way to get the most value out of your Avios is to book award flights. As mentioned before, British Airways’s distance-based award pricing model presents interesting opportunities to find high-value redemptions.

British Airways Executive Club Elite Status

British Airways Executive Club Elite Status

To earn elite status with British Airways Executive Club, you’ll need to rack up a certain number of Tier Points and take a certain number of qualifying British Airways-operated flights. You can earn Tier Points only on paid flights with British Airways or one of its partner airlines.

The number of Tier Points that you’ll earn for a specific flight will depend on what airline you’re flying with, the distance of the flight and the fare class you booked. Luckily, British Airways has a calculator tool that can tell you exactly how many Tier Points you’ll earn.

For example, if you were to fly on a British Airways-operated flight from New York City (JFK) to London (LHR) in premium economy class, you’d earn 90 Tier Points.

British Airways Executive Club Elite Status

If you’re set on earning elite status with British Airways, the best ways to do so are by booking long-haul flights and booking flights in business or first class.

British Airways Executive Club has four status tiers: Blue: Bronze, Silver and Gold. All Executive Club members will start out with Blue status and can work their way up to higher tiers by earning Tier Points and completing qualifying flights.

Here’s how many Tier Points and flights you’ll need for each elite status tier.

Status tierTier Points requiredQualifying flights required

Once you meet one of the thresholds above and earn elite status, you’ll retain that status for the remainder of the membership year and through the following membership year. It’s also worth mentioning that British Airways will suspend your elite status for the duration of any maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Let’s look at the benefits of each of these elite status tier.


All Executive Club members start out at Blue status just for enrolling. At this status tier, you can earn Avios points for flights, hotels and other purchases. Blue status members also get access to special members-only rates. You’ll also gain the ability to choose your seat 24 hours before departure (except basic fare tickets).


Bronze elite status members will get all the same perks as Blue members as well as some additional benefits, such as 25% bonus Avios when flying with British Airways, priority check-in and boarding, plus priority at the baggage service desk. You’ll also have the ability to choose your seat seven days before departure. Executive Club Bronze members can also status match to Oneworld Ruby elite status.


Silver elite status members will get all the same perks as Bronze members as well as some additional benefits. You’ll receive 50% bonus Avios when flying with British Airways, complimentary access to British Airways business-class lounges for you and one guest except on codeshare flights) and access to first-class lounges with first-class tickets.

Executive Club Silver members also have the option to choose their seat for free when booking flights and receive extra baggage allowance. Finally, it’s possible to status match to Oneworld Sapphire elite status.


Gold elite status members will get all the same perks as Silver members as well as some additional benefits. You’ll receive 100% bonus Avios when flying with British Airways, complimentary access to first class (regardless of what class you’re flying in) for you and one guest. Additionally, Executive Club Gold members get Oneworld Emerald elite status.

It’s also worth noting that British Airways will keep track of the number of Tier Points you earn with them over your lifetime. If you earn 35,000 Lifetime Tier Points, you’ll achieve Lifetime Gold status, meaning your Executive Club Gold elite status will remain for the rest of your life.

British Airways Executive Club Elite Status

How to Earn British Airways Avios

Avios are one of the easiest airline rewards currencies to earn, primarily because four different airlines use them as their currency (and you can also earn them by flying with partners of those four airlines).

However, when it comes to earning Avios through British Airways, there are more ways to do so than just booking flights. You can earn Avios by spending on a credit card, booking a hotel, parking at the airport, shopping online and more. Let’s look at all the different ways that you can earn Avios through British Airways.

Flying with British Airways

You can earn Avios and Tier Points on any British Airways flight, regardless of which fare class you’re booked in. However, you’ll earn more Avios and Tier Points in certain fare classes than others. For every ticket, Avios and Tier Points are awarded as a percentage of the distance flown. Plus, there’s a minimum number of Avios that you’re guaranteed for booking any British Airways flight.

Here is a breakdown of how many Avios and Tier Points you’ll earn in each fare class (or fare bucket).

Fare classAvios awardedMinimum Avios awardedTier Points awarded
Economy lowest (G,O,Q)25% of miles flown12525% of miles flown
Economy low (K, L, M, N, S, V)50% of miles flown25050% of miles flown
Economy flexible (Y, B, H)100% of miles flown500100% of miles flown
Premium economy lowest (E, T)100% of miles flown500100% of miles flown
Premium economy flexible (W)150% of miles flown750100% of miles flown
Business class lowest (R, I)150% of miles flown750100% of miles flown
Business class flexible (J, C, D)250% of miles flown1,250100% of miles flown
First class lowest (A)250% of miles flown1,250100% of miles flown
First class flexible (F)300% of miles flown1,500100% of miles flown

Again, all of these fare classes are eligible to earn bonus Avios for elite members. Bronze elite members earn 25% extra Avios; Silver elite members earn 50% extra Avios; and Gold elite members earn 100% extra Avios.

For instance, let’s say that you take a flight that’s 1,000 miles in distance in the following fare buckets: K, L, M, N, S, V. You’d earn 500 base Avios (because economy low class earns 50% of the miles flown). However, if you had Bronze elite status, you’d earn an additional 125 Avios (because 125 is 25% of 500). If you had Gold status, you’d earn an additional 500 Avios (because Gold elite members earn 100% bonus Avios).

Flying with Partner Airlines

You can also earn Avios for flying with any of the Oneworld partners as well as with non-alliance partners. Each partner airline has its own earnings chart. However, just like with British Airways, Avios are awarded as a percentage of miles flown, based on the fare class.

For example, here’s the earnings chart for Aer Lingus.

Eligible fare classAvios awarded
Economy lowest (L, S, R, W)25% of miles flown
Economy flexible (Y, M, N)100% of miles flown
Business lowest (D)150% of miles flown
Business flexible (C, J)250% of miles flown

Again, these earnings will vary depending on the partner airline that you’re flying with and the fare class that you booked. Likewise, the specific partner airline that you’re flying with will determine the minimum number of Avios you’ll earn, whether you’ll receive bonus Avios for having elite status with British Airways and whether you’ll earn Tier Points. All of this information can be found on the British Airways website.

Credit Card Spending

If you want to earn Avios on everyday spending, then you may want to consider signing up for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. This card is issued by Chase, and it’s the only co-branded credit card offered by British Airways.

The British Airways Visa Signature Card has an annual fee of $95, but it comes with a sign-up bonus, spending bonuses and other valuable perks that can easily offset the annual cost. Here are the earning rates for this card:

  • 3X Avios on flight purchases made directly with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Level
  • 2X Avios on hotel accommodations when purchased directly from the hotel
  • 1X Avios on all other purchases

Signing up for the British Airways Visa Signature Card is also a great way to ensure that your Avios don’t expire. Whether you step on a plane or not, your Avios won’t expire as long as you make a transaction on your card once every 36 months.

The British Airways Visa Signature Card also comes with the following benefits:

  • 10% off British Airways-operated round-trip flights departing from the United States
  • Ability to use your Avios to pay for taxes, fees and carrier charges when you redeem for a British Airways reward flight
  • A Travel Together ticket (allowing a companion to travel with you for free) or the option to pay 50% of the Avios fare when traveling solo after you spend $30,000 each calendar year
  • Statement credits of $100 for economy and premium economy or $200 for business and first class, three times per year (up to $600) when you book a reward flight to London on British Airways and pay taxes, fees and charges with the British Airways Visa Signature Card
  • No foreign transaction fees

Overall, the British Airways Visa Signature Card offers pretty lackluster benefits compared to other airline cards on the market in the same price range. Plus, since this card counts toward Chase’s 5/24 rule (which states that you can sign up for no more than five credit cards in a 24-month period to be approved for a new card from Chase), you may want to save those slots for other cards that offer better benefits and spending bonuses.

You can also earn Avios with the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card and the Iberia Visa Signature® Card and combine your Avios into your British Airways account.

Transfer Points from Credit Cards

British Airways Executive Club is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Miles, and all three programs offer 1:1 transfer ratios. All transfers must be in increments of 1,000 points.

So, unless you fly with British Airways frequently, it’s probably better to prioritize getting a credit card that earns Amex Membership Rewards points (such as the American Express® Gold Card), Chase Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) or Capital One Miles (such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card) instead of the British Airways Visa Signature Card. These rewards currencies are much more flexible and can be transferred to a multitude of airline rewards programs.

You should also keep an eye out for transfer bonuses. For instance, these programs might offer a bonus percentage or a fixed number when transferring rewards to British Airways Executive Club. These kinds of deals can greatly boost the value of your points.

You also can convert Bilt Rewards points (which you can earn for paying rent) to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio.

Transfer Points from Hotel Loyalty Programs

British Airways Executive Club has partnerships with several hotel chains that allow you to convert your hotel points into Avios. Here’s a complete list of British Airways’s hotel transfer partners and their transfer ratios.

Hotel loyalty programConversion rate
ALL Rewards4,000 ALL Rewards points to 2,000 Avios
Best Western5,000 Best Western Rewards points to 1,000 Avios
Hilton10,000 Hilton points to 1,000 Avios
Hyatt5,000 Hyatt points to 2,000 Avios. Receive 5,000 bonus Avios when you convert 50,000 points.
IHG10,000 IHG points to 2,000 Avios
Marriott3,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to 1,000 Avios. Receive 5,000 bonus Avios when you convert 60,000 points.
MeliaRewards100 MeliaRewards points to 30 Avios. Points can be converted in increments of 100.
Radisson2,000 Radisson points to 200 Avios, 50,000 Radisson points to 5,000 or 100,000 Radisson points to 10,000 Avios

As you can see, none of these hotel programs offer favorable transfer ratios. The only programs that are really worth making a conversion from are ALL Rewards (2:1), Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) and World of Hyatt (5:2), the latter two of which offer conversion bonuses. However, even with these bonuses, you’re better off redeeming these hotel currencies in their own programs than converting them to British Airways Avios.

However, if you have a large balance of hotel points that you don’t have any use for, and you have an immediate need for Avios, you may want to consider converting them into Avios.

View from an open window with blue shutters of the Aegean sea, caldera, coastline and whitewashed town of Oia, Santorini, Greece.

Booking Hotel Stays

British Airways also gives you the option to earn Avios for booking hotels and vacation rentals with certain companies. Unfortunately, you’ll be sacrificing the ability to earn hotel points for your stay. Here are the hotels and vacations rentals companies that allow you to earn Avios on your stays.

Hotel/vacation rental companyAvios earnings
Accor2.5X Avios per €2
Airbnb3X Avios per £1/€1/$1
Avios Hotels15X Avios per £1
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts500 Avios per stay
IHG Hotels & ResortsUp to 2X Avios per $1
Marriott InternationalUp to 2X Avios per $1

As mentioned before, if you elect to earn Avios for your hotel stays, you won’t be eligible to earn any hotel points for that stay, and earning hotel points is a better option than earning Avios in most cases. However, it’s definitely worth electing to earn Avios on Airbnb, which doesn’t have its own rewards currency.

rental car avis or budget

Rent a Car From Avis or Budget

You can earn British Airways Avios for renting cars through Avis or Budget. With Avis, you’ll earn 5X Avios per £1 spent on rental cars. You’ll also get an additional driver for free with every rental when you use your British Airways Executive Club membership number. With Budget, you’ll earn 1X Avios per dollar spent on rental cars.

Travel Extras

You can earn 5X Avios per dollar spent when you purchase a lounge pass through the British Airways Lounge Pass website. You can buy access to all British Airways airport lounges as well as more than 600 non-British Airways airport lounges. Pre-booking is available up to 15 months in advance.

You can also earn Avios for booking airport parking through the British Airways website and earn 5X Avios per £1 spent on Heathrow Express rail tickets. This train runs between Heathrow and central London and departs every 15 minutes.

Buying Merchandise

Like most other frequent-flyer programs, Executive Club has its own shopping portal that lets you earn Avios for shopping with certain online retailers. You can simply log in to your Executive Club account and click through the vendors on the portal. When you make a purchase, you’ll earn Avios. Each vendor offers a different earnings rate.

Fill Out Surveys

It’s possible to earn Avios by filling out surveys through Avios For Thoughts. Just for signing up, you’ll earn 100 Avios and 500 Avios when you fill out your first survey. After that, you’ll earn between 20 and 350 Avios per survey, depending on the length of the survey.

You also can earn Avios by filling out surveys with eRewards. You’ll earn 600 Avios for filling out your first survey. After that, the number of Avios you’ll earn per survey depends on the length of the survey.

How to Redeem British Airways Avios

Just as there are many ways to earn Avios with British Airways, there are also many ways to redeem them. Because Avios can be redeemed for flights with any Oneworld partner as well as non-alliance partners, you have a ton of options when searching for award flight availability.

Although British Airways doesn’t operate domestic routes in the United States, it has a partnership with American Airlines, the largest U.S.-based airline carrier by most metrics.

Although redeeming your Avios for flights is typically the best way to get the most value out of them, it’s far from the only way to use them. You can also use your Avios for car rentals, hotel stays, flight seating upgrades and more.

Let’s take a look at the different ways that you can redeem your Avios with British Airways.

Flights with British Airways

British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, meaning that longer flights are going to cost more Avios than shorter flights. So, to maximize the value, you’re going to want to look for short, nonstop flights that are sold for high cash prices.

British Airways recently removed the award chart from its website. However, redemption prices still follow the old award chart. Here’s the award chart that British Airways still adheres to for its own flights.

DistanceEconomyEconomyPremium economyPremium economyBusinessBusinessFirstFirst
1 - 650 miles4,000

651 - 1,151 miles6,5007,5009,50011,25012,75015,00025,50030,000
1,152 - 2,000 miles8,50010,00012,75015,00017,00020,00034,00040,000
2,001 - 3,000 miles10,00012,50020,00025,00031,25037,50042,50050,000
3,001 - 4,000 miles13,00020,00026,00040,00050,00060,00068,00080,000
4,001 - 5,500 miles16,25025,00032,50050,00062,50075,00085,000100,000
5,501 - 6,500 miles19,50030,00039,00060,00075,00090,000102,000120,000
6,501 - 7,000 miles22,75035,00045,50070,00087,500105,000119,000140,000
7,001 + miles32,50050,00065,000100,000125,000150,000170,000200,000

So, if you’re able to find a flight under 651 miles in distance at an off-peak time, you’re looking at redeeming just 4,000 Avios. Flights in that distance range can cost several hundred dollars at times, so this is a great deal.

Some of the best redemptions from British Airways are known as Reward Flight Savers, which are great value flights with a low, flat fee that covers all taxes, fees and carrier charges. Fees for Reward Flight Savers are capped at £35 for economy tickets and £50 for business-class tickets.

A flight must be under 2,000 miles in distance (meaning that most of these flights will be around Europe) to qualify for a Reward Flight Saver offer. All Reward Flight Saver offers will have a blue emblem next to them in the search results.

British Airways Reward Flight Saver

You need to have earned at least 1 Avios in the past 12 months to be able to book Reward Flight Savers.

Flying with Airline Partners

In addition to redeeming your Avios with the Avios-earning family of airlines (British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Qatar Airways), you also can redeem Avios for flights on other partner airlines (both Oneworld and non-alliance partners). As with British Airways flights, these partner flights are priced according to the specific route and distance of the flight.

In general, you can often find some great high-value partner redemptions through British Airways Executive Club, especially on international routes with expensive cash rates. Again, because redemption prices are based on distance rather than popularity or any other factors, there’s some real opportunity to find sweet spots here.

Also, British Airways is a Oneworld partner of American Airlines. Considering that flights within the United States are usually rather expensive relative to their distances, redeeming Avios for American Airlines domestic flights is often a great way to get a lot of value out of your Avios.

If you’re interested in flying in some of the best luxury cabins in the industry, you may be able to do so with Avios at more affordable rates. For instance, you can book Cathay Pacific first class through the British Airways website (but you’ll probably need to search way in advance to find any availability). And, while you’ll probably also have to pay large cash fees and carrier charges, booking these seats with Avios will probably still save you a lot of money, considering cash rates for Cathay Pacific first class are often exorbitantly high.

Part Payment with Avios

If you don’t have enough Avios to cover the entire cost of your flight, you can save money on a flight ticket with as few as 1,000 Avios. All you have to do is search for your flight through the British Airways website like you normally would. When you get to the price page, you’ll be presented with a range of payment options that are part Avios, part cash.

Part Payment with Avios

Partial payments are available on all British Airways flights, American Airlines flights between the U.K. and North America, and on codeshare flights operated by Aer Lingus, Iberia, airBaltic, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Loganair, Qantas, Qatar and Vistara.

It’s worth noting that you can still collect Avios and Tier Points even when you partially pay for your flight using Avios.

Upgrades and Other Add-Ons

You can also pay for seat upgrades with Avios in some cases. Whether it’s a cash booking or an award flight, you can use Avios to pay for a cabin upgrade on British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines flights. This option is available for both one-way and round-trip flights, and you can upgrade either at the time of booking or upgrade an existing flight.

When making upgrades with Avios, you’ll be able to move up only one cabin class. For instance, if your booking is in economy class, you’ll be able to upgrade to premium economy class. For flights with no premium economy seating, you may be able to upgrade to business class (if that’s the next class tier above economy).

Additionally, you can use Avios to pay for a seat selection, regardless of which fare class you booked. You can do so by selecting your seat on the “Manage My Booking” page and then electing to pay with Avios when you check out.

Finally, you can use Avios to pay for luggage by adding bags to your booking on the “Manage My Booking” page and selecting Avios as the payment method.

Hotel Stays and Rental Cars

British Airways also gives you the option to book hotel stays and rental cars around the world using Avios through its travel booking portal. There are tons of hotels listed on this portal, and it’s extremely easy to filter by rating, location, price, facilities and property type. Unfortunately, booking hotels through British Airways isn’t typically the best way to get the most value out of your Avios.

For instance, a one-night stay at the Ramada by Wyndham New York Time Square West was offered for 17,000 Avios.

Hotel Stays and Rental Cars
Hotel Stays and Rental Cars

The same room on the same night was being offered on Wyndham’s website for $79. In the case of this specific redemption, each Avios would be worth about 0.4 cent, which is an exceptionally poor value.

Things aren’t much better when it comes to renting a car through British Airways. We found a rental offer for a Kia Soul to pick you and drop off at Portland International Airport for 14,350 Avios.

Avis Rental Car
rental car

The cash price was $98.09 for the same rental through Avis’s website. The value of this redemption would be about 0.68 cent per point, which is generally a low value for Avios.

You also can book experiences through this travel booking portal, such as guided tours, equipment rentals, additional transportation, photoshoots, dining experiences, sailing trips and so much more. While these experiences may not provide the best value for your Avios, they are a creative and unique way to use your Avios.

Buying Merchandise

You can use your Avios to buy merchandise through British Airways’s High Life Shop, which sells everything from watches to skin care products to whiskey. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good way to get a lot of value out of your Avios (as is the case with pretty much every airline shopping portal).

You also can spend your Avios on curated orders of wine, beer and spirits through The Wine Flyer. To do so, simply log in to your Executive Club account when prompted and use their slider tool to determine how many Avios you want to use toward your order at checkout. While there’s definitely some novelty to spending an airline rewards currency on booze, this redemption method also provides poor value per point.

Donate Avios to Charity

You can donate your Avios to benefit one of the many crowdfunding projects by linking your Executive Club account to the BA Better World Community Fund. It’s unclear exactly how much money each crowdfunding project will receive for the Avios that you donate, but donating your Avios is definitely a good way to use them if you want to help make a difference in the world.

Combine Avios

One of the greatest advantages of the Avios currency is that you can move Avios among accounts with the four different frequent-flyer programs. For instance, you can move your British Airways Avios to Aer Lingus AerClub. This gives you access to the entire list of airline partners for Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Qatar Airways.

All four airlines that use Avios have their own unique list of partners. So, transferring your Avios from one loyalty program to another might give you access to new partner award flights.

For instance, if you transfer your Avios from British Airways Executive Club to Iberia Plus, you’ll gain access to award flights from LATAM (which aren’t available through Executive Club), a carrier that operates tons of routes between North America and Central and South America.

Another advantage of the Avios currency is that you can combine them all into one account if you have balances of Avios in separate accounts. For instance, if you have 100,000 Avios in your Aer Lingus AerClub account and 100,000 Avios in your British Airways Executive Club account, you can combine them both into one account for a total of 200,000 Avios.

If you want to move Avios between Iberia, British Airways and Aer Lingus, the easiest way to do so is by signing into with your Aer Lingus AerClub credentials. If you want to move Avios to or from your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account, you’ll need to use British Airways as an intermediary, which can get a bit complicated.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to the British Airways Executive Club program, the most important thing to know is that its award flights are priced by distance (which is fairly uncommon among airline loyalty programs). This presents a unique opportunity to get major value out of your Avios by seeking out short-haul award flight redemptions that have high cash rates.

In particular, because British Airways is partnered with American Airlines, it’s fairly easy to find award flights on U.S. domestic routes (which are typically short and expensive) at affordable rates.

When it comes to racking up Avios through British Airways, there are many ways to do so besides booking flights. Signing up for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which comes with a lucrative sign-up bonus and some solid spending bonuses, is a great way to earn Avios quickly. However, it does count toward Chase’s 5/24 card count, so you may not want to sign up for the British Airways card unless you fly with the airline frequently.

The British Airways Executive Club also has the unique advantage of using Avios as its currency, which means that you can transfer your Avios to and from Aer Lingus, Iberia and Qatar Airways freely. This gives you the option to redeem your points with any of these three airlines’ partners and pool all of your Avios in a single account.

Overall, British Airways Executive Club probably won’t be your top priority in terms of frequent-flyer programs. However, if you travel around Europe often, this program has a flexible rewards currency and some serious sweet spots to take advantage of.