Basics of the British Airways Avios Rewards Program Basics of the British Airways Avios Rewards Program

Basics of the British Airways Avios Rewards Program

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British Airways' loyalty program is called the Executive Club program, and members earn Avios. Although the program is based in the United Kingdom, it's a favorite of U.S.-based travelers. This is thanks to the ease of redeeming miles on American Airlines and Alaska, numerous bank transfer partners, and the program's competitive credit card.

In this post, we'll cover the basics of the British Airways Executive Club and its Avios currency.

A white, British Airways plane flies over a backdrop of blue and purple clouds. (Image courtesy of British Airways)
Here are the basics of the British Airways Executive Club program and Avios currency. (Image courtesy of British Airways)

How to Earn British Airways Avios

Like many other major frequent flyer programs, travelers can earn British Airways Avios in dozens of ways — many of which don't even require air travel.

Earning Avios on British Airways Flights

The most basic way to earn Avios is through flights on British Airways. The number of Avios you'll earn with each flight depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the cabin and the fare you booked, the price of your fare, and the route on which you are traveling.

Thankfully, British Airways offers members a simple and easy-to-use tool that allows them to estimate how many Avios they'll earn on each flight. You can access this tool by clicking this link.

A white British Airways plane takes off for a flight over green grass. The sky is grey and an airport is in the background. (Image courtesy of British Airways)
The number of Avios you'll earn on each flight depends on a variety of factors: the cabin and fare you booked, the price of the fare, and the route you are traveling. Here's how you'll earn Avios on flights operated by British Airways. (Image courtesy of British Airways)

Here is how you'll earn Avios when traveling on flights operated by British Airways:

CabinFare ClassAvios Earned
EconomyG, O, Q25% of miles flown
EconomyK, L, M, N, S, V50% of miles flown
EconomyY, B, H100% of miles flown
Premium EconomyE, T100% of miles flown
Premium EconomyW150% of miles flown
Business ClassR, I150% of miles flown
Business ClassJ, C, D250% of miles flown
First ClassA250% of miles flown
First ClassF300% of miles flown

Earning Avios on Partner Flights

We'd love to be able to include an easy-to-read table for partner flight earning rates like the one above. However, every partner airline has a different earning structure. This means there are around 16 different tables outlining how you'll earn Avios when traveling on a British Airways partner airline.

Thankfully, all of these tables are available on a single page of the British Airways website. To access British Airways partner earning rates, click this link and sort through the list to find your desired airline.

Here are the partner airlines on which you can earn British Airways Avios:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • SriLankan Airlines

There is no limit to the amount of Avios one can earn through flights, including on partner airlines.

Executive Club elite frequent flyers will also earn bonus Avios on all British Airways flights as well as most flights operated by partner airlines. To earn British Airways Avios on flights booked with partner airlines, be sure to include your British Airways Executive Club number on your booking.

Earn Avios Using the British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Another simple way to rack up Avios is with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card from Chase. You'll earn Avios on all purchases charged to the British Airways Visa Card — not just those on British Airways.

The British Airways Visa Card is a great way to rack up a ton of Avios without ever having to step foot on an aircraft. Here's how you'll earn Avios when you use your British Airways Visa Card:

  • 3X Avios on flights purchased directly with British Airways
  • 2X Avios on accommodations booked directly with hotels
  • 1X Avios spent on all other purchases

Additionally, the British Airways Visa Card is currently offering a lucrative bonus for eligible new cardholders. For a limited time, new cardholders can earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios after qualifying spend.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening.
  • Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening.
  • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL.
  • Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
  • 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
  • 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
  • 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Transfer Avios from a Bank Rewards Programs

You may have thousands of potential Avios and not know it. Several rewards programs let members transfer their points to the British Airways Executive Club. Partner programs include American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Here are some of the rewards programs that allow you to transfer their points or miles to your British Airways account and how many Avios you'll earn with each transfer:

Partner ProgramPartner Currency TransferredAvios Received
American Express Membership Rewards1,0001,000
Capital One Miles1,0001,000
Chase Ultimate Rewards1,0001,000
Bilt Rewards2,0002,000
Hilton Honors10,0001,000
World of Hyatt1,250500
IHG One Rewards10,0002,000
Marriott Bonvoy3,0001,000
Accor Live Limitless4,0002,000
Best Western5,0001,000

Some partners offer far better transfer ratios than others. That being said, you'll want to utilize partners with a 1:1 transfer. Additionally, American Express Membership Rewards often transfer to Avios with a bonus.

Earn Avios with Other Partners

There are dozens of other non-airline partners through which Executive Club members can earn Avios. You can view the full list of partners on British Airways' website via this link. We've included some of the more noteworthy partners below.

PartnerEarning RateCategory
Avios Hotels15 Avios per £1Hotels/Accommodations
Airbnb3 Avios per $1Hotels/Accommodations
Avis5 Avios per £1Car Rental
Budget1 Avios per $1Car Rental
Lounge Pass5 Avios per $1Lounges
British Airways Executive Club ShoppingUp to 12 Avios per $1Shopping Portals
The EconomistUp to 8,400 AviosMagazines
Avios for ThoughtUp to 350 Avios per SurveySurveys
eRewards600 Avios with First SurveySurveys
A blue car drives down a highway. The background and the road is grey. (Image by Garvin St. Villier/ Pexels)
There are dozens of ways to earn Avios, including with car rental partners. (Image by Garvin St. Villier/ Pexels)

British Airways Executive Club Elite Status

The British Airways Executive Club program offers members four status tiers. Members can earn elite status by accumulating Tier Points, which are earned on flights operated by British Airways and eligible partners. Each elite status tier also unlocks one of three Oneworld alliance statuses. Here's an overview of British Airways Executive Club elite status.

Executive Club Blue

Blue is the entry-level tier that all members receive upon creating a British Airways Executive Club account. At this tier, members collect Avios and Tier Points without any bonus. As the base tier, travelers don't get any perks.

Executive Club Bronze

Executive Club members earn Bronze status once they earn 300 Tier Points and take at least two eligible British Airways flights in a member year. The following benefits are unlocked with Bronze status:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Free advanced seat selection starting 7-days before departure
  • 25% bonus Avios on eligible flights
  • Oneworld Ruby status

Executive Club Silver

Members reach Silver status once they earn 600 Tier Points and take at least four eligible British Airways flights in a member year. In addition to the benefits offered to Bronze members, Silver members receive the following:

  • Access to Business Class Lounges on eligible itineraries
  • Free advanced seat selection at the time of booking
  • Extra checked baggage allowance
  • 50% bonus Avios on eligible flights
  • Oneworld Sapphire status

Executive Club Gold

The highest elite status tier available to Executive Club members, Gold status is achieved once a member earns 1,500 Tier Points and takes at least four eligible British Airways flights in a member year. Gold members receive all of the benefits of Bronze and Silver as well as the following additional elite benefits:

  • Additional award space on British Airways flights
  • Access to First Class Check-In
  • Access to First Class Lounges on eligible itineraries
  • Free advanced seat selection, including for other members of your party
  • Extra checked baggage allowance
  • 100% bonus Avios on eligible flights
  • Oneworld Emerald status
britishairways_216862014345796
Executive Club Gold members receive access to British Airways First Class lounges on eligible itineraries. (Image courtesy of British Airways)

Redeeming British Airways Avios

Avios remain a sought-after frequent flyer currency because of how ways members can redeem their Avios. Executive Club members can redeem Avios for flights operated by British Airways or over a dozen partner airlines. With so many partner airlines, members can redeem Avios for flights to almost anywhere on the planet.

Unfortunately, like many major frequent flyer programs, the British Airways Avios frequent flyer currency has seen some devaluations in recent years. Still, travelers still have plenty of ways to redeem British Airways Avios for outsized value. In recent redemptions, AwardWallet users have utilized British Airways Avios at an average of 2.93¢ cents per Avios.

We recommend you check out our full post on redeeming British Airways Avios. In this post, you'll find everything there is to know about redeeming your Avios. But, to get an idea of how many Avios you'll need, check out the current British Airways Avios award charts below.

British Airways Executive Club Award Charts

Avios Award Chart for Flights Operated by British Airways

Zone (Distance)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 (up to 650 miles)4,7505,250Not OfferedNot Offered8,5009,750Not OfferedNot Offered
Zone 2 (651 to 1,151 miles)7,2508,250Not OfferedNot Offered13,00015,750Not OfferedNot Offered
Zone 3 (1,152 to 2,000 miles)10,00012,500Not OfferedNot Offered17,75020,750Not OfferedNot Offered
Zone 4 (2,001 to 3,000 miles)10,00012,50020,00025,00031,25037,50042,50050,000
Zone 5 (3,001 to 4,000 miles)13,00020,00026,00040,00050,00060,00068,00080,000
Zone 6 (4,001 to 5,500 miles)16,25025,00032,50050,00062,50075,00085,000100,000
Zone 7 (5,501 to 6,500 miles)19,50030,00039,00060,00075,00090,000102,000120,000
Zone 8 (6,501 to 7,000 miles)22,75035,00045,50070,00087,500105,000119,000140,000
Zone 9 (7,001+ miles)32,50050,00065,000100,000125,000150,000170,000200,000

Partner Avios Award Chart

Distance/ZoneEconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
Up to 650 miles (Zone 1)6,0009,00012,50024,000
651 to 1,151 miles (Zone 2)9,00012,50016,50033,000
1,152 to 2,000 miles (Zone 3)11,00016,50022,00044,000
2,001 to 3,000 miles (Zone 4)13,00025,25038,75051,500
3,001 to 4,000 miles (Zone 5)20,75041,25062,00082,500
4,001 to 5,500 miles (Zone 6)25,75051,50077,250103,000
5,501 to 6,500 miles (Zone 7)31,00062,00092,750123,750
6,501 to 7,000 miles (Zone 8)36,25072,250108,250144,250
7,001+ miles (Zone 9)51,500103,000154,500206,000

Partner Avios Award Chart for Flights Within North America

Distance/ZoneEconomyPremium Economy (on select flights to Hawaii/Alaska)Business (Domestic First)First (On 3-Cabin Flights)
Up to 650 miles (Zone 1)7,500N/A15,000N/A
Up to 1,151 miles (Zones 2)9,000N/A16,500N/A
1,152 to 2,000 miles (Zone 3)11,000N/A22,000N/A
2,001 to 3,000 miles (Zone 4)13,00025,25038,75051,500
3,001 to 4,000 miles (Zone 5)20,75041,25062,000N/A

In August 2021, British Airways devalued partner awards on Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific. That post contains the new partner award charts for these partners.

British Airways Carrier-Imposed Surcharges

There is one major drawback to the British Airways Executive Club program. British Airways is notorious for adding outrageous carrier-imposed fees and surcharges to awards on its own flights. For flights originating from the United States, it's not uncommon for premium cabin awards to charge carrier-imposed fees totaling over $800 or even $1,000.

Luckily, British Airways recently added a new way for travelers to avoid paying fuel surcharges on redemptions. And there are other ways to navigate around these outrageous award travel surcharges. Check out our post on some of the best ways to redeem your Avios without needing to pay hundreds or thousands in taxes and fees.

Green palm trees are on either side of a pier overlooking light blue water. The sky is blue with several clouds. (Image by Jess Loiterton / Pixels)
You can redeem British Airways Avios for award flights to virtually anywhere in the world, including destinations like Hawaii. (Image by Jess Loiterton / Pexels)

Learn Even More About British Airways Avios

AwardWallet has covered the Executive Club program and Avios currency at length. We've published posts on virtually everything there is to know about earning and redeeming Avios. Here are some of our top posts with information about the Executive Club program and the Avios currency:

The Bottom Line

The British Airways Executive Club program is one of the best frequent flyer programs offered by a non-U.S. airline. The program's frequent flyer currency Avios offers members significant value, and earning and redeeming Avios is quite easy. With dozens of partners on which members can earn and redeem Avios, their program is also quite lucrative, even for non-U.K.-based travelers.

The current signup bonus offered by the British Airways Visa Card also offers new cardholders exceptional value. With a little planning, you could be well on your way to your next award.

Are you a British Airways Executive Club member? What's your favorite way to redeem Avios?

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Comments

  • British airways cashing in FTV vouchers. About time too!!

  • Andrew Dawson says:

    Easy to build up a substantial balance via Barclays Premier Rewards too in UK.

  • I have a big stash of BA avios points but am unwilling to use them from Montreal since either it takes many more miles than Aeroplan since there are few direct flights from Montreal or the additional fees are enormous. Thinking about using them on Royal Air Maroc, a direct flight to Casablanca but around 1100 dollars for two tickets business class!

  • Very disaappointed that single travellers are excluded from BA double tier points for holidays over £1500.
    Already disadvantaged as had to pay huge single supplement – now feel discriminated against twice!
    Anyone know if BA is flexible on this ? And if so, how to get the extra points?

  • While it is true that BA impose high surcharges on long haul reward bookings, these become worthwhile if made using a Companion / Travel Together voucher. So, worth looking at the credit cards which offer such vouchers if you want to use Avios for long haul bookings.

  • Peter Faherty says:

    I’ve had better experience of BA Customer Service and flight availability – though mainly by making bookings 355 days ahead, when at least two business class award seats are released for each flight.

  • gary klein says:

    Do not get this card! Avios are worthless and flights are never available and the BA customer service is the worst. Award wallet is just a shill for the banks that offer this worthless piece of plastic.