Basics of the British Airways Avios Program

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Avios is the rewards currency of British Airways' frequent flyer program, Executive Club. Although based in the UK, Avios numbers a substantial US membership and offers an Avios earning credit card issued in the US by Chase, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

British-Airways-A380

 

British Airways made changes to Avios rewards which kicked in at the beginning of 2016, in the process removing one of the better value redemptions which allowed members to fly domestic routes under 650 miles for just 4,500 Avios. This option is still in place outside the US, making positioning flights like the hop between Dublin and London great value at under 5,000 Avios each way.

How to Earn British Airways Avios Miles

There are multiple ways you can receive Avios, one of the most popular methods being the British Airways Visa Signature® Card which has a signup bonus of up to 100,000 bonus Avios if you can meet the monster minimum spend requirements.

You receive In addition to the bonus, cardmembers earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases

You can also add to your British Airways Avios account by transferring from Marriott Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Chase Ultimate Rewards.

If you fly on British Airways or any of their oneworld® alliance partners, you will receive Avios based on the number of miles you fly, in addition to the class of the ticket and your personal Executive Club Tier. This can build up a large number of Avios if you take any longer flights or you are in a higher Executive Club Tier.

You will receive Avios when you stay at a partner hotel or use approved rental car booking agencies. Opting to build a vacation package with British Airways that includes flights, hotels, and car rental is a great way to maximize your Avios miles earnings.

Shopping is another way that you can receive Avios miles. By shopping at certain online retailers via the British Airways Avios online shopping portal, you can receive up to 12 Avios for every dollar that you spend.

Executive Club has Four Elite Status Tiers

With the British Airways Avios program, there are four different levels available:

  • Blue membership. The lowest tier is automatic as soon as you become a member of the Executive Club. At this level, you are able to collect Avios, collect Tier Points, and enjoy special shopping and travel offers.
  • Bronze membership. One step above Blue. Includes the same features with an additional 25% bonus Avios on British Airways and OneWorld Alliance flights, priority check-in, and free seat selection on British Airways. You will reach this tier when you accumulate 300 Tier Points in one year.
  • Silver membership. Achieved after you receive 600 Tier points in a year. This includes the benefits of the lower two tiers, plus many added privileges, including a 50% bonus on Avios points for flights and access to the business lounges in airports. Priority reservations are also available. Silver membership provides reservation assurance, meaning that you can always get a last-minute economy booking on any British Airways flight, even when flights are full.
  • Gold membership. The highest tier, achieved when you receive 1,500 Tier points in a year. You will receive all the benefits listed above, with additional perks including 100% bonus Avios points on all flights, complimentary spa treatments at select airport locations, access to lounges, and additional discounts on hotels and rental car agencies.

Easy to Redeem

British Airways Avios points are easy to redeem, and the value can be high if you select the right redemptions. By using your Avios points to redeem for domestic flights on oneworld® partners, you can get great deals starting from just 7,500 Avios.

If you don’t have enough Avios for the entire flight, you can combine Avios and cash to pay for your ticket, or buy additional Avios points to make up the difference.

British Airways no longer publishes an award chart, but awards are distance based and flights start at just 4,000 Avios one-way outside the US, and 7,500 for domestic flights on partners.

BA Avios Award Chart
BA Avios last published award chart

Most longer flights redeemed with British Airways Avios aren't ideal because they have a high tax and fuel surcharge imposed on them. For a roundup of how to search and redeem British Airways Avios, take a look at our guide to Avios.

Confused? You'll find links to a few key posts with more information about British Airways Avios below:

Conclusion

Don’t shy away from the British Airways Avios program just because you think you will never fly internationally. These are valuable points, easy to accumulate, and easy to redeem for domestic or international short-hop flights on partners, with some genuine program highlights like the 25K round-trip economy award rates to Hawaii.

The current increased signup bonus of up to 100,000 bonus Avios on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a huge amount of value, and with a little planning, could have you well on your way to your next award travel experience!

Basics of the British Airways Avios Program
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Comments

  • 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.

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