Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
British Airways made a bit of a change to its frequent flyer program, Executive Club, since 2018. So if you’re still not sure how many Avios, its mile currency, you’ll need to book a flight on the airline, check out our guide to the British Airways award chart.
There are several different award types for which you can redeem Avios: economy, premium economy, business and first class. Miles required depend on distance. Various price factors like Reward Flight Saver, peak and off-peak travel dates also come into play.
Reward Flight Saver
Reward Flight Saver awards function a little differently than the other two. First, they are available only on return flights within Europe and southern Africa. The redemption rate on these rates may be lower, but instead of taxes and fees, a flat fee will be required. Those fees, from the British Airways website:
British Airways flights in Europe — £35/€42 return in economy (Euro Traveller) and £50/€60 return in business (Club Europe).
Comair flights in southern Africa — £80/ZAR1000 return in economy (Traveller) and £140/ZAR1800 in business (Club).
If a Reward Flight Saver fare is available, you will see this symbol alongside the fare:
Peak and off-peak awards
Points required for peak or off-peak awards depend on the dates you plan to travel. According to British Airways, two-thirds of the year is off-peak, but which two-thirds will depend on your destination. Fortunately, if your travel dates are flexible, you can search for only off-peak fares if your goal is to stretch your Avios further.
The difference between the fares will vary depending on your destination. In one search, a flight from London to Amsterdam cost 8,000 Avios for a round-trip off-peak award flight and 9,000 for a peak award flight.
There are also business and first class awards available for most flights in addition to economy.
» Learn more: 4 award sweet spots using British Airways Avios
Things to know about the British Airways award chart
British Airways states on their website that the price you pay for award flights is based on date, destination and class of travel. They don’t publish any sort of award chart. Based on some sample searches, the farther you fly, the more Avios are generally required for award travel.
Shorter distances, such as flights from London to Manchester, start at 8,000 Avios for off-peak economy round-trip travel. Keep in mind, too, that this airline is notorious for large fuel surcharges on international flights.
You can get around these fuel surcharges by flying on British Airways with Avios, but their partners, too. These include Iberia, American Airlines and other Oneworld alliance members. The amount of Avios required may differ from award travel on British Airways, though.
Don’t have quite enough Avios for the flight you want? You also have the option to book with a combination of Avios and cash. Or you can transfer Avios between accounts so you can help friends or family (or they can help you) book award travel. There are a few rules, though:
You can pay to transfer up to 162,000 Avios per calendar year, with a maximum of 27,000 Avios to any member.
Gold elite members can transfer 162,000 Avios per year for free to members on their Family and Friends List. Gold elites can transfer another 162,000 for a fee.
Members can receive up to 27,000 Avios free of charge and another 27,000 for a fee.
You need to provide the full name, email address and Executive Club number to transfer Avios to another member.
Transfer recipients need to have a balance of one or more Avios in their accounts.
Avios can only be transferred online, in 1,000 Avios increments.
Transfers are immediate.
You will incur a nonrefundable fee, depending on the number of Avios transferred.
You must be over 18 years old to transfer Avios.
You’ll pay a fee for transferring Avios to those not listed on your Friends and Family List. The amount will depend on how many you’re transferring, as per the chart below:
You’ll start as a Blue Member when you join the British Airways Executive Club. It’s a no-frills, no-perks base level, though you may occasionally receive members-only offers. Here are the benefits for Bronze, Silver and Gold elite members:
Bronze (requires 300 tier points):
Priority check-in and boarding.
Free seat selection seven days before departure.
25% bonus Avios.
Silver (requires 600 tier points):
Free seat selection at booking.
Access to business lounges.
Extra baggage allowance.
50% bonus Avios.
Gold (requires 1,500 tier points):
First class check-in and boarding.
Free seat selection at booking.
Access to First lounges.
Extra baggage allowance.
Additional reward flight availability.
100% bonus Avios.
Elite-qualifying tier points reset to zero every year. You’ll have to re-earn your status every 12 months.
» Learn more: 5 reasons to love the British Airways loyalty program
Earn rewards with British Airways
You can earn Avios on more than just flights. British Airways also allows Executive Club members to earn Avios by staying at partner hotels, booking rental cars and hotel packages. You can also earn Avios through their online shopping portal.
But the fastest way to accrue Avios is with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card:
Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus purchases.
Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations booked directly.
Earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on the rest of life’s purchases.
$95 annual fee.
Also good to know: If you redeem Avios for an award flight in business class (World Club) or first, you’ll get a $200 statement credit. Prefer economy? The credit will be $100.
You can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards® and American Express Membership Rewards on a 1:1 ratio. Terms apply.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
The bottom line
British Airways makes redemption rates difficult to figure out, but if you know how to work it, Avios are easy to redeem and can be used to book award travel on a number of quality airlines. Fuel surcharges can be prohibitively expensive, so look for partner awards and keep an eye out for those Reward Flight Savers for the best bang for your Avios buck.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you British Airways Visa adds award surcharge credit, other benefits What to expect from British Airways’ new business class