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Elite members of British Airways’ loyalty program enjoy a range of perks, like the chance to choose seats in advance, relax in an airport lounge and earn more points for every flight. But first you have to earn that elite status by flying the airline. Here’s everything you need to know about attaining and enjoying elite status in British Airways’ Executive Club loyalty program.
How to earn elite status with British Airways
You earn elite status with British Airways by racking up tier points and flying qualifying flights. British airways has four status levels: Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Here’s how many tier points and flights you’ll need to reach each level during normal, non-pandemic times:
Eligible flights per year
0 (immediate upon joining)
0 (immediate upon joining)
Once you hit elite status with British Airways, you will retain that level for the remainder of the year as well as the following membership year.
» Learn more: Travel loyalty program reviews
How to earn tier points
You earn tier points by flying. The number of points you earn is based on the distance you’re traveling, which airline you’re flying and the class of seat that you’re in. British Airways has a calculator you can use to figure the tier points you’ll earn for a flight. You can also use it to calculate Avios points. If you’re taking a connecting flight, you’ll need to enter the details for each leg.
For example, a Bronze-level member would earn anywhere from 20 to 70 tier points flying one-way in economy from London-Heathrow to New York-John F. Kennedy.
What if you’re flying less because of COVID-19?
Because of the pandemic, people are traveling less. To help members preserve their hard-earned status during this time, British Airways is offering an automatic 12-month extension. After that, to retain status, members will need 25% fewer points than they did in the past. Members whose tier point collection year begins July 2020 through June 2021 will have to acquire the following number of points or flights after their current status expires:
Eligible flights per year
Not available. Only earned via tier points.
What perks do you get at each tier level?
Blue: Everyone starts at this level when they join the British Airways Executive Club rewards program. As a Blue-level member, you can collect points (called Avios) on flights, hotels and travel purchases. You can pool your Avios with family members and take advantage of special members-only offers.
Bronze: As a Bronze member, you’ll get access to the above benefits plus earn 25% bonus Avios when flying with British Airways. You can take advantage of business class check-in no matter what class you’re flying, and you’ll get priority boarding. You can also choose your airline seats in advance and have priority at the Baggage Arrival Services desks.
Silver: As a Silver member, you’ll get access to the above benefits. Plus, you’ll be able to collect 50% bonus Avios when flying with British Airways. You’ll also get access to British Airways business lounges, along with one guest. You can select your seat for free when booking a flight and take advantage of the extra bag allowance.
Gold: As a Gold member, you’ll get access to the above benefits. Plus, you’ll be able to collect 100% bonus Avios. You’ll get access to British Airways’ first lounges, along with one guest. Gold members also enjoy more flexibility with reward flights, and they don’t pay to transfer Avios.
Here’s a comparison chart provided by British Airways:
Can I get a status match?
Unlike airline rewards programs that give you the same or similar status as you’ve earned in a participating partner program, British Airways rarely offers status matches. You’ll need to earn your status by flying on British Airways.
» Learn more: Your guide to British Airways’ award chart
Earn Gold status for life
You can earn Gold membership status for life. Earn 35,000 lifetime tier points and your Gold status will be automatically renewed every year.
How to keep track of your tier points
You can view your current-year tier point balance and your lifetime tier point balance by logging in to your British Airways Executive Club membership account. Expecting a new addition to your family? New parents can freeze their Executive Club account for one year to hold their current status.
Take these steps to earn more tier points
Here are some tips for maximizing the number of tier points you earn:
When possible, book business class or first class tickets. These flights pay more tier points. For example, a round-trip first class ticket from London-Heathrow to New York-John F. Kennedy earns 420 tier points. Compare that with economy tickets that can pay as little as 40 tier points for the same journey.
Travel farther. The farther you go, the more tier points you’ll earn. If you can, book long-haul trips with British Airways to maximize your point-earning potential if gaining status with them is important to you.
Add a stopover to your journey. Another way to maximize your point-earning potential is to add an extra stop on your next journey. By adding the stopover, you'll earn more tier points with a reservation that now includes an extra flight leg. Plus, you'll get the added benefit of some time to explore an additional city on your trip.
The bottom line
The British Airways Executive Club offers a lot of great incentives for frequent flyers. To get more out of your flight experience with British Airways, it’s worthwhile to earn elite status if you intend to fly it with any sort of regularity.
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 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card