Advertiser Disclosure

The Guide to Earning British Airways Avios

March 24, 2020
Loyalty Programs, Travel
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
Note: NerdWallet strongly discourages traveling in the near future while the coronavirus continues to spread. Check the CDC and State Department websites for current guidance and travel restrictions. Please use the content of this article only to help inform future travel plans.

If you love traveling and are thinking of earning points to pay for your flights, you may want to utilize British Airways Avios. Avios are the official British Airways rewards points that can be redeemed for travel.

Avios can be an excellent rewards currency option if you plan to travel internationally, and they’re also especially useful for short flights. There are many ways to earn British Airways Avios; keep reading to see how you can begin earning British Airways Avios for your future travel adventures.

Earn Avios with the British Airways Visa Signature credit card

If you’re interested in earning Avios, you can do so by applying for certain credit cards.

British Airways has its own branded card. You can earn a significant number of Avios when you sign up for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and meet minimum spending requirements: 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.

Earning doesn’t stop there. You’ll earn Avios as you make your regular purchases. You can earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia purchases. You’ll also earn 2 Avios for every $1 spent on hotel accommodations that are booked directly with the hotel. Finally, you’ll earn 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

» Learn more: 5 reasons to love the British Airways loyalty program

Earn and transfer points by using other credit cards

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card isn’t the only card that can help you earn Avios. Since AmEx Membership Rewards partners with British Airways, you can also earn Avios by getting an eligible American Express credit card. You can then transfer your AmEx Membership Rewards to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. You must transfer a minimum of 1,000 points and can transfer in 500-point increments. Many American Express credit cards have excellent welcome offers, so you can apply and earn a significant number of points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards® is another transfer partner, meaning you can earn Avios by getting an eligible Chase credit card. You can then transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. You can transfer in 1,000-point increments, and Chase also has many credit cards that offer high sign-up bonuses.

Earn Avios when making hotel bookings

It’s possible to earn Avios when you book directly with participating hotels or on certain hotel booking websites, as well. Accommodation partners include Accor,, Avios Hotels, Best Western Hotels and Resorts,,, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group,, Langham Hospitality Group, Marriott International, Rocketmiles and Shangri-la Hotels Resort. Each partner has its own earning rate, so make sure to check the British Airways site if you want to maximize your earnings.

» Learn more: Your guide to British Airways’ award chart

Earn Avios by booking Airbnb properties

If you enjoy staying in Airbnb properties when traveling, you’ll be happy to know that you can also earn Avios by doing so. When you use the British Airways Airbnb portal to book your stay, you’ll earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent. If you’re brand new to Airbnb, you’ll get a 500-Avios welcome bonus.

Join the British Airways Executive Club

You’ll also earn Avios when flying with British Airways. All you need to do is become a British Airways Executive Club member — which is easy to do. For every flight that you take, you’ll earn Avios. And if you’ve made use of one of the methods above, you should already have a British Airways Executive Club number, so just make sure to enter it as your frequent flyer number when flying British Airways and its partners.

Become a frequent flyer

Once you’re a British Airways Executive Club member and continue to fly with British Airways and its partners, you can earn frequent flyer status. As you work your way up the Executive Club tiers, you can earn more Avios for the flights that you take.

Executive Club Bronze members earn 25% bonus Avios, while Executive Club Silver members earn 50% bonus Avios and Executive Club Gold members earn 100% bonus Avios. It pays to be loyal.

» Learn more: 4 award sweet spots using British Airways Avios

Fly with partner airlines

You can also earn Avios when you book flights with partner airlines, giving you plenty of opportunities to earn Avios when you fly. Here are applicable earning partner airlines:

  • Aer Lingus.
  • Air Italy.
  • Alaska Airlines.
  • American Airlines.
  • Cathay Pacific.
  • Finnair.
  • Iberia.
  • Japan Airlines.
  • LATAM.
  • Malaysia Airlines.
  • Qantas.
  • Qatar.
  • Royal Jordanian.
  • S7 Airlines.
  • Sri Lankan Airlines.

Shop through the Avios eStore

Another way to earn Avios is by doing the online shopping that you already planned to do, but heading to the British Airways Avios eStore. You can earn up to 20 Avios for every $1 spent, and there are over 400 online retailers who participate. You’ll notice that each retailer displays its current earning rate in the portal. Offers do change, so check back often.

Earn Avios when renting cars through Avis

If you like to take road trips or if you’re planning to visit somewhere with limited public transportation, you may need to rent a car. The good news is you can earn Avios when booking a rental car since Avis is the official partner of the British Airways Executive Club.

When booking with Avis, you can earn 1 Avios per $1 spent, with a minimum of 500 Avios awarded per car rental. If you rent with Avis at least four times in one year, you’ll collect 1,000 bonus Avios. You can also earn 250 Avios if you use your British Airways credit card to pay for your rental.

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:

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
How to access British Airways lounges

About the author