New BAEC benefit – transfer Avios for FREE (with catches!)

British Airways Executive Club has introduced a new benefit – some members will be able to transfer Avios to other people for free.  

(You have been able to share Avios with other people by paying a ludicrous fee for a number of years, but you would be fairly crazy to do it.)

It is restricted – but read on and I will show you how anyone can do a free Avios transfer!

Avios

First, some background.  Last December, BA introduced the ‘Family & Friends’ list.  This allows people in a BA household account to name six people outside of their Household Account who can also be the beneficiary of Avios redemption tickets.  This removed one of the biggest problems with BA household accounts – the fact that you could not redeem for anyone outside of your household.

Going forward, Gold members – and only Gold members – will be able to transfer 27,000 Avios each year to EVERYONE on their ‘Family & Friends’ list, for free.  This is capped at (27,000 x 6 people =) 162,000 Avios per year to stop you moving lots of people in and out of your ‘Family & Friends’ list just to transfer Avios to them.

Full details should appear on the ba.com ‘Share Avios’ page (log-in required) at some point on Tuesday.

If you are a Gold Guest List or Premier member of British Airways Executive Club – which is only a few thousand people – there are no restrictions.  You can transfer Avios points to anyone, as long as you don’t share more than 162,000 per year.

I can’t help thinking that this is an attempt to placate Gold members who are upset about the imposition of change fees on their Avios redemption tickets.  I would be surprised if it works.

How to transfer Avios for free, to anyone

This is how you can transfer Avios points to anyone, at any time, for free – whatever BA status you have (or don’t have).

Step 1 – open an avios.com account for yourself and the person you want to transfer to or from.  If I want to take my Mum’s 10,000 balance, both she and myself will need avios.com accounts.

Step 2 – transfer the miles you want moving to or from yourself into the respective avios.com account.  I move her 10,000 Avios from BA into her avios.com account, whilst my avios.com account remains empty.

Step 3 – open an avios.com Household Account with yourself and the other person (log in, hover over the ‘My Account’ tab, click ‘Create Household Account’.)  This creates a pooled mileage pile – your individual avios.com balances no longer exist.  Our family account would have 10,000 Avios in total.

Step 4 – wait a couple of months, then break up the avios.com Household Account.  You need to post them this form.  Via a post box, just like the old days!  The form lets you state who gets the Avios, so allocate them as you wish.  I would allocate nothing to my Mum and 10,000 Avios to myself.

Step 5 – when your individual avios.com accounts have been recreated, move the points back to ba.com via ‘Combine My Avios’.  Voila, a free transfer of 10,000 Avios from my Mum to me.

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Comments

  1. Russell Evans says:

    I “accidentally” setup a household account recently and when asking them if I could break it up in a more efficient manner than posting the form they said I could scan & e-mail to customeraccounts@avios.com. Beware if you have a household account on Avios.com the ability to combine avios into and out of your avios.com account is blocked

  2. James67 says:

    Yes, I think you got the point Rob. And ltobably also another sweetener abead of a big devaluation I believe is round the corner. I think they are just biding theur time on outcome of YQ lawsuits.

  3. Phillip says:

    I can’t help but feel that BA have been failing Gold members for a while now while enhancing the lower tiers with many more attractive benefits. This is not a complaint, by any means, but it just seems that BA does not seem to know what their top tier, high paying customers (be it through business or personal spend) want.

    • Lady London says:

      If you think of GGL as the new Gold, it makes sense.
      Golds don’t matter anymore.

      • That is a failed strategy though. Let’s assume that the figure of 10,000 GGL’s is correct. I would estimate that under 500 actually achieve it purely through personal spending. The other 9,500 work for companies who make them fly BA because of route deals or annual rebates. These people are not ‘loyal’ to BA in any sense so it makes no sense to reward their loyalty disproportionately.

        Further down the pecking order, there are a heck of a lot of Golds (me for a number of years) who achieve it entirely or substantially via personal spend. This is money that can very easily drift away from BA.

        The point of a GOOD loyalty scheme is that it encourages additional MARGINAL spend from ALL customers. You don’t see Tesco focussing on their top 10,000 spenders with Clubcard and telling everyone else to take a jump. Every member is encouraged, via vouchers or whatever, to spend just a little bit more than they usually do, which is why it works.

  4. What a totally pointless benefit! No idea why they’ve introduced this, it certainly does nothing to offset the recent change!

  5. avidsaver says:

    Don’t you have to wait 6 months before you can make a change/break up an Avios.com household account?

    • No, there is no time limit in the T&C’s AFAIK. I did this back in 2012 and certainly didn’t wait 6 months. I also wouldn’t try to do it after 2 weeks, though ….

  6. Maximum Power says:

    How about this?

    I don’t have a BA account I only have an Avios account with 80,000 miles mostly picked up from hotels and bonus incentives.

    I set up an account for my mum on avois – and hoover up all the bonues in her name so where i can get 1,000 points for something do the same for her and once I have built up avois in her name, comebine the accounts and take all her points that I couldnt have earned myself as I would have already done so?

    Basically maximising all the point freebies around x 2??

    • Yes, that is possible.
      I know it works as I have already opened such an account my daughter!

    • Just don’t combine the accounts, as you don’t earn benefits per member, only per account and a household account is seen as 1 account. Better to create similar BAEC accounts and transfer the Avios there where you can have a household account and use all Avios.

    • Yes, that would work fine. Form a household account in avois.com and then split it, allocating 100% of the Avios to yourself.

  7. This benefit seems pretty pointless! If you can buy a full price avios redemption for others anyway, what is the point of being able to transfer only a little over half the points required for a long haul? Clearly of little use to gold members, and even less to blue/bronze. Having relaxed their rules, I see no downside of a household account or adding friends, making this move of no benefit.

    With regards to transfer via an avios.com account, there are at least 4 potential downsides:
    1) When you create an avios household account, you lose the ability to earn bonuses per person – they can only be earned once per account.
    2) When you add/remove someone from a household account, you are supposed to wait 6 months before making further changes – not sure how strictly this is enforced.
    3) When you create/break a household account, they have effectively created new accounts, so your account history is wiped. What this means is that until you earn avios via whatever means, your account is INACTIVE, so you can’t get RFS prices or benefit from bonuses that require an active account. Earning points via the eshop or whatever can take 35 days+ to post, so you will experience “downtime” on each account.
    4) You are unable to move avios using “Combine My Avios” when you have an avios household account.

    Since I see little point in moving the avios from one account to another when the BAEC household account works just as well, and due to the above downsides, I’d say while possible, it’s not really worth the time and effort to move avios via avios.com.

  8. I just closed our AVIOS family account and moved it into my name only as I am the only one who puts miles in anyway, and wanted the option of using Combine My Avios to transfer miles in from BAEC, didn’t realise I wouldn’t be able to use it immediately for reward fund savers.

    I did notice that my account history had been completely wiped and assume (although I haven’t checked) that I now have a new account number.

  9. Chris Sutter says:

    “I can’t help thinking that this is an attempt to placate Gold members who are upset about the imposition of change fees on their Avios redemption tickets. I would be surprised if it works.”

    That makes (at least) two of us. If anything, I’m even more annoyed because I was hoping for some genuine “enhancements” to make up for Cancellationgate. :(

  10. >> “If you are a Gold Guest List or Premier member of British Airways Executive Club – which is only a few thousand people – there are no restrictions.”

    I’m quite surprised it’s even that many! I know there’s no way of knowing, but anyone got a general idea of how many customers have higher BA status? It’s purely out of interest, I would have thought that Gold membership alone (let alone the higher tiers) would only be in the region of 3-8k customers…

    • Noooo – I think Gold Guest List is 8,000 – 10,000 people. 3,000 tier points sounds like a lot but if you fly J to the US every 3 weeks then you are there. Even one day trip per week to Europe would be enough if you always fly business.

  11. Lady London says:

    a pathetic attempt at providing a totally meaningless benefit when they took away the only truly worthwhile part of being Gold that made you feel Gold and which I certainly never abused – the ability to make changes to award bookings when needed without being charged more of BA’s notably high fees.

    After this pathetic attempt frankly they’d have been better not to insult their Golds by introducing this in my opinion.

    other than that, of course, I have no strong feelings on the subject :-)

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