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 transfer Avios to 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!
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 people lots of people in and out of your ‘Family & Friends’ list just to transfer Avios to them.
To be honest, I am not entirely sure of the point of this move. For a start, it forces you to set up a Household Account to benefit from it. A lot of Gold members will not want to do this, even though most of the restrictions have been removed. I would also argue what the benefit is of being able to transfer Avios to ‘Family & Friends’ members, given that you can already (by virtue of the fact that they are on your F&F list!) redeem for them anyway!
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 transfer more than 162,000 per year. This seems like a more sensible approach.
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.