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New British Airways benefit – transfer Avios for FREE (with catches)

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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 wing 15

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.

You can find more about ‘Friends & Family’ here at ba.com.

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.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (20)

  • 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. 🙁

  • Edd M says:

    >> “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…

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • 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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