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New British Airways benefit – transfer Avios for free, but 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

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 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 accounts.

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

Step 3 – open an 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 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 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 accounts have been recreated, move the points back to via ‘Combine My Avios’.  Voila, a free transfer of 10,000 Avios from my Mum to me.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year 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.

Comments (20)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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 Beware if you have a household account on the ability to combine avios into and out of your account is blocked

  • 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.

  • 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.

      • Rob says:

        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.

  • Alan says:

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

  • avidsaver says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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 ….

  • 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??

    • TimS says:

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

    • Trevor says:

      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.

    • Rob says:

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

  • Trevor says:

    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 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

  • Georgie says:

    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.

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