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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 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 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

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • New GGL benefit - free transfer of Avios - FlyerTalk Forums says:

    […] the inside scoop on Head for Points before BAEC sent the email. He does a great job of explaining. https://headforpoints.com/2014/04…one-else-free/ As per Raffles, the difference between the Gold and GGL benefit is that Gold's can only transfer […]

  • How to transfer Avios for free to another person says:

    […] A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the new ‘transfer your Avios to someone else’ scheme launched by British A… […]

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

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