A couple of months ago I posted a link to Will’s online diary of his slightly crazy tier point run to reach British Airways Gold Guest List status in the quickest time possible.
It was a popular post, so I am pleased to also recommend this mini-blog from Head for Points reader Ian on his tier point run. Because the posts are listed ‘latest first’ you need to start at the end and work forwards.
It shows how Ian earned 1,390 British Airways tier points – leaving him just short of Gold – and 36,574 Avios points from just one trip.
He booked a flight from Brussels to Hawaii, routed:
Heathrow – Brussels (separate ticket to the main trip)
Brussels – Heathrow
London City – New York JFK
New York JFK – Phoenix
Phoenix – Honolulu
… and back.
The clever thing here is that New York to Phoenix and Phoenix to Honolulu are both just over 2,000 miles. This means that you earn long-haul tier points for the flight – 210 per leg if booked on a 2-class American Airlines flight under an AA flight code.
American Airlines domestic flights are often two class, sold as ‘Domestic First’ and standard. If you book these flights with a BA flight code – most are BA codeshares and ba.com will sell you a BA-coded ticket – BA treats Domestic First as business class and gives you the appropriate miles for business.
If you book these flights with an AA flight code – which usually means booking your entire trip on aa.com – BA treats Domestic First as First Class and gives you First Class miles and tier points.
The trip cost him £1,854 plus the positioning flight.
You obviously need to have a certain mentality to want to do this (!) but if you break up your trip effectively it can work well.
I think there is actually a more extreme version of this routing possible, going Brussels to Helsinki to London, which adds an additional 80 tier points each way for the Helsinki sector.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.