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New benefits across all oneworld airlines for BA Silver and Gold card holders

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British Airways is one of 15 major airlines in the oneworld alliance, alongside American, Qatar, Qantas etc.  For you as a customer, the key benefit is that you can earn and spend Avios points on all 15 members.  If you have status with one airline, you will receive reciprocal status benefits with the others.

In my view, oneworld is already the most generous airline alliance.  This is driven by one key benefit – oneworld allows Silver or Gold (whichever is the middle tier – BA is Silver, Cathay is Gold) status cardholders to access the lounges of any member.

This is NOT something you can do with Star Alliance. A Silver (middle tier) Star Alliance status card only gets you lounge access with the airline group which issued your card. This means that a Lufthansa Miles & More Frequent Traveller (Silver) member can only access lounges when flying with Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, LOT or Adria. They are out of luck if they try it with Thai or United. You need to be a Star Alliance top-tier member to get universal lounge access.

oneworld has now improved its benefits even further.

From December 1st, holders of oneworld Sapphire and Emerald cards (BA Silver and BA Gold) are entitled to Priority Baggage tags when flying with any oneworld airline – even in economy.

Well, not EVERY oneworld airline.  One airline is refusing to honour this benefit, because it is incapable of offering it even to its own premium customers. Yes, step forward British Airways.

If you have a Cathay Pacific Gold card and fly BA in economy, don’t feel bad when BA refuses to give you a Priority Baggage tag, even though every other oneworld airline will.  BA’s priority baggage system doesn’t work for anyone, even full fare First Class customers.  I am not even sure why BA bothers to put Priority tags on bags going into Heathrow because the service does not exist.

There is a second new oneworld benefit.

oneworld Sapphire (ie BA Silver, Cathay Gold) holders now receive a higher baggage allowance. This brings Sapphire members in line with the increased allowance given to Emerald (top tier) members last year.

The rules for this are a little complex:

On international or domestic itineraries using the baggage allowance “weight” system – you get an extra 15 kgs in addition to the ticketed Economy allowance

On international itineraries (including domestic sectors flown as part of international itineraries) using the baggage allowance “piece” system – you get a second bag, weighing up to 23 kgs, when the ticketed allowance is one bag

On purely domestic itineraries with flights using the baggage allowance “piece” system – you get the assurance of at least one piece of checked baggage, weighing up to 23 kgs, even when the regular ticketed allowance has no free allowance

This benefit does not apply if you are travelling on a Brtish Airways ‘hand baggage only’ fare.  Even British Airways Executive Club elite members are not allowed a free case when travelling on those tickets.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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

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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (31)

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

  • Andrew S says:

    I dont understand – flying BA with CX gold i have always had 2 piece baggae allowance… ???

  • Neil says:

    I just had a return flight from GLA to JFK flying Economy checking in with my Cathay Pacific Gold Card (I’m BA blue). On receiving my case in JFK and LHR (on the way back) I had a Priority Baggage tag (both times). My bags weren’t first off the plane at either airport, in fact they arrived after many others without a Priority Baggage tag.

    On the extra bag; I have always had an extra piece when booking my flight using Cathay Pacific Card. It’s only been today that i have bought baggage (to add to a “Hand baggage only” fare) that I have noticed I don’t have a complimentary second bag. So I can only use one, even though my return flight, booked separately with baggage, I can have two!

  • Robert F says:

    Hi Raffles, don’t know if this is the right thread but looking for a bit of advice, I have just been refused entry to the BA lounge at Gatwick with my CX gold card, travelling on a BA ticket with my Baec number on it, I was told I would only be allowed in if I changed my FF number to my CX number on my ticket, is this correct, currently in No1 traveller lounge. Thanks

    • JQ says:

      Not correct but change it and then change it back (at the gate if necessary)

      • Robert F says:

        Thanks for the reply, was going to do that but they told me it was illegal, never had any issues before, it might just be a Gatwick thing

        • Alan says:

          Haha illegal, I love it! 😀 Not sure it’s even a Gatwick thing, it must just be that agent. I remember using the Gatwick lounge before with my parents – they used the CX Gold for access but collected the Avios. The lounge agent asked if they wanted to switch to the CX card but when they said they wanted the Avios they were told that wasn’t an issue and welcomed into the lounge!

    • Rob says:

      Some agents get confused about this. If you have an ignorant one, let them change it then change it back at the gate.

      HOWEVER, No 1 Traveller is far better than the BA lounge at Gatwick (see my review from earlier this year) so I would stay there.

    • CV says:

      Same comments as Alan, never had any issue when using CX gold for BA lounge access although this seemed to be an issue in the past. BA agents always been happy to use either FF number. I’d be fuming if this happened to me, you should consider complaining.

    • Mark says:

      2 domestic flights a couple of weeks ago with BA bronze on the booking. No problem at all in getting into the lounge at Heathrow or Manchester just by presenting my CX Gold card.

      On a slightly different note it did show quite how inconsistently status benefits are publicised and applied. I was surprised to find that bronze/ruby gets priority boarding, even though the highlife business magazine has that as a silver/sapphire perk. On entering Fasttrack security they would have let me through with bronze status, and certainly no issue with my CX gold/sapphire even though that is apparently supposed to be a OneWorld emerald benefit!

  • Toby says:

    As regular Thai and Singapore flyer into LHR they manage to get priority tags to work – why can’t BA?

  • Dean B says:

    I’m a BA Gold & tend to find my bags come out among the first on arrival at LHR T5 most of the time, especially on longhaul flights. I also get priority tags outbound from LHR also “work” more often than not.

    I imagine some of this comes down to how the *other* airports treat bags, and also how containers get loaded/unloaded from the plane.

    I’d say it’s a benefit, albeit an inconsistent one, especially for short-haul

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

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