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American Airlines slashes BA earning rate – do NOT credit BA flights to AA in 2016

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Ever since the Avios devaluation in April, crediting long haul economy flights on British Airways to British Airways Executive Club has been a slightly crazy thing to do.

You were only earning 0.25 Avios per mile flown on discounted economy tickets.  If you credited the same flight to an American Airlines AAdvantage account, you would earn 1 AA mile per mile flown.

I wrote more about this odd situation in this article.

That game is now ending – but there is a loophole for some.

American Airlines announced yesterday that it is cutting the earning rates on British Airways and Iberia flights taken after 1st February 2016.

American Airlines

The new American Airlines chart for British Airways is here.

As you can see, when you scroll down the new chart, discounted economy tickets from 1st February will now earn just 0.25 AA miles per mile flown.  This means that there is no particular reason to credit to American Airlines.

The 1st February date applies irrespective of when you booked your ticket.  Even if you booked before the announcement yesterday for travel after 1st February, you will still receive the lower amount.

There is a loophole ….

Flights on British Airways to North American with an American Airlines flight code will continue to earn miles as if they were AA planes.

This means that you will continue to earn 1 American Airlines mile per mile flown.

If, for example, you are flying to San Francisco and want to fly on BA in World Traveller, you should book via Expedia or aa.com.  This should bring up the same BA flight with the AA flight number, hopefully for the same price, and it will continue to credit at 100% of miles flown.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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

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

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

(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 (13)

  • Idrive says:

    Goodmorning it seems for once i may be lucky! i booked an ex eu supercheap open jaw for Easter a while ago via aa.com and 3/4 flights are operated by BA but all flights are under a AA code. I did not remember…you get 1/4 of the miles flown irrespective of status…on discounted economy…

  • Guesswho2000 says:

    Only a matter of time before this happened I guess, my return flight to Australia in discount Y last November got me over 40,000 AA miles, including the 100% elite bonus for AA Platinum! That’s half of a one way first class redemption back there!

  • Rohan says:

    What about redeeming AA miles on BA metal ? Is that changing ?

  • konagirl says:

    I think the blanket statements “do not credit BA flights to AA” and “This means that there is no particular reason to credit to American Airlines” are misleading. It entirely depends on each person’s travel routine which frequent flyer scheme is best for them to accrue with. A Flyertalk contributor pointed out that, with 5 economy return flights UK-West coast USA, with BA you might make OneWorld Ruby but with AA you should make OneWorld Sapphire. This is particularly true for those of us whose work require employees to travel in economy but that we may book into “low” economy booking classes rather than the “lowest”, for example.

    Thanks for pointing out the loophole re codeshares.

    • Rob says:

      That is true. I hesitated when I wrote that, because obviously there are reasons to do it – but for simplicity the phrase worked.

      • idrive says:

        Honestly, it is totally up to you, your trips path and strategy.
        I personally am now focussed on to getting Silver for the new year starting 08Nov..then credit all the rest to AA, as I am Avios rich at the moment and there is no other particular benefit when flying Eco short haul..remember that taxes on AA and ways to top up are limited…

        • James67 says:

          You might lso wang to consider Alaska, depending how you want to redeem your mikes.

  • Paul says:

    I have RT flight booked for 31st Jan – 06th Feb. Can I credit outbound to AA and inbound to BA?

    • Antonio says:

      I believe so; just change your frequent flyer number at check in for the return journey.

  • Win says:

    This is what happens when you continue to Game the System, you spoil it for every traveller who then gets punished for the few who score and brag about it , as a full fare paying passenger on my own Dime and not on a Company expense account I travel Twice a year R/T Long Haul on World Traveller Plus & Business when it is on SALE I end up getting shafted by the cheats of this World , Shame on all of you !
    All points earned on Company paid travel should go to the Company Travel Dept, to be distributed throughout the Company as a reward to the Employees that never get to travel , use it as a reward incentive scheme for a job well done .

    • Brendan says:

      How is any of that relevant? These changes won’t even affect you.

    • nick says:

      I hate it when I get drunk during the daytime and post nonsense on messageboards too.