Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You can earn Avios and BA tier points when flying Emirates – here’s proof it works

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Back in February, I wrote about one of those ‘things you didn’t know you didn’t know’ – that it is possible to earn British Airways Avios points and tier points when flying with Emirates.

If you live in the UK regions, Emirates is a decent choice for long-haul travel, especially in premium cabins on the A380 routes.

One downside is Emirates Skywards.  It is a pretty feeble loyalty scheme with low earning rates and high redemption rates.  You can redeem for Arsenal VIP football tickets and for easyJet flights but that is about it.

One alternative is crediting Emirates flights to Alaska Airlines as the two are partners.  Alaska is also a British Airways partner so you could redeem the miles for BA flights.  If you didn’t have enough, you could credit a few BA, Air France or KLM flights to Alaska to top up your account.

There is an alternative, though.

Max Burgess

Qantas signed a major tie-up with Emirates two years ago.  A large number of Emirates flights now carry Qantas flight codes.  Qantas is also a member of the oneworld alliance alongside British Airways.

As long as your Emirates flight is booked under a Qantas (QF) flight number and not an Emirates (EK) flight number, you will receive Avios points when you fly.

I got my wife to try this out recently.  She had to fly to Singapore for a conference with the start date being immediately after our recent Dubai holiday.  As the rest of us were already booked on Emirates, it made sense to book her onto a London – Dubai (stopover) – Singapore – Dubai – London routing.

This is what posted on


As you can see, full long-haul tier points – 560 tier points for the return trip – and Avios were received.  Whilst it states that all four flights were ‘operated by Qantas’, this is not the case.  Three were on Emirates with only QF1 being on a Qantas aircraft.

To book an Emirates flight under the Qantas flight numbers, you should use the Qantas website to book.  Flights may be cheaper, the same or more expensive than booking via the Emirates site – it varies by service – so be careful.  Expedia and other third party sites may also show Emirates flights with Qantas flight numbers but you need to check this carefully before hitting the ‘buy’ button.

For corporate bookings, you need to carefully explain to your travel booking company what you want to do.  It is not just routes to Australia that have a Qantas codeshare attached as these Singapore flights show.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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:

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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 (37)

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

  • JQ says:

    Slightly OT: booking QR J ARN-HKG for £788; can anyone confirm whether QR5800/5801 (the CX codeshares) will credit to BA without any issues?

    It appears that people crediting to Asia Miles and Qmiles often get rejected, even when submitting boarding passes.

    (I am aware that the CX codeshares end on 15 Feb, although ITA Matrix doesn’t seem to be)

    • Polly says:

      JQ. Log into the QR website with your ref, in the lounge, just make sure your BAEC number is in the personal details. You will be emailed the change confirming the change. Double triple check in the lounge or at the boarding gate. We have done this each time, and they post to our BAEC.

    • idrive says:

      Are the a330 on CX fitted with full flat seats?

  • Brian says:

    OT, but don’t forget that the IHG sale begins today.

    • Brian says:

      Plus they seem to have brought the date you can book from forward to 1 Dec.

  • Marly says:

    Oh noooo, I wish I knew that, I have like 10k emirates skywards seating there and I will probably never use them as I rarely fly Eastbound 🙁

    • Rob says:

      Convert to cash via Heathrow Rewards, use on easyJet, use for Arsenal tickets!

  • CV3V says:

    Next year I have a flight out of KUL in BA CW, so will be using the oneworld lounge. Friends will be on the EK flight in economy, if they book through Qantas can I guest them into the oneworld lounge? (I also have OW status). The mind boggles.

    • Hingeless says:

      I got into the qantas lounge in Auckland with a guest when flying with Emirates in economy with a Cathay Pacific card gold card. Guest got avios. The flight was booked through qantas

  • May says:

    CV3V: Let me know if your friends are able to book EK using Qantas code via Qantas website from KUL. I am unable to select KUL as departure for many places, just limited to SEA. Thanks. P/S: I live in KUL but BAEC member.

    • Rob says:

      You may need a travel agent. I couldn’t get the Qantas site to price the route my wife flew.

      • Leo says:

        I looked at doing this ages ago tbh – begining part of the year. I didn’t fancy the QF J seat but thought I might try the Blinged out Emirates version. It prices up fine on Expedia as far as I can remember. Went with QR in the end “just in case”.

    • CV3V says:

      On the subject of Emirates, they are offering status match at the moment (which is quite rare), although it is targeted at residents of France. Status match to Gold or Platinum status, no match to Silver being offered.

      • Polly says:

        CV, am puzzled, that’s a good idea, in case of great sales they do.. When you say no match to silver, is that from silver in OW or to their silver. Has anyone tried this who is NOT loving in France? Have you given it a go? Handy to have though. We got the Al Italia one, again useful as my OH sometimes has to use them for work.

  • Kinkell says:

    Drat! Just returned from Mauritius/Seychelles EK in J. Lots of Skywards miles added to the CC deal of several months ago, and a further 40K EACH for dodgy IFE systems on 2 legs and faulty seat on another. Whilst I can use the miles on easyjet, I would have preferred the Quantas link to bump up our status and likely made silver this year. We’ve gone from Silver to Bronze and all our trips are redemptions planned pre devaluation, so no points and avios, although we get to experience First to JNB on 747 and a380 as well as our trip to SAmerica and a few other smaller trips . Currently trying to build up miles again. Drat, Drat !!

  • Breeze says:

    I booked a QF flight to Dubai but it is on EK metal so should get the points and avios but apparently this does stop Qantas lounge access at Heathrow.

    • Rob says:

      You want to be in the Emirates lounge anyway as the planes boarding directly from the lounge.

  • Neil says:

    I was aware of this “opportunity” when I booked from LHR to SYD in business flying EK but on a QF flight number and ticket. I was Emirates platinum at the time but wanted to earn Avios so put my BA number into the profile.

    At Dubai, I was stupid/greedy, and tried to gain access to the EK first lounge with my platinum card. I was told I could only do that if I put my EK number into the booking which I declined. Unknown to me my EK number somehow at this point did go onto the booking.

    When I got back to the UK I was disappointed to see the entire trip credited to my EK account rather than Avios. I did email EK customer service to see if it could be reversed but they declined but suggested I contact BA. I filled out the BA form for missing Avios/Tier points and they were credited within a week or two – and my EK credit remained!

    I’d not recommend this as a strategy for getting credit from both airlines but the lack of any partnership between BA and EK helps in this situation.

    • Andy says:

      Neil. Similar situation but I was in First and they put my EK booking in although I had specifically asked them not to!
      Likewise filled out the online form and hey presto – currently sitting with credit to both…not recommended as a strategy either, but hey ho!
      Fully expect to lose one at a later point I guess because their systems (as much as BA’s is a joke) must talk at some point.
      We will see

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.