For people who look to earn British Airways status via a tier point run – booking a specific flight primarily because of the number of tier points earned – it seems like the biggest gravy train is pulling out of the station.
Two class American Airlines domestic flights in the USA are sold as ‘First’ and ‘Economy’. More importantly, the premium seats are coded as First Class.
This has two consequences, one good and one bad:
Avios redemptions on AA which book into two-class domestic First Class require 4x the standard number of Avios, which makes them ludicrously expensive compared to what you get (see the photo below of A321 First Class seats)
Cash tickets booked on AA in domestic two-class First Class earn First Class tier points. This means that flights under 2000 miles earn 60 tier points whilst flights over 2000 miles earn 210 tier points. A dedicated tier point runner could construct an itinerary via numerous 2000+ miles segments to maximise the tier points earned. Note that such tickets must be booked with an AA flight number and NOT a BA codeshare flight number for this to work – BA codeshare bookings earn Business Class tier points.
From 12th November, for travel after 12th January, AA is changing the way it tickets First Class flights on two class aircraft.
Whilst the front cabin will still be called First Class, tickets will book into J, D, I or R fare classes. These are all business class fare buckets.
This should mean:
You will only need to pay 2x rather than 4x the economy Avios price to fly up front
You will only earn 40 or 140 tier points, depending on distance, on cash tickets
There will be no changes to how international flights or three-class AA domestic flights are ticketed.
You can find more information in this Flyertalk thread with the information quoted above shown, via an internal AA menu, in post 254.
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.