How to earn Avios and British Airways tier points when flying Emirates
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I’ve been running a few reference articles this month as news is thin on the ground, sharing some tips which new readers might not know about.
One of those ‘things you didn’t know you didn’t know’ is that it is possible to earn British Airways Avios points and tier points when flying with Emirates.
Emirates is an excellent choice for long-haul travel, especially in premium cabins on the A380 routes and especially if you live in the regions and would otherwise need to connect at Heathrow. Here is my review of Emirates A380 First Class and here is my review of Emirates A380 Business Class.
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 and for Heathrow Rewards credit 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.
Qantas signed a major tie-up with Emirates four 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 back in 2015. She had to fly to Singapore for a conference and got herself routed London – Dubai – Singapore – Dubai – London.
This is what posted on ba.com:
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.
Not all Emirates routes carry a Qantas flight code unfortunately, but you should be OK to most places in Asia. For corporate bookings, you need to carefully explain to your travel booking company what you want to do.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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 Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.