Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

If I upgrade my British Airways flight what tier points and Avios do I earn?

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

In this article I want to look at what Avios and tier points you earn if you upgrade your British Airways flight.  Do you earn Avios and tier points for the original class you booked or the class you flew in?

As you are probably aware, the number of Avios and tier points you earn depend not only on your length of flight but also the class of travel – with higher classes earning more. In this article we will examine whether you earn at the upgraded level or if you simply earn the points of your original booking.

If I upgrade my British Airways flight do I earn upgraded tier points and Avios?

British Airways allows you to upgrade your flight at different stages, including any time before your flight as well as at check in and, most recently, at the departure gate. Upgrades at check in or at departure are often at a reduced price and offer an excellent opportunity to experience a higher cabin class without paying through-the-nose for it.

If you choose to upgrade your flight, for example from economy (World Traveller) to premium economy (World Traveller Plus), you may be wondering if you get the higher earning rates for Avios and tier points associated with premium economy.

The good news is that, unlike many carriers, British Airways does honour such upgrades with the relevant upgraded earning rates. However, this rule only applies if you are ticketed with a British Airways flight number. If you are on a code-share flight with Iberia, example, you may be flying on a British Airways operated aircraft but your Avios and tier point earning rates are subject to Iberia’s fare rules and unfortunately Iberia and many of British Airways’ code-share partners do not operate the same rules.

You will only get the upgraded Avios and tier points if you upgrade with cash. Like other reward flights, upgrade redemptions do not pay out Avios or tier points so you will only earn from the cash portion of the booking.

If you want to learn more about how to upgrade your British Airways flight with Avios, read this article.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)


Get 20,000 Avios from Amex Gold, or 30,000 Avios from Amex Platinum! (January 2021 offer)

The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 20,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year!

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

You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 30,000 Avios – find out more here:

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

If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.