How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

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Most people think that the British Airways Executive Club tiers are Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold.  There is also Gold Guest List – see here for how you get that – but it is a subset of Gold and does not have its own membership card.

There is, however, another elite tier you may not know about – British Airways Executive Club Premier.

This is the card you get:

How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

This information is taken from official British Airways guidelines, although the guidelines are now a few years old and may have been updated.

The aim of Premier is to keep on the good side of people who control the travel budgets at British Airways’ largest corporate accounts.

In order to get a British Airways Premier card, you need to control a travel budget which spends at least £2 million per year with British Airways.

Importantly – and this is taken verbatim for the guidelines – giving someone a Premier card:

“will not always reflect the revenue generated for British Airways by the company, but should be based upon the individual’s ability to influence travel policy”

High profile celebrities and sports stars are also given Premier status.

How do I apply?

You don’t.  Based on the guidelines I have, you need to befriend a member of the British Airways board or a key sales manager.  They will submit an application on your behalf.

Five other BA executives (specified people, not random staff) must ‘second’ the application, including the British Airways Chief Operating Officer, currently Klaus Goersch.

How many British Airways Premier cardholders are there?

850, at the time of publication of the guidance notes I have.

A comment below from a BA employee states that the current number is nearer 450 following a decision by Alex Cruz to reduce the numbers.

What do you get if you are a British Airways Premier cardholder?

What you DIDN’T get, interestingly, is tier points according to the BA guidance, although this may have changed recently looking at the comments below.  Perhaps introducing lifetime status criteria meant that Premier members still wanted to track their points?

As a Premier, you receive all of the benefits of British Airways Gold membership plus:

use of the Special Services team at key airports

access to British Airways lounges at all times, even if the member is not flying on British Airways

ability to bring two guests into a lounge (a Gold member can only bring one guest)

access to The Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, irrespective of class of travel

ability to give Gold status to a friend or partner

an annual upgrade voucher, allowing a single cabin upgrade for two people – this is the same as the Gold Guest List GUF2 voucher

Anecdotally, from crew reports on Flyertalk, British Airways will remove paying passengers from a flight if a Premier member wishes to travel on it, and will hold flights if a Premier customer is delayed.

Not a bad deal if you can get it …. but don’t get your hopes up!

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  1. hingeless says:

    In Australia both Virgin and Qantas give out similar status.

    Qantas has the “chairman’s lounge” and Virgin as the “club” both have to be approved at top level rather than be earned.

    Each gives access to secret lounges and a few other perks.

  2. The use of this type of card is interesting if given to a company employee “to keep on the good side of people who control the travel budgets at British Airways’ largest corporate accounts”, as there is surely the risk that they could potentially breach the Bribery Act under some circumstances.

    • Shoestring says:

      Wining & dining key contacts whilst discussing business doesn’t come under bribery & this is similar – though in some companies, the due diligence teams want to know all about what money has been spent & by whom, that openness is I guess a way to head off potential accusations.

      • This is correct, I am a procurement manager at a fortune 500 company, I look after an 8 figure travel budget.
        Our corporate policy states that we can not accept anything like this. even if it is legal, its not considered ethical.
        3 other companies I have worked at have had similar policies.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Whereas something like this, which is neither wining nor dining, and is a perpetual benefit to the individual and not the organisation, falls definitively the wrong side of the line here…

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          I agree – there is no way this would be acceptable in my company.

          It is a world away from the occasional “wining and dining” experience – even to the extent you can gift gold to a friend which clearly has nothing to do with the business at all !

        • Shoestring says:

          It clearly *doesn’t* fall the wrong side of the line as it is permitted in law!

        • It’s not a perpetual benefit to the individual. The status would be withdrawn (and as Rob said it has been withdrawn from people by BA) if the person left the company they were working for that got them the premier status,

          Also in major companies travel contracts would have to be tendered for and the decision made by the board not a single individual.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          I think we’re talking about different lines…

          Also just because someone does something doesn’t mean it’s permitted – It would need to be tested in court to determine that BA’s interpretation of the Bribery Act is correct…

  3. A mate of mine is recently Prem, and definitely gets TPs. He was collecting like a fiend – 1k in the last year – in order to get to GFL

  4. Re one of your bracketed comments above Rob, am I correct that a Silver can also guest one person into a lounge?

  5. Nigel the Pensioner – please don’t disappoint, we need you to have one of these along with the Centurion card?

  6. GGL do get their own card. Very similar to gold but with the addition of a symbol and GGL I’m the corner.

    Also, GGLs are allowed two guests in any lounge except CCR. If travelling in F a CCR can bring two guests into CCR.

  7. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Rob, are you on the list as a social influencer? You specified in the last Dream Ticket deal to Cape Town that HfP did over £800,000 of tickets. Moving that amount of premium excess capacity must get you noticed.

    • Shoestring says:

      tbh a decent (personable) youngish HfP staffer could generate significant YouTube income by YT-ing every YT-able post here (probably doubling up with FB). A completely different and additional income stream that HfP ignores at present.

      Don’t ask me why but some/ many people prefer YT/ FB to any other source of information, including primary sources – though a proper HfP YT channel would in effect turn into a primary source. I guess it’s just a ‘moving pictures vs printed word’ thing. Perhaps some young frat could explain it for me…?

      How much? Probably well into 6 digits from Year 1, with better to come later as the following built up.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        I dont disagree with any of the above other than to add that the only difference between a blogger and a vlogger is really the fashion of the day. Oh, any money. Lots of money. As you say.

        • No. You totally misunderstand our market, which is basically people with enough money that dropping £1300 on taxes for ‘free’ flights seems like a bargain. These are not YouTube people, or if they are, they are not people willing to sit through long pieces because they have a life. That’s why our vids are 2 minutes and not 20 mins.

          Also note that ad revenue per YouTube video view is a tiny fraction of what we get per page view, and you can’t sell your own ads.

          Until the ads came off our YT channel we NEVER got a penny. Did not, in 2 years, hit the £20 (?) total threshold to get paid. That is despite about 10,000 minutes of views per month, which is a decent chunk given 2 minute videos.

          What is true is that if you listed the highest earning social media peeps in the UK, you would be a long way down the list before you got to a blogger.

      • Lady London says:

        I, like Shoestring, would like to understand this You(th)tube phenomenon more.

    • We are not on any influencer lists AFAIK. We like to sit on the journalism side of the fence. You won’t see us at blogger award ceremonies or conferences. Not that the difference is very clear these days.

      Free stuff is generally a pain in the arse. Rhys just had to spend 2 days in Cardiff for HfP 🙂

      • Shoestring says:

        Never heard of portfolio management ie in marketing terms? That box/ revenue stream is largely an empty box so far for HfP (as you mention above!)

        • The best bit about running an online (social) media ‘business’ is that success is genuinely based on how good your audience think you are. If people like your stuff, they will read it or watch it. If they don’t, they won’t. Long term, nothing you can do in terms of SEO, advertising etc changes that. You can start your own blog, Instagram business, YouTube channel today, for free, and if you’re really good you will make a lot of money over the medium term. And if you aren’t good, you will be brutally found out.

          The downside of this is that you have to master your medium. Can we do the YouTube stuff better than anyone else? No. Can we do Instagram stuff better than anyone else? No. And the people who do that well can’t write.

          We have twice as many LinkedIn followers as we do YouTube subscribers, despite constant plugging of the YouTube channel and virtually no mentions of the LinkedIn feed, which tells you all you need to know about the HFP audience I think.

        • Shoestring says:

          Put it this way: if you advertised for a new staffer and their only pay were 25% of your YouTube/ FB revenures – and they were free to convert all your existing & new content into online YT/ FB material – they’d bite your hand off.

          Easy way to get rich quick.

          • But you wouldn’t. If you paid someone £35k to do this then you’d need around £100k of revenue to make it worthwhile. This would require around 100 million YouTube video views per year. This simply isn’t possible with our UK-centric niche subject matter.

        • Michael Jennings says:

          “Long term, nothing you can do in terms of SEO, advertising etc changes that”.

          Good SEO amounts to “Have a good website”, and that is it, really.

          Of course, this is hard, which is why trying to convince people there is some magic trick that will put you on the front page of Google is such big business.

      • Its not so simple to create the videos from content and expect to get huge views, its built over time with subscribers and engagement, some types of videos will hit a stone wall when converted into youtube videos and wouldn’t get many views and certainly not generate much revenue.

        Having 100 million views isn’t even likely to generate £100k more like it used to generate 100k USD but I hear it is way below this now for most areas.

        • Shoestring says:

          Have a look at my one & only YouTube channel that I watch –

          It’s BBQ Pit Boys and I nearly only watch the new ones out at our place in the sun as it’s easy BBQ recipe entertainment when I’m in the mood for that to get some ideas and fed up with CNN or Sky/ BT Sport 🙂

          They have mastered their medium in a good ol’ boys kinda way. It’s quite addictive in you get sucked in, so you need to watch a few good ones before you tell me it’s a load of rubbish.

        • Yes your right there is a market for good youtube channels and there is potential for something similar to HFP but doesn’t look like Rob wants to diversify into that area and dilute his content.

          I do think daily videos with good content perhaps vlogs covering different deals and promotions would be good especially hotels and transportation would be good if done right but not cheesy!

  8. Rochard M says:

    Sounds like a case of “I’ll scratch your back…”

    • Absolutely. If I was a boss of a big company I would categorically prohibit my travel dept people from having such cards.

    • Indeed, I’ve always taken the view that if a sales person can take me out for a nice lunch after signing a contract, then he’s screwed me over and I should be paying less…

      • People buy from people, though. If a company spends more on this kind of “campaigning” they may get a higher win rate and therefore waste less money on lost bids/enquiries.

      • Memesweeper says:

        The cost of sales (eg incentives, like lunches or air miles) are usually smeared across the books indiscriminately. You may as well gather as much incidental kick back as possible whilst negotiating to ensure you don’t overpay. You won’t pay more because you took a lunch any more than if you forgo your tier points!

        • Shoestring says:

          I use to wine & dine & schmooze them rotten, worked a treat. ‘Them’ were often internal people, not just agencies, clients or other contacts. boss always signed it off, no questions asked, ever.

          Which is how I came to have 100K Virgin miles to keep alive when I handed back my green Amex card lol.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Indeed. We’ve recently changed our biggest supplier from one who took me out to lunch quite a few times and other perks to one who has given me nothing, ever. No lunches but many £100/month saved and straight onto the bottom line (my business is small so not an insignificant saving). Now if it was somebody else’s money I was saving, what would I have done….

  9. NoTiersForMe says:

    I’d imagine if Olivia Coleman didn’t already have a Perm card before the Oscars she does now. She definitely seems flavour of the month in current BA advertising…

    • Anthony Edwards says:

      She can now say “I’ve got an Oscar actually” when asked to get tea in the safety video.

      • Damn, they’ll have to film a new one now.

        • They’d better wait until she is Damed by the Queen in June, just in time for their real 100th anniversary

        • Shoestring says:

          …only because a paltry few wimmin do enough to get an honour, I can’t say this (who is she?) Coleman woman can act her way out of a brown paper bag based on past performance or even give a gracious Oscars acceptance speech but I guess she’s the best we’ve got (apart from JD), if I had my way Judi Dench would get it 20 years running.

        • Shoestring says:

          Judi Dench really brought the James Bond movies to life – Daniel Craig or the other ones – no good compared to JD even if you earned more money, let’s hear it for the gels!

        • Shoestring says:

          I saw my hero Judi Dench in a play at the old Shakespearean theatre – let me tell you, she was brilliant.

          That’s the moment I awarded her the Damehood in my mind – I was proven correct – and later I will make her a Knight of the Realm (female equivalent).

          Actor supreme (don’t belittle them by calling them actresses).

        • Shoestring

          A Damehood is the female equivalent of a knighthood.

        • Shoestring says:

          Well I’d rather be a Sir than a Dame, any day – and I guess the women do as well, as ‘Dame’ is not good enough for them.

          We need to invent a superior expression, such as Sirchoness/ Siryabeauty.

  10. Hmmm. You and I are long enough in the tooth to remember when plain Gold got you into any BA lounge, no matter who you were flying with and, again as Gold, I have had a car waiting to transfer me to a transatlantic seat in just Club when my first leg from Europe was late. That these benefits are now assigned only to Premiers speaks volumes for the devaluation of Gold,

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They aren’t. Just that they always get it and Golds or GGL get it when really needed and they have capacity.

      • My former boss was chatting to his seat mate on a delayed flight and found both were on the same connection. Said seat mate was met coming off the plane and was kind enough to ask if his new pal could also jump in the buggy that was primed to whisk him through the innards of Heathrow. My former boss had never heard of Premier and I’d bet money would have asked BA about it only to get told to get stuffed with his modest six figure budget. “Premier for a day” – ha ha.

        • the premium transfer at heathrow (a direct connection from incoming flight to your next flight) isn’t just for Premier. I have had it as a gold card holder. The main benefit for me is avoiding security on a UK domestic -> T3 flight. But the long time normally needed is down to the bad design and poor connections at Heathrow. Security is not needed for domestic -> intl transfers at UK airports but unless on a premium transfer, Heathrow cannot manage it T5-> any other terminal.

  11. The BA website implies Premier guests do get tier points?

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