The pros and cons of using BA household accounts – Avios Redemption University – Lesson 5

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The “Avios Redemption University” series is a good starting point for beginners, although I hope everyone will learn something from it.  Click here to see the other “Avios Redemption University” articles.

This article explains how and why you can create a household account in British Airways Executive Club.

One way of earning a free flight quicker is to pool the Avios points of all the members of your household in one account.  With the closure of the Avios Travel Rewards Programme, there is now only one way of doing this – via a British Airways Executive Club household account.

Why would you want a British Airways Household Account?

The key benefit of a household account is that it lets you pool together points from a number of people. The main reason to do this is if you need to make a redemption which requires more miles than any one person has in their account.

There is a secondary reason too – using a household account is the only way to earn Avios when your children under 18 fly.

British Airways Household Account

There are alternatives to a household account

Before we got into the details, remember that there are other ways of achieving the same goal:

You can pay to transfer miles between accounts – up to 6,000 Avios costs £25, for example. This may be easier than getting a household account and being tied by its restrictions. 

If you are a British Airways Executive Club Gold member, you can transfer 27,000 Avios to anyone else for free, each year.  The cap is 162,000 Avios transferred out per year.

You can book a flight for someone else directly from your Executive Club account.  You don’t need to pool your miles with someone else to be able to redeem for them.

If one person only has a small balance, remember that Avios allows one-way redemptions.  One person could use their small balance to book a one-way flight and the other person book the other leg from their account.

How does a British Airways household account work?

You are NOT fully merging your accounts when you create a household account at ba.com.

Each member retains their individual Avios balance. When you log in, you see both your own balance and the household balance.

When you redeem ….. the points are taken PRO-RATA from the balance of each person

When you earn ….. the points go ONLY onto your personal balance

For example, if you have 9,000 Avios and your partner has 4,500, a redemption for 4,500 Avios will see 3,000 taken from you and 1,500 from your partner.  It is a pro-rata split.  However, if you earn 4,500 Avios from a flight, your balance goes up to 13,500 and your partner remains at 4,500.

How to open, close and add members to a family account

You can form a British Airways household account here. Each member will receive an email which includes a link to click to confirm their membership. Once the account is formed, you can also create accounts for children. The account can have a maximum of seven people in it.

All members must have their BA account registered at the same address. You can only make one change to the Household Account every six months. This also means you cannot close it for six months after opening it, as this counts as a change.

With a ba.com household account, the ‘Head of the Household’ can also add a further five people as ‘Family & Friends’. These names can be deleted and replaced once they have been on your list for six months. The Household Account can redeem Avios for flights for these five people, but their Avios are not merged with the household account. (You can learn more about ‘Family & Friends’ in this article.)

Redeeming Avios whilst in a family account

A British Airways household account lets you redeem for anyone in the household account OR one of the five ‘Family & Friends’ members. You cannot redeem for anyone else, however.  This could potentially be an issue if your ‘Family & Friends’ list is full and no-one on it has been there for six months and so is eligible for removal.

How to use ‘Combine My Avios’ with a family account

There is an odd quirk with ‘Combine My Avios’ for members of household accounts.  You cannot move Avios from Iberia Plus to anyone who is in a BA household account.

This is not a problem, because you CAN move Avios from a programme running on the avios.com platform (Aer Lingus AerClub, Vueling Club, Flybe until 30th April 2019) into a BA household account.

If you have Avios in Iberia Plus which you want to move your BA account, and your BA account is in a household account, this is what you need to do:

Go to the Aer Lingus website and open an AerClub account

Log in to avios.com using your AerClub account details

Use the ‘Combine My Avios’ function on avios.com to pull your points from Iberia Plus into avios.com

Do a second ‘Combine My Avios’ transaction on avios.com to push your points from avios.com to British Airways Executive Club

Easy ….!

Household accounts and children

One reason to get a British Airways household account is that it allows children to earn Avios points and tier points when they fly.

An under-18 cannot have their own British Airways Executive Club account but they CAN be invited to join a household account.

If you want to earn Avios for your children but do NOT want to be restricted by a household account, consider opening a BA account for, say, a grandparent and putting the children into a household account with them.  You could add yourself to the ‘Friends & Family’ list for that household account in order to redeem tickets for yourself.

Conclusion

British Airways Executive Club household accounts are not for everyone. Personally, I don’t like them – I want the flexibility to redeem for whoever I like. I use other family members to create a household account for my children. You can also get much of the flexibility of a HHA by redeeming one leg from one account and the other leg from another account.

If you are keen, though, I hope the summary above has clarified how they work.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Shoestring says:

    Interesting stuff.

    Any question in there? 🙂

    • 🤦🏼‍♀️ I meant to ask is it worth waiting after you close cards with amex before you do any new application

  2. george says:

    OT: Was there an Avios depreciation?
    how come an avios ticket from LON to ZRH at the end of March (offpeak) is 4k avios while the same one way ticket in early April (offpeak too) is 4.5k avios?

    • Charlieface says:

      Double check dates on HFP, there has been issues with BA saying it’s off-peak when it isn’t.

  3. Do Avios redeposits (when you cancel a Avios booking) count as earning?

  4. What if the head of the household wants to leave (divorce, say) and the children are still under 18? How do you avoid losing the children’s points?

    Can he dissolve the account and each member has their own standalone account and then the household account can be re-created without him?

    • You don’t. They used to move the kids Avios to the head of the account, which led to some abuse, so now the kids points are wiped.

  5. Chantel says:

    Thanks for this – really helpful!

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