Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Can I earn Avios and British Airways tier points if I fly with Cathay Pacific?

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

In this article we’ll look at how you can earn Avios and British Airways tier points by flying with Cathay Pacific and whether it’s worth it compared to flying British Airways.

It is possible to earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points on Cathay Pacific and its subsidiaries instead of Asia Miles. This is because they both belong to the oneworld alliance.

When you book or manage your flights with Cathay Pacific, you will be able to add your British Airways Executive Club number. Upon completion of your flights you will automatically be credited the correct Avios.

Can I earn Avios and British Airways tier points if I fly with Cathay Pacific?

However, you will earn a different amount of Avios on Cathay Pacific compared to if you fly British Airways. This is because they have different earning rates.

On Cathay Pacific, you will earn Avios at a maximum of 150% of miles flown if you fly first class. On British Airways flights, however, first class fares can come with 300% of miles flown – so double what you’d expect to earn on Cathay Pacific.

How many Avios do you earn flying with Cathay Pacific?

Here is the full chart of earning rates, sourced from this page of the British Airways website.  We are comparing the earnings when you take a flight on Cathay Pacific compared to taking a flight on British Airways.

Economy lowest – 25% on both airlines

Economy flexible – 100% on both airlines

Premium Economy lowest – 100% on both airlines

Premium Economy flexible – 110% vs 150% on British Airways

Business – 125% vs 150%-250% on British Airways

First – 150% vs 250%-300% on British Airways

As you can see, economy earning rates are the exact same for both airlines. For flights in premium economy, business and first you will suffer some severe losses, earning up to half less on Cathay Pacific than you would on a British Airways flight. Obviously, something is better than nothing but if you’re flying on a flexible first fare you’d be disappointed to miss out on an additional 150%.

You are also NOT eligible for the usual 25%, 50% or 100% tier bonus if you hold a Bronze, Silver or Gold Executive Club status card, further cutting into your earnings.  Looking purely at Avios, it makes more sense to fly with British Airways to Hong Kong if possible – although arguably Cathay Pacific is the superior airline.

When it comes to tier points, however, you are better off flying with Cathay Pacific than British Airways if your trip involves a connection.  This is because tier points are earned per flight, so connecting in Hong Kong to your final destination will earn more tier points than taking a direct flight on British Airways from London.  London to Hong Kong to Tokyo on Cathay Pacific would earn more tier points than a direct BA flight to Tokyo because of the connecting leg.

You can work out how many tier points you will earn on the BA tier point calculator here.  Remember to search leg by leg if you are connecting.

(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 1.9 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.)


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

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. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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 good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.