In this article we’ll look at how you can earn Avios and British Airways tier points by flying with Japan Airlines (JAL) and whether it’s worth it compared to flying British Airways.
It is possible to earn Avios and BA tier points on Japan Airlines (JAL) instead of their own mileage reward currency. This is because both airlines belong to the oneworld alliance.
When you book or manage your flights with Japan Airlines, 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.
However, you will earn a different amount of Avios on Japan Airlines compared to if you fly British Airways. This is because they have different earning rates. On Japan Airlines, 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 – double what you’d expect to earn on Japan Airlines.
How many Avios do you earn flying with Japan Airlines?
Here is the full chart of earning rates, sourced from the partner section of the British Airways website.
We are comparing the earnings when you take a flight on Japan Airlines compared to taking a flight on British Airways.
Economy lowest – 25% on both airlines
Economy low – 50% on both airlines
Economy flexible – 70%-100% vs 100% on British Airways
Premium Economy – 100% vs 100%-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 almost exactly the same for both airlines. For flights in business and first you will suffer some severe losses, earning up to half less on Japan Airlines 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%.
Unlike with some oneworld partners however, you will still get your usual Avios tier bonus of 25%, 50% or 100% depending on if you hold a Bronze, Silver or Gold BA Executive Club status card.
When it comes to tier points, you are better off flying with Japan Airlines than British Airways if your trip involves a connection. This is because tier points are earned per flight, so a connecting in Tokyo to your final destination will earn more tier points than taking a direct flight on British Airways from London.
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. You will see, for example, that London – Tokyo – Hong Kong on JAL is more lucrative than a direct London – Hong Kong flight on British Airways.
(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 2.3 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.