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Can I earn Avios and British Airways tier points if I fly with Malaysia Airlines?

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

It is possible to earn Avios and British Airways tier points on Malaysia Airlines instead of Enrich Miles, their own mileage reward currency. This is because both airlines belong to the oneworld alliance.

When you book or manage your flights with Malaysia 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 and tier points.

Can I earn Avios if I fly with Malaysia Airlines?

However, you will earn a different amount of Avios on Malaysia Airlines compared to flying British Airways. This is because they have different earning rates. On Malyasia 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 Malaysia Airlines.

How many Avios do you earn flying with Malaysia Airlines?

Here is the full chart of earning rates, sourced from the partner page of the British Airways website.

We are comparing the earnings when you take a flight on Malaysia Airlines compared to taking a flight on British Airways.

Economy lowest – 25% on both airlines

Economy low – 50% on both airlines

Economy flexible – 100% on both airlines

Premium Economy – Malaysia does not operate a premium economy cabin. 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 50% fewer Avios on Malaysia 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%.

That said, of course, British Airways is not currently flying to Kuala Lumpur so it isn’t necessarily fair to make like-for-like comparisons.

Unlike with some oneworld partners, 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 Malaysia Airlines than British Airways if your trip involves a connection.  This is because tier points are earned per flight, so a connecting in Kuala Lumpur 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 see will, for example, that London – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore on Malaysia Airlines is more lucrative than a direct London – Singapore 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 2.0 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 (October 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 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:

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 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 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 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

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.

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.

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