A question I am often asked is whether you can use American Airlines lounges if you have a British Airways Gold, Silver or Bronze status card.
Lounge access is one of the perks that many people aspire too when the travel. Nothing beats escaping the crowds of a busy terminal and settling down with some free wine or champagne before a long flight.
Your entitlement to lounge access depends on what status you hold, even with British Airways’ own lounges. British Airways Bronze members are not entitled to lounge access whilst Silver and Gold members are.
Do you have a British Airways Silver card?
Executive Club Silver status is the equivalent to oneworld Sapphire tier, allowing you to access the oneworld equivalent business class lounges. This includes American Airlines business class lounges, called Admirals Club, across its entire network.
A weird quirk of the oneworld rules means that Silver card holders can also access American Airline’s domestic First Class lounges. Though American Airlines does not allow its own mid-tier members into these lounges, they are open to oneworld Sapphire and above. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to their international First Class lounges.
These new international first-class lounges are a new addition to the American Airlines portfolio, with the first developed in 2017. They are subsequently only at a handful of airports though the benefit is that you know they are (almost) brand new. You can read an article I wrote about American Airlines Flagship Lounges here.
Do you have a British Airways Gold card?
The same rules apply to British Airways Executive Club Gold members. Note that you do not need to be flying with American Airlines to use its lounges – any oneworld airline will do.
If you are flying on British Airways from Heathrow Terminal 3, for example, you can use the AA lounge instead of the BA lounge if you choose. The smart flyer goes to the Cathay Pacific or Qantas lounges, however, which are far more impressive.
You can check out the global network of lounges which you can enter with your British Airways status on the oneworld alliance website here.
(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. )
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How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.