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Do I need to fly British Airways to get British Airways elite status?

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Do you need to fly with British Airways to earn British Airways elite status, and get a shiny Bronze, Silver or Gold card?  You do, but surprisingly it can be as little as two one-way flights and even those could be codeshares.  Partner airline flights can do the rest.

To progress beyond Blue membership with British Airways Executive Club there are two key requirements

you must collect enough tier points in a given membership year to cross the tier’s threshold. To achieve Bronze, for example, you must cross 300 tier points.


you need to complete enough ‘eligible’ flights (two one-ways for Bronze, four for Gold or Silver)

Do I need to fly British Airways to get British Airways elite status?

You earn tier points on ANY British Airways cash flight OR any flight with a oneworld partner airline.  Airlines in the oneworld alliance include Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Cathay Pacific etc.

You will also earn tier points when you take a British Airways codeshare flight, ie a flight with a British Airways flight number which is operated by another airline.  This is irrespective of whether that airline is in the oneworld alliance.

You can work out how many tier points you can get from a particular flight using the BA tier point calculator.  This Head for Points article lists every British Airways route by the tier points needed.

You also need enough ‘eligible British Airways flights’

You CANNOT earn elite status with British Airways Executive Club just by flying with airline partners.  You also need to complete two British Airways flights for Bronze status and four for Silver or Gold, in your current membership year.

An ‘eligible flight’ is:

any British Airways operated flight

a flight with a British Airways flight code but operated by another airline

an Iberia operated flight with an Iberia flight code

Reward or redemption flights (using Avios) are NOT eligible.

It is perfectly possible to earn British Airways Silver status by doing one Qatar Airways business class return flight to Asia from the UK, which earns 560 of the necessary 600 tier points, and pick the additional 40 from four short haul flights on BA.  That’s enough to get upgraded to a Silver card.

(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 1.8 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 get 20,000 Avios from Amex Gold or 30,000 Avios from Amex Platinum (December 2021 offer)

The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 20,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year. You can apply here.

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You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 30,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:

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You should also look at the British Airways Accelerating Business card, because it currently has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up by 14th November. You can apply here.

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You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.

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