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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.

and

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 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 (September 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, £200 travel credit 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 Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – 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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