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If I upgrade my British Airways flight what tier points and Avios do I earn?

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In this article I want to look at what Avios and tier points you earn if you upgrade your British Airways flight.  Do you earn Avios and tier points for the original class you booked or the class you flew in?

As you are probably aware, the number of Avios and tier points you earn depend not only on your length of flight but also the class of travel – with higher classes earning more. In this article we will examine whether you earn at the upgraded level or if you simply earn the points of your original booking.

If I upgrade my British Airways flight what tier points and Avios do I earn?

British Airways allows you to upgrade your flight at different stages, including any time before your flight as well as at check in and, most recently, at the departure gate. Upgrades at check in or at departure are often at a reduced price and offer an excellent opportunity to experience a higher cabin class without paying through-the-nose for it.

If you choose to upgrade your flight, for example from economy (World Traveller) to premium economy (World Traveller Plus), you may be wondering if you get the higher earning rates for Avios and tier points associated with premium economy.

The good news is that, unlike many carriers, British Airways does honour such upgrades with the relevant upgraded earning rates. However, this rule only applies if you are ticketed with a British Airways flight number. If you are on a code-share flight with Iberia, example, you may be flying on a British Airways operated aircraft but your Avios and tier point earning rates are subject to Iberia’s fare rules.  Unfortunately Iberia and many of British Airways’ code-share partners do not operate the same rules.

You will only get the upgraded Avios and tier points if you upgrade with cash. Like other reward flights, upgrade redemptions do not pay out Avios or tier points so you will only earn from the cash portion of the booking.

If you want to learn more about how to upgrade your British Airways flight with Avios, read this article.

(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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