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.
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 2.4 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 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.
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.