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Get Silver in one EU trip with double tier points from BA Holidays – solo travellers now included

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Over the Summer, British Airways has been running a very interesting promotion for anyone who is chasing British Airways Executive Club status.

Very simply, if you booked a BA Holidays package, your flights would earn double BA tier points.

Tier point targets have already been reduced by 25% due to coronavirus. Put these two deals together and you can earn status for just 37.5% of the flights that would normally be required.

The deal has now been extended and tweaked so that solo travellers can also participate. You can find out more here.

double tier points from BA Holidays

How does the BA Holidays offer work?

The offer now runs into next Spring, which is good news.

When you travel on a BA Holidays package between 24th August 2021 and 31st March 2022, you will earn double tier points.

This only applies to tier points and not Avios. You only earn standard Avios from your flight.

You can make a booking up to 22nd March 2022 so you have seven months to ponder.

Is there a catch?

Yes, but one fewer than there was.

The rule that at least two people must travel together has been scrapped.

This has interesting repercussions. You may, for example, now be able to book longer business trips via BA Holidays and earn double tier points.

The other rules remain as they were:

  • you must stay away for at least five nights
  • you must pay for a car or hotel for the full length of your trip
  • your trip must start in the UK

Do existing bookings count?

Yes – if they are BA Holidays bookings

No – if you have an existing stand-alone BA flight booking and were planning to ring up to add a hotel or car hire to it

ba holidays double tier points

Must I book my hotel through BA Holidays?

No.

‘Flight and Car’ bookings count. You don’t have to book ‘Flight and Hotel’, or ‘Flight and Car and Hotel’.

Some people book a car but forget to collect it. I have seen some stories of the rental company fining people €50 to compensate them for the lost profit from overpriced insurance, but I reckon that is the worst that can happen.

Must I fly on British Airways?

Your flight must be BA operated or be a codeshare which carries a British Airways flight number.

How does the maths work here?

Very nicely.

These are the current tier point thresholds:

  • Bronze status requires 225 tier points (was 300 points)
  • Silver status requires 450 tier points (was 600 tier points)
  • Gold status requires 1,125 tier points (was 1,500 tier points)

The reduced tier point thresholds apply to all membership years which expire up to, and including, 8th July 2022 although BA appears to have quietly extended this deadline without telling anyone.

ba holidays double tier points

How many tier points will I earn?

This Head for Points chart lists the tier points you will earn on each British Airways route.

In simple terms, looking only at premium cabins:

  • Business Class to ‘near Europe’ – usually 80 tier points return, now 160 tier points
  • Business Class to ‘far Europe’ eg Greece – usually 160 tier points return, now 320 tier points
  • Club World return – usually 280 tier points return, now 560 tier points
  • First Class return – usually 420 tier points return, now 840 tier points

Here’s an interesting tip

If you live in London, you may want to consider booking your Business Class trip from Manchester or another domestic starting point instead.

The extra short connecting hop in Club Europe would earn you an extra 160 tier points return.

A booking such as Manchester – Heathrow – Athens, return, in Business Class would earn you 480 tier points (80 + 160 + 160 + 80). This is enough for British Airways Silver status.

Remember that as well as earning enough tier points, you must take four British Airways or Iberia flights during your current membership year to be promoted. One return flight from London to New York would NOT get you Silver status from scratch, because whilst you would have 560 tier points, you would only have taken two flights.

I really want to do this but don’t want a 5+ day holiday

Whilst I don’t recommend this, you could nest your trip so it looks like this:

  • you book a seven night ‘Flight and Car’ trip, Saturday to Saturday
  • you fly out on British Airways on Saturday
  • you forget to collect your car
  • you fly back immediately on easyJet or another carrier
  • you have a week at home as usual
  • the following weekend you fly back on easyJet
  • you take your scheduled British Airways flight home

I can’t think of any sensible reason to do this, especially given that covid testing would add to the costs and complications, but it should work. Personally I’d have a week long holiday – even if you were working from the hotel and not taking any annual leave – and do it properly.

ba holidays double tier points

What are the other benefits of booking with BA Holidays?

Even without this offer, there are many good reasons to book with BA Holidays:

  • booking a ‘Flight and Hotel’ or ‘Flight and Car’ package can be cheaper than booking a flight on its own, since British Airways will often use BA Holidays as a way of quietly selling seats without cutting its headline flight prices
  • you earn an additional 1 Avios per £1 for every £1 you spend at BA Holidays
  • you only need to pay a deposit now – which can be as low as £60 per person – with the balance not due until three weeks before departure
  • you can change your booking, or cancel for a voucher, up to three weeks before departure – no excuses required

Conclusion

Removing the ‘two person’ restriction means that this offer is now interesting for the dedicated tier point runner as well as anyone simply looking to book a holiday.

Have you spent your life assuming that you would never earn a British Airways Silver card? You can now get one simply by flying Manchester – London – ‘far’ Europe in Business Class for a five night holiday. You can’t argue with that.

With the offer running until 31st March 2022, you could even lock in Gold status with a couple of trips.

Remember that status lasts for:

  • all of the rest of your current tier point year, plus
  • all of the following year, plus
  • a stub period of seven weeks at the end

If your tier point year starts on 8th September 2021 and you booked a 450+ tier point trip after that date, you would earn and retain Silver status until 31st October 2023. This represents the rest of your current year, all of the following year and the stub period at the end.

You also get a soft landing. A Silver would drop to Bronze for the year to 31st October 2024. A Gold would get a year of Silver and a year of Bronze, locking in lounge access until 2024 and free seat selection until 2025 …..

Find out more

You need to do the maths to see if this offer works for you.

If you are not going to travel alone, don’t forget that your partner is likely to have a different Executive Club year-end date to you so a flight plan which fits around you may not work for them.

I strongly recommend you visit this special page of the BA Holidays website to learn more before booking.

The ba.com guide to tier points and how they work is here.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses.

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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 30,000 Avios.

30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 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 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

45,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (172)

  • Bluekjp says:

    Regarding the nesting of tickets, if you were to fly to a destination where back-to-back is usually straightforward such as Sofia you need not use easyJet or any other airline to ferry you home and back out but book a BA in I class. They are usually just as cheap in reverse, at say a couple of hundred pounds, and you’ll pick up another easy 160 TP to go along with the 320 that you would have earned on your 5 night, or longer, BA Holiday car hire booking.

    • Rob says:

      Nesting is against the rules of your BA ticket. Exec Club closes accounts of regular abusers because it lets you get around minimum stay rules.

    • AJA says:

      As Rob says I would not attempt this. I got a warning from BA for doing this back in 2006. I was lucky as the nested trip was booked by my employer at the time for a genuine need to return to the UK in the middle of my holiday. Have never done it again and it was quite stressful. Fortunately BA could see that the two sets of flights were paid for separately by me and my employer. I have no idea what they would have done if I had paid for it all and reclaimed the biz trip from my employer.

      • Tim says:

        When did nesting become an issue with BA? I’d wager the majority of my 100+ segments on BA per year for nearly a decade were nested before I jumped ship to Star a couple of years ago. So nest away I say. If BA challenge you, say ‘OK – so you want me to nest my flights with an alternative airline instead? Fine I will do.’ And then if they close your account take them to court. No court in the land would accept the nested flights nonsense. You buy a ticket at a price and fly all the segments exactly as ticketed. BA would be laughed out of court.

        • KBuffett says:

          I do wonder how airlines get away with their nonsense rules, surcharges, stifling of competition etc.
          This type of business practice isn’t permitted in other industries.

          • Rob says:

            Of course it is. Any business using peak / off peak / minimum stay requirements does the same thing.

        • AJA says:

          Did you do the nested flights back to your original destination? I have no problem with nesting a flight so you can take advantage of a cheap ex-EU flight eg return LHR to OSL on BA and then a separate flight return OSL-DOH-BKK on QR but I would be wary of doing LHR to OSL on BA and then a separate OSL-LHR-BKK on BA.

          • Tim says:

            Back in the early 2010s when golds had free changes to Avios redemptions for 365 days, and complimentary domestics, I would always add on a UK segment to a reward. eg: BRU or FRA or CDG to LHR and then time add EDI/NCL (and Jersey in CE). So I basically had a continuous pool of UK domestics – half of which ended up being thrown away. Add in the revenue flights – mainly UK regions to BRU/FRA/CDG, plus the long-hauls – maybe there were so many nested segments there it was difficult to establish out whether they were nested or not!!

          • Tim says:

            AJA: just to add one more comment: in terms of scale of taking the Micheal, I’d rate nested flights at less than zero. It is a nonsense. Back in 2006, you may have been flagged for a different reason. I’m not suggesting that is the case, and all I can give you is a specific example: a few years ago there was dodgy finger fare. Basically, first class from Prague to Mexico for about £300. Many of these fares were cancelled. I took mine within 48 hours. I was challenged at the gate by BA at Prague who said the fare probably wouldn’t be honoured and I would be turned away at the gate in London. Did that happen? Of course not. First class to Mexico and back again for £300. And what that a nested flight?!?! Of course it was!!! How do you think I got to Prague?!?!?!

  • Tom says:

    Will this also work on flights within the UK if car hire added? Avoids testing stress etc.

  • Martin says:

    Is Departing Jersey considered as originating in U.K. ?

    • Andrew says:

      It certainly was last weekend!

      • Dave says:

        🙂

      • Sue says:

        Hi Andrew
        I’ve spent most of the day in the phone to BA holidays trying to book JER-LHR-MIA return. Although AA flights they have a BA flight number, booking was for 8 days, car hire for entire booking, and it didn’t come up
        On the booking agent’s computer as double tier points. She said she had done a booking earlier to Tennessee and it showed as ok? She tried originating from MAN & NCL also and it didn’t show up as double tier points, only originating in LHR. I wanted to take advantage of the sale fare today to get £100 off plus double tier points but I’m worried to do this in case I don’t get the double tier points which is more important than the £100 off. Told yo call again tomorrow – no sale prices 😕. Any ideas?

  • PGW says:

    I’m tempted to do this but the BA Holiday Finder isn’t allowing me to price up a trip originating form anywhere but London. Am doing something wrong here?

    • Paul says:

      Likewise wondering this also, can’t seem to ‘find’ a BAH via the finger commencing in the regions.

      • ChrisC says:

        Use the custom trip option from the BA landing page.

        • Paul says:

          Yes, albeit if wanting to use the finder to find the lowest fares it doesn’t seem to offer an ex-LON starting point

    • Alan says:

      Nope, welcome to the wonderful world of BA London-centric view of things. You’ll also find when booked the flight will just show in your account as a flight to London as it only looks at the first stop!

    • Fenny says:

      Im having problems getting past the pricing for anything. Once I find an interesting combination and try to book, I just get a message saying sytems problem, try later. I can only imagine the entire hfp readrrship is spending the day looking at trips.

  • KBuffett says:

    Is there a multi stage process that may end up with using BA 241’s at BA Holidays?

    • ChrisC says:

      You can’t use a 2-4-1 with BA holidays,

    • AJA says:

      I don’t think you can combine 2-4-1s with a hotel booking to make it a BA Holiday

      • sayling says:

        Strangely, if you book a 2-4-1 and then add a car within 24 hours, it becomes a package holiday and an ATOL certificate is issued. Then it all gets handled by the BA Holiday Team.

        • KBuffett says:

          This is very interesting, thank you.
          Does the car need to be booked for the entire trip?
          I’ve found the BA Holiday team to be excellent on the handful of occasions that I’ve used them.

        • Sukes says:

          Where the hotel or car is added to the flight within 24hr in a separate purchase transaction legally this is not a ‘package holiday’ but a ‘linked travel arrangement’ and has lower consumer protections.

          Linked travel arrangements are NOT eligible for the double TP promo as per term 3 of the T&c: “ For the avoidance of doubt this offer does not apply to any British Airways flight only bookings made without a hotel or car or where the hotel or car is added to a booking in a separate transaction.”

  • Josh says:

    Hi Rob. Do you think the jan 22 year end exec club status holders will get a further extension? You seemed confident back in June and the US is still effectively closed.

    • Rob says:

      I think it will happen, yes

      • AJA says:

        I hope you’re right Rob as that would really help me. 8 Feb TP year end here.

        • Andrew says:

          I’m 8 Feb too are really hoping they don’t bump me down to silver. Ironically the Virgin status match to gold is valid until end of August, so guess who will get my transatlantic business next spring/summer if BA don’t extend.

  • Toby says:

    this articled prompted me to price up a BA holiday booked for December and it’s £200 cheaper today, compared to what I paid a while back. Is the best bet to:
    a) cancel, get voucher, rebook?
    b) call up and ask them to reprice?

    • Andrew says:

      A) because if you do B) they will tell you do to A).

      • Toby says:

        haha, OK great, thanks Andrew. I’ll get booking.

        Sadly we’re not spending enough to get the upgraded experience.

  • Andrew says:

    And remember this offer can stack with the offer of an ungraded airport experience if you spend over a certain amount.

    • ChrisC says:

      That’s going to be the typo of the day – ungraded airport experience!

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