Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways extends Executive Club elite status – but only for some

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

British Airways has announced another 12 months extension of elite status for some Executive Club members.

The screw seems to be tightening, however. The initial extension in 2020 covered all members. The previous extension in March 2021 covered half of the membership base. This extension only covers a quarter of members.

There will be no extension to American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers or any other vouchers. With 2-4-1 vouchers starting to expire next month, I think we have to assume that there will be no more extensions offered. You should start planning your flights accordingly.

British Airways Executive Club status cards

Who gets an extension?

We should say first that British Airways is NOT calling it an ‘extension’. It is calling it ‘protection’.

This not just semantics. It will make a difference for some people, but not others. For example, my Gold status run until 31st October 2022. I will NOT receive an extension until October 2023. However, if I was due to be downgraded on 31st March 2022 I would benefit.

Only members with a tier point collection end date between the 1st January 2022 and 31st March 2022 will receive protection / an extension.

If your tier point year ends during this three month period, your existing status level will be rolled over automatically for another year.

For clarity, your tier points will still reset to zero at the end of your current membership year. BA is not extending the time period you have to earn the necessary points for requalification.

Unlike Virgin Atlantic, which has been able to extend status in three and six month increments, the way that Executive Club is set up means that it can only process 12 month extensions.

This means that British Airways has chosen to limit the status extensions to those whose status was set to expire in Spring 2022 – ie. those whose membership year resets on 8th January 2022, 8th February 2022 or 8th March 2022.

BA’s view, I assume, is that members with a year-end between 8th April 2022 and 9th September 2022 should be able to renew under their own steam. Remember that tier point thresholds have also been reduced.

To be honest, it is questionable – to put it mildly – how many people with a year-end after 8th March will manage five long-haul return business class flights to retain their Executive Club Gold status.

What are the reduced tier point targets?

For the 75% of members whose status has not been extended / protected today, you may still be able to make the most of the 25% reduction in tier point requirements for each status tier.

BA has never been totally clear about how this offer worked. My impression is that the published deadline of 30th June 2022 applies to everyone, irrespecitve of year end.

If this is correct, it means that you will renew on the reduced threshold if you earn enough points by 30th June, but from 1st July to 8th September (if you have an 8th September 2022 year end) you will need the full tier point rate.

The reduced thresholds are:

  • Bronze status will require 225 tier points (was 300 tier points)
  • Silver status will require 450 tier points (was 600 tier points)
  • Gold status will require 1,125 tier points (was 1,500 tier points)
British Airways BA Amex American Express cards

What about American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers?

There are NO extensions to companion vouchers or Gold Upgrade vouchers.

With the first batch of vouchers due to expire in October, I think we have to assume that it is not going to happen. Time to book an Autumn break …..

Conclusion

Today’s changes do not go far enough, by a long way. I think most people will agree on that.

Only 25% of members will receive a status extension.

The remaining 75% are being told that they must reach the reduced tier point threshold by 30th June, or earn the full standard amount of tier points if their year-end is later than that.

This is happening despite rumours from the United States that border restrictions may not be lifted until after the midterm elections in November 2022, because relaxation is seen as a vote loser. There is also minimal progress on lifting restrictions in Asia. Even if all restrictions were lifted tomorrow, I doubt any business would immediately bounce back to its pre-covid level of travel.

Don’t despair though. It is commercial suicide for British Airways to deliberately strip their (ex-) top customers of status, just months before they are likely to start picking up their travel. Virgin Atlantic, SkyTeam and Star Alliance will be waiting in the wings with status match offers if there is any sign of this happening. At a time when every full fare business traveller counts more than ever, is BA really likely to let them slip away?


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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 generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

Comments (147)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • John says:

    I have a Sept. 9 reset and renewed regularly during the last requalification period (i.e., the one that ended Sept. 8).

    I got nothing to show for it. Could as well have worked on my *A Gold or ST E+ renewals.

    More and more, I question BA’s approach. I realize I am EU-based and the situation was different for the majority of BA’s user base (with the UK having some of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world).

    Nevertheless, personally, I would have preferred a system that rewarded incremental bookings, such as double TP. I realize they had a little of that with BA holidays, but that was nothing of use to the business flyer.

  • Prashan says:

    My GUF2 expiring end Oct 2021 has automatically been extended to end April 2022

    • HH says:

      Likewise I posted in comments last month that I had a GUF2 quietly shift from Dec 21 to Jun 22.

  • ShawnR says:

    Keen on advice for (an expanding) family:

    My wife’s BAEC (Gold) year-end date is 8 Aug ’22. Our son was born Apr ’21, but still not added to BAEC Household Account (currently just on Friends & Family, i.e. no BAEC Membership Number yet)

    Should my wife try to fly before Jun ’22 (to benefit from the lower TP thresholds) and then apply for her BAEC account to be frozen for maternity from Aug ’22? Or wait until Aug ’22 for heavy travel and freeze the account once travel complete?

    Also, is it fine to apply for the maternity freeze when the baby’s over a year old? Nothing seems to contradict that in the Ts&Cs

    • John says:

      If she is gold until 30 Sep 2022. She should apply for the maternity extension on 9 Aug 2022; this way she will be treated as having qualified for gold in 2022-2023, which will extend her status until 30 Sep 2024.

      If she is going to drop to silver on 1 Oct 2021, she should apply for the maternity extension now; or she could apply on 9 Aug 2022 and have silver until 30 Sep 2024.

      The benefit is intended for new parents whose travel has reduced due to having a child. I think that if she is going to travel heavily next summer (enough to qualify for gold) it would be difficult to argue that BA should grant her a maternity extension after the period of heavy travel while the child is 1.5 years old.

      But I don’t know if BA applies this sort of logic when deciding on granting new parent extensions.

  • George K says:

    Theoretical question – if you’re silver now, and will benefit from this extension, does getting gold in the next few months mean that your new status is protected till 2023?

  • Doug M says:

    I’m an April YE and quite calm about all this. Maybe they’ll extend that final group of Apr/May/Jun, maybe not. I use BA because it works for me, I’m not going to start routing through Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt all the time, and I don’t like Ryanair at all or Gatwick much. If I drop to Silver that will be disappointing, but that’s all. I understand this is commercially tricky for BA, and block extensions can lose you as much business and you may gain. People with guaranteed status think, I’ll try X or Y since I already have my OW status sorted.

    • Gruntfuttock says:

      I’m also an April fella, just shrugging shoulders at the moment and will wait and see 🤔

  • Adam says:

    I have an April year end. The vast majority of my business travel was US and so the chance of re-qualifying at the moment are slim to none…i’d imagine it’s the same story for those who mainly travel TATL; also presumably BA’s largest and most lucrative customer base. Hopefully they don’t want to wave us goodbye come April!

  • Robert says:

    BA are simply taking a measured approach. My wife’s status expired in Dec 21 and got extended earlier this summer when BA announced extensions to 50% of members. I was slightly annoyed as mine expires in Feb 22. With todays extension I’m in the next 25% capture. It’s entirely likely, especially if the US restrictions remain thru winter, that the final 25% of members will also be extended nearer the time.

  • Terri says:

    I’m also an April year end – I’ve had one flight to Paris half term Feb 2020 since renewing silver in Nov 2019 – presently 3 trips booked with BA – October, November and February before TP year end – all have cancelled flights that I will have to reorganise/refund. Travel is a long way from back to usual. I think BA is treading water waiting for the USA to open – until then I anticipate more extensions in due course.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.