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How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

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Most people think that the British Airways Executive Club tiers are Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold.  There is also Gold Guest List – see here for how you get that – but it is a subset of Gold and does not have its own membership card, unless you count adding the letters ‘GGL’ to the corner of a normal Gold one.

There is, however, another elite tier you may not know about – British Airways Executive Club Premier.

This is the card you get:

How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

How do you get a British Airways Executive Club Premier card?

This information is taken from official British Airways guidelines I saw, although the guidelines are now a few years old and may have been updated.

The aim of Premier is to keep on the good side of people who control the travel budgets at British Airways’ largest corporate accounts.

In order to get a British Airways Premier card, you need to control a travel budget which spends at least £2 million per year with British Airways.

Importantly – and this is taken verbatim for the guidelines – giving someone a Premier card:

“will not always reflect the revenue generated for British Airways by the company, but should be based upon the individual’s ability to influence travel policy”

How do I apply?

You don’t.  Based on the guidelines I have, you need to befriend a member of the British Airways board or a key sales manager.  They will submit an application on your behalf.

Five other BA executives (specified people, not random staff) must ‘second’ the application, including the British Airways Chief Operating Officer, currently Jason Mahoney.

(I heard an interesting story on Friday night at a media dinner in Helsinki.  For legal reasons I don’t want to repeat it, but if you know any bloggers with a Premier card, drop me an email …..)

British Airways Premier status

How many British Airways Premier cardholders are there?

850, at the time of publication of the guidance notes I saw.  However, Alex Cruz made a decision to cull the ranks when he was CEO and last time I heard the number was nearer 450.  The card was allegedly removed from various high profile celebrities and sports stars who had no commercial value to the airline.

What do you get if you are a British Airways Premier cardholder?

What you DIDN’T get, interestingly, was tier points according to the BA guidance, although I believe that this has changed.  Perhaps introducing lifetime status criteria meant that Premier members still wanted to track their points?

As a Premier, you receive all of the benefits of British Airways Gold membership plus:

use of the Special Services team at key airports

access to British Airways lounges at all times, even if the member is not flying on British Airways

ability to bring two guests into a lounge (a Gold member can only bring one guest)

access to The Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, irrespective of class of travel

ability to give Gold status to a friend or partner

an annual upgrade voucher, allowing a single cabin upgrade for two people – this is the same as the Gold Guest List GUF2 voucher

Anecdotally, from crew reports on Flyertalk, British Airways will remove paying passengers from a flight if a Premier member wishes to travel on it, and will hold flights if a Premier customer is delayed.  BA ground staff are also known to reseat other passengers if a Premier has not been able to select their favourite seat in advance.

Not a bad deal if you can get it …. but don’t get your hopes up!

PS.  If you want to know more about the ‘standard’ Executive Club status levels, we have a number of articles of interest:

Note that the tier point thresholds mentioned in those articles are higher than the actual numbers in place until 31st December 2022 due to pandemic mitigation measures.


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 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 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.

Comments (77)

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

  • Chris says:

    Really OT but I hope useful for everyone who applied for new Avios Barclaycard. Has anyone been able to add it on Apple Wallet as mine keeps on failing?

  • Occasional Ranter says:

    No criticism of the author, and I am a HfP fan generally, but what this article made me think is “why do I want to fly with an airline that will kick me out of my seat or hold up the flight to suck up to another customer ?” Indeed why would anyone conscientious who controls £2m of airline spending be impressed by that ? Basically it’s telling me my firm’s employees, in whose interests I’m supposed to act, risk suffering extra inconvenience if we use BA.

  • LDTx says:

    On a slightly related note, I dated a CSM a few years ago and she once let me have a look at the internal handbook that was on her BA iPad. That included a section on Premier cardholders, and I can tell you that they benefit from quite a few perks I’ve never seen mentioned here or on flyertalk.

    • LM says:

      Do they get to the destination 10% quicker than everyone else?

  • Bagoly says:

    “based upon the individual’s ability to influence travel policy.”

    Bribery Act 2010. Section 1:
    A person (“P”) is guilty of an offence … where …P … gives a financial or other advantage to another person, and P intends the advantage to induce a person to perform improperly a relevant function or activity.

    A company incentivising how your spend your money is fine.
    A company incentivising how your employer spends their money for your benefit is not.

    I know there are shades of grey, but the explicit BA guidance looks quite dark.

  • Johnny5a says:

    I’ve actually seen a “Premier Card” in the flesh at a small FT get together in Central London back in 2009.

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

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