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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 (August 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 BA Amex American Express card

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 Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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.

(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 (77)

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

  • Walter says:

    They’ve gotten around 300 Gold guest list for life , who enjoy most of those benefits.
    Just earn 100000 points for it.

  • Copperfield27 says:

    My OH (public sector) isn’t even allowed to collect the avios on his business travel.

    • Chris G says:

      Worth checking the policy small print – I’ve worked in a couple of central government departments, and the guidance I’ve had is that you can’t use miles for personal gain. But you can collect miles and status, and use it for incidental or office benefit – e.g. lounge makes you more productive, luggage allowance means cheaper tickets for the office, redeeming miles for work trips, less likely to get bumped, more likely to get operating upgrades. But of course do check local policy.

  • LostAntipod says:

    Some years ago BA used a meeting with our CEO (major Plc) to present him with a premier card. When they left he turned to his exec assistant and said “we must be spending too much with them, get me a spending report please” . 🤣

    • Peter K says:

      That’s brilliant. Shows someone was trying to be on the ball with expenditure!

  • Thegasman says:

    Special Services team has been gutted over the last few years & considering that is/was the main benefit of Premier then I wouldn’t be too upset if I’d had it taken off me. Everything else you get through flying in First or about 5 LH J returns year as a gold.

  • Red says:

    A rather unfocused and snarky post which doesnt help me at all. Presumably, cathartic for the writer.

    • George K says:

      I should think that most people who ‘chase status’ or are enamoured with the benefits associated with certain loyalty programs, are equally interested in details of unattainable tiers, maybe even if it’s just for comparison purposes alone.

      We are a long way from a society where everyone has an equal chance at status, and these articles put a small spotlight on just a corner of our hobby. I personally can’t read enough about it!

    • Rob says:

      It’s not snarky at all, it is a statement of the facts (or at least as they were at the time). You clearly have a very low snark threshold 🙂

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      Me, me, me.
      It’s Head for Points, not Help for Red…

  • Paul says:

    In my day there were a 1000 and few of them could find their way around an airport without the assistance of special services. They had little travel experience and were generally Lord it lady this and that, whose primary claim to fame was that they were sufficiently connected to Sir Marshall and Lord King. You still had to be obsequious! Something you never had to do to King or Marshall.

    • Lady London says:

      Special Services is jolly useful when you need them, I found it interesting BA seemed to try to claim they didn’t exist any more a few years ago when there will always be a need for them

  • kt1974 says:

    One of my mates has one (had? he’s currently stuck in HK, so no longer doing weekly trans-oceanic First…), and Special Services was the best thing about travelling with him (chauffeured remote stand transfers, sailing to the front of border force, etc)

    But if I booked the tickets, for some reason his status didn’t always show on the manifest, or maybe some crews didn’t know what it meant. Once languishing in Y on a short Euro hop, I was offered a complimentary bottle of water as a lowly Gold, followed by “would you like a bottle of water for your friend too?” 🤣

    • ChrisC says:

      Friend of mine isBA cabin crew. He once told me that they get very little training on what exec club is and what they status levels mean and virtually zilch on avios and TPS. What he knows he found out for him self by asking the likes of me or reading the various blogs

      Basically if it’s not on the iPad for the CSM to see and pass down the line “we have KT1974 on board please offer him a complimentary drink of his choice” then they can’t do anything for them.

      • Mike says:

        Once when travelling with my boss the CSM came over to my seat and lent over my boss and obsequiously welcomed only me to the flight (as a gold at the time) telling me not to hesitate to ask for anything if if needed it, enjoy the flight etc etc – after he had left my boss said”I think he wants to shag you” .

    • flyforfun says:

      Reminds me of my last BA flight before the Pandemic hit. Coming back from Madrid in Y, the CSD came up to my partner (who joined me there after a business trip for a few days of sightseeing) and congratulated him on 10 years in the Exec club. He’d been in it longer, but the first membership lapsed. She offered him a glass of bubbly and then asked if I’d like one too. Closest I’ve had to any recognition in 22 years of being in the BAEC!!

  • Talay says:

    If I’m in 1A and he wants 1A then a bowl of peanuts isn’t going to make me move.

    My lawyers would be excited if they thought some arsewipe was put on and me taken off just because he had a black card.

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