Let’s clear up the confusion over the tier points needed to earn or renew BA status this year
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It was back in April that British Airways made its latest and final set of pandemic changes to the tier point requirements for earning or retaining British Airways Executive Club status.
Over the last few days I’ve seen a couple of – totally incorrect – articles elsewhere about further changes being made. This is not true. There have been no changes since April and I don’t think that British Airways is planning any. The official information is on ba.com here.
I want to run through the current situation again. This is especially important because ba.com is currently showing incorrect (or only partially correct) information for some people on their targets.
A quick word about British Airways status extensions
This article is not about status extensions but I will cover it briefly.
British Airways is now done with status extensions, as far as I know, so don’t expect anything on top of what you have already received.
You can see if you have a status extension lined up by looking at your ‘card expiry date’ in the BA app or on the website. If this is 13 months after your next tier point year end, you have an extension lined up. If your card expiry date is 1 month after your tier point year end, you don’t.
- If your tier point year end is 8th September 2022 and your ‘card expiry date’ shows as 31st October 2022, you don’t have a further extension baked in. You need to requalify on the terms below by 8th September 2022 or drop down a tier.
- If your tier point year end is 8th September 2022 and your ‘card expiry date’ shows as 31st October 2023, you have an extension lined up. It doesn’t matter if you end up with zero tier points by 8th September 2022 – you won’t drop down. This is what I see, with my extension:
There will be no further extensions to American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers or any other vouchers. This shouldn’t be a surprise as BA started to expire 2-4-1 vouchers on 1st October last year.
How many tier points do you currently need to earn or retain British Airways status?
Here is what you need to do if you want to earn or retain British Airways Executive Club status this year.
The following tier point rules apply until 31st December 2022:
- Bronze status will require 225 tier points or 18 eligible flights
- Silver status will require 450 tier points or 37 eligible flights
- Gold status will require 1,125 tier points
The requirements for each tier have been reduced by 25% until the year end.
Whilst we don’t normally cover it, Gold Guest List thresholds have been reduced to 3,750 tier points to earn it and 2,250 tier points to retain it.
From 1st January 2023, the normal thresholds apply:
- Bronze status will require 300 tier points or 25 eligible flights
- Silver status will require 600 tier points or 50 eligible flights
- Gold status will require 1,500 tier points
You can confirm this on ba.com here.
Here is the important thing to understand: the thresholds above apply regardless of your membership year end. Your target is going to change part way through your membership year.
Let’s assume you are currently Silver and your tier point year ends on 8th February 2023. To requalify you must EITHER:
- earn 450 tier points by 31st December 2022, or
- earn the full 600 tier points by 8th February 2023
However, let’s assume that you are currently Silver and your tier point year ends on 8th December 2022. To requalify this year, you need to earn 450 tier points by 8th December 2022. To requalify for the following year you must EITHER:
- earn 450 tier points between 9th December 2022 and 31st December 2022, or
- earn the full 600 tier points by 8th December 2023
Clearly people in this position won’t get much use out of the 450 tier point threshold for the 2022 calendar year.
There is one exception for some Silver members
Back in April, British Airways announced that some existing Silver members would be treated differently.
If you were already Silver with a tier point year ending on 8th July 2022, 8th August 2022 or 8th September 2022 you could renew your status with just 300 tier points.
Whilst this sounds like an odd exception, it makes more sense if you look at the status extensions given out on the same day, which missed out this cohort.
Your tier points still reset to zero on your renewal date
Some people have mistakenly thought that BA has stopped resetting your tier points to zero on your anniversary date. It hasn’t.
If you currently have 400 tier points, are pushing for Silver status and your membership year ends on 8th November then:
- you need to earn an extra 50 tier points by 8th November, or
- your tier points will reset to zero on 9th November and you then need to earn a further 450 tier points before 31st December 2022, or
- your tier points will reset to zero on 9th November and you then need to earn a further 600 tier points before 8th November 2023
How can you earn British Airways tier points quickly?
This HfP article shows you the number of tier points you earn by route and by ticket class when flying on British Airways.
If I had to summarise my suggestions for hitting your target:
Need up to 45 tier points?
Book a return flight to ‘near’ Europe or a UK domestic, flying one way in Economy (5 tier points) and one way in Club Europe (40 tier points).
If you book Club Europe for your outbound flight, you will have to pay business class Air Passenger Duty but, on the upside, can benefit from the lounges at Heathrow plus fast track etc. If you book Club Europe for your return, your ticket will be cheaper but the business class perks when departing may be fewer.
Need 50 to 80 tier points?
A Club Europe return to a UK domestic destination or ‘near Europe’ will earn 80 tier points. The list here clearly shows cities earning 40 tier points each way.
Need 85 to 160 tier points?
These routes (click) are the longer Club Europe routes which earn 160 tier points for a return trip. Even better, because these are mainly holiday routes, they can be cheaper out of season than some 80 tier point routes. How about a break in Malta, Athens etc?
Need more than 160 tier points?
Normally I would suggest a long haul Club World flight on British Airways (280 tier points return, fewer if you mix classes) but these are expensive at the moment with no fare sales on the horizon.
It may be easier to earn what you need via multiple long weekends in cities on the ‘160 tier points’ list.
Needs up to 560 tier points?
The ‘best value’ way to earn up to 560 tier points is a long-haul flight on Qatar Airways to Asia or further. As long as each flight is over 2,000 miles, your trip will be treated as four long haul flights for tier point purposes (eg UK to Doha, Doha to Bangkok, Bangkok to Doha, Doha to UK).
This earns (140 tier points x 4) 560 tier points return.
Remember that your trip is likely to be cheaper, and earns the same tier points, if you start in, say, Amsterdam and go Amsterdam – Doha and onwards. Unfortunately you are unlikely to see any good deals over the World Cup period.
And don’t forget ….
Don’t forget that you cannot earn British Airways status purely from partner airlines such as Qatar Airways. You still need four one-way British Airways or Iberia cash flights in your membership year to earn Silver or Gold, or two for Bronze. Reward flights do not count.
You still have four and a half months to earn or retain status under the reduced thresholds ….. why not see what you can do?
PS. I am nervous about mentioning this again, since people are having huge issues in getting the points they are due, but British Airways Holidays is still offering double tier points on 5+ night bookings until the end of October. Will you ever see your double tier points? Who knows ….
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express 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 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 famous annual 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
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.