Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to time your promotion to British Airways Executive Club Silver status to maximise benefits

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Having status is good, but maximising the amount of time you will have that status is even better.

This isn’t as simple as it seems with British Airways because your membership year is fixed on the day you join Executive Club.  This can impact your plans for achieving status.

What we are looking at here is how to time your flights to ensure that you retain your Executive Club status for the longest possible period.

How to time your promotion to British Airways Executive Club Silver status

Let’s remind ourselves of a few key rules regarding your British Airways Executive Club membership year:

  • All tier point years end on the 8th of the relevant month
  • You cannot – under any circumstances – change your British Airways Executive Club year end date.  This is a major pain for couples who can take identical flights to find that only one of them earns status due to the way flights fall across membership years.
  • British Airways Executive Club has a GUARANTEED ‘soft landing’ – however few flights you take, you will only drop one level if you fail to retain your current status

When you earn British Airways Executive Club status, you retain it for:

  • the remainder of your current membership year, and
  • all of the following membership year, and
  • until the end of the month following your tier point anniversary (so if your tier point year ends on 8th March, your existing status will continue until 30th April)

We will look at this in a worked example below.

How to time your promotion to British Airways Executive Club Silver status

How can you maximise your BA Executive Club status?

Let’s imagine that your British Airways Executive Club tier point year ends on 8th MarchYou can’t change that so you need to live with it

If your goal is lounge access and free BA seat selection for as long as possible, your goal should be to earn Executive Club Silver status as quickly as you can after 8th March 2023.  This requires:

  • 600 British Airways Executive Club tier points, and
  • four British Airways or Iberia one-way cash flights

The most pleasant way to earn 560 Executive Club tier points is a Qatar Airways business class flight to Asia.  As well as being relatively good value in a sale, this option has the advantage of getting you a great holiday as well.

Any flight on a British Airways partner airline earns 140 tier points if it is over 2,000 miles.  Europe to Doha is usually over 2,000 miles in Business Class, as is Doha to Asia.  A return flight is therefore (140 x 4) 560 tier points.

You are still 40 tier points short but these can be easily picked up via short haul flights.

If you want to head west, a Business Class trip to the US west coast with an aircraft change on the east coast would also get you two flights in each direction of over 2,000 miles. You’d be flying either a mix of British Airways and American Airlines or just American Airlines.

If you only want to fly short haul ….

There are also easy short haul options for getting 600 tier points.

Just four short breaks in Club Europe on routes which earn 160 tier points like Athens or Malta would do it.  This is arguably less fun and certainly less comfortable, flight wise, than a Qatar Airways Business Class holiday, but is also easier. It can also be cheaper.

How to time your promotion to British Airways Executive Club Silver status

Don’t forget the great BA Holidays ‘double tier points’ promotion

Remember that, if you have the time for a 5+ day break, you will earn double tier points in the current BA Holidays promotion. This would allow you to hit 640 tier points with just two x 5-night short breaks on 160 tier point Club Europe routes.

Details of that offer are on here.

The example below assumes that you do NOT use this promotion as your stays will be under five nights.

Here is a worked example

In our example, your British Airways Executive Club membership year starts annually on 9th March.

Let’s assume that you manage to do four short breaks on 160 tier point routes in March and April 2023, with no flight earlier than 9th March 2023. The list of BA routes earning 160 tier points in Club Europe is here.

This will get you to 640 tier points which is enough to hit Executive Club Silver status.

Let’s imagine that you have a busy few weeks and achieve all of this by 30th April 2023.

How long will my British Airways Silver status last?

You’ve done very well.  You will be Silver from:

  • late April 2023 until 8th March 2024 (your current membership year)
  • 9th March 2024 until 8th March 2025 (your following membership year)
  • 9th March 2025 until 30th April 2025 (your run-off period as Silver)

You then get your guaranteed soft landing to Bronze.  You will be Bronze from:

  • 1st May 2025 to 8th March 2026 (your membership year)
  • 9th March 2026 to 30th April 2026 (your run-off period as Bronze)

Only on 1st May 2026 will you drop back to Blue.

How to time your promotion to British Airways Executive Club Silver status

This means, if you time it right:

  • You have British Airways Executive Club Silver status for 25 months, from late April 2023 to 31st April 2025 (lounge access, free seat selection, priority security, priority check-in, priority boarding etc)
  • You have British Airways Executive Club Bronze status for a further 12 months from 1st May 2025 to 30th April 2026 (main benefit of Bronze is free seat selection from seven days before departure)

How much would this cost?

Your total cost to ‘earn’ this is probably around £1,250.  This is the cost of four Club Europe return flights at £300ish each to cities which earn 160 tier points. You’d need to stay away over a Saturday night to get these fares.

We’re obviously excluding hotels, transfers etc, but we are also ignoring the fact that you will get four pleasant short breaks for your £1,250.

BA’s Low Fare Finder, click here, currently shows Athens at £308 return in March 2023.  Catania is £366, Sofia is £226, Tirana is £278, Marrakech is £465, Bucharest is £372, Tenerife is £384 etc.  These are all 160 tier point routes.

If you must have lounge access, and so you need to remain Silver at all times, you are looking at a short burst of flying every two years.

This strategy won’t suit everyone.  However, if you enjoy Business Class holidays and enjoy British Airways lounge access and the other perks whenever you travel, this is a good model to follow.  The key is timing it to trigger your Silver card as quickly as possible after the start of your membership year.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (83)

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

  • twoclicks says:

    Do you get a soft landing from GGL to gold?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Unfortunately not, means if you don’t get the 1500 to keep gold you drop to silver. GGL is considered a level within gold

  • Emma says:

    We accidentally managed this last year as BA took so long adding the additional tier points due from two holiday bookings earlier in the year.

    The were applied at the beginning of our use year when we also had long haul premium flights booked. We hit silver straight away in the first month so will enjoy the benefits.

    I’ve managed to get free exit seats for our last few economy long haul which feels as good as premium with the additional benefits. Just a different meal really and that doesn’t bother us.

    Club prices have been crazy for school holidays on tourist routes so timing has been very good for us.

  • Chris W says:

    The Nordics (OSL, ARN, HEL, CPH) to Bangkok in Qatar business class used to be consistently around the £1,300 mark return.

    Be aware this is now twice the price. The days of cheap Qatar flights are long gone.

    • Alex Sm says:

      To be honest, the days when BA status meant the difference are long gone too. It doesn’t add much these days. The service levels onboard and on the ground are now below par, so it makes perfect sense to focus your loyalty elsewhere, like Star Alliance or Virgin

  • SammyJ says:

    I’m currently silver with 890TPs and aiming for gold. Only got to silver in December.

    My TP collection year ends 8th June 2023 and current membership card expires 31 July 2024.

    I believe I need to achieve the extra 610 TPs for Gold before 8th June so I don’t lose them, but just checking there’s not an additional trick here that I’m missing to extend the gold any longer? Using that month to get an extra year only works if you’re starting from zero, so there’s no benefit in my situation to trying to fit anything extra into that Jun-July window is there?

    • Rob says:

      No, once you hit Gold by 8 June 2023 it’s locked to 31 July 2024 and you’d soft-land to Silver until 31 July 2025 unless you earned another 1500 TP between 9 June 2023 and 8 June 2024.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Those points aren’t lost they still count towards your lifetime total. They are just reset for your new collection year.

      But if you got those 610 points in the two weeks after the 8th June you could ask BA to apply them to your old year and you’d be gold. But only until 2024.

      You’d be better off counting those in your new year.hitch would get you silver until 2025.

      • PB2 says:

        Wouldn’t the gold first still get you that year of silver later on? With the soft landing. Ie either 2 full years of silver or one gold followed by a silver soft landing?

  • Ironside says:

    Don’t forget the ’50 flights’ option! Obviously it’s harder work in total and not something you would chase on a whim, but if you’re flying a bit anyway it can be a good option.

    Case in point: I used to visit one of our remote offices once per month, staying the night: 12 flights / 24 sectors per year. I then realised that going once per fortnight just for the day would nearly get me Silver. By dropping the hotel there was neutral cost to the company, frequent visits were more effective than longer ones – so there was a genuine business case – and the OH preferred it as I wasn’t really away as such. Add in a couple of trips for leisure and job done.

  • Simon says:

    If your membership year ends on 8th March 2023 and you take a flight on that day would it credit towards your 22/23 Tier points or your Tier points for 23/24? i.e. is it the date the flight took place or the date it posts to your account that is the determining factor

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Your 22/23 year.

      It’s the date of the flight that matters .

  • Jeffrey Adams says:

    Hi I am a Silver member and have been for a long time. Am happy with silver. My question is I buy and have my seats allocated on th BA Exec Site , do I still nee to check in on line before ?

    • Rob says:

      No – if you’re checking in bags there is no need to check-in online.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      If yiu check in online but don’t generate the BP you can go back in and see if any better seats have opened up which may have gone by the time you arrive at the airport.

      Few weeks ago the only seat available to be was a few rows back. I did OLCI then went back a few hours later and a front row had become available.and I switched to that.

  • Ben says:

    Love HFP but normally don’t comment. Can I check, would all this still work if using an e-voucher where I paid just cash on the original booking but that flight got cancelled? I have just shy of £900 in an e-voucher that I need to use (fly and return) by 23rd Sept 2023. I have four weeks out of work at the moment so I could book a BA Holiday to Malta (as an example) and then perhaps somewhere for a short break over a weekend and potentially hit Silver status with only a few hundred quid extra spend (on flights), that right? Thank you in advance!

    • Rob says:

      Not sure if its still possible to use an eVoucher for BA Holidays. You can’t use them online – at one point you could pay a deposit online and then email to pay the balance with a voucher, but this might not still be the case.

      However, if you can use the voucher, you get the usual Avios and TP from the flights, yes.

      • Ben says:

        Thanks for quick response! Just one final question, sorry – your example is based on 9th March, my membership year is 8th May – is there any point doing this before then? The membership year has always confused me.

        • Rob says:

          Makes more sense to do it after 9th May to get almost 2 years of status.

      • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

        Yes you can still use this evoucher for a BA Holiday.

        You can either phone and use it when booking or book online paying the deposit then email BA hols asking them to apply the voucher to the booking.

        • Steve says:

          Recent comments have suggested that if you do this, BA will refund the e-voucher rather than applying it to your holiday (which is a pain for anyone who got the e-voucher via the part pay with avios promotion).

          Does anyone have any experience with this?

    • Jack says:

      you can use them to book a BA holiday but you would need to do this via the call centre as they can do it manually for you. You still earn Avios and tier points at its a revenue ticket not a redemption

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

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