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 ba.com 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.

  • AK says:

    If my tier membership year is 8 sep 2023 and I hit silver right afterwards but my card membership ends 31 October 2023. Am I only silver until 32 Oct?

    • AK says:

      Until 31 oct*

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      No.

      You would en silver for the rest of the collection year you earned it in and then the whole of the following year.

  • Steve in Croydon says:

    I struck lucky a few months ago. In the March 2022 BA sale I booked LHR-DFW-DEN in First for £2k return, flying out in September 2022 (the offer was for flights up to 30th September). My BAEC year ends 8th October, so this would have given me Silver for 14 months.
    An AA connection was subsequently cancelled, so under 261 regulations I had a free choice to re-book, which I did for mid-October 2022. Therefore the TP’s fell into my new BAEC year, thus giving me Silver for 25 months until the end of November 2024.
    I earned 500 TP’s and 32,000 Avios, which worked out about £30 cheaper in value than using Avios for the direct LHR-DEN-LHR in J, and I get Silver for two years. Also I’d never flown BA First on A380.
    Years ago I was a Gold Card for 15+ years and had flown F/J on every other type of aircraft in the fleet.
    Silver is the sweet spot. I’ve still got 700k Avios to use for flying, plus a stack of Amex Platinum MR points. I can fly short-haul economy and have the benefits of: seat selection; priority check-in/boarding; fast-track; Silver line to BA; lounge access; etc. Long-haul is still in F/J for me with Avios.
    Incredibly the ba.com re-booking function actually worked. Something complex works, but the rest of it is cr@p!!

  • Mark says:

    “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.”

    Actually we used that to our advantage last year. My year end is 8th Feb, my wife’s is 8th Apr. We timed a BA Holidays trip to fall just after my year end which earned us enough tier points (with BA Double tier points and the reduced thresholds) for Silver. She got hers immediately have already flown 2 BA sectors in her membership year. We didn’t fly another BA cash fare until November when I got mine until March 2024 but in the meantime we had the benefits from her status when travelling on redemption bookings and on that November trip.

  • Charlie says:

    Flying with kids a few times a year makes me want to chase at least Bronze status for the seat selection. I don’t think I can justify Silver as we are not bothered about lounge, but free seat selection 7 days before departure is something I would value.

  • Omar says:

    Hi, I’m thinking of aiming for GGL this year (with the use of the holiday double tier points) my end of year was Jan 8 2023. I’m going to retain Gold by later this month(don’t ask) but if I hit GGL just after Jan 8th 2024 (I really wouldn’t be hitting the magic figure much before then anyway) would I hold it for the following 2 years?

    • Rob says:

      Yes BUT your TPs reset to zero on Jan 8th 2024 so you’d be looking at earning the full whack from scratch very quickly, which is unlikely.

  • stankpa says:

    @Rob at all, lots of first class availability to Johannesburg for the next few months. Just upgraded my business class to first both ways in May

  • Jack says:

    I managed to get a year and a half of gold membership last year getting it in April when my year expires in November and have it now until December of this year. Hoping to retain it as quickly as possible have a 5 night stay to Malta coming up as well as some short haul flights so should hopefully make it again. Some fantastic tips here which I will defiantly use in booking trips going forward. Having spent 2 years at silver it is defiantly worth spending the money to attain

  • vol says:

    With an 8/11 TP collection end of year date, am I right in saying that my “sweet-spot” for the 24 months status is from 9/11 to 31/12?

    Thank you

    • Rob says:

      Yes but 31/12 means nothing – you just want to do it as quickly as possibly after the 9th.

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

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