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How do British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts work?

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Household Accounts are a very useful feature of British Airways Executive Club. You may not know that very few frequent flyer schemes globally offer them, and most of those that do are heavily restricted – it is a genuinely positive aspect of the BA scheme.

Today I want to run through how they work and some factors to bear in mind.

How do British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts work?

Why would you want a British Airways Household Account?

The key benefit of a household account is that it lets you pool together points from a number of people. The main reason to do this is if you need to make a redemption which requires more miles than any one person has in their account.

There is a secondary reason too – using a household account is the only way to earn Avios when your children under 18 fly.

There are alternatives to a Household Account

Before we got into the details, remember that there are other ways of achieving the same goal:

  • You can transfer miles between accounts by paying a fee (a flat £15 for a transfer of up to 27,000 Avios). This may be easier than getting a Household Account and being tied by its restrictions.
  • If you are a British Airways Executive Club Gold member, you can transfer 27,000 Avios to anyone else for free, each year.  The cap is 162,000 Avios transferred out per year.
  • You can book a flight for someone else directly from your Executive Club account.  You don’t need to pool your miles with someone else to be able to redeem for them.
  • If one person only has a small balance, remember that Avios allows one-way redemptions.  One person could use their small balance to book a one-way flight and the other person book the other leg from their account.

How does a British Airways Household Account work?

You are NOT fully merging your accounts when you create a household account at ba.com.

Each member retains their individual Avios balance. When you log in, you see both your own balance and the household balance.

When you redeem ….. the points are taken PRO-RATA from the balance of each person

When you earn ….. the points go ONLY onto your personal balance

For example, if you have 9,000 Avios and your partner has 4,500, a redemption for 4,500 Avios will see 3,000 taken from you and 1,500 from your partner.  It is a pro-rata split.

However, if you earn 4,500 Avios from a flight, your balance goes up to 13,500 and your partner remains at 4,500.

How do British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts work?

How to open, close and add members to a family account

You can form a British Airways Household Account here. Each member will receive an email which includes a link to click to confirm their membership. Once the account is formed, you can also create accounts for children. The account can have a maximum of seven people in it.

Following recent changes, it is no longer necessary for all members to have their BA account registered at the same address.

You can only make one change to the Household Account every six months. I am not sure if this means that you cannot close a Household Account which is under six months old.

How does the ‘Friends & Family’ list relate to Household Accounts?

With a ba.com household account, the ‘Head of the Household’ can also add a further five people as ‘Family & Friends’. These names can be deleted and replaced once they have been on your list for six months.

The Household Account can redeem Avios for flights for these five people too but their Avios are not merged with the Household Account. (You can learn more about British Airways Executive Club ‘Family & Friends’ lists in this article.)

Redeeming Avios whilst in a family account

A British Airways Household Account lets you redeem for anyone in the Household Account OR one of the five ‘Family & Friends’ members. You cannot redeem for anyone else.

This could potentially be an issue if your ‘Family & Friends’ list is full and no-one on it has been there for six months and so is eligible for removal.

How do British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts work?

Household Accounts and children

One reason to get a British Airways Household Account is that it allows children to earn Avios points and tier points when they fly.

An under-18 cannot have their own standalone British Airways Executive Club account but they CAN be invited to join a Household Account.

If you want to earn Avios for your children but do NOT want to be restricted by a Household Account, consider opening a BA account for, say, a grandparent and putting the children into a Household Account with them.  You could add yourself to the ‘Friends & Family’ list for that Household Account in order to redeem tickets for yourself.

Can you use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher if you are in a Household Account?

Yes.  The Avios you need are taken pro-rata from each member of the Household Account.

However, there is one restriction.  The second traveller MUST be either in the Household Account or on the ‘Friends & Family’ list of the ‘head’ of the Household Account.

You can only change your ‘Friends & Family’ list once every six months.  In certain niche scenarios this could be a problem.

Do Households Accounts stop the expiry of your Avios points?

A Household Account CAN help stop Avios expiry but not automatically.

Avios points will expire if there has been three years of no activity – ‘activity’ means either earning or spending – on the account.  This is very unlikely to happen for most HfP readers.

Being in a Household Account does not automatically stop your points expiring, unless one member of the account has British Airways Executive Club elite status.  In this case, all members of the account are protected.

However, because redemptions from a Household Account result in Avios being taken pro-rata from every member, this creates ‘activity’ for everyone and resets the three year clock. This means that, in reality, expiry is unlikely.

How do British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts work?

What happens if you close a Household Account?

Nothing happens to the adult members of a Household Account.  Each member retains the Avios balance that it had, individually, inside the Household Account.

Any account opened for a child is closed and the Avios are lost.  A few years ago, British Airways would transfer the Avios of the children to the ‘head’ of the Household Account which clearly had benefits.  This no longer occurs and the Avios are lost.

The head of a Household Account can remove individual members without breaking up the entire Household Account.

Individual members cannot remove themselves from a Household Account – only the head can do this. If you are no longer on good terms with the head of your Household Account, the Executive Club terms and conditions specifically allow you to apply to British Airways to be removed.

Conclusion

British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts are not for everyone.  If you don’t like the idea, you can get much of the flexibility of a Household Account by redeeming one leg from one account and the other leg from another account.

If you are keen, though, I hope the summary above has clarified how they work.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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

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.

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 (37)

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

  • ADS says:

    Household Accounts are great for emptying small amounts of Avios – by moving your main Avios balance into your Avios.com / EI / IB account.

    e.g. making a 5,000 redemption with 500 avios in family accounts, just leave 4,500 avios in your main BA account, make the redemption, and hey presto the small balances are all clear. And you can move your main Avios back to your BA account.

  • Traumahawk007 says:

    So just to confirm, when using a 241 the 2nd flyer must be a BAEC club member and be in household or F&F. Also do you have to pay the fees with your BA Amex?
    Some confusion here, I always have but I’ve heard you can use any card.

    It’s a shame Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Red don’t have a Household Account, I have suggested to them.

    • Rhys says:

      You can pay fees with any Amex (doesn’t even have to be yours)

    • Rob says:

      No.

      IF you are in a HHA then the 2nd person must be in the HHA or on your F&F list.

      If you’re NOT in a HHA then the 2nd person can be anyone.

      Absolutely no requirement to pay fees on a BA Amex (ignore anyone who says otherwise) but you do need access to AN Amex card. Doesn’t need to be in your name.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Virgin Atlantic does have their version of a HHA !

      • Rob says:

        It was closed to new applicants 4-5 months ago and requires you to have Gold status anyway. It may restart once the SkyTeam transition completes.

  • Neuromancer says:

    Is it possible lo leave the HHA without the head of the household needing to log in to confirm?

  • AB says:

    Great article and I will now be closing my family account down as most of my avios are earned through Amex platinum business account spend and not by the household flying.

    Quick question, once I’ve closed down my family account and I just have my own standalone account, I can book avios flights for whoever I want and I don’t need to be on the booking? Is that correct? Thanks so much.

  • Mary says:

    Hi Rob, I think I read in one of your posts that a second administrator can be added to the BA household account. But I can’t find this on the BA site. Can you help please. I’m a Gold member

    • Rob says:

      No, you can’t do that. You can add a 2nd user to a standard BA account – I have it over my wife’s account.

  • Nky says:

    Thank you Rod, great information.
    Please I have a question.
    I opened the household account and registered my children since last year. My daughter is above 18 and received the email to join which she did.
    I used my email for my son because he is below 18 and I received the invitation email and have entered but its still saying my children account are pending, please what does that mean and how can I resolve it?

    My son is a frequent flyer and we fly business class all the time, I feel he is missing this great opportunity to earn points in the household account.

    Thank you.
    NKY

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

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