Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Do I have to live in the UK to join British Airways Executive Club and collect Avios?

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In this article I want to look at whether there are any geographic restrictions to joining British Airways Executive Club.  Do you need to live in Britain to join British Airways Executive Club?

Executive Club is British Airways’ frequent flyer membership program, allowing you to collect and save Avios, the British Airways equivalent of airmiles. Once you save enough, you can choose to spend them by booking reward flights or part-paying cash bookings with Avios to reduce the fare.

Do I have to live in the UK to join British Airways Executive Club and collect Avios?

Joining the Executive Club also allow you to earn elite status with British Airways, which come with benefits including lounge access, free seat selection, bonus Avios earning rates and many more. You can read a brief explanation of the different British Airways Executive Club tiers here.

You do not have to live in the United Kingdom to join the Executive Club.  It is open to citizens of almost every country.

The exception to this is residents of Australia and New Zealand. Unless you have an address elsewhere in the world, British Airways recommends that you join Qantas’ frequent flyer program since both airlines are part of the oneworld alliance and therefore elite status and reward earning and spending can easily carry over.

This odd anomaly dates back to 2003 and is a remnant of the joint venture British Airways and Qantas had. British Airways appears to have little appetite to change this small rule despite the fact that they are no longer in a joint venture together.

If you live in Spain, of course, you may find it easier to join Iberia Plus and earn Avios with them.  You can still transfer your Avios to British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’.

The same goes for anyone who lives in Qatar (you can earn Avios via Qatar Airways Privilege Club), Finland (you can earn Avios via Finnair Plus) or Ireland (you can earn Avios via Aer Lingus AerClub).

If you live in the home country of another oneworld airline (eg Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong) you might find it more convenient to join that and credit your flights there even though it does not issue Avios.  However, it is relatively easy to earn status with British Airways Executive Club compared to other oneworld schemes. If you live in Kuala Lumpur for example you may find BAEC more attractive than Malaysia Airlines Enrich even though it is not your ‘home’ scheme.

There is no ‘right’ answer, however, as your personal travel pattern is a key part of the equation.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news stories and click here to join the mailing list for our weekly or daily email newsletters.)


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.

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