Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Do I need to fly British Airways to get British Airways elite status?

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Do you need to fly with British Airways to earn British Airways elite status, and get a shiny Bronze, Silver or Gold card?  You do, but surprisingly it can be as little as two one-way flights and even those could be codeshares.  Partner airline flights can do the rest.

To progress beyond Blue membership with British Airways Executive Club there are two key requirements

  • you must collect enough tier points in a given membership year to cross the tier’s threshold. To achieve Bronze, for example, you must earn 300 tier points.


  • you need to complete enough ‘eligible’ flights (two one-ways for Bronze, four for Gold or Silver)
Do I need to fly British Airways to get British Airways elite status?

You earn tier points on ANY British Airways cash flight OR any flight with a oneworld partner airline.  Airlines in the oneworld alliance include Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Royal Jordanian and Cathay Pacific.

You will also earn tier points when you take a British Airways codeshare flight, ie a flight with a British Airways flight number which is operated by another airline.  This is irrespective of whether that airline is in the oneworld alliance.

You can work out how many tier points you can get from a particular flight using the BA tier point calculator.  This Head for Points article lists every British Airways route by the tier points needed.

You also need enough ‘eligible British Airways flights’

You CANNOT earn elite status with British Airways Executive Club just by flying with airline partners.  You also need to complete two British Airways flights for Bronze status and four for Silver or Gold, in your current membership year.

An ‘eligible flight’ is:

  • any British Airways operated flight
  • a flight with a British Airways flight code but operated by another airline
  • an Iberia operated flight with an Iberia flight code

Reward or redemption flights (using Avios) are NOT eligible.

It is perfectly possible to earn British Airways Silver status by doing one Qatar Airways business class return flight to Asia from the UK, which earns 560 of the necessary 600 tier points, and pick the additional 40 from four short haul flights on BA.  That’s enough to get upgraded to a Silver card.

(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. )

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How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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 – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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.

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