Airline Summary Table
- Home Country United Kingdom
- Major Hubs London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City
- Airline Alliance Oneworld
- Signature Lounge Business Lounge, Galleries First Lounge, Concorde Room
Branded and Partnered Credit Cards
Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card
British Airways Airline Overview
British Airways, or “BA” as it’s colloquially called, is the flagship carrier of the United Kingdom, and is its largest airline based on fleet size and international destinations.
(Interestingly enough, based on passenger numbers alone, easyJet beats out the home carrier since they have many more operations outside of London.)
British Airways Locations Served
Operations for BA focus almost entirely on London, with London Heathrow getting the bulk of the traffic. London Gatwick doubles up on busy routes for an alternative from Heathrow, while also serving secondary and leisure destinations.
London City is its smallest operation, focusing on business destinations.
BA prides itself in on-board service excellence, and it’s one of the few world carriers that has continually invested in its first class product across multiple aircraft types.
It was the industry leader in full flat business class seats and aft facing configurations to maximize living space while allowing more seats in a confined area.
Outside of Canadian carriers, BA serves the most U.S. destinations of any foreign carrier, offering increased service to secondary cities such as Austin and San Diego with its fuel efficient 787-8 aircraft.
British Airways Mileage Program
British Airways’ mileage program is dubbed Executive Club, and Avios are their reward currency. You don’t “earn” Avios, but instead “collect” them, which adds to the prestige that BA tries to evoke with their loyalty program.
As with most loyalty programs, you can collect Avios not only on British Airways flights, but also through hotel stays, car rentals, credit card use, and even shopping and dining.
You can also purchase Avios if you are short of a reward, share them with up to 6 members living at the same address, or transfer them to friends for a fee.
British Airways has reciprocal agreements with Iberia and American Airlines, which makes it easy to earn and redeem miles and upgrades on each respective airline.
Avios expire every 36 months if not activated through collecting, spending, or transferring.
Joining Executive Club
Joining the British Airways frequent flyer program is easy and free. Sign up using the online form and you can begin collecting and redeeming Avios immediately.
How To Earn Avios
Every time you fly with BA or any of its partner carriers, you will collect a minimum of 125 Avios per flight.
Unlike the U.S. where miles are progressively becoming more monetary-based, this means you can still make “mileage runs” and earn extra miles by having many transfers on your itinerary.
There are also cabin and tier bonuses where higher cabins or higher tier statuses will give you extra Avios. Some of these are available on close partner airlines like American and Iberia as well.
Earning Points With Credit Cards
There is only 1 British Airways branded credit card, the Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card. You will earn 1x points for all purchases, but 3x points for all flights and services with British Airways.
All points accumulate in your Executive Club account automatically.
Additionally, British Airways is a partner of both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
There are 6 Ultimate Rewards cards in total. You can utilize any of the cards to begin accumulating points within Ultimate Rewards, but when you want to transfer them to BA (at a 1:1 ratio), you will need to have one of the cards starred (“*”) below.
You can earn points in many different bonus categories with these cards, including travel, dining, office supply stores, cell phones, cable/internet, and more.
American Express Membership Rewards
Membership Rewards has over 12 different credit cards you can use to earn points.
You can earn bonus points on flights, U.S. supermarkets, U.S. dining, U.S. gas stations, and many more.
In the Membership Rewards program, all your points automatically accrue in 1 account, and you can simply transfer points by using the transfer partner option in your account.
Unfortunately, points transfer at a bit of a reduced ratio with this program: 250 Amex MR points yield only 200 Avios. However, this is still a solid way to build up your Avios!
How To Redeem Avios
Avios can be redeemed by using them to book reward flights on any British Airways-operated flight, or using them toward upgrades to the next cabin on regular cash bookings (if available).
Unlike some other airlines, you can even upgrade on certain American and Iberia flights as well through their joint business agreement.
You can also use Avios by reducing the price of selected regular cash bookings by paying part of the price in Avios.
Double check though, because often these mixed-payment bookings only allow fully-refundable fares. If you’re not restricted, it can be cheaper to purchase a lower fare outright and then use Avios to upgrade.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Executive Club with British Airways?
The Executive Club is British Airways’ loyalty program or frequent flyer program.
Why should I join the BA Executive Club? What are the benefits?
The BA Executive Club offers an array of benefits, which improve as you increase in status with the club. It is free to join and therefore has no downside to joining.
You can earn points (which they call “Avios”) that can be redeemed for travel on BA and other partners, as well as for other things.
The elite status levels in the Executive Club are Blue, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Benefits of status include earning additional bonus miles while flying, discounts on in-flight purchases, priority check in, free bags, lounge access, standby access, seat assignments, and more.
Is there a British Airways credit card?
Yes. We’ve reviewed the Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card. Additionally, you can use Oneworld partner cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard to fly on BA.
Or, you can use cards like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to transfer points into your Executive Club account. See more at the Chase Ultimate Rewards Review and Amex Membership Rewards Review.
How do I join the BA Executive Club?
You can sign up for the club by using this link.
What is the BA Executive Club login?
You can sign in to your Executive Club account here.