Before you can figure out how to use Avios for award flights and upgrades, you have to learn how to earn them! We’ve put together a list of the best ways to earn British Airways’ valuable Avios, so check out our ideas below.
Table of contents
- Earn British Airways Avios With Credit Cards
- Earn Avios Through Travel
- Earn British Airways Avios by Shopping
- British Airways Frequent Flyer Program
- Other Methods
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Earn British Airways Avios With Credit Cards
- Earn Avios Through Travel
- Earn British Airways Avios by Shopping
- British Airways Frequent Flyer Program
- Other Methods
- Final Thoughts
Earn British Airways Avios With Credit Cards
Before we get into the many ways you can earn British Airways Avios points, let’s look at the different ways you can transfer points from other rewards programs into your Avios account.
There are two transferable points programs that partner with British Airways:
All of these offer the chance to transfer points into British Airways Avios. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Avios at a rate of 3:1, and you can receive a bonus of 5,000 Avios if you transfer 30,000 Marriott points at once. That means 60,000 Marriott points can get you 25,000 Avios.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to British Airways Avios points at a simple 1:1 ratio. Finally, American Express Memberships Rewards points transfer at a rate of 1:0.8. However, Amex occasionally runs promotions that boost the transfer rate by up to 50%.
1. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card
The only reward credit card that lets you earn British Airways Avios directly is the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. With this card, you earn 3x Avios per dollar spent on British Airways flights and services.
While you do get a good earnings rate for Avios, the card does not offer fringe benefits like priority check-in or discounted inflight purchases. This is not a huge loss, but it’s important to note if you’re accustomed to using other airline cards.
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card comes with a $95 annual fee, but by hitting the minimum spending requirement when you open the card you can earn a sign-up bonus (see the review for current offer details).
One great feature of the card is the Travel Together Ticket, which is a companion ticket that you get after spending $30,000 per year on the card and is good for any cash or reward flight, regardless of class! The companion ticket is subject to taxes and surcharges of $1,500-$2,000.
2. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
Several other Chase cards can also help you earn British Airways Avios. All Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points can help boost your collections of Avios.
Each card has a sign-up bonus offer, but you will only be able to combine and transfer these points to British Airways from Chase Ultimate Rewards if you own one of the 3 travel rewards cards.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel card that earns valuable points and it comes with a big 60,000 sign up bonus (highest ever & valued at $750), after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $95.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. A good card to get after the Sapphire Preferred because then you can transfer your cash-back into points (which is how you maximize value).|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This is a premium travel rewards card with a higher annual fee, but it'll get you into a lot of airport lounges (Priority Pass). The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $450 annual fee.|
Recommended Chase Cards (Business)
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and comes with a whopping 80,000 sign up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000. You can earn lots of points by leveraging the cards bonus categories.|
|Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. In addition, get up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses. A simple, $0 annual fee card.|
3. American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards
As we mentioned above, Chase isn’t the only bank that can help you earn Avios. American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards can also boost your Avios collection.
Keep in mind that Membership Rewards transfer to Avios at a 1:0.8 ratio, which is not ideal. However, American Express occasionally runs promotions that improve the transfer ratio by up to 50%. Keep an eye out for these opportunities if you need Avios!
Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)
|The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $1,500+ in value from the card every year. |
Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
|American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). |
With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.
Recommended Amex Cards (Business)
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Even though this card carries a hefty annual fee, we get ~$1,250+ in value per year by leveraging as many of the benefits/perks card. |
Get access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide, $200 in airline fee credits for incidentals (e.g. baggage fees) and a lot more. Also, earn a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points (terms apply). For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
|American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.|
|The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a real simple card that earns you 2x points on business purchases up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). There's no annual fee. For rates and fees of The Blue Business Plus, click here.|
4. Marriott Credit Cards
Recommended Marriott Cards
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card - earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points (terms apply). A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.|
Earn Avios Through Travel
British Airways has a number of partners in the travel industry that allow you to earn more Avios. If you’re looking for a way to boost your Avios earning, consider these options when traveling.
5. British Airways Rental Car Partner – AVIS
Avis is the only rental car partner of British Airways that will help you earn Avios.
Every rental will earn you 1 Avios point per dollar spent with a minimum of 500 Avios per rental. Additionally, if you pay with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you will earn an additional 250 Avios per rental.
If you rent a car from Avis 4 times in a calendar year, you will also receive a bonus of 750 Avios. Occasionally, you will see promotions to earn even more Avios for renting a car from Avis, so keep an eye out for these special offers.
Hot Tip: If you book your Avis car rental plus flights using British Airways vacation packages, you can earn even more Avios points!
6. British Airways Hotel Partners
You can earn tons of bonus Avios by staying with British Airways’ hotel partners. You can find all hotel partners listed on the British Airways website.
Each partner hotel offers a different Avios bonus based on either your nightly stay or amount spent. For your calculations, please note some of the hotels earn Avios based on the currency of their location.
|Hotel||Avios points||Hotel||Avios points||Hotel||Avios points|
|Accor Hotels||2.5 Avios per €2-€4||Hyatt Hotels & Resorts||500 Avios per stay||Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group||800 Avios per stay|
|Agoda.com||Up to 10,000 Avios per night||Intercontinental Hotels Group||2 Avios per $1 spent||Marriott International||2 Avios per $1 spent|
|Carlson Rezidor Hotels||500 Avios per stay||Jin Jiang Hotels||600 Avios from 6,000 J-Club Points||Preferred Hotels & Resorts||500 Avios per stay|
|Fiesta Rewards||Up to 2,000 Avios for 2-night stay||Kaligo.com||5–20 Avios per £1||Rocketmiles||1000-10,000 Avios per night|
|FRHI Hotels & Resorts||500-1000 Avios per stay||Kerzner International Resorts||2 Avios per $1 spent||Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts||500 Avios per stay|
|Hilton Worldwide||1 Avios per $1||Langham Hospitality Group||250-500 Avios per night||Small Luxury Hotels of the World||500 Avios per stay|
7. Earn Bonus Avios on Vacation Bookings
When you book a flight plus a hotel or a flight plus a rental car through British Airways, you will earn a bonus of 2 Avios per dollar spent. This is in addition to the Avios you would already earn on a flight or rental car.
With thousands of hotel options around the world, this is an easy to way earn some extra Avios points!
Earn British Airways Avios by Shopping
From an online shopping mall to individual business partnerships, there are many opportunities to earn British Airways Avios on your retail purchases.
8. British Airways Avios eStore Online Shopping Portal
British Airways reward points can be earned through the Avios eStore online shopping portal. There are over 400 participating online retailers to choose from, and each purchase offers an opportunity to earn Avios.
As you can see below, the offers vary depending on the retailer:
Once you have logged in to your Executive Club account at the Avios eStore Shopping Portal, you can search for and select the store where you’d like to shop.
After selecting a store, you will be taken to a page with the details of the offer to earn Avios. From there, you can select “Shop Now.” You will be prompted to confirm that you are leaving the shopping portal for the selected store’s website.
If you click to confirm, you will be taken to the store’s site where you can begin shopping and earning bonus Avios. Make sure you stay in the new window while you are shopping to ensure your purchases track and you earn your bonus Avios.
Before finishing your purchase, make sure you are still logged in to the store through the portal. Then complete your purchase and enjoy the bonus Avios you just earned!
If after 40 days your reward points have not posted to your account, report it. Use British Airways’ shopping portal contact form to request the missing points be added to your account.
9. Other British Airways Retail Partners
Unfortunately, earning Avios with British Airways retail partners is limited unless you spend a lot of time in Heathrow Airport or shopping around Europe. Alternatively, you’ll have to be an avid wine drinker or read select magazines to benefit from these offers.
|Product or Service||Company/Program||Bonus Avios Offer|
|Clothing and other goods||Chic Outlet Shopping||5 Avios per £4 or €4|
|Heathrow airport purchases||Heathrow Rewards||1 point per £1, convert 1:1 to Avios|
|Wine||The Wine Explorer||1,000 Avios on first order, then 250 Avios per 12-bottle case|
|Magazine Subscription||Business Traveller||400-2,000 Avios depending on your subscription (note this offer may be out of date)|
Heathrow airport purchases include shopping, eating, drinking, parking, and using the Heathrow Express. This is especially great if you’re someone who flies frequently back and forth to London.
When you register for Heathrow Rewards you’ll receive 100 points just for signing up.
You can transfer Heathrow rewards points into Avios at a 1:1 exchange in increments of 250 points. In other words, reach 250, 500, or 750 Heathrow Rewards, and you will be able to convert them into 250, 500, or 750 Avios points. This is an easy way to earn Avios if you’re a frequent Heathrow visitor!
Hot Tip: The Highlife Shop offers 2 Avios for every £1 you spend on products onboard British Airways flights. You can also pre-order products to your seat before you arrive onboard. That’s a nice little perk if you like what the Highlife Shop offers. Check out the Highlife Shop online to learn more.
10. Earn Avios With Surveys
British Airways has chosen to partner with Rewards for Thoughts to help customers earn bonus points. Rewards for Thoughts participants will earn 600 Avios by signing up for a free account and completing 1 survey.
After that, a minimum of 25 Avios are rewarded for short surveys under 10 minutes, and a minimum of 50 Avios are rewarded for surveys taking 10 minutes or longer.
When you register, just be sure to choose British Airways as your earning program and include your Executive Club number.
Hot Tip: Surveys are an easy way to keep earning Avois during lulls in your spending and traveling, or to top up your Avios points and stretch your redemptions. They are especially useful when your Avios are approaching their expiration date. Avios points expire after 36 months of no activity in your account, which means no earning, redeeming, purchasing or sharing of points.
When you’ve run out of options, taking a survey to earn as little as 25 reward points could be the difference between losing them all and holding onto them until you’re ready to redeem!
British Airways Frequent Flyer Program
11. Join the British Airways Executive Club
Before you can start earning British Airways (BA) Avios points, formerly BA miles, you must join the British Airways Executive Club. The Executive Club is the miles-earning program for British Airways and does not require an affiliated reward credit card to start earning Avios points right away.
To join the Executive Club, you only need to fill out a short registration form.
As a member of the BA Executive Club, you can collect and redeem Avios and receive special promotions from British Airways and other Oneworld partners.
12. Book Flights on British Airways
Once you are an Executive Club member, you can earn Avios on every flight you take with British Airways. The miles you earn per flight are determined by the distance you travel, the class of service, and your Executive Club membership level.
13. Book Flights on Oneworld Partner Airlines
Earn Avios when you make a one-way or round-trip flight with any Oneworld alliance partner airline. Make sure to check how many Avios you will earn when flying with each partner.
14. Book Flights With Other Partner Airlines
British Airways also partners with Aer Lingus and Alaska Airlines that are not part of the Oneworld alliance. You won’t earn tier points or a tier bonus on these partner flights, but you will earn valuable Avios points.
15. Minimum Avios Guarantee
All British Airways flights earn a guaranteed minimum number of Avios based on the fare class. The lowest economy fares earn a minimum of 125 Avios, while a flexible first class fare earns a minimum of 1,500 Avios.
Many flights on partner airlines also include a guaranteed minimum, but you should check the appropriate partner earning chart prior to booking.
16. Class of Service Bonus
When you book flights with British Airways in the lowest economy fare class, the number of Avios you earn is equal to 25% of the miles you fly. The lowest fare class in premium economy, business, and first earn 100%, 150%, and 250% of miles flown, respectively.
Flexible economy, premium economy, business, and first class fares earn 100%, 150%, 250%, and 300% of miles flown, respectively.
When flying with a partner airline, check the respective partner earning chart to determine your class of service bonus.
17. Frequent Flyer Tier Bonus
If you have Executive Club status, you can earn even more Avios on your flights. Bronze members earn a 25% bonus, Silver members earn a 50% bonus, and Gold members earn a 100% bonus on all British Airways flights.
When you fly with partner airlines, be sure to check whether you will earn a tier bonus. You will earn a tier bonus with some partners, including American Airlines, but not others.
18. Reaching the Next Level of Status
The more you fly with British Airways (and some of its partners), the quicker you will earn the next level of status in the Executive Club.
With higher status, you will receive perks that can include airport lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, and an additional baggage allowance.
Hot Tip: You can also get airport lounge access with The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Qualifying for Elite Status
To reach each level of Executive Club status you must earn a set number of Tier Points. With 300 Tier Points, you earn Bronze status. With 600 Tier Points, you earn Silver status. To reach top level Gold status, you must earn 1,500 Tier points.
With Bronze, Silver, and Gold status you also receive a corresponding Oneworld status (Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald) and the associated benefits when flying with Oneworld partner airlines.
|Executive Club||Oneworld Alliance|
19. Buy British Airways Avios
In some situations, you just need some extra Avios points in order to book a specific redemption. This is probably the only situation that we’d recommend buying Avios as usually they aren’t good value to purchase (even if there’s a promotion running).
However, sometimes you can be a little short and so this could be worthwhile. Just don’t buy them on a whim as stockpiling points for one specific airline is risky due to (inevitable) devaluations.
Thanks to British Airways’ partnerships with American Express, Chase, and Citi, you have plenty of opportunities to earn Avios points.
Using the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is the most straightforward way to earn Avios points. It also allows you to earn the Travel Together ticket after spending $30,000 (or more) in a calendar year.
British Airways’ partnerships with American Express, Chase, and Citi provide you with plenty of other opportunities to earn Avios. You can top off these earnings with British Airways’ travel partners, shopping portal, shopping partners, and surveys.
Thanks to these partnerships, you will never be lacking in ways to earn Avios through the British Airways Executive Club program. With strategic earning and use of your Avios points, you’ll be on your way to some fun adventures!
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