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
- Sign Up for a British Airways Executive Club Account
- Earn British Airways Avios With Credit Cards
- Earn Avios Through Travel
- Earn British Airways Avios by Shopping
- Flying with British Airways and Partners
- Other Methods
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Sign Up for a British Airways Executive Club Account
- Earn British Airways Avios With Credit Cards
- Earn Avios Through Travel
- Earn British Airways Avios by Shopping
- Flying with British Airways and Partners
- Other Methods
- Final Thoughts
Sign Up for a British Airways Executive Club Account
Before you can start earning British Airways (BA) Avios, formerly BA miles, you must join the British Airways Executive Club. Executive Club is the miles-earning program for British Airways and does not require an affiliated reward credit card to start earning Avios right away.
To join 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.
Earn British Airways Avios With Credit Cards
Before we get into the many ways you can earn British Airways Avios, let’s look at the different ways you can transfer points from other rewards programs into your Avios account.
There are 4 transferable points programs that partner with British Airways:
All of these programs offer the opportunity 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 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once. That means 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points can get you 25,000 Avios.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to British Airways Avios at a simple 1:1 ratio. American Express Memberships Rewards points transfer at a rate of 1:1. However, Amex occasionally runs promotions that boost the transfer rate by up to 40%.
Lastly, HSBC Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to British Airways Executive Club.
The only rewards credit card that lets you directly earn British Airways Avios is the British Airways Visa card. With this card, you earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia flights. You also earn 2 Avios per dollar spent on hotel accommodations.
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 card comes with a $95 annual fee, but you can earn a sign-up bonus by hitting the minimum spending requirement when you open the card (see the review for current offer details).
One great feature of the card is the Travel Together Ticket — a companion ticket that you get after spending $30,000 per year on the card, good for any cash or reward flight, regardless of class! The companion ticket is subject to taxes and surcharges of $1,500 to $2,000.
Hot Tip: Another neat perk of the British Airways Visa card is the Reward Flight Statement Credit that offsets a portion of the fuel surcharges of your British Airways ticket to London paid for with the British Airways Visa card. You’ll get statement credits of $100 for economy and premium economy or $200 for business and first class, 3 times per year, up to $600.
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 travel rewards cards.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card, which is currently offering a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. |
Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points per $1 on travel and dining worldwide, eligible delivery services, take out and dining out, plus other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees.
The sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,000+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. 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 $550 annual fee. As an extra bonus, from 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A fantastic, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits with this card.|
If you’re a business owner, consider one of Chase’s business credit cards.
3. American Express Membership Rewards 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 American Express occasionally runs promotions that improve the 1:1 transfer ratio by up to 40%. 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 new welcome bonus offer of 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 10x points in the first 6 months on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases).|
This is our #1 card for accessing 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass). We leverage ~$3,000+ in benefits and perks from the card every year. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
|American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x. Terms Apply). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly; and you'll have access to many benefits and perks.|
With a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 6 months, it's a strong choice. For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
There are a number of Amex business credit cards for business owners!
4. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to British Airways at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Avios bonus.
Recommended Marriott Cards
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $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. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Limited Time Offer! Earn 125,000 bonus points! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021. |
Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.|
5. Non-U.S.-Based Credit Cards
When you consider how globally connected London is, you can begin to imagine how many world travelers are interested in earning British Airways Avios.
And this makes a lot of sense — co-branded opportunities are very lucrative for both the consumer and the credit card issuer, so there are a ton of official co-branded British Airways Avios credit card options across numerous banks around the world:
|Issuing Country||Name of Credit Card||Issuing Country||Name of Credit Card|
|Canada||RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card||Sweden||British Airways Classic World Mastercard|
|Caribbean||CIBC FirstCaribbean British Airways Visa Platinum credit card||Sweden||British Airways Premium World Mastercard|
|Denmark||Resurs Bank British Airways World MasterCard||Switzerland||Cornèrcard British Airways Mastercard Classic|
|France||Carte Visa British Airways||Switzerland||Cornèrcard British Airways Mastercard Gold|
|France||Carte Visa British Airways Premium||Switzerland||Diners Club British Airways Card|
|Hong Kong||Dah Sing British Airways Platinum Card||U.K.||British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card|
|Italy||British Airways Card||U.K.||British Airways American Express® Credit Card|
|Italy||British Airways Premier Card||U.K.||British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card|
|South Africa||Absa Bank British Airways Credit Card|
Earn Avios Through Travel
British Airways has several 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.
6. British Airways Rental Car Partners — Avis and Budget
Every Avis 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 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 1,000 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.
Every Budget rental will earn you 2 Avios per £1 spent with a minimum of 250 Avios per rental.
Hot Tip: If you book your Avis car rental plus flights using British Airways vacation packages, you can earn even more Avios!
7. 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.
|Accor Live Limitless Hotels||2.5 Avios per €2 to €4|
1 Avios per €4 on Adagio Access
Can also convert at a ratio of 4,000:2,000
|Hyatt Hotels||500 Avios per stay|
Can also convert at a ratio of 2.5:1 (5,000 Avios bonus for every 50,000 World of Hyatt points converted)
|Avios Hotels||15 Avios per £1||Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)||2 Avios per $1|
Can also convert at a ratio of 10,000:2,000
|Best Western||500 Avios per booking|
Can also convert at a ratio of 5,000:1,000
|Kaligo.com||5 to 20 Avios per £1|
|Booking.com||6 Avios per £1||Marriott International||1 to 2 Avios per $1|
Can also convert at a ratio of 3:1 (5,000 Avios bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points converted)
|Hotels.com||Up to 6 Avios per £1||Rocketmiles||1,000 to 10,000 Avios per night|
8. Book With Airbnb
British Airways now has a partnership with Airbnb that allows you to earn 2 Avios per £1/€1/$1. But it gets better because if you’re a new guest, you can earn 6 Avios per £1/€1/$1 as a 1-time welcome bonus!
You must book via the British Airways Airbnb portal.
9. 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 1 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!
10. Purchase a Lounge Pass
If you happen to be in a situation where you don’t have a credit card that offers lounge access or if you’re at an airport with a Lounge Pass lounge but not a Priority Pass lounge, you’ll want to consider booking a Lounge Pass through British Airways.
Why? You will earn 5 Avios per $1 spent when you book on the official British Airways Lounge Pass website.
You can book lounges up to 15 months in advance from $19 per person! There are over 600 non-British Airways lounges to choose from at over 350 airports worldwide.
11. Book Parking With ParkVia/ParkCloud
Looking to book parking at or near an airport? ParkVia, formerly known as ParkCloud, offers an exclusive partnership with British Airways to earn 5 Avios per $1 spent, rounded down to the nearest dollar.
That means that if you visit the official booking link, you can earn a bundle of Avios for parking your car!
12. Get From Heathrow to Central London Using Heathrow Express
If you’re visiting the U.K. and are landing at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), you’ll be pleased to find that the most convenient transportation option from the airport to central London is via the Heathrow Express.
Heathrow Express is the airport rail link that connects London Heathrow Airport to London Paddington, smack in the middle of central London. The ride takes 15 minutes and departs every 15 minutes.
You’ll collect 5 Avios per £1 spent on tickets, excluding delivery or amendment fees. To earn Avios, enter your Executive Club membership number when you purchase tickets using the dedicated Heathrow Express website.
Note that you can’t earn Avios on tickets purchased elsewhere, and to accrue Avios, the name on the ticket must match the name on the British Airways Executive Club account. Avios will be credited 3 months from the booked travel date.
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.
13. 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 — up to 12 Avios per $1 spent.
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 that the missing points be added to your account.
14. Other British Airways Retail Partners
Unfortunately, earning Avios with British Airways retail partners is limited unless you spend a lot of time in London 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||The Bicester Village Shopping Collection||5 Avios per £4 or €4|
|London Heathrow Airport purchases||Heathrow Rewards||1 point per £1; convert 1:1 to Avios|
London 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. This is an easy way to earn Avios if you’re a frequent Heathrow visitor!
Hot Tip: The High Life Shop offers 2 Avios for every £1 you spend on products onboard British Airways flights. You can also preorder products to your seat before you arrive onboard. That’s a nice perk if you like what the High Life Shop offers. Check out the High Life Shop online to learn more.
15. Subscribe to The Economist
If you’re considering subscribing to one of the most renowned newspapers in the world, British Airways is offering an excellent deal for setting up your subscription with The Economist.
Here’s the bonus structure for new subscribers:
- Earn 3,400 Avios for a 1-year digital subscription and 4,400 Avios for a 1-year print AND digital subscription
- Earn 5,400 Avios for a 2-year digital subscription and 6,400 Avios for a 2-year print AND digital subscription
- Earn 7,400 Avios for a 3-year digital subscription and 8,400 Avios for a 41-year print AND digital subscription
Flying with British Airways and Partners
16. 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.
You can reference the below chart to figure out how many Avios you will earn.
|Cabin Class||Fare Code||Avios Awarded||Minimum Avios Earned||Tier Points Earned|
|Economy||Lowest (G, O, Q)||25% of the miles flown||125||25%|
|Low (K, L, M, N, S, V*)|
*earns no Avios or Tier Points when booked as a Gold Priority Reward
|50% of the miles flown||250||50%|
|Flexible (Y, B, H)||100% of the miles flown||500||100%|
|Premium Economy||Lowest (E, T)||100% of the miles flown||500||100%|
|Flexible (W)||150% of the miles flown||750||100%|
|Business||Lowest (R, I)||150% of the miles flown||750||100%|
|Flexible (J, C, D)||250% of the miles flown||1,250||100%|
|First||Lowest (A)||250% of the miles flown||1,250||100%|
|Flexible (F)||300% of the miles flown||1,500||100%|
17. Book Flights on Oneworld Partner Airlines
18. Book Flights With Other Partner Airlines
British Airways also partners with Aer Lingus and Alaska Airlines, which 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.
19. 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 before booking.
20. 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.
21. Frequent Flyer Tier Bonus
If you have Executive Club status, you can earn even more Avios on your flights:
|Executive Club Tier Status||Bonus Avios|
|Bronze||25% extra Avios|
|Silver||50% extra Avios|
|Gold||100% extra Avios|
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.
22. 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 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.
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|
23. Earn Avios With Surveys
British Airways has chosen to partner with Rewards For Thoughts and eRewards to help customers earn bonus points. Note that both companies are owned by Dynata.
Participants at both of these companies 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 Avios during lulls in your spending and traveling, or to top up your Avios and stretch your redemptions. They are especially useful when your Avios are approaching their expiration date. Avios expire after 36 months of no activity in your account, and surveys count as qualifying activity, which will extend your Avios’ expiration.
When you’ve run out of options, taking a survey to earn as little as 25 reward points could mean the difference between losing them all and holding onto them until you’re ready to redeem!
24. Buy British Airways Avios
In some situations, you just need some extra Avios 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 1 specific airline is risky due to (inevitable) devaluations.
British Airways Executive Club has sold Avios for a bonus as high as 75% in the past, so wait for one of those to come by if you can!
25. Use Banked as Your Payment Method
Don’t have a credit card that earns British Airways Avios? Digital payments start-up Banked allows BA Executive Club members to earn 1 Avios for every £1 they spend with any merchant when they select Banked as the payment method at checkout.
Thanks to British Airways’ partnerships with American Express, Chase, Marriott Bonvoy, and HSBC, you have plenty of opportunities to earn Avios through the British Airways Executive Club program. You can top off these earnings with British Airways’ travel partners, online shopping portal, shopping partners, and surveys.
Using the British Airways Visa card is the most straightforward way to earn Avios. It also allows you to earn the Travel Together Ticket after spending $30,000 (or more) in a calendar year.
With strategic earning and use of your Avios, you’ll be on your way to some fun adventures!