The final word information to British Airways Govt Membership and Avios

British Airways is the biggest full-service airline in the UK and flies to extra locations in the USA than every other European provider.

The airline’s loyalty program is named the Govt Membership, and this system’s forex is named Avios. With a considerable U.S. route community and a loyalty forex that’s simple to earn and redeem, it’s a program that must be in your radar, even if you happen to aren’t touring to the U.Ok.

Right here’s what you might want to learn about incomes and redeeming British Airways Avios for rewards and find out how to earn elite standing within the Govt Membership.

What are Avios?

Avios is the factors forex utilized by the next loyalty applications:

  • British Airways Govt Membership.
  • Iberia Plus.
  • Aer Lingus AerClub.
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Membership.

Avios may be transferred between any of those applications at a ratio of 1:1, so every Avios is theoretically value the identical in every program. There are, nonetheless, alternative ways through which Avios may be redeemed in every program, which means the savvy reader can obtain completely different values relying on which program they’re utilized in – and the way.

This information focuses on Avios earned and redeemed within the Govt Membership program.

A British Airways Membership Suite. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Elite standing

Tier Factors rely towards standing, and there are 4 completely different standing ranges:

  • Blue — The extent the place everybody begins.
  • Bronze — Achieved after 300 Tier Factors earned in a membership yr.
  • Silver — Achieved after 600 Tier Factors earned in a membership yr.
  • Gold — Achieved after 1,500 Tier Factors earned in a membership yr.

Like another airline applications, the British Airways Govt Membership additionally has two further ranges of standing that are not printed:

  • Gold Visitor Checklist — Achieved after 5,000 Tier Factors earned in a membership yr and maintained in subsequent years by incomes 3,000 Tier Factors in a membership yr.

Blue advantages

Bronze advantages

  • All of the Blue advantages.
  • Precedence check-in and boarding.
  • Free seat choice seven days earlier than departure.
  • 25% bonus Avios when flying with BA, Iberia, American Airways and Japan Airways.
  • Standing freeze for maternity/paternity/adoption.

Silver advantages

Silver is the equal of Gold on many different airways, which is the place the advantages kick in.

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  • All of the Bronze advantages.
  • Precedence check-in, safety and boarding.
  • Free seat choice on the time of reserving.
  • 50% bonus Avios when flying with BA, Iberia, American Airways and Japan Airways.
  • Further baggage allowance (two 71-pound luggage in financial system).
  • Enterprise-class lounge entry when flying BA and associate airways (with one visitor).
  • Precedence baggage supply.
  • Precedence telephone help.

Gold advantages

  • All Silver advantages.
  • Free seat choice on the time of reserving, together with exit row seats and unique entry to 1A and 1K in top quality.
  • 100% bonus Avios when flying with BA, Iberia, American Airways and Japan Airways.
  • Further free checked bag in any class and a weight allowance of 71 kilos per bag (relevant to everybody in your reserving).
  • First-class check-in desk and lounge entry when flying BA and Oneworld airways (lounge entry consists of one visitor).
  • Use of BA arrivals lounges after a long-haul flight (no company).
  • Entry to Gold Precedence Rewards, which lets you pressure an Avios reward ticket by paying double Avios for flights (you have to guide greater than 30 days upfront).
  • Further reward availability in financial system.
  • Gold improve voucher for 2 (at 2,500 Tier Factors in a single yr).
  • Two Gold improve vouchers for one (at 3,500 Tier Factors in a single yr).

Lifetime Gold, earned after accumulating 35,000 Tier Factors with no restrict on the period of time you possibly can take to gather, affords you Gold standing for all times.

Gold Visitor Checklist advantages

  • All Gold advantages.
  • First-class lounge entry when flying BA and Oneworld airways (with as much as 5 company for BA-operated lounges).
  • Entry to Gold Visitor Checklist redemptions, also called Jokers, which permit members to get BA to open up Avios redemption seats (for as much as 5 passengers), supplied sure reserving courses are nonetheless up on the market.
  • Precedence help helpline.
  • Concorde Room card for entry to the Concorde Room at Heathrow Airport and John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (with one visitor).
  • BA arrivals lounge entry after a long-haul flight (with one visitor).
  • Hilton Honors Diamond standing.
  • Improve to Enterprise First on the Heathrow Specific.
  • Reward one Gold and two Silver associate playing cards every membership yr.

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Requalifying for standing with British Airways requires the identical quantity of Tier Factors, excluding Gold Visitor Checklist. Nonetheless, BA has a “gentle touchdown” for members who do not retain the identical degree of standing within the following membership yr. If a member fails to keep up their standing, they will slip to the extent instantly beneath. For instance, a Gold member would solely drop to Silver in the event that they didn’t requalify for Gold, regardless of what number of (or few) Tier Factors they earned.


What’s the distinction between Avios and Tier Factors?

Many frequent flyer applications differentiate between redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles. A part of the explanation for doing that is that airways award multiples of precise miles flown to passengers in premium cabins or these with elite standing for redeeming, however award progress towards standing primarily based on precise miles flown.

British Airways Govt Membership has a break up. Reasonably than having elite qualifying miles, BA awards Tier Factors, which rely towards standing. And, generally confusingly for these new to the world of miles, BA calls its mileage forex — i.e., the miles which are earned and can be utilized for spending — Avios.


Avios are the air miles earned for flying, bank card spending and spending with companions by means of on-line buying, resort stays and rental vehicles, and thus the forex that prospects can use for reward flights, upgrades and different issues like present vouchers. They are often earned and redeemed on any Oneworld flights primarily based on the precise miles flown.

For closely discounted economy-class tickets, passengers earn 25% of miles flown (at all times a minimal of 125), and in premium cabins, BA awards flyers a cabin bonus and a tier bonus (primarily based on standing within the Govt Membership).

A flight from New York to London for a Blue member earns 865 Avios in closely discounted financial system class, 25% of the miles flown. A Gold member would earn 4,323 Avios for a similar one-way flight. On the different finish of the spectrum, a Gold member flying on an costly (and versatile) first-class ticket would earn 13,832 Avios for the flight from New York to London. This consists of miles flown, a cabin bonus and a tier bonus.

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Tier Factors

British Airways awards Tier Factors for all flights taken on British Airways or any of its Oneworld companions, which rely towards standing within the Govt Membership. The variety of Tier Factors awarded depends upon the size of the flight and the category flown. For brief flights of lower than 2,000 miles, the minimal Tier Factors earned is 5. On the different finish of the spectrum, flying top quality on flights of greater than 6,000 miles earns 360 Tier Factors per sector.

Brief economy-class flights can earn 5, 10, 15 or 20 Tier Factors, relying on the fare class booked, and, basically, the worth. The costlier the ticket, the extra possible you’re to earn extra Tier Factors. Brief-haul business-class flights (or home top quality, in the USA) of lower than 2,000 miles sometimes earn 40 Tier Factors for every sector, so taking numerous brief flights in premium cabins generally is a method to earn elite standing rapidly.

Lengthy-haul economy-class fares earn between 20 and 120 Tier Factors — once more, relying on the fare class. Membership World long-haul business-class flights earn between 140 and 160 Tier Factors. First-class earns a minimal of 210 on long-haul flights, 240 on longer flights and as many as 360 Tier Factors for a one-way flight to Sydney.

Every year, Tier Factors balances are reset to zero and incomes for the following yr begins anew. BA doesn’t use calendar years, however as an alternative, every membership yr relies on when somebody joined the British Airways Govt Membership (it at all times comes on the eighth of the month).

In contrast to the loyalty applications of some U.S. airways, there isn’t any spending requirement to earn standing within the Govt Membership program. Offered you earn the Tier Factors and take 4 qualifying flights on British Airways every membership yr, you’ll earn the standing.

Associated: Avios vs. Tier Factors: British Airways Govt Membership standing defined

Learn how to earn Avios


Bank cards

The simplest method to earn a significant variety of Avios for on a regular basis spending is by making use of for the British Airways Visa Signature Card.

This card — issued by Chase and, subsequently, topic to the 5/24 rule — is at present providing new candidates as much as 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases inside the first three months from account opening, and earn a further 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 within the first 12 months of account opening. TPG values Avios at 1.5 cents every, making the complete bonus value $1,500.

The British Airways Visa Signature has a $95 annual payment and earns 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Degree. Plus, you possibly can earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on resort lodging when bought instantly with the resort. All different purchases earn 1 Avios per $1 spent.

Transferable rewards playing cards

Savvy TPG readers know that we normally suggest sticking with playing cards that earn transferable factors due to the added flexibility they provide. This technique nonetheless applies if you happen to’re attempting to accrue Avios. British Airways is a switch associate of Capital One, Chase Final Rewards, American Specific Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, making Avios one of many best currencies to earn.

Factors switch from Chase, Bilt and Amex at a 1:1 ratio (along with occasional switch bonuses of as much as 40%), whereas Marriott factors switch to Avios at a 3:1 ratio. Plus, you will get a 5,000-Avios bonus for each 60,000 Marriott factors transferred.

The next playing cards all at present provide sturdy welcome bonuses that you might simply convert to Avios:

  • American Specific® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening. Phrases apply.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Specific: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards factors after you spend $6,000 on purchases inside the first six months of card membership. Verify to see if you happen to’re focused for a 125,000-point welcome provide by means of CardMatch (provide topic to alter at any time). Phrases apply.
  • Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases inside the first three months from account opening.
  • Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases inside the first three months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Most well-liked Card: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • Ink Enterprise Most well-liked Credit score Card: Earn 100,000 bonus factors after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

You can too buy Avios, which are sometimes on sale.

British Airways buying portal

British Airways has its personal on-line buying portal, which you should use to earn bonus Avios from many on-line retailers, with some shops providing 10 Avios per greenback (a return of 15% primarily based on TPG’s valuations) or extra.

Trip packages

When you’re reserving a trip bundle, it’s possible you’ll wish to search the British Airways Holidays web site first since it could earn you an additional 1 Avios per $1 spent. BA companions with main resort chains and, Kaligo and Rocketmiles, so you possibly can earn Avios on inns and trip packages. This system even has a partnership with Airbnb to earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on trip leases.

Automobile leases

British Airways companions with Avis and Finances, permitting you to earn Avios on automotive leases. You may earn 5 Avios per pound ($1.20) spent with Avis and a couple of Avios per greenback with Finances.

Lounge Go

By way of BA’s partnership with Lounge Go, you possibly can earn 5 Avios per greenback spent while you purchase entry to a membership lounge at over 350 airports worldwide.

Heathrow Rewards

British Airways’ partnership with Heathrow Rewards means that you can earn Avios while you store, dine or park at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), British Airways’ major hub. You may earn 1 level per pound ($1.20) at most retailers. You may then convert these Heathrow Rewards factors to Avios at a 1:1 ratio.


British Airways Govt Membership companions with each e-Rewards and Rewards for Ideas to permit members to earn Avios for finishing surveys. Each websites provide 600 Avios while you full your first survey.

You can too earn Avios with Airbnb (3 Avios per $1 spent), Cruise 118 (3 Avios per pound spent), and the Heathrow Specific airport prepare (5 Avios per $1 spent).

Which airways can I guide with Avios?

Qatar Airways’ Qsuite. ZACH HONIG/THE POINTS GUY

British Airways is a founding member of Oneworld, which is a worldwide alliance made up of greater than a dozen airways.

Assuming there’s award availability, you should use your Avios out of your British Airways accounts for flights on any Oneworld airways:

Along with the Oneworld companions listed above, you may as well use Avios from British Airways Govt Membership to redeem for flights on:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Solar-Air, a BA franchise associate in Scandinavia.

What number of Avios will I would like?

British Airways Govt Membership makes use of the next award chart for redemptions by itself steel:


(distance in miles)

Financial system off-peak Financial system peak Premium financial system off-peak Premium financial system peak Enterprise off-peak Enterprise peak First-class off-peak First-class peak
Zone 1**


4,750. 5,250. N/A. N/A. 8,500. 9,750. N/A. N/A.
Zone 2


7,250. 8,250. N/A. N/A. 13,500. 15,750. N/A. N/A.
Zone 3


9,250. 10,750. N/A. N/A. 17,750. 20,750. N/A. N/A.
Zone 4


10,000. 12,500. 20,000. 25,000. 31,250. 37,500. 42,500. 50,000.
Zone 5


13,000. 20,000. 26,000. 40,000. 50,000. 60,000. 68,000. 80,000.
Zone 6


16,250. 25,000. 32,500. 50,000. 62,500. 75,000. 85,000. 100,000.
Zone 7


19,500. 30,000. 39,000. 60,000. 75,000. 90,000. 102,000. 120,000.
Zone 8


22,750. 35,000. 45,500. 70,000. 87,500. 105,000. 119,000. 140,000.
Zone 9


32,500. 50,000. 65,000. 100,000. 125,000. 150,000. 170,000. 200,000.

And right here is the associate award chart for flights operated by associate airways (all flights are charged on the peak value):


(distance in miles)

Financial system Premium financial system Enterprise First
Zone 1**


6,000. 6,750. 12,500. 24,000.
Zone 2


9,000. 11,250. 16,500. 33,000.
Zone 3


11,000. 15,000. 22,000. 44,000.
Zone 4


13,000. 25,000. 38,750. 51,500.
Zone 5


20,750. 40,000. 62,000. 82,500.
Zone 6


25,750. 50,000. 77,250. 103,000.
Zone 7


31,000. 60,000. 92,750. 123,750.
Zone 8


36,250. 70,000. 108,250. 144,250.
Zone 9


51,500. 100,000. 154,500. 206,000.

** Zone 1 Avios awards are unavailable for flights to, from or inside the U.S.

If you’re doing a mixed-cabin redemption, the variety of miles payable may even be the best fare class quantity. British Airways not too long ago launched Reward Flight Savers on all BA-operated routes, giving Govt Membership members the choice to pay extra Avios in trade for a discount within the important gas surcharges this system expenses, that are among the highest within the business.

This selection doesn’t apply to flights operated by associate airways, although you’ll normally be given the choice of paying fewer Avios in trade for extra charges, taxes and surcharges. That is historically a poor deal.

How do I guide flights with British Airways Avios?

First, to switch factors or search award availability, you will want a British Airways Govt Membership account. Click on right here to enroll if you happen to don’t have already got an account.

British Airways’ web site is without doubt one of the finest choices for looking Oneworld award availability. Qantas’ web site is even higher, so that you would possibly wish to begin there to search out house earlier than heading again to the BA web site to guide award flights. Most redemptions may be booked on-line by means of the Govt Membership web site.

There are two major methods to seek for award availability. For simplicity, instantly after logging in, I normally use the left-hand sidebar “Ebook with Avios or cash” to start my search. To do that, choose “Ebook with Avios” from the drop-down menu, enter your search phrases and click on “Discover Flights” to start your search.


When you haven’t already confirmed availability on Qantas’ web site or ExpertFlyer (ExpertFlyer is owned by TPG’s guardian firm, Crimson Ventures), hopefully, you’ll luck out, and there shall be award availability for the date you search. If not, BA allows you to simply search plus or minus three days on the prime of the outcomes web page.

Can I exploit a mix of Avios and money?

There are two alternative ways of doing this:

  • Partly paying with Avios to scale back the price of a money ticket. This isn’t depending on award availability, and you’ll earn Avios and Tier Factors as regular.
  • Decreasing the variety of Avios wanted for redemption by paying extra money (past simply the charges and taxes).

You might not have adequate Avios in your account to cowl the price of your entire flight, or it’s possible you’ll not want to use so many Avios for one redemption. So, British Airways offers you the choice to pay with a mix of Avios and cash for redemption on British Airways or its companions, excluding Japan Airways and S7 Airways.

Word this isn’t classed as a redemption, so relies on the restricted award availability, despite the fact that you should still be paying a considerable amount of the fare in money.

Backside line

British Airways has an enormous route community, particularly in North America and throughout Europe, making it an important choice for these flying from the USA to Europe. Plus, BA stays dedicated to sustaining worldwide top quality, and whereas none of its merchandise are world-leading, they’re pretty constant.

Avios are one of many best loyalty program currencies to earn and redeem. Redemptions for short-haul journey can provide nice worth, although gas surcharges stay the largest frustration with this system.

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