Tier Points are the lifeblood of British Airways travel benefits program known as the Executive Club. Long story short: they help you earn perks when you fly.

Like many travelers, you’re probably in hot pursuit of how to find as many as you can, as quickly as you possibly can, to earn more of those tempting perks. This easy guide will unveil all the best tips and tricks to understand the British Airways tier point game and play it like a pro.

With any luck, you’ll be enjoying airport lounges, more Avios Points and other perks on every trip. That’s why tier points really matter, after all!

What Are British Airways Tier Points?

Tier Points are not points you can spend – those are called Avios Points, and they’re completely different.

FYI, British Airways Holidays has an offer right now, where you can earn double tier points on your trips, which means earning perks twice as fast.

British Airways Tier Points system lets you climb through the ranks from standard Blue Executive Club membership up to Bronze, Silver, Gold and beyond. They are based on where you go and what cabin you’re flying in.

When it comes to earning tier points, the further abroad and closer to the front of the plane you are, the better – or more you’ll earn. That means…

  • The cheapest economy tickets typically receive the lowest tier points.
  • Tickets in first class receive the most, and go down from there.
  • Short haul flights get fewer tier points than long haul flights.
  • There’s a magic distance and method to maximize tier points.

Where Can You Earn British Airways Tier Points?

You can earn British Airways tier points when flying with any Oneworld airline, like Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Qatar, Iberia, American, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Finnair and more.

To do so, you simply enter your British Airways frequent flyer number when flying on one of these airlines, rather than joining one of their loyalty programs. You can do so after booking as well, at the check in desk, or online during check in. Just be sure to add your Executive Club number every time.

Just FYI, you don’t earn tier points on flights booked with Avios, or when you use an Amex 2 for 1 voucher. Only competitor Virgin Atlantic offers elite status qualifying tier points when you use miles to book, rather than just on flights booked with cash.

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What Do British Airways Tier Points Get You?

Tier Points get you up the ranks of the British Airways Executive Club.

It’s important to remember that your tier points earning year is unique to when you joined the frequent flyer program, and not based on something calendar related like January 1st to December 31st.

Login to your Executive Club account online or in the BA app to see when your tier points collection year ends. For that matter, it begins again the very next day. Look for where the app or website says “Tier Points collection year ends”. You’ll need to earn your points before that date, and that means by taking flights before that date.

Moving Up The BA Executive Club Tiers

2022 Update: British Airways has temporarily lowered the tier points thresholds needed to earn elite status. This means the figures above are higher than what you’ll need for this earning period.

Here’s the temporary chart of the reduced elite status thresholds, which are now applicable for all Members until 31 December 2022. Read on below to understand how movement through the tiers works, and what you get.

Bronze: 225 Tier Points or 18 eligible flights

Silver: 450 Tier Points or 37 eligible flights

Gold: 1125 Tier Points

From 1 January 2023, these thresholds will revert back to normal.

In normal times, here’s how it goes.

You start at Blue with zero tier points, but once you earn 300 tier points you jump up to Bronze, which unlocks Oneworld Ruby status. That’s valuable, and brings free seat selection and business class check in on BA and other airlines whenever you fly, and whatever cabin you’re in. It also helps give you priority in delays and other issues.

At British Airways Executive Club Silver, which requires 600 tier points in your earning year, you earn Oneworld Sapphire, which gets you lounge access and security fast track in addition to all Bronze, even when you’re flying economy. That’s true on all Oneworld airlines as well. You also move up the Priority Boarding order. Having lounge access on all trips is a game changer.

At Gold, which requires 1500 tier points in a year, you get all of the above, plus access to first class lounges from all Oneworld airlines, as well as Zone 1 boarding and access to the (pretty sweet) First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5. There are other cool perks as well.

Each time you move up a tier, you improve your upgrade chances on any flight. Whenever you hit a new threshold on British Airways tier points, you keep the tier points earned so far. So it’s 1,500 total for Gold, not 300, then back to zero, then 600 and back to zero, etc.

How Do You Know How Many British Airways Tier Points You’ll Earn?

Tier points range from a mere 5 points a pop one way on short haul economy, to 210 one way on long haul first class. The simplest and best tool for finding out how many tier points you’ll earn on any flight you take is a tool from British Airways actually called Avios Flight Calculator.

You Simply enter the airline you’re flying, your current British Airways status and find your cabin. It’ll tell you how many tier points you earn on a one way basis, but also how many Avios, the points you can actually spend, which you’ll earn as well.

Hot tip: When you accept a cash upgrade offer in the British Airways app or online, you receive the tier points of the higher cabin. Sometimes the extra tier points can help justify the expense. If you’re in Premium on a long flight and get a £299 upgrade offer, the bed and the tier points can be a steal.

Side tip: You can also use GCMap.com to plug in each segment and see each distance, like LHR-JFK-SFO-HNL-LAX-BOS-LHR.

The More Connections, The More British Airways Tier Points

Perhaps you’ve overheard people at a bar, or a boarding gate, but people go to extreme lengths to earn British Airways tier points. It’s as tragic as it is useful.

One way to earn many more, without actually traveling more frequently, is to build in as many connections as possible.

You earn tier points on a per segment basis, so if you go from London to Los Angeles, you’ll earn more tier points flying London to New York, then New York to Los Angeles, than you would just flying London to LA directly. It’s the same wherever you go, even on other airlines.

Hot tip: Google Flights is much easier to find flight deals with than ITA Matrix, but you can then use ITA Matrix to pull up routing rules, which let you know where you could potentially build extra stops to maximize your tier points. If you’re into that sort of thing…

2,000 Miles Is The Magic Trick For Tier Points

For flights under 2,000 miles, you typically receive between 5-20 tier points per segment in economy and up to 40 in business class.

At 2,000 miles however, that figure jumps staggeringly to between 20-70 in economy and 140 in business or 210 in first. In business class, a simple round trip earns 280 tier points on flights over 2,000 miles. That’s huge, but there are airlines which take it a step further.

  • If you have a long a haul connection, like London to Doha, then Doha to Bangkok, you earn a whopping 280 tier points each way, or 560 round trip.
  • Many airlines such as American, Qatar, Sri Lankan, Malaysia, JAL and Cathay can be excellent resources for finding these kind of itineraries.

The Best Resource For Finding 2,000 Mile Tier Points

Points To Be Made created easily the best guide to 2,000+ mile tier points options. While these sort of things are obvious for flights like Europe to the USA, or Europe to Asia, there are amazing examples within Europe, within Asia, within the USA, Australia, Middle East and beyond which can bring incredible tier points sums without going all that far.

For example: Helsinki to Malaga counts as a 140 tier point flight, which makes it equally rewarding as flying all the way from London to San Francisco.

Tier Points For The Win

Tier Points are earned automatically when you input your British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer info into a reservation on a Oneworld airline, and in addition to the Avios points you earn which can be redeemed.

There’s nothing lost by earning them, and moving up the tiers of British Airways Executive Club means greater opportunities to save, and travel better in the future. If you ever see an amazing flight deal on a Oneworld airline, be sure to factor in how helpful the tier points could be to you achieving some perks before passing.

Happy travels! And whenever BA has an amazing sale, be sure look for opportunities to earn more tier points, if you’re into that sort of thing! Being here, we assume you are…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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44 Comments

  1. “We are called God Save The Points, after all…”
    Muslims believe in God also. So why did you choose the Bible, instead of their book? Is it because you prefer Christians over Muslims?
    By the way, have you ever read the Bible? If you want to help people get a better understanding of BA points, the last thing you want to do is call your guide a Bible.

      1. Well, I knew you liked uncle Alex but.. he’s not actually *that* bad just focussed on shareholders at the expense of customers

  2. I’m a little confused when you say… simply enter your British Airways frequent flyer number, rather than join one of their loyalty programs…

    Where would you enter the BA frequent flyer number? I’m an American Aadvantage member and when I book a flight, my Aadvantage number automatically shows up.

  3. Marlene,
    You go into Qatar’s website, manage my booking and change your FF no to baec no. Or at check in double check your baec no is the one registered. Double check your boarding pass. One time on boarding l discovered our aa no was on the bp , so sheer panic ground staff changed it there and then. Was my silver status flight, so was VERY IMPORTANT…

  4. Curious to see if I can get some assistance here. I’ve recently accepted a position based out of the US that will require significant foreign travel annually. The job will also require regular domestic travel. I’ve bounced between American Advantage Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum for the past 6 years and enjoy the perks of that! I’ve recently signed up for a BA Executive Club # but the first few flights I’ve booked (occurring in April) I’ve used my AA# for the Frequent Flyer space in the itinerary. I understand that I won’t earn Avios by doing this (instead getting AA Miles) but will I receive Tier Points? Am I better guaranteeing myself Executive Platinum AA ongoing or splitting the miles/points between the carriers. Booking my domestic flights with my AA# and my international flights with BA#?

  5. if you use your AA information on BA you get AA miles and AA tier points no BA tier points. tiers points and miles go together.

  6. Good useful article,as always. Links are helpful but I LOVED the comments…made me laugh out loud!

  7. There is an error in the article as you can earn up to 240 tier points. Flights longer than 6000 miles get you 240 points in first class (and 160 in business)

  8. Great blog…hilarious comments.

    I’m trying to max out my Silver status and I’m planning do a Qatar flight via Doha which gets me 4 x 140 points yah. Presumably the closer after your tier year starts that you fly the longer you get at that tier?

  9. Question, can I use my and my husbands tier points, each 600 to upgrade my two daughters from economy to premium?I don’t know where else to ask, no office in Israel,. and hard to get the London office, Flight is from Tel Aviv to San Francisco and return in October.

  10. Thank you for this. I fly BA and partners but have never really bothered with the tier point side as usually fly business and get lounge access that way. I have a few questions if you someone would be kind enough to elaborate;

    1. Gold seems like the best one to go for when you buy Return Flight Saver in economy and don’t have lounge access?

    2) How many tier points do you need for Gold? Is that every year?

    3) If I book a flight on a partner airline like Iberia, do I automatically get credited the tier points or do I get tier points with Iberia?

    Any assistance would be gratefully received. Thanks and please keep up the good work.

    1. Hey, basically you should always enter your British Airways Executive Club number, even when flying partners. When you do, you’ll automatically earn tier points and Avios.

      It’s 1500 for gold every year, which is the equivalent of about six business class return journeys, assuming you earn 280 each time.

    2. I learned all about AVIOS and tier points and so on from your articles – thanks so much. And next week I am flying Qatar Airways First Class and Return in Q-Suites – with Avios points 😀😀. Love your articles – thanks again.

  11. Simple question when do tier points get added , when you book, when you’ve paid in full or when you’ve flown ?
    Great site 👍👍

  12. Hey!

    Great article. Hilarious comments.
    Question: I’ve recently been upgraded to business for free. Should I expect to get the tier points?

    Cheers.

    1. Generally, no. BA systems used to incorrectly award miles/tier points based on the cabin boarded, but now the system pretty much gets it right and finds the underlying booked fare, unless you upgrade with cash.

  13. Hi Gilbert,

    Please a quick question related:

    My BA Tier Points collection year ends the 8th of April and my card expires the 31th of May. I am planning a trip with Qatar Airways flying to Asia on the 3rd of April and coming back on the 13th of April. Do you know if I would lost those TP or will they moved to the next year?

    Thanks for your help in advance and as usual amazing articles.

    Carlos

  14. How many tier points will I earn from booking London to Atlanta paying cash an d upgrading to club with avios

  15. Hi,

    I am a Silver member just short of getting Gold by May. Have a trip to Mid West USA next month and considering building in a connecting flight over there just to pick up some extra points (40 I believe for a US domestic Business flight < 2000 miles…unfortunately I'm not going to the West coast and thus can't benefit from the 2,000 mile threshold). However, I will still be just 30 or 40 tier points short of Gold still. If I need to do something more extreme and build in two connecting flights in the US (i.e. 3 planes total from UK – US), will I earn yet more extra tier points? i.e. 40 Tier Pts x 2 = 80 for the US legs.

    1. Hey Paul, yep every connection counts, so if you can do an east coast – say New York to Miami via Charlotte or something, you’d get 80 tier points rather than 40. Hope that helps and best of luck!

  16. Hi Gilbert, great article!

    If I am blue status when I book, but (due to passage of time and other flights flown in between booking time and flying time) am bronze when I actually fly, do I get tier points for Blue status, or tier points for Bronze status?

    Thank you for any advice!

    Andy

      1. Thank you Gilbert! Really helpful.

        Also, just seen a £59 upgrade offer to B.Class, if I get 40 tier points for that (as opposed to 10 tier points for Economy) then its a great offer right?!

  17. Do I get Tier Points in a booking that isn’t a Reward flight but was rather paid for with Avios plus money? To go Business LHR-BOS and then First on the return, I’ve paid about €2000 on top of the Avios. Would be terrible if no Tier Points awarded, which would mean it’s better to separate Award flights completely from those purchased with Avios.

  18. Hello.
    Could someone please advise if I’m travelling from Sydney to Singapore On BA16 and transferring onto BA12 Singapore London how many tier points would I receive if travelling A class? The website states 360 each way if I put in SYD-LHR however if separated SYD-SIN then SIN-LHR this would give 210+240 (450)
    Just looking to understand what I’d actually get please?

  19. Thanks for an informative article. Can you get tier points for a partner that is in your household pool with BA?

  20. Hi Gilbert found the article and related comments very helpful…i am feeling a little hard done by though as due to Covid i havent flown at all for last 18 months but am flying LGW-Cancun return with family (2 adults 2 children in WTP). my executive club level though has dropped to a blue now (not sure if that has happened to all other than lifetime Gold ) does this mean i cannot now use priority business check-in or early /free seat selection at all .. I used to be silver but only have 1345 lifetime tier points .. but lost that status as i am now effectively 2 period without flying

    also each time we have flown to cancun (4 times in last 5 years) there have been 8 of us each time , can i go back and accumulate the avios points on those other people if the people are in my family and another family who are our friends. i note the answer you gave to Tiff B last month re club points but maybe avios may be useful for me ..
    any help or advice would be great

    thanks ..chris

    1. Hi Gilbert found the article and related comments very helpful…i am feeling a little hard done by though as due to Covid i havent flown at all for last 18 months but am flying LGW-Cancun return with family (2 adults 2 children in WTP). my executive club level though has dropped to a blue now (not sure if that has happened to all other than lifetime Gold ) does this mean i cannot now use priority business check-in or early /free seat selection at all .. I used to be silver but only have 1345 lifetime tier points .. but lost that status as i am now effectively 2 period without flying

      also each time we have flown to cancun (4 times in last 5 years) there have been 8 of us each time , can i go back and accumulate the avios points on those other people if the people are in my family and another family who are our friends. i note the answer you gave to Tiff B last month re club points but maybe avios may be useful for me ..
      any help or advice would be great

      thanks ..chris

  21. For somebody who’s been trapped in USA for the past 4 years. The 4 Mandatory BA Sectors totally negates the benefits of a OneWorld Alliance . As does Aer Lingus and Vueling being excluded.

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