We are called God Save The Points, after all…

Tier Points are the lifeblood of British Airways travel benefits program known as the Executive Club. Like many travelers, you’re probably in hot pursuit of how to find as many as you can, as quickly as you possibly can. This guide, errr bible, will unveil all the tips and tricks to understand the British Airways tier point game and play it like a pro…

What Are British Airways Tier Points?

Tier Points are not points you can spend – those are called Avios Points, and they’re completely different. British Airways Tier Points system lets you climb through the ranks from standard Blue Executive Club membership up to Bronze, Silver and Gold. They are based on where you go and what cabin you’re flying in. Generally, the further abroad and closer to the front of the plane you are, the better. 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 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, rather than join one of their loyalty programs. You can do so after booking as well. Just be sure to add it every time.

What Do British Airways Tier Points Get You?

Tier Points get you up the ranks of the Executive Club. It’s important to remember that your tier points earning year is unique to when you joined, and not based on something like January 1st to December 31st. Login to your Executive Club account online or in the app to see when your tier points collection year ends. For that matter, it begins again the very next day.

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, which brings free seat selection and business class check in on BA and other airlines. It also helps give you priority in delays and other issues.

At 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, you get all of the above, plus access to first class lounges from all Oneworld airlines, 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.

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. 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’d earn more tier points if you fly London to New York, then New York to Los Angeles, than you would just flying London to LA direct. 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.

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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37 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.

  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. 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)

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. Hey!

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

    Cheers.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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?!

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

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