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.
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…