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…
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.
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.
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.