a plane flying above the clouds

The addicting part of earning frequent flyer miles and elite airline status is that the game is constantly changing. To succeed, you must evolve. British Airways and it’s partners offer a wide variety of opportunities to earn Avios (miles) and elite status, via the OneWorld Alliance, online shopping, grocery shopping, staying in hotels and of course – just good ole’ flying. Here’s how to maximize your Avios and Tier Points earning with British Airways in 2017 and 2018.

a bed in a planeEarning Without Flying

Credit Cards: Only earning points when you’re in the air is your first mistake. You can earn British Airways Avios miles via every day credit card spending, with the American Express Green, Gold or Platinum card, the British Airways American Express and Chase cards and Chase Sapphire cards.

All Shopping: British Airways allows you to earn bonus points, in addition to any credit card points you earn for ALL your online shopping, via their online e-store. You can earn Avios points with over 100 top retailers, sometimes up to 50 Avios points for every dollar spent. And yes, that includes shops like Apple, Nike, Asos, Saks, computer stores, clothing stores and just about everything else. You can earn countless thousands of points using this method – and with free flights starting at 4,500 points one way, why not?

Grocery Shopping (UK): You can earn thousands of points from your daily grocery shopping. TESCO points convert into British Airways Avios points at solid rates, allowing the opportunity to earn points for buying your microwave meals.

Car Rentals: Virtually every car rental company allows you to elect to earn British Airways Avios points for your car rentals. So yep, another way to earn without actually leaving the ground. More on that here.

Hotel Stays: Much like car rentals, you can earn countless points with British Airways, in lieu of earning hotel points. If you’re a frequent hotel guest, this is an easy way to capitalize on your nights out!

Points Sales: Occasionally, Groupon, or even British Airways themselves will offer phenomenal sales on points, often around just 1 cent per point. For someone just a few points short of a great flight, this can be a perfect way to get what you need ASAP.

a bed with pillows and a purse on itMaximizing Your Flying

Cheap Premium Economy: This year has seen a dramatic rise in CHEAP premium economy deals. British Airways awards many more miles and elite status “tier points” for premium economy bookings than it does for economy bookings. Another benefit here? You can use all the points you’ve earned to upgrade to business class, only from premium – since upgrades can only go one cabin up.

Cheap Business Deals On BA & Partners: Qatar Airways is your best bet here. Not only will you earn 125% of the actual mileage you fly, you’ll also generally earn at least 560 elite status “tier points” in the process. These deals can be found under $1000 round trip, multiple times a year, and just three of them would earn enough tier points to nearly cement British Airways Gold – minus the four British Airways segment requirement. The key here is looking for deals outside of London, being flexible to use cheap flights or points to get there, since the savings are worth it.

Club Europe Holiday Deals: British Airways holidays is the best unhidden secret. By combining flight and hotel, there are astoundingly low deals, which include Club Europe flights and nice hotels. All Club Europe flights earn at least 40 tier points per segment, and extra Avios points. Aside from all the great points stuff, the deals are often cheaper than booking separately.

OneWorld Network: It may seem basic to some, but to others it’s eye opening to realize how many airlines you can fly, all while earning elite status points and Avios frequent flyer miles. Just by entering your British Airways Executive Club number, you can earn miles on all OneWorld airline like: Finnair, American, Iberia, Qantas, Qatar, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

What’s your favorite tip?


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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  1. I have made three return journeys to Dublin this year and have been unable to claim my Avios points I made my flights with air lingus which I understand you as BA now own I contacted air lingus and have heard nothing are you able to assist or advise many thanks James Curran

  2. I have made three returns to Dublin this year and have been unable to claim my air for me and my wife Ian writing as I am lead to believe you are know linked with air lingus who I flew with I have contacted them and heard nothing are you able to help many thanks James Curran

  3. Simples… Choose an airline that doesn’t gouge its customers as much as BA and enjoy a better quality better value more reliable service with a less punitive redemption process

  4. Well I guess I should have done my homework!! I took up RBC’s offer to convert to avios for 30% more. Was led to believe that this was the best way to fly to London on points. I am now finding out that there are no reward flights available for the dates that I need (or anywhere nearthat timeframe!!), even if I used all 161000 points that I have I still have to pay over $3000 dollars!!!!???? I can book a flight with one of your competitors for cheaper without using any points!!!! Very unhappy that I have 161000 miles that are absolutely useless to me!! I should have kept the avion points. What a joke!!

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