This is our complete guide to earning British Airways Tier Points and the various elite tiers within the British Airways Executive Club.
Much to my surprise, the previous version of this article turned out to be the single most popular article on Tricks of the Trade last year. With that in mind, I figured it was time to run an updated and revised version.
What are British Airways Tier Points?
The first thing to understand is that Tier Points are entirely separate to Avios (points) – the loyalty rewards currency used by British Airways (BA).
While it’s easy to earn large amounts of Avios without flying, the only way to earn British Airways Tier Points is by flying – either with British Airways or one of their partner airlines.
For clarity, Avios reward flights do not earn BA Tier Points.
Once you accumulate enough Tier Points, you’ll be upgraded to the next elite status level for the remainder of your current membership year as well as the following year. Your membership year is based on the date you joined the British Airways Executive Club.
How many Tier Points will I earn per flight?
The easiest way to work this out is by using the British Airways Tier Point calculator. Simply input the airline, your departure/destination airports and current BA elite status level and it will produce something like this:
For economy tickets, the number of Tier Points you earn varies considerably depending on the type of ticket that you book. Some short-haul flights will earn as little as five Tier Points each way.
1.) BA short-haul flights:
- Euro Traveller (Economy) – 5 to 40 Tier Points
- Club Europe (Business) – 40 to 80 Tier Points
2.) BA long-haul flights:
- Economy (Word Traveller) – 20 to 70 Tier Points
- Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) – 90 Tier Points
- Business (Club World) – 140 Tier Points
- First – 210 Tier Points
3.) BA ultra long-haul flights (such as Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Sydney and Tokyo):
- Economy (Word Traveller) – 20 to 80 Tier Points
- Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) – 100 Tier Points
- Business (Club World) – 160 Tier Points
- First – 240 Tier Points
British Airways Executive Club – elite status levels explained
This is the entry-level tier. There aren’t really any noteworthy Blue benefits except that joining the Club allows you to earn and redeem Avios as well as the ability to access Reward Flight Saver pricing.
BA Bronze is equivalent to oneworld Ruby status.
Requires: 300 Tier Points + 2 eligible flights or 25 eligible flights.
- Priority boarding
- Free seat selection 7 days before departure for yourself and other members of your travelling party. This is clearly an advantage over the usual 24 hours before departure that applies to Blue members/other non-status travellers.
- Use of business class check-in areas regardless of your cabin of travel
- 25% bonus Avios on flights
Eligible flights are:
- British Airways operated flights, including franchises and BA CityFlyer
- Flights operated by Iberia, included franchises, with an IB flight number
Avios reward flights do not count towards your ‘eligible flights’ quota.
A full list of Bronze benefits is available on this page of the BA website.
BA Silver is equivalent to oneworld Sapphire status.
Requires: 600 Tier Points + 4 eligible flights or 50 eligible flights
- Lounge access
- Free seat selection at time of booking for yourself and of your travelling companions (excludes exit rows and Hand Baggage Only fares)
- Minimum of two pieces of checked luggage at 32kg for all passengers on your booking, even when flying economy.
- Use of business class check-in areas regardless of your cabin of travel
- 50% bonus Avios on flights
You can find a full list of Silver status benefits on this page of the BA website.
BA Gold is equivalent to oneworld Emerald status.
Requires: 1500 Tier Points + 4 eligible flights
- Extra Avios economy availability
- Ability to book Gold Priority Rewards tickets
- Access to First/business class lounges
- Free seat selection at time of booking for yourself and of your travelling companions (includes exit row seats but excludes Hand Baggage Only tickets)
- Minimum allowance of two pieces of checked luggage at 32kg for all passengers on your booking even in economy.
- Use of first or business class check-in areas regardless of your cabin of travel
- 100% bonus Avios on flights
- Use of the BA Elemis Spa facilities before long-haul flights, regardless of your cabin of travel
- Use of the BA Arrivals lounges after long-haul flights regardless of your cabin of travel
- Transfer Avios to other members for free (capped at 27,000 Avios per member and a total of 162,000 Avios per year).
- Complimentary Langham 1865 Voyager membership
There is also a range of added extras that are ‘unlocked’ on hitting further Tier Point thresholds:
- 2,500 Tier Points – A Gold Upgrade for Two (GUF2) voucher. Allows you to upgrade a cash ticket to the next cabin for yourself and a companion.
- 3,500 Tier Points – Two Gold Upgrade for One vouchers.
- 5,000 Tier Points – A Concorde Room card and Gold Guest List membership (see below).
A full list of Gold status benefits can be found on this page of the BA website.
Gold Guest List (GGL)
In truth, Gold Guest List isn’t actually a standalone tier, but rather a sort of ‘Gold plus’.
Requires: 5,000 Tier Points to qualify initially. You then require a minimum of 3,000 Tier Points to requalify in subsequent years.
In addition to all of the regular Gold benefits…
- A Concorde Room card (available only to GGL members who earn 5,000 Tier Points in a year). A Concorde Room card allows entry for you + a guest into the Concorde Room lounges at London Heathrow and New York JFK as well as the Concorde Bar at Singapore Airport.
- Gift Gold status to one person and BA Silver status to two people
- No change/cancellation fees on any Avios bookings
- Hilton Diamond status
- 2 x Gold Guest List redemptions (or ‘Jokers’ in Flyertalk terms) – Each of these allow you to force open Avios availability for up to five people in any cabin. These tickets utilise regular revenue availability.
Further rewards are accessible upon passing 6,000, 7,000, 8,000 and 9,000 Tier Points respectively.
You can find more info on Gold Guest List membership via this excellent GGL guide on Flyertalk.
Any other key bits?
Lifetime Tier Points
On logging into your BA account, you’ll notice a Tier Points total as well as a section for Lifetime Tier Points. For the most part, the lifetime total doesn’t matter too much.
There are two exceptions:
- At 35,000 Lifetime Tier Points, you’ll earn Gold for Life or Lifetime Gold status. This means that you will retain Gold status each year and all of the associated benefits, irrespective of whether you reach 1500 Tier Points or not.
- At 100,000 Lifetime Tier Points, you’ll earn Gold Guest List for Life status. As with Lifetime Gold status, this means you no longer need to earn at least 3,000 Tier Points each year. Gold Guest List for Life status also comes with a Concorde Room card.
Keep your status during maternity/paternity leave
Back in 2017, BA revealed an enhancement for new parents, to ensure taking maternity/paternity leave needn’t mean dropping down the elite status ladder.
This feature allows members to put their account on hold for a year, protecting hard-earned Executive Club Bronze, Silver or Gold status.
To qualify, members just need to provide a letter from their doctor, a birth certificate or documentation relating to the adoption or paternity leave and email it to email@example.com, along with their Executive Club membership name and number.
As a further bonus, if you use this benefit, BA will award 1,000 bonus Avios to your new addition when you add them to your BA Household Account.
Should you chase (BA) elite status?
Some people don’t have the luxury of making that choice. Their work travel patterns dictate that they spend a large part of their working week and more, up in the air.
If you find yourself in that a situation it makes sense to pick a frequent flyer program and stick to it where possible – allowing you to build up a high level of elite status over time.
For others, it’s entirely subjective. It will largely depend on the value you attach to the benefits of the next tier and whether you are able to access those perks via other means or not.
Here’s a couple of examples where chasing elite status might make sense:
1.) You fly a lot of short-haul economy trips (work or otherwise)
If that’s the case, lounge access and the ability to select your seats at the time of booking would be valuable benefits. Valuable enough to make you think about pushing to reach BA Silver status.
2.) You usually need to redeem your Avios during peak periods where availability is scarce
In that case, the extra economy seats available to Gold members or the option of booking a Gold Priority Reward would be very useful.
The bottom line is that cost will always be a factor in chasing that higher status level. You may decide BA Gold status that would be beneficial for you. But if you’re sitting on 1100 Tier Points and those remaining 400 Tier Points are likely to cost you a substantial amount, you need to seriously consider just how much value you would genuinely place on that higher status tier.