British Airways Elite Status: Guide to Qualifying and Privileges


British Airways Executive Club rewards its most frequent flyers by letting them advance up the program’s elite status tiers.

Having a thorough understanding of how to qualify for the program’s elite tiers and the associated benefits can benefit you greatly, whether you’re seeking to earn status for the first time or maximize it year-after-year.

This article will guide you through the elite tiers of British Airways Executive Club, including how to qualify and the incremental privileges that come with each tier.

How to Qualify for Elite Tiers on British Airways Executive Club

Qualifying for higher tiers on British Airways Executive Club is based on the following factors:

  • Earning Tier Points
  • Completing a minimum number of eligible flights

In order to earn and maintain status with British Airways, you’ll need to satisfy both the Tier Points requirement and the minimum flight requirements, or fly a minimum number of segments with British Airways, which we’ll cover in detail below.

Tier Points

Tier Points are collected on revenue fares with British Airways, its franchisees, and its oneworld alliance partner airlines. The sole purpose of earning Tier Points is to advance Executive Club status and benefits.

Importantly, Tier Points are distinct from Avios, the points currency used by British Airways Executive Club.

Avios are also earned on revenue flights; however, they can be redeemed for award flights and other products, but don’t have anything to do with your status.

Importantly, Tier Points and Avios aren’t earned on award flights, as well as agency discounted fares and industry discounted fares.

The number of Tier Points you’ll earn depends on the flight distance, airline, cabin, and fare class. It’s worth noting that you’ll earn the same number of Tier Points regardless of your current membership tier.

Calculation of Tier Points is per flight, rather than cumulative. This means if you’re flying Toronto–London–Paris, you’ll earn the corresponding Tier Points on the Toronto-London and London-Paris segments separately.

British Airways Executive Club doesn’t explicitly publish a chart for earning Tier Points. Instead, you’re directed to the flight calculator, which lets you know how many Tier Points and Avios you’ll earn on specific routes.

Let’s take a look at a few examples to illustrate how many Tier Points you might earn on flights.

For a long-haul London–Toronto flight with British Airways, you’ll earn the following amounts of Avios and Tier Points, depending on the class of service and fare:

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As you can see, the number of Tier Points earned increases as you move up in fares and classes of service. You’ll earn the most Tier Points for First Class flights, and the least for the lowest economy fares.

For contrast, you’ll earn the following amounts of Avios and Tier Points for a short-haul British Airways flight from London–Paris, depending on the class of service and fare booked:

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Since you’ll earn more Tier Points with higher fares, it’s worth considering a higher fare class if you’re at all concerned about earning elite status. 

If you were to book the lowest economy fares on flights, it’d take you twice as long to earn enough Tier Points for status as if you’d booked higher economy fares.

You can also earn Tier Points by flying with eligible oneworld airlines. To do so, make sure you attach your British Airways Executive Club number to your flight, which you can do online or at check-in.

For example, on a long-haul flight from Hong Kong–Vancouver flight with Cathay Pacific, you’ll earn the following amounts of Avios and Tier Points, depending on the cabin and class of service, as long as you’ve attached your British Airways Executive Club number to the booking:

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Again, you’ll earn more Avios and Tier Points as you move up from economy lowest fares through to First Class fares.

As shown in the above charts, the number of Avios and Tier Points earned on the same flights are vastly different. 

Therefore, before you make a booking, you may want to put the flight into the Tier Point calculator to make sure you’re on track for your desired status level each year.

Eligible Flights

Flights eligible for earning Tier Points are defined as follows:

  • A flight operated or marketed by British Airways, including its franchisees, such as BA CityFlyer
  • A flight operated or marketed by Iberia, including its franchisees, such as Iberia Regional by Air Nostrum
  • oneworld partner airline flight that is credited to your British Airways Executive Club account
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Earn Tier Points on eligible flights with British Airways

Flights that are marketed by British Airways or Iberia will have a British Airways or Iberia flight number, even if it’s with another airline.

Flights that are operated by British Airways or Iberia will be on British Airways or Iberia aircraft.

This means that some codeshare flights that are operated by partners, such as Aer Lingus, don’t count, despite having a British Airways (BA) or Iberia (IB) flight number.

Again, if you want to earn Tier Points and Avios with oneworld partner airlines, make sure you attach your British Airways Executive Club number to your booking.

You may also want to consult the flight calculator prior to booking with a partner airline, as it gives you a breakdown of Tier Points and Avios earned in various classes of services and fares.

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Tier Requirements

British Airways Executive Club has five status tiers: Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and the invitation-only Premier, which we won’t delve into in this discussion. Everyone starts at the Blue tier; thus, it isn’t considered an “elite” tier.

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You’ll need both Tier Points and eligible flights to advance to Bronze, Silver, and Gold. To be exact, you’ll need to earn the following in a calendar year to be eligible for status:

  • Bronze: 300 Tier Points and two eligible flights, or 25 eligible British Airways flights
  • Silver: 600 Tier Points and four eligible flights, or 50 eligible British Airways flights
  • Gold: 1,500 Tier Points and four eligible flights

You’ll notice the low number of eligible flights required to qualify for the three tiers. Therefore, even if you live in North America, elite status is certainly attainable if you combine all your oneworld flight earnings into Executive Club, and fly British Airways only a few times per year.

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You can credit your oneworld flights, such as on Cathay Pacific, to British Airways to achieve Executive Club status faster

On the flipside, there aren’t any other ways to achieve status through everyday spending, as is the case with Aeroplan’s Everyday Status Qualification.

Furthermore, there isn’t a way to achieve status through credit cards available to those living in North America.

Tier Qualification Period

With British Airways Executive Club, tier qualification and retention must happen within a Tier Point Collection Year, which is defined as follows:

  • If you joined before the eighth of the month: 12 months starting from the eighth day of the calendar month
  • If you joined after the eighth of the month: 12 months starting from the eighth day of the next calendar month

At the start of each Tier Point Collection Year, your Tier Points counter reset to zero. You must then earn the necessary Tier Points and eligible flights to retain your current tier or advance to a higher tier.

To illustrate, say you joined on November 3, 2024. Your Tier Point Collection Year for your first year of membership is November 3, 2024 through November 7, 2025. On subsequent years, your Tier Point Collection Year is between November 8 and November 7 of the following year.

Since you joined before November 8, your Tier Point Collection Year officially begins on the 8th of the same month – though you can already begin accumulating Avios and Tier Points from the time you joined.

Meanwhile, if you joined on November 10, 2024, your Tier Point Collection Year on your first year of membership is November 10, 2024 through December 7, 2025. On subsequent years, your Tier Point Collection Year is between December 8 and December 7 of the following year.

In this case, your Tier Point Collection Year begins the following month, since you joined after the eighth of the current month – though you can already begin accumulating Avios and Tier Points the time you joined.

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Start earning Tier Points and Avios the moment you join Executive Club

Suffice to say, signing up for membership after the eighth of the month gives you a longer Tier Point Collection Year on your first year.

With British Airways Executive Club, your Tier Point Collection Year is synonymous with your “membership year”. Qualifying for a tier grants you access to the higher tier for the remainder of your current membership year until the end of your next membership year.

Taking from the examples above, say your first membership year is between November 3, 2024 and November 7, 2025, and you qualify for Bronze on April 25, 2025. You’ll hold your Bronze membership until November 7, 2025 (your first membership year) and retain it until November 7, 2026 (the following membership year) without needing to requalify.

Based on the same example, if you wish to retain your Bronze membership beyond 2026, you must fulfill the requirements in the following Tier Point Collection Year, which in this case is November 8, 2025 until November 7, 2026.

You can check the dates of your Tier Point Collection Year in the dashboard of your British Airways Executive Club account.

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Lifetime Tier Points

A separate but related metric to consider is Lifetime Tier Points. While your regular Tier Points reset to zero every year, your Lifetime Tier Points continuously count, as long as you’re a member.

Once you reach 35,000 Lifetime Tier Points, you’ll hold Gold status for life.

British Airways Executive Club Tier Benefits

Once you’ve satisfied the spending required for the one of the upper tiers, it’s time to enjoy its associated privileges, which we’ll detail below.

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Bronze (oneworld Ruby)

Bronze is the entry-level elite status in British Airways Executive Club. It’s earned and retained by accruing 300 Tier Points and two eligible flights, or by flying 25 segments with British Airways, in a Tier Point Collection Year.

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As a Bronze member, you’re entitled to the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in at business class counters
  • Free seat selection seven days before departure for yourself and companions on same booking
  • Priority boarding
  • Status freeze for maternity/paternity/adoption
  • 7 Avios per £1 spent on flights with British Airways and American Airlines
  • 6 Avios per £1 or €1 spent on flights with Iberia

Bronze status with British Airways Executive Club is also equivalent to oneworld Ruby status, which grants you the following benefits when flying with a oneworld or oneworld Connect airline:

  • Priority check-in at business class counters
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating
  • Priority waitlist and standby

Silver (oneworld Sapphire)

Silver serves as the second-tier elite status, and it’s earned and retained by accumulating 600 Tier Points and four eligible flights, or by flying 5o segments with British Airways, in a Tier Point Collection Year.

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As a Silver member, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in at business class counters
  • Free seat selection at the time of booking for yourself and companions on the same booking
  • Priority boarding
  • Status freeze for maternity/paternity/adoption
  • 8 Avios per £1 spent on flights with British Airways and American Airlines
  • 7 Avios per £1 or €1 spent on flights with Iberia
  • Two free checked bags of up to 32kg (70lbs) each for yourself and companions on the same booking, except for basic economy fares
  • Access to business lounges, plus one guest
  • Dedicated support hotline
  • Reservation Assurance: guaranteed seat when booking a full, flexible economy fare

Silver status with British Airways Executive Club is equivalent to oneworld Sapphire status, which grants you the following benefits when flying with a oneworld or oneworld Connect airline:

  • Priority check-in at business class counters
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating
  • Priority waitlist and standby
  • Access to business class lounges
  • Priority boarding
  • Extra baggage allowance

Gold (oneworld Emerald)

Gold is the highest elite status on British Airways Executive Club, and it’s earned and retained by collecting 1,500 Tier Points and crediting four eligible flights in a Tier Point Collection Year.

The gap between Silver and Gold is quite large, so the benefits are also substantially better.

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As a Gold member, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in at First Class or business class counters
  • Free seat selection at the time of booking for yourself and companions, even if they’re on a separate booking
  • Priority boarding
  • Status freeze for maternity/paternity/adoption
  • 9 Avios per £1 spent on flights with British Airways and American Airlines
  • 8 Avios per £1 or €1 spent on flights with Iberia
  • Additional checked bag of up to 32kg (70lbs) each for member and companions on the same booking, except for basic economy fares
  • Access to First Class lounges, plus one guest
  • Access to business class lounges, plus one guest
  • Access to arrivals lounge for yourself only
  • Dedicated support hotline
  • Reservation Assurance: guaranteed seat when booking a full, flexible economy fare

In addition to the above, Gold members receive Gold Priority Rewards, which unlock otherwise unavailable award seats on any cabin for double the regular Avios. These rewards must be booked at least 30 days in advance by phone.

Likewise, Gold members receive extra benefits when hitting certain Tier Points thresholds – akin to milestone awards of other loyalty programs – outlined as follows:

  • 2,500 Tier Points: voucher for an upgrade to the next cabin for two
  • 3,500 Tier Points: two vouchers for an upgrade to the next cabin for one (may be used by member or another person)
  • 5,000 Tier Points (and 3,000 Tier Points each year thereafter): access to the Concorde Room at London-Heathrow, and the Chelsea Lounge at New York-JFK
  • 5,000 Tier Points: two Executive Club Silver Partner Cards and one Gold Partner Card – elite status memberships, which you can gift to anyone
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Access the Concorde Room upon reaching a Tier Points threshold

Lastly, Gold status with British Airways Executive Club is equivalent to oneworld Emerald status, which grants you the following benefits when flying with a oneworld or oneworld Connect airline:

  • Priority check-in at First Class or business class counters
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating
  • Priority waitlist and standby
  • Access to First Class and business class lounges
  • Priority boarding
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Fast-track at security checkpoints

Boost Your Avios Balance with the RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite

As you seek to earn status with British Airways Executive Club, you’ll likely find the RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite as the perfect complementary card.

Aside from a generous welcome bonus, you’ll earn 2 Avios per dollar spent (CAD) on eligible British Airways purchases.†

Even better, until February 29, 2024, you’ll receive a 10% discount on round-trip British Airways flights that originate from and return to Canada, for flights until December 14, 2024.

The discount doesn’t just apply towards the base fare – it’s valid on the total round-trip ticket price, including taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges, on mainline flights operated by British Airways.†

Since you’ll still earn the same amount of Tier Points with the discount applied as you would without it, this is a perfect card to use for saving on cash fares with British Airways and earning bonus Avios to boot.

Conclusion

British Airways Executive Club allows its most loyal customers to seek higher tiers for better benefits when flying British Airways and its oneworld partner airlines.

Elite tiers on Executive Club are achieved by collecting Tier Points and/or crediting eligible flights to your account. Tier Points are earned by flying British Airways and oneworld airlines.

To help you save on British Airways flights† while still collecting Tier Points, consider applying for the RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite, which also gives you 2 Avios per dollar spent on eligible British Airways purchases.† 

† Terms and conditions apply. Refer to the RBC website for up-to-date information.





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