Understanding British Airways Elite Status

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British Airways elite status potentially offers some great perks, so (after some reader prompting – seriously, if you want to see something on the site just let us know and we’ll see what we can do!) we decided to take a closer look and run through the benefits.

The Basics

British Airways Executive Club has four different tiers, or levels, of membership – Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

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Anyone who joins the Club automatically attains Blue membership tier.  There aren’t that many benefits to blue membership but it’s your starting point with the club and allows you to start earning Avios Points. It will give you priority over non-members if a flight is busy, and you can save your preferences for which seats you prefer (window or aisle for example).  You also get access to the personalised BA app and you’ll get to hear about members-only offers, but that’s pretty much it.

To gain access to the other tiers you must collect a specified number of ‘Tier Points’.

Unlike the options available for earning British Airways Avios Points, flying with British Airways (or one of its partner airlines) is the only way to earn Tier Points.

British Airways 747

Tier points are allocated depending on how far you fly and in what cabin you choose to fly in. You can find out the Tier Points awarded for every British Airways destination using our Table here.

Unlike Avios Points, Tier Points cannot be spent – they purely aid you in moving up the membership tiers.  They also cannot be bought or transferred, and they need to be earned on a regular basis to maintain a membership tier – fail to fly one year, or not earn enough Tier Points and you could risk dropping back to blue membership in the future…

Maintaining membership tiers

Every membership year your Tier Points will reset – any tier achievement will be maintained for a further 12 months, but then after that your membership will reset to Blue if you do not collect enough Tier points and the required number of flights.  Therefore, to retain your membership tier, you simply need to collect the required number of Tier points and fly on the minimum number of British Airways flights expected on an annual basis (based on your membership year) for that particular tier.

What is your membership year?

Your membership year is like your own personal BA year.  The day you sign up for Executive Club membership is the start of your personal membership year – like your BA birthday if you like – and so every year on that particular date will be when your points reset.

When they do this, your hard earned tier points are not lost in the ether, they become Lifetime Tier Points – the total number of Tier points you have accrued since day one of membership.  Do Lifetime Tier Points have a point? Well yes – once you have earned 35,000 Lifetime Tier Points, you will be a Gold Member for life and all the perks that come with Gold membership!

Bronze Status

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To earn Bronze status you must either:

  • Take a minimum of two flights with British Airways and earn 300 Tier Points.
  • Or, fly 25 times with British Airways in one membership year.

Bronze benefits include:

  • 25% bonus Avios whenever you fly with British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines.
  • Business Class check in and priority boarding (except at London City Airport).
  • The ability to reserve your seats up to seven days in advance on British Airways flights.
  • Priority at baggage arrival service desks (in the unfortunate event of losing your bags).

Silver Status

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To earn Silver status you must either:

  • Fly on a minimum of four British Airways flights and earn 600 Tier points
  • Or, take 50 British Airways flights in one membership year

Silver membership brings with it a classier experience, including:

  • Business Class Lounge access (for you + 1 guest) whenever you fly with British Airways or its partner airlines, regardless of your Class of travel.
  • 50% bonus Avios whenever you fly with British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines.
  • Ability to reserve your seats when you book on British Airways flights.
  • Minimum allowance of two pieces of luggage to check in (unless it is a hand baggage only fare), regardless of Class of travel.
  • Benefits with any hotel stays at Mandarin Oriental hotels.

Silver status (600 Tier Points) is actually quite easily achievable if you can take advantage of a cheap long-haul Business Class sale, or do a (very) long haul flight in Premium Economy and a few return flights to European cities in Business Class/Club Europe.

In terms of benefits vs cost, Silver status is the ‘sweet spot’ for most leisure travellers.

Gold Status

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To earn Gold status you must:

  • Earn 1,500 Tier Points in one membership year and fly on a minimum of four British Airways flights.

Gold status benefits include:

  • Access to First Class airport lounges (for you + 1 guest) whenever you fly with British Airways or its partner airlines.
  • Complimentary Elemis spa treatments when flying out of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 or New York JFK’s Terminal 7.
  • 100% bonus Avios.
  • Additional Economy Avios availability at the standard redemption rate.
  • Gold Priority Awards – use double the standard amount of Avios to book Economy seats even when there isn’t any award seats available.
  • First Class check in
  • Benefits at Langham Hotels and Avis car rental.

There are also some additional benefits for members with Gold status who earn even more Tier Points:

  • 2500 Tier points gets you a voucher that can be used to upgrade yourself and a partner to the next cabin.
  • 3500 Tier points gets you 2 upgrade vouchers;
  • 5000 Tier points gets you a Concorde Room Card, granting you access to the exclusive Concorde Rooms found only at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and New York JFK’s Terminal 7.  You will also receive two Executive Sliver Partner card memberships and one Gold Partner card membership for your family/friends.

 

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