How To Earn BA Tier Points Without Flying feature image

How To Earn BA Tier Points Without Flying

Earning Tier Points is one of the most exciting parts of the BA Executive Club Rewards Program. Avios are great for spending, but tier points are the ones that get you status.

Navigating your way upwards through statuses gets more and more enticing, with lounge access, extra luggage allowances, and more.

I’m the first to admit that I love a good airport lounge. It just sets the tone for the rest of your journey, especially if you plan on working remotely from the airport. The lounge access is one of the greatest things about collecting Tier Points – it’s one of the main reasons I’m striving for Silver this year.

It’s easy to see why members are so desperate to rack up tier points to progress to better benefits. There’s a sense of urgency, too, since your Tier Points expire annually. The question remains: how do you earn BA Tier Points without flying?

If you’re racing against the clock to increase your status before the end of the year, it makes sense that you want to get creative when earning tier points. These points are the golden tickets to a more luxurious airport and flight experience, after all. Here’s what you need to know.

Snapshot Verdict

Unlike Avios, which can be collected through grocery shopping and hotels, Tier Points can only officially be earned through flying.

However, another option is a British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card. There’s a deal running in early 2024 that rewards spending with Tier Points.

If you miss that deadline, don’t worry. Keep an eye out for similar campaigns, as the Executive Club runs many ad hoc offers through its American Express cards.

You need to be more opportunistic when collecting Tier Points than Avios. We’ll cover some sneaky ways to rocket your Tier Point collection later.

What’s The Difference Between Avios And Tier Points? 

For some, there is confusion over Tier Points vs Avios. To clarify the differences, I’ll briefly explain what Avios and Tier Points are, and how their collection processes vary. 

Avios – The Reward Currency

Firstly, Avios is a reward currency used across multiple airline rewards programs, including BA. You can collect Avios through shopping through the Executive Club portal, and even hotel stays with partnered companies like Airbnb.

I book most of my accommodation through the Executive Club portal, which can easily work out at 1 or more points per $ spent.

Avios is easy to collect without flying and is a currency, meaning it’s there to be spent however you wish. They do not expire as long as you abide by the minimum collection or spending time frame (at least one Avios every 36 months). You can redeem them on flights and hotel stays or seat class upgrades. 

If you want to start collecting Avios, there’s no need to book a flight immediately. While you can earn Avios through booking eligible flights, they are just as easily earned from the ground.

There’s also no rush to hit targets with Avios – you can take them at your own pace, since they don’t expire as long as you meet engagement criteria. 

Tier Points – The Status Climbers

Tier Points Cards paper aeroplane flying up

In contrast, Tier Points are status climbers.This means that when you collect Tier Points, you access different rungs of a status ladder that reward you with increasingly enticing benefits.

There is Blue, Bronze, Silver, and Gold; Silver is where it starts to get exciting with airport lounge access. You predominantly collect Tier Points by flying, making them extra elusive.

That’s the point, though; they are meant to be challenging to collect. How many Tier Points you actually earn varies depending on your seat class and flight route, with business and first-class flights earning the Tier Point big bucks.

There are a few ways you can wangle yourself some Tier Points without flying, but you’ll need to be savvy, which we’ll cover in a moment.

At the end of every year your Tier Points expire, meaning you start again from zero to try to reach the high-status levels. You retain the status level you achieved the previous year, but this policy is different from Avios because Tier Points are time-sensitive. You can’t just stash them away and watch them tot up over multiple years.

Tier Points are for the more serious flyers. You’ll notice the most progress and points accumulating when taking upwards of 25 eligible flights per year. You can see why people are so desperate to find ways to collect them without flying, because it does involve hitting some serious flight miles. 

That being said, when your points expire, they don’t just disappear into the clouds. You can keep a stash of Lifetime Tier Points, but these don’t count towards moving up the status levels. (We’ll set today’s Lifetime Tier Points aside to keep things simple.)

Why Collect Tier Points? 

Tier Points are fantastic to collect because they improve your flight experience. Avios might give you currency to redeem on rewards, but Tier Points provide status and comfort during your airport and flight experience. They change your relationship with flying.

I think the best way to understand the draw towards BA Tier Points is by breaking the benefits down on a status-level by status-level. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect from each of them, which will demonstrate why Tier Points are so fabulous to collect.

Blue

Blue is what everyone starts on when joining the British Airways Executive Club. It is a super basic level, mainly offering you the opportunity to earn Avios and Tier Points so you can start climbing the ladder. 

You get some privileges, like saving meals and seat preferences with British Airways and access to members-only deals. But as a whole, think of the Blue Tier as the start line of a marathon.

Bronze

With Bronze, the main benefit is priority check-in and boarding. You also bag free seat selection seven days before departure. It offers a slightly slicker, more relaxing flight experience than you’d get on Blue or without an Executive Club membership.

It is basically the first step on the ladder and where you start to see some rewards coming back in. You need to earn 300 Tier Points and take 2 BA flights, or take 25 eligible flights in a year.

Silver

Silver is where it gets exciting, but it’s tough to reach; you’ll need 600 Tier Points and 4 eligible flights in a year, or 50 eligible flights in a year. Those who make it get access to business lounges and extra baggage allowance.

Silver is where your flight experience moves beyond relaxing and into indulgence. If you want to start enjoying your airport and inflight experience, Silver is the level to aim towards.

Gold

Finally, Gold is the holy grail of the BA tier system. You bag first class check-in and boarding and access to first class lounges. You’ll need either 1,500 Tier Points and 4 eligible flights.

If you make it to Gold, you’re at the top. You’ve reached what is essentially BA’s top tier. While they have a few extra challenges to aim for from here, you’ll be enjoying ultimate super-indulgent flight experiences.

Fact Or Fiction: You Can’t Earn Tier Points Without Flying

So, here comes the bad news. Those status tiers might sound fantastic, but as you know, the only real way to earn BA Tier Points is by getting on an eligible plane. 

There are so many reasons why this could be difficult. Firstly, it requires a lifestyle that relies on regular travel, especially long-haul.

Secondly, it relies on the fact that you use a lot of BA flight paths, which might mean sacrificing more convenient times and routes to bag those eligible flights.

However, earning Tier Points through flying is still worth trying. It might not be the answer you want to hear, but the better you understand earning points through flying, the more likely you’ll rise up through the status tiers.

How Collecting Tier Points through flying works

Every time you take a flight with a Oneworld airline or non-Oneworld BA partner, you earn Tier Points. You can either book flights directly with British Airways, book flights through the Executive Club Portal, or add your BA membership number when booking with affiliated airlines. 

The Importance Of Your BA Membership Number


Keep your BA membership number handy if you want to claim your Tier Points. This number guarantees points when flying with any eligible airline and flight path.

Most airlines will let you add your number after booking. But remember to add your membership number to ensure you get all the benefits, as it’s not an automatic process.

I keep all my membership details on my mobile’s Notes app and then have a physical folder at home with my login details and numbers.

Your Tier Points increase with your fare class, and the distance you’re traveling. On any flight route, each class will earn a percentage of potential points:

  • Economy Lowest: earns 25%
  • Economy Low: earns 50%
  • Economy Flexible: earns 100%
  • Premium Economy: earns 100%
  • Business Class: earns 100%
  • First Class: earns 100%

If you want to increase your Tier Points earnings, aim for longer flights or higher fare classes. For instance, you could earn 35 points in Economy Lowest, yet 140 points in Economy Flexible for the same flight.

The Sneaky Way to Earn BA Tier Points Without Flying 

Here’s the good news: you can wiggle your way around BA’s ‘flight-only’ Tier Point earning policy. The best way today is to use a British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card.

You can earn up to a grand total of 200 Tier Points if you spend a set amount of money on this card before the end of May 2024. That’s almost enough to secure you a Bronze Tier immediately, and â…“ of what you need for a Silver Tier.

In short, this is an incredible hack to set you on the right track.

The Drawbacks To This Hack

The drawback of this offer is that you’ll need to spend a lotthrough this card to actually get those points.

This card type is also on high interest rates, which of course runs the risk of debt issues for the sake of earning points. I’d hazard against anyone ruining their credit score by missing payments for Tier Points. 

However, if you’re in a financial situation that enables you to pay off the card in full at the end of each month, it is worth utilizing this card’s Tier Point opportunity.

If you miss/missed the May 21, 2024 deadline, that’s unfortunate – but keep your eye out for similar offers. British Airways regularly partners with affiliated companies like American Express to offer ad hoc Tier Point collecting opportunities.

It’s all about keeping up to date with opportunities, and we’ll do our best here at Points Inspector to keep you in the midst of updates.

How To Optimize Tier Point Earnings 

Your absolute best option is to find ways to optimize your Tier Points earnings. This way, you are compromising – taking fewer flights, but gaining more rewards.

For many of us, the non-flight Tier Point offers are irregular and unachievable (I won’t be spending ÂŁ25,000 on a credit card before May, either), so it’s better to get optimizing. These are how you can get more out of your flights, climbing that status tier ladder without committing to any extra flights.

BA Holidays Double Tier Points

BA Holiday Double Tier Points came in a couple of years ago but, by popular demand, have been extended until the end of 2024. It simply means you earn double tier points on your included flights for booking a BA holiday package for 5 nights or more.

These packages include flights and hotel, or flights, hotels, and cars. It’s up to you and your own individual itinerary. This is fantastic if you are working remotely and/or traveling for work.

For instance, if I’m due to travel for work and spend approximately three days on work duties, I could extend my stay by two days to qualify. Taking advantage of the BA Holiday Double Tier Points offer would be ideal in this scenario, as I could combine it with a weekend to enjoy two free days.

It’s also a brilliant idea for families, those tied with their annual leave, and people who don’t travel as part of their career. It allows you to ram as much Tier Point earning potential as possible into the shortest possible time.

The rewards are even better if you are heading on a long-haul flight. You could potentially earn enough to bag yourself Bronze or Silver status in one fell swoop. It’s a brilliant way to maximize what you get from your flights when chasing extra Tier Points.

Take Flights With Connections

Not all of these tips expire – I promise. It is frustrating to face a time limit, like with the BA Holiday Double Tier Points and BA Amex Premium Plus Card offers. But this is one timeless tip to maximize your Tier Points collection: taking flights with connections.

When you take any flight with a connection, you earn extra Tier Points. How great is that? 

An Example

If you take a direct flight to New York from London, you’d only earn for one flight leg. You’d earn two flight legs if you took a connecting flight to New York from London via Dublin.

If you want to optimize the flight points you earn on journeys, you need to start hunting for those valuable connections. 

Sometimes, you don’t need to spend more on flights; you just need to be more tactical when taking them. You often get more out of this experience, especially if you love maximizing your travel by snagging long layovers, so you get a bonus city anyway.

For the adventurous and savvy, taking flights with a connection is my top tip for maximizing your BA Tier Point collection.

Fly In Higher-Fare Classes

Depending on your own circumstances and availability on each flight, consider flying in a higher-fare class. The jump from Economy Lowest to Premium Economy is enormous in terms of Tier Point earning potential – leaping from 25% to 100% of the total point collection possible.

This could make the difference between 35 points and 140 points, so it is definitely something to consider.

If you took four long-haul flights in a year in Premium Economy, you’d earn 560 Tier Points, which is just 40 points (a short-haul trip) off Silver. Compared to the same flights in Economy Lowest, you’d only earn 140 Tier Points, which doesn’t even achieve Bronze at 300 Tier Points in a membership year.

You don’t have to jump from Economy to First just to bag enough Tier Points to reach those higher-status tiers. Knowing that the smallest fare class changes can make a huge difference is essential.

Upping your fare class is a spectacular way to drastically increase your Tier Points, all while reducing the number of flights you need to take.

Final Thoughts: Earning Tier Points Without Flying

British Airways aircrafts on runway grounded

The news that BA Tier Points aren’t typically collectible without flying might not have been what you wanted to hear. However, you now know how to make the collection process work for you and your circumstances.

Where there’s a will, there’s almost always a way. And you can easily optimize the flights you take to relieve yourself of the pressure of hitting those sky-high air miles.

Try to book a Double Tier Points holiday before the end of 2024, and always look for flights with connections to boost your points earnings.

Adjusting your fare class can also make a massive difference. Switching from Economy Lowest to Premium alone reduces the number of flights to achieve Silver status. Achieving Silver using Economy Lowest requires 17-18 flights, while Economy Premium only requires 4-5.

You might think that the only way to realistically boost your Tier Points is through taking hundreds of flights, or lament the fact you can’t easily earn Tier Points from the ground. But I promise you that you’ll see results by increasing the collecting potential of the flights you’ve already booked, with these tips.

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