British Airways extends Executive Club elite status by 12 months and reduces thresholds for all
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It’s been nearly three months since the coronavirus took hold on the travel and aviation industries, grounding us at home and without any foreseeable travel plans. During that time, most airlines around the world were quick to introduce elite status extensions for their most loyal flyers.
But there was one airline that was lagging behind the others in its elite status extension offering: British Airways Executive Club.
Yes, the carrier did quickly come up with some kind of offer, but it was much more limited than that offered by other carriers. At the time, BA was reducing the number of Tier Points required by 30% but only for members with renewal dates in April, May and June. The program’s offer was simply not good enough, so I wrote a story, calling for British Airways to do more to help its most frequent flyers.
Finally, British Airways Executive Club has answered that call.
The airline has informed TPG U.K. of its latest plans for elite members, and the new offer is better than we were expecting.
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There are a number of caveats to the following, but in summary, BA will extend the status of Executive Club members by a full year, the Tier Point threshold to requalify for status will be reduced by 25% and newly earned Companion Vouchers earned from U.K. cobranded Amex cards will have their validity extended by six months. There are no changes announced to Avios earning and redeeming rates.
Let’s dive into what the BA Executive Club announced on Thursday.
12-month status extension
This is the big one.
All members, regardless of membership renewal date, will benefit from a 12-month extension of status. This starts with members whose Tier Point collection year begins in July 2020 through to June 2021.
In other words, if you have Executive Club Gold status that is set to expire in October 2020, that status will be extended for an additional 12 months — now expiring in October 2021. There is no registration required for this status extension. You should see your new status expiration date shown in your Executive Club account in the coming days and weeks.
For members whose Tier Point years reset in April, May and June 2020, who benefitted from the previous reduction in Tier Point thresholds, your current status will be extended by a year. However, you will not be able to get the status back that you may have lost in your previous Tier Point year.
25% Tier Point threshold reduction
British Airways is also reducing the number of Tier Points needed to gain Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Guest List and the Concorde Room Card by 25% for the year after the 12-month extension kicks in, making it easier for members to renew or upgrade a level.
The 25% reduction is in place until July 2022.
The new amount of Tier Points required are as follows:
- Bronze — 225 Tier Points
- Silver — 450 Tier Points
- Gold — 1,125 Tier Points
- Gold Guest List — 3,750 Tier Points (2,250 Tier Points to retain)
- Concorde Room Card — 3,750 Tier Points
For members resetting on July 8, 2020, your status is protected until Aug. 31, 2021. So, you will need to have achieved the 25% reduced qualification requirement by July 8, 2021, to retain your status through to 2022.
You will then have a further opportunity between July 2021 and July 2022 to retain for the following year at the reduced thresholds — or indeed upgrade.
The reduced Tier Point requirement does not apply to earning Gold Upgrade Vouchers or any other membership benefits that are awarded at various other levels.
6-month Companion Voucher extension
All BA Companion Vouchers earned with cobranded U.K. American Express credit cards during July, August and September 2020 will have their validity extended by six months.
Previously, BA announced that it was only extending Companion Vouchers earned by 30 June 2020, so this is a three-month extension beyond that.
Here is a working example using my own account.
I am currently a Gold member. My Tier Point year ends on March 8, 2021, and my card expiry is April 30, 2021. My Gold status will now expire on April 30, 2022, and for my collection year (March 9, 2021 – March 8, 2022) I will need to earn 1,125 TPs to achieve Gold after April 30, 2022.
For members whose Tier Point collection end date was in April, May or June 2020 (with card expiry months at the end of May, June or July, respectively) and who did not meet the reduced qualification requirement for their Tier — for example, falling from Gold to Silver — they will have the 12-month extension applied to their new Tier once their current card expiry date has passed.
In this case, a member with a June 2020 Tier Point collection year end date would move from Gold to Silver on Aug. 1, 2020, and retain their new Silver status until July 31, 2022. They would have between June 9, 2021, and June 8, 2022, to achieve the reduced qualification requirement to retain their status beyond July 31, 2022. They could choose to aim for a higher Tier in the coming 12 months and secure upgraded membership status at the reduced qualification level.
These are big changes from British Airways that we know many of our readers will be relieved to see. That said, BA was well behind nearly every major airline around the world in implementing these new policies. Lateness aside, the all-around status extension for all Executive Club members is welcome news for frequent travelers who have been grounded since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.
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