Skip to content

I’m a happy British Airways Silver status member, 5 reasons I’m going for Gold for the first time

Oct. 28, 2022
8 min read
Singapore Qantas First Class Lounge
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I really value my Silver status in the Executive Club program.

I first earned Silver status many years ago thanks to a cheap Qatar Airways business-class flight to Europe. Later, thanks to the double promo of double Tier Points for BA Holidays and the 25% Tier Point threshold reduction, I was able to requalify for Silver again last year after flying a single return trip to Greece.

British Airways Silver status comes with the following perks on BA flights:

  • Lounge access.
  • Free seat selection when booking.
  • Priority check-in.
  • Increased luggage allowance.
  • Priority boarding.
  • Priority luggage delivery.
  • Priority security where available.
  • Increased points earning for your flights.
  • Priority phone support.

Related: What does British Airways' elite status get you, and how do you earn it?

I appreciate all these benefits as a U.K.-based traveler, especially free seat selection and lounge access.

While the double Tier Points offer from British Airways Holidays has been generously extended through Sept. 30, the 25% Tier Point threshold ends Dec. 31, and BA has recently confirmed they will not be extending it.

This isn’t really a surprise. Status is designed for those traveling frequently, and with the pandemic travel restrictions now mostly over, there’s no real excuse not to travel if you want to earn status.

With only a few months before Tier Point requirements increase to normal thresholds, I — along with the TPG team and no doubt many of our readers — have been carefully considering how to maximize my status before the end of this year.

I will easily requalify for Silver status this year as I travel frequently with BA and their partner airlines for both work and personal travel. However, I have decided to stretch myself and go for Gold status for the very first time before Dec. 31 this year.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

What’s the difference between the two statuses and why is it worth the time and cost commitment?

Here are five reasons I’ve decided to go for Gold.

BEN SMITHSON/THE POINTS GUY

It’s never been easier to earn Gold

I will only need 1,150 Tier Points by Dec. 31, to earn Gold. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, that amount reverts back to 1,500 Tier Points, meaning more travel and expense to reach it next year compared with next year.

Also, the BA Holidays double Tier Points offer means I can earn the Tier Points I need twice as quickly if I need to.

In simple terms: 2022 is a vintage year for points and miles. A rare sweet spot year where earning elite status is faster, easier and cheaper than it has ever, been and likely will be.

Related: British Airways Holidays extend generous double Tier Points offer

The timing works for me

My Tier Point collection year ends in April. This means if I reach a higher status level before April, I can enjoy the status through April, plus an additional 12 months. So, if I were to earn Gold status in December 2022, I would keep it until April 2024. As this would be close to 18 months of Gold status, this becomes more attractive than only thinking I will have the status for 12 months.

Ideally, I would earn Gold status just after April, and have the status for almost 24 months. However, as Tier Points reset every year (for me, each April), I would start from zero and then earn 1,500 Tier Points as quickly as possible, which would be very expensive, time-consuming and an insane amount of flying, even for me.

Related: Video: 20 flights in 2 weeks to get a British Airways Gold card

Eighteen months of Gold status seems like a reasonable time to enjoy it.

BEN SMITHSON/THE POINTS GUY

Soft landing to Silver

If I earn Gold status before April 2023 when my Tier Points reset I will keep it until April 2024. I would need to earn another 1,500 Tier Points between April 2023 and April 2024 which, with my current plans is unlikely given so many of my planned flights are booked with Avios which do not earn Tier Points (or Avios).

Fortunately, the Executive Club program offers a "soft landing" to members who don’t requalify for their existing status.

This means even if I didn’t earn a single Tier Point between April 2023 and April 2024, I would only drop from Gold to Silver in April 2024, with a year of Silver to April 2025.

Essentially this will be almost 2.5 years of at least Silver status if I can earn Gold by the end of 2022, which is an attractive and valuable proposition.

Related: British Airways extends Executive Club elite status by additional 12 months

First-class lounge access

Beyond the calculations of Tier Point earnings, reset dates and soft landings, one of the main reasons I have wanted Gold for some time is because it provides more benefits than Silver status when I travel.

Silver is a great status and one I’ve been very happy with for years because it provides significantly more benefits than Bronze, the status below, which hardly provides anything. I’m not expecting Gold to provide as huge a jump in benefits as Silver does with Bronze, but it’s still enticing.

Related: What does British Airways' elite status get you, and how do you earn it?

With Gold, I’ll earn additional Avios for every cash flight taken which will be a nice treat. I will also have access to Galleries First lounges when flying in any cabin with British Airways or their partner airlines. However, I’m not expecting these to be massively better than the Galleries Club lounges I already have access to with my Silver membership, based on reports from friends and colleagues.

The real prize for me is Oneworld Emerald status which I will automatically receive as Executive Club Gold.

Oneworld Emerald status allows me first-class lounge access to most Oneworld partner airlines around the world when flying in any class of service on a Oneworld airline. This includes the Cathay Pacific first-class lounge in Terminal 3 at London Heathrow. I am also flying back from Australia on Cathay Pacific at the end of the year and I should be Gold before this.

Although I am not flying in first class, I can access the spectacular Qantas first class lounge in Melbourne (MEL), and if they reopen in time, either the Pier or Wing first class lounges in Hong Kong (HKG). I’ve visited these lounges before and they are a real treat to access when not flying first class.

Also, when I'm in the U.S., I'll enjoy access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Alaska Lounges when traveling on domestic flights. This is included with Oneworld Sapphire — included with Silver status — but worth mentioning regardless.

Related: Top-notch oasis for Oneworld elites: A review of Qantas’ brand-new International First Lounge in Singapore

Qantas first lounge Melbourne. NICK ELLIS/THE POINTS GUY

Additional Avios award availability

There are two neat published award availability benefits of Gold status over Silver. Firstly, Gold members can access additional rewards seats in economy at normal redemption rates. No need to call up, or enter a special code or voucher number. The additional seats show in Gold members searches, but not for Silver or Bronze members.

Second, if there is no availability on the flights I want, Gold members can redeem Avios for any cash seat by using twice the number of Avios required.

As someone who regularly redeems Avios for short-haul flights to Europe on popular summer dates, these two perks will be something I will definitely use.

Related: Maximizing the British Airways distance-based award chart

Bottom line

As someone who writes about elite status, points and miles and general travel for a living, I spend a lot of time thinking about things like what British Airways status is best for me.

I’ve been very happy with all the benefits that come with Silver status but always had my eye on Gold for the extra perks. The timing for me works well to make the jump before the end of the year.

I probably won’t be able to retain it beyond April 2024. However, the soft landing to Silver is another reason to go for it right now.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees