Wednesday, March 31, 2021

How to earn over 97,000 British Airways Executive Club Avios for free*

Hot on the heels of our popular post from earlier this week showing our readers how they can earn over 118,000 Aeroplan points for nothing other than credit card spend is that you can do the same for several other programs in Canada. One of the most popular non-Canadian frequent flyer programs for Canadians is British Airways Executive Club and thanks to many of the same card offers seen in the Aeroplan post   plus one additional card you can earn a boat load of BA Executive Club Avios at no cost other than credit card spending. That's where the asterisk * in the title comes into play. * We mean free as in paying no annual fees on this list of credit cards in the first year - you simply need to make the minimum spending requirement on some or all of the cards to garner those points. Some of you may have one or two of these cards so you can jump on some of the offers to earn a portion of the points for free or are sitting at a position in the points and miles game where you can re-apply for them now and get yourself those points while some of you may not have any of the cards and can potentially score the full 98,000 Avios. 


The plan laid out to score 97,000+ Avios

Now how do you go about getting a portion of or the full amount of 97,000 Avios? Here's how:

Step #1 - 22,000 Avios

Grab yourself the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®. This card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 40,000 HSBC Rewards Points with no annual fee in the first year. You get 20,000 points upon approval and 20,000 more when you spend $5,000 within 180 days of account opening. You can then convert these points to British Airways Executive Club Avios at a 2.5:1 ratio (they also have transfer bonuses several times per year) . The offer on this card is available until April 19, 2021.

Total Avios after this step: 22,000
Includes points earned on spend requirement

Total spend required: $5,000

Apply for the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® here


Step #2 - 31,667 Avios

Get yourself the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card . This card is offering a bonus of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months. They will also give you a $120 statement credit if you can spend $10,000 on the card in the first 12 months. That $120 statement credit is equivalent to the card's annual fee thus making this card also a first year free card and you get those 60,000 points with spend only. Since the card earns 2 points per dollar on most spending that would be 80,000 points. You can then convert the 80,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to 31,667 Avios (you could potentially get more as there times throughout the year where Aeroplan gives a bonus on hotel point conversions) Also if you doe

Total Avios afters Steps 1-2: 53,667
Includes points earned on spend requirement

Total spend required: $15,000

Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card here

Step #3 - 35,000 Avios

Get yourself the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card . Like the personal version of the card, the Bonvoy Business Card is offering a 60,000 point bonus however you get those points with a higher requirement of $5,000 in three months. You'll also get a $150 statement credit when you spend $15,000 on the card in the first 12 months which is equivalent to the card's annual fee thus making this card also a first year free card. All told hit that $15,000 in spending and you'll have no less than 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can then convert those 90,000 Bonvoy points to 35,000 Avios. 

Note: American Express is one of the most lenient when it comes to getting Business cards - there are numerous data points showing people getting the cards even without having a business. They use their SIN as the business numbers since that is the number utilized for sole proprietorships. 

Total Avios afters Steps 1-3: 88,667
Includes points earned on spend requirement

Total spend required: $30,000

Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card here 


Step #4: - 4,400 Avios

Get yourself the Choice Card from American Express™ This card is offering 10,000 Membership Rewards Select points when you spend $1,000 on it in the first three months and it is a no fee card! With the spend you'll have 11,000 points can be converted to 13,200 Marriott Bonvoy points which can then be converted to 4,400 Avios.  

Total Avios after Steps 1-4: 93,067
Includes points earned on spend requirement

Total spend required: $31,000

Apply for the Choice Card from American Express™ here


Step #5: 4,000 Avios

Get yourself the mbna Best Western Mastercard®. You earn 20,000 points with the card after your first purchase. The card has no annual fee so those points come to you with as little as a $1 purchase. Those Best Western Rewards points convert to British Airways Executive Club at a 5:1 ratio so if you transfer these over you have another 4,000 Avios

Total Avios after Steps 1-5: 97,067
Includes points earned on spend requirement

Total spend required: $31,001

Apply for the mbna Best Western Mastercard® here

And there you go! Those are the 5 steps to scoring over 98,000 British Airways Executive Club Avios for free!  Yes you do have spend on your credit card to get them and that's pretty much the case with any new credit card welcome offer these days. The question is can you do it and should you do it? The answer is yes if you have the means - that is, being able to spend that much on your credit cards without going beyond your means. In all likelihood for most Canadians you'll do a portion of the above to score a decent amount of points. If anything, you would do steps one and two as they provide the most bang for your buck. The Best Western card offer? Easy peasy. That's a standard offer that's not limited time so you can do it at anytime and you literally only have to spend $1 to get those points. I think the major sticking point in the above list of cards would be the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card - adding in that $15,000 in spending to get the statement credit could be the tough one for some people. If you pull that card out of the mix you're still going to come out with over 50,000 Avios with the rest of the cards. In fact the 53,667 points from the other four cards is enough for two round trip flights between Toronto and Dublin, Ireland in economy class!

Tips, Tricks & Warnings

If you are going to go for it and try to score as many of those points as possible you'll want to utilize some tips and heed some warnings:

  • Go for the HSBC or personal Marriott Bonvoy card first as they provide the healthiest welcome bonus offers and HSBC gives you half a year to meet the spend requirement. It doesn't hurt to grab the Choice Card from American Express as well since it's increased offer is only in the market until May 5.
  • Make a plan/schedule for applying for the cards - if you get a whole bunch at once it may be difficult to reach the spending requirements on them  - ideally give your self some breathing room. But don't wait too long as other than the Best Western card these are all limited time offers. We know the HSBC offer ends April 19 and the Choice Card offer ends May 5 but the rest don't have published end dates!
  • Take screen shots of the offers on the bank/issuer page in case any discrepancies come up in having the points awarded
  • Don't get a card if you don't think you can meet the spend requirement in time. 
  • Don't spend beyond your means - make sure you plan and budget and that your regular monthly spending can make those minimum spend requirements. 
  • If credit rating is a concern and you can have two people in your household to spread the applications across you can have one person apply for a couple of the cards and the other person to apply for some of the others and then combine the points via BA's Family Sharing (see Doubling up below)
  • You can wait for the Best Western card since it isn't a limited time offer. Let your credit rating come back up after applying for the other cards and then go for this one

Doubling up

You can get even more points than this! How so? If you and your partner take on the game you can get multiple combinations of the cards. Just like Aeroplan's Family Sharing program, British Airways allows for household accounts which means you can pool Avios collected from multiple accounts and this multiple credit cards. The one major caveat with British Airways is that it is truly a household account as all members have to live at the same address. Learn more about BAEC household accounts here.

Wrapping it up

Thanks to the new statement credit offers on the Marriott cards and an ongoing first year free offer on the HSBC World Mastercard there hasn't been a better time to in on the British Airways Avios game! Even if you can't get all the cards just a combination of a couple can have you earning enough Avios to be redeeming for award flights with the Executive Club program in few short months. 

Recommended reading: Utilizing British Airways' Executive Club for flights in North America

Some images courtesy of British Airways

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