Earlier this month my tier points had their annual reset to zero. This is always a slightly depressing moment, when all my hard-earned tier points all vanish! But what happens if you have a trip that straddles your reset date and you’re just missing out on a status upgrade because you were short of a tiny number of points? Well, this hack is for you.
What are tier points?
First, let’s be clear about the difference between your Avios points and Tier points. Avios points are what they used to call airmiles, you earn them based on distance and ticket type. Avios last a lot longer, in fact as long as you add or remove from your balance within a 2-year period they last forever. You can spend Avios points on flights, upgrades, food & drink onboard and even shopping.
Tier points are different, they are essentially your “score” to determine your status in the Executive Club. You can get Bronze, Silver or Gold status if you earn enough.
For example, if your reset date was early March (like mine) and you achieved Silver status in that year, after you reset your silver status would remain until April, the year after.
Here’s how many points you need for each level, and their One World status equivalent:
British Airways & One World Status Levels
Here are some examples of how many tier points you can earn for flights:
British Airways Tier Point Examples
There are more options than this, for example, you will earn more points for a flexible ticket, which is not shown in this table.
If you want to find out the tier point and Avios for your flight, BA have a calculator you can use here.
The big reset
The annual reset can be a brutal event, the element I find most annoying is all tier points above any threshold you have achieved end up wasted. For example, if you have earned 800 in a year, you will have achieved silver status, but in my mind 200 of them are then wasted when you reset.
Got Gold, but what next?
I will often do a rough calculation on what level I will achieve in a year. There is quite a leap from silver to gold, so if it’s looking like I won’t get there, then I do consider my options.
If I am flying enough to get more than silver, but nowhere near gold, this is when I start to experiment, try other airlines, and possibly even earn points with another alliance. Of course, switching to another alliance does mean you cannot use any of your benefits from your One World status. However this is a thing called Status Matching, where if you have status with one airline alliance, you can copy it to another, usually for a challenge like taking a flight. I did this successfully with my BA Gold status to Turkish Airlines to get Star Alliance top status, and then again with Virgin to get their Gold status. More about that here.
My trip is over my reset date!
My most recent trip to Saudi Arabia was a flight out before my reset date, but my return was after my reset date. In this case, my first flight went into my last year and my second went into the new year after they reset my points.
There is some flexibility in the system to move tier points around between years, but you must meet two requirements:
- The flights must be close to your reset date.
- You must be close enough to going up to another tier for those flights to make a difference.
If they do not automatically award you the points then you will have to call BA and ask. There’s no harm in asking if you are unsure, they can only say no. Remember if you have Silver or Gold status you have your own dedicated phone number you can call and ask questions like this.
The tier point reset can be annoying, so try not to waste your points. When you’ve got to the status level you want, and you know you’re not going to make it to the next level, try experimenting with other ways to get there. Take a train or fly with a different airline alliance.