Should You Sign Up For A British Airways Household Account?

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I’ve written quite a bit recently about the great sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which offers up to 100,000 bonus Avios upon completing qualifying spend. A lot of people have been earning Avios this way, so I’ve been trying to write as much as possible about British Airways Executive Club, and specifically, redeeming Avios.

Keep in mind that in addition to the excellent sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa Card, you can also convert several points currencies to British Airways Executive Club, making Avios especially easy to accrue. Specifically, you can convert:

I’ve already written about many of the unique features of British Airways Executive Club, including the companion voucher, the best ways to redeem Avios, etc.

However, in this post I wanted to look at one of the other unique aspects of the program — specifically, how British Airways Executive Club lets you pool Avios in a household account. This is potentially a great option, though there are some important limitations to be aware of.

The basics of British Airways household accounts

In order to let you more effectively redeem your Avios, British Airways lets you create a household account, where you can pool the Avios you earn with up to six other people registered at the same address as you. This is especially useful for casual travelers. For example, if your family of five takes a longhaul trip, chances are that the Avios you earn individually won’t be enough for anything great, but if you can pool your Avios, you may already have enough for a free ticket to somewhere fun.

Note that individual members will continue to earn Tier Points to their own accounts, so this doesn’t accelerate the earning of status. Rather this just fast tracks the earning of Avios, which can be redeemed towards flights.

How to set up a British Airways household account

In order to create a household account you’ll need to decide on a “Head of Household.” This is the person who should complete the application, and then they’ll receive the communications regarding the account, and will be the only person who can add and remove people from the account (though all adult members can potentially redeem Avios from the household account).

When you create a household account, the head of household will invite members, so invited members should receive emails asking if they want to join a household account.

Avios accrued in a household account are valid as long as there’s some activity at least every 36 months, so this makes it easier to keep Avios alive across several accounts.

There are a few other things to remember about these accounts:

  • You can only redeem Avios for members of the household account or select nominated travelers (more on that below); this is the biggest restriction, as joining a household account prevents you from redeeming Avios for anyone
  • You can only change the address on a household account once every six months
  • When you redeem Avios from a household account, a proportional percentage of Avios will be pulled from each account in relation to the balance; in other words, if three household members had 50,000 Avios, 30,000 Avios, and 20,000 Avios, and you made a 10,000 Avios redemption, then those members would have 5,000 Avios, 3,000 Avios, and 2,000 Avios pulled, respectively

You can also create a list of family and friends

The biggest restriction on household accounts is that they limit the people you can redeem your Avios for. This is a major limitation if you’re someone who likes redeeming Avios for those not at the same address as you.

However, the good news is that there’s a way to get around this. British Airways lets you nominate up to five family and friends who you can redeem Avios from your household account for, even if they don’t live at the same address. So in addition to being allowed up to seven members of the household account, you can add a further five redemption nominees.

The major restriction here is that you can’t remove someone from your family and friends list until they’ve been on there for at least six months, so you can’t constantly change these nominees.

Is a British Airways family account worth it?

In general, absolutely. I’m all for consolidating points as much as possible in order to make it easier to keep track of them and maximize redemption opportunities. By creating a household account, it becomes easier to prevent Avios from expiring, and also makes Avios easier to redeem. With other programs, one major limitation is that you need enough points in one account to redeem for an award. That’s not a problem with British Airways Executive Club, thanks to this feature.

There are only two reasons you shouldn’t form a household account, one of which is minor, and one of which is more major. If you have a household account:

  • You’re only able to redeem for up to seven household members, plus five nominated travelers
  • You aren’t able to transfer Avios to the Iberia program, which has some unique features that are potentially worthwhile, like the ability to redeem Avios for travel on Iberia without carrier imposed surcharges

Have you formed a British Airways household account, and if so, what has your experience been like?

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Comments

  1. I know you have to earn a living Lucky but Jesus, this has become a daily pitch at some card with mediocre bonus (most people won’t bother spending 20k for 100k avios.) maybe you should write a more detailed post on the best avios redemption.

  2. One problem with household accounts, as I understand it, is they can mess with the ability to link and transfer to and from Iberia. Maybe they have fixed the problem, but the last time I paid attention to the issue on FT, there were some difficulties.

  3. Household account limits you also with transfers from and to Iberia (only possible to Iberia, but not also from Iberia).

  4. “When you redeem Avios from a household account, a proportional number of Avios will be pulled from each account, assuming each member of the household account has enough Avios; in other words, if you had five members and redeemed 50,000 Avios, 10,000 Avios would be pulled from each member’s account”

    This isn’t quite right — the deductions are made in proportion to the existing balance in each person’s account. Suppose there are three members: one has 100,000 points, one has 80,000 points and one has 20,000 points. A 30,000 redemption would not take 10,000 from each member, even thought they could each afford it — it would actually take 15,000 from the first, 12,000 from the second and 3,000 from the third. The simplest way to think of it is that, if the redemption uses X% of the total Household Account balance, that same X% will be deducted from each member’s balance (in this example, 15% each).

  5. Also be aware that Avios.com account must now EXACTLY match British account in order to be able to use it for the transfers (Iberia Avios.com British). My experience is that also address and phone number should be the same…

  6. I have closed and recreated my household account several times in order to facilitate transfers to and from Iberia. The whole process is pretty fast, at least for 2 people.

  7. You can transfer individual account Avios to Iberia from a household account. You have to do this via an Avios.com individual account.

    Move BAEC to Avios, then to Iberia plus.

    Simples.

    Avios.com household accounts however are a pain. Don’t get one of those unless you have to!

  8. To be clear, the BAEC, Avios and Iberia accounts must be in the same name. Also it will only allow movement of individual Avios points, you can’t pool them.

  9. @RichT Can someone from the USA with a USA address create an Avios account? I can’t seem to figure out how to do this, and I read somewhere it wasn’t possible. I have a family BA household account so I am very interested.

  10. @Lucky, not sure if this is still the case … but I created a household account in order to earn Avios on our kids flights. My understanding is that kids don’t earn Avios or tier points unless linked to a household account. The kids flights earned us over 300,000 Avios last year, so it can be worthwhile. (And BA sent them Gold cards, which I found amusing for under fives).

  11. @DSK ahhhhh I see the issue. Finally us Brits have an advantage in something miles & points related over our USA cousins!

    This is probably why they’re cracking down on address details matching.

    However now Aer Lingus has launched Aer Club which operates on the avios.com platform there might be a way around it but I’d have to dig some more….

  12. @DSK and @Lucky Flyertalk.com seems to confirm signing up for an AerClub account will create you an Avios.com account and therefore allow you to use combine my Avios with a BAEC HH account☺️☺️☺️

    Can’t test it fully myself as I’m UK based but created a dummy AerClub account then the membership number did direct me to a US version of Avios.com

    Hopefully this helps!

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/aer-lingus-aerclub/1827813-aerclub-avios-com-us-resident.html

  13. Is there a way to switch the head of household after it’s been established? I manage all of our accounts but realized that my partner is listed as the head from when we set it up a few years ago.

    thanks!

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