British Airways Lowers Cost of Transferring Avios Between Accounts


A widely known but often-forgotten feature of British Airways Avios is that you can transfer Avios directly between accounts, albeit for a fee. Prior to now, the cost of the transfer was prohibitive, as you’d have to pay up to £175 ($215 USD) for the privilege of transferring points to another member.

In a welcome turn of events, the transfer fee has decreased to a flat rate of £15 ($20 USD), which is a huge decrease of up to 91%. Indeed, this could change the way you handle Avios between accounts in your household. 

With Avios points transfers now being within the realm of reason, it’s also worth taking a look at when you might want to use a household account for a redemption, and when you might want to directly transfer your Avios over to another account.

British Airways Avios Transfer Fee Decreases

Prior to the change, the cost to transfer Avios between members was as follows:

Avios Transferred












Now, you’ll pay a flat fee of £15 ($20 USD) to transfer up to 27,000 Avios to another account, which is a massive discount to what it was before.

Keep in mind that while you can transfer up to 162,000 Avios per year out of a single account, the maximum you can send per year to any particular recipient is 27,000 Avios.

In other words, you can make up to six transfers of 27,000 Avios per year, but you can only send up to 27,000 Avios to a single account per calendar year. 

The cost for the transfer is the same whether you transfer 1,000 Avios or 27,000 Avios. Therefore, if you plan to take advantage of this, you’ll get the best value out of transferring more Avios. 

Keep in mind that you’ll be charged in pounds, euro, or U.S. dollars, depending on the address on your account. With the current exchange rates, the best deal is with pounds, but you’ll still only save a few dollars this way.

Other aspects of Avios points transfers to note are that they must be done in increments of 1,000, and the limits reset every calendar year.

Oddly enough, British Airways didn’t make a major announcement about these changes despite them being wholly positive. It goes to show that no-notice changes aren’t always devaluations.

Note that British Airways Gold members and higher can continue to enjoy cost-free Avios transfers with the same restrictions as outlined above.

Household Account vs. Transferring Avios

Transferring British Airways Avios between accounts just didn’t make sense prior to now, given both the limitations in the number of Avios that could be transferred and the associated cost.

It was never worth paying £175 ($215 USD) to transfer 27,000 Avios from a friend or family member when you could simply enter a household account and share the Avios for free.

When to Keep Avios within a Household Account

British Airways’s household account is an excellent feature of the program, and works similarly to Aeroplan’s Family Sharing.

With Avios household accounts, you can have up to seven individuals who share the same address added to a single household account, and each member can access all the household’s Avios for a redemption. When anyone makes a booking, Avios are deducted proportionately from each balance, depending on how many Avios each individual has.

For some redemptions using British Airways Avios, it’s business as usual, since there haven’t been any changes to the household account feature. After all, there’s no point in paying to transfer points to another person if they’re already part of your household account. 

So, if you plan on booking a flight using British Airways Avios, perhaps within Europe, Australia, or Asia, then you won’t need to pay to transfer points between accounts. As long as there are enough points in the household account, you won’t need to transfer any points in.

However, if you’re looking to leverage the best sweet spot with Avios, the way the proportionate deductions work for redemptions could be a reason to choose to transfer 27,000 Avios rather than using a household account.

When to Transfer Points between Accounts

One of the best sweet spots with Avios is booking Qatar Airways Qsuites. Recall that ever since Qatar Airways joined the Avios loyalty program, it has been possible to move Avios from British Airways Avios to Qatar Airways Avios, and vice versa.

Since there are some advantages to booking Qsuites with Qatar Airways Avios over British Airways Avios, the best practice is to transfer Avios to your Qatar Airways account for the booking.

If you’re short on Qatar Airways Avios, you won’t have access to the Avios from other individuals in your British Airways household account. This means that in order to complete a Qsuites booking for which you are short on points, you’d need to somehow get enough Qatar Airways Avios to complete the booking.

Book Qatar Airways Qsuites using Avios

If you have points in other programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards, RBC Avion, or HSBC Rewards, you can simply top up your British Airways account this way, and then move them over to Qatar Airways Avios. However, if you don’t, then you might want to consider paying for a transfer.

In this case, you can choose to pay £15 ($20 USD) to transfer up to 27,000 Avios from other members directly into your British Airways account, in order to then transfer them to Qatar Airways Avios to make a booking.

For example, let’s suppose that a British Airways Avios household account has 100,000 Avios between two members, with 75,000 in one account and 25,000 in the other.

If one member is looking to book a flight with Qatar Airways Avios for 95,000 points, they wouldn’t be able to, since they could only transfer 75,000 of their own Avios into their Qatar Airways Avios account.

Instead, they could pay £15 ($20 USD) to transfer 20,000 British Airways Avios from the other family member’s account into their own, and then move them to Qatar Airways Avios to complete the booking.

Paying for an Avios transfer can also make sense if one of your family members or acquaintances have “orphaned” Avios. You can opt to pay a modest fee to have the points transferred to your account, thereby clearing out the “orphaned” account and bolstering your own balance.

What About Qatar Airways Household Accounts?

It’s important to note that Qatar Airways also has household accounts, but the rules are much more strict. You’re only allowed to have certain family members join a household account, and you have to upload legal documentation to prove the relationship and wait for that to be processed.

Depending on your circumstances, you could see other family members rejected from forming a family account due to birth certificates not being notarized in a translated language, a middle name not showing up on some document, or a multitude of other reasons.

In each of these cases, it’s much simpler to pay £15 ($20 USD) to transfer 27,000 British Airways Avios from a few other family members in order to build your Avios balance for a dream redemption.


British Airways has drastically decreased the fee to transfer Avios between members to a mere £15 ($20 USD). You can transfer up to 162,000 Avios per year, with a maximum of 27,000 Avios to any particular account.

At this price, it could make sense to pay to transfer Avios rather than simply forming a household account, especially if one member has a small Avios balance that other members of the household are trying to clear out.

Likewise, if you’re short on points for a Qatar Airways Qsuites redemption and you need some more Qatar Airways Avios, this represents an easy way to move British Airways Avios into your account, which you can then move to Qatar Airways Avios to complete the booking.

There are certainly easier ways to add Avios to your account, such as transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards, RBC Avion, or HSBC Rewards. However, if you don’t have access to any of these points, then paying a modest fee to transfer points from someone else’s account is a good fallback option.


1 Comment
  1. Rob

    Are there other partners where it would make sense to transfer points to? For example, if I want to fly within Canada or to the US from Canada, can I transfer BA points to Alaskan, Air Canada or WestJet?

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