The Guide to British Airways Household Accounts
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The Household Account with British Airways is the system for sharing your British Airways Avios as a family and booking tickets for one another. Plus, it’s the only way to accrue Avios for your children. Household Accounts have a few quirks, so be sure you know how to set one up correctly and start using your Avios as a family without jeopardising any Avios.
What Is a BA Household Account?
A British Airways Household Account allows you to share your Avios with up to six people living at your residential address in a combined pool of Avios. There is no requirement to be related or show any proof of relationship, but you do need to have the same addresses on your British Airways Executive Club accounts.
It is not a shared account because everyone linked on the account maintains their own Executive Club membership, including Avios, Tier Points and status with separate membership numbers.
When you log into the BA website, you will see your personal stash of Avios plus your Household Avios pool that you can draw from (if over 18 years old). You cannot share Tier Points or Executive Club status. When you earn Avios, the miles go into your personal balance and are shown in the shared Household Avios pool.
Creating a Household Account
The person who creates the Household Account is named as the ‘Head of Household’ by British Airways and the only person who can add or remove people from a Household Account. It is free and straightforward to create.
A Few Rules
Each individual within the Household Account must be active within 36 months to retain their personally earned Avios (and, therefore, the Avios added to the Household pool of Avios). The Head of Household can only change the address on the account or make changes to the Household account once every six months, including cancelling the account.
Adding Adults to Household Account
In order to add an adult to your Household Account, you need to add the adult’s last name and Executive Club number. If he or she is not already a BAEC member, it’s time to sign up. The application can be rejected if the person does not consent to be added.
Once they accept your invite email, they are added to your Household Account.
Adding Your Kids (So They Can Earn Avios and You Can Spend Them)
You have to add your children to a Household Account in order to earn Avios for them on British Airways. Your Household Account must exist before you add your children, and your child needs to be signed up for an Executive Club number and do so with an email. Meaning you can get them a separate email address if you haven’t already or you can use your own for one child.
While children can be issued an Executive Club number from birth, they do not accrue Avios until after they travel in their own seat and can only have an account as part of a Household Account. It is the only way to earn Avios for them.
How the Avios Are Redeemed From the Household Avios Account
There’s a bit of maths involved when working out how British Airways will redeem Avios from a shared Household Account. An Avios ticket is redeemed from a Household Account based on the existing balances in each member’s account on a pro rata basis. If we have a 60,000 Avios family redemption, it pulls from each of our three individual accounts earning miles (as my baby’s account doesn’t earn Avios yet) based on our balances at the time. BA uses this methodology, rather than deducting 20,000 each.
If our account balances were 200,000 Avios in my account, 80,000 Avios in my husband’s and 20,000 Avios in my older son’s, then a 60k redemption would take 30,000 from my account, 24,000 from my husband’s account and 6,000 from my son’s account.
Drawbacks to a Household Account
Some frequent flyers do not like the Household Account, and even add their children to another family member’s Household Account rather than their own to maintain full control over their Avios pool. Additionally, if you buy reward tickets for many different other people, it can be restrictive. While a non-linked Executive Club member can buy an Avios ticket for anyone, once you open a Household Account you are restricted to how many people you can buy flights for. Only those in your Household plus on your ‘Friends and Family’ list (five additional people — no sharing of Avios).
It can be a bit sticky to transfer Avios from Iberia Plus to anyone with a British Airways Household Account, as it is not possible directly. The workaround is to use Avios.com as an intermediary step in the transfer.
Any way to make redeeming and viewing all Avios in a single location is welcome to most families — especially being able to use your childrens’ Avios to redeem on family trips. However, Household Accounts aren’t for everyone. Be sure to fully understand the terms and conditions of a Household Account before enrolling.
Featured photo by Patrick T. Fallon/The Points Guy.
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