BA Household accounts seem like a good idea in principle but there are number of rules that mean they are not suitable for everyone. This article will look at what the benefits and problems may be with a BA Household Account.
What are BA Household accounts?
A Household Account is free to create, and means you can pool your Avios with up to six people who live with you, including children. This lets you make full use of the collective balance.
Setting up a Household Account
To set up a Household Account, you will first need to decide who will be the Head of the Household. This person must already be a member of the Executive Club and will need to complete the application. As Head of the Household Account you will receive all the communications about the account and will be the only person who can add or remove members or change the home address.
It doesn’t matter if the other members of your household are existing members. If they aren’t they can sign up as part of the Household Account application process.
How does it work?
Everyone in your Household Account will continue to collect Tier Points and Avios individually as they do now. The big difference is that they can also spend Avios taken from the pooled Household Account. You will see both your own Avios balance and the total household balance. The Avios are taken proportionally from each account and this for me was a major drawback. If you travel separately from your partner or family it means that they will be funding your travel as you can’t choose which account the Avios come from.
Once you have a Household Account, you can also create a list of 6 people known as your ‘family and friends’ list. This means that so you can spend your Household Avios on more people who don’t live at the same address as you.
Benefits and Drawbacks
- Your children can collect Avios when they travel, which you can use for your future travel
- You can pool your Avios to buy a ticket for no charge unlike transfers
- You can see the collective balance of the Household Avios allowing you to plan more easily
- Avios points collected will not be ‘pooled’ amongst members who are part of a Family and Friends list.
- You and your Household account Members can only redeem your Avios for members of the Household Account or the six people on your ‘Family and Friends’ list.
- New members may not be added or existing members removed more than once every six months. (You basically get 24 hours from the first change you make to make as many changes as you want before you then have to wait another six months)
- A Household Account can’t be dissolved or re-established more than once every six months.
- The people you add to your Friends and Family list must stay on it for 6 months
- You all still have to meet the 36 month Avios expiry criteria individually unless you have a gold or silver member who has met the criteria and is part of your Household. This may be a problem for children especially.
- When you redeem you have to take the Avios from all the Household accounts pro-rata. You can’t just use your own account individually.
- You can’t transfer Avios from Iberia to a Household account although you could transfer to Avios.com first and then across.
Avios Household accounts
I should also mention that you can set up a household account in the Avios.com program as well which works in a different way. I would not recommend this as it means you can’t transfer Avios between Avios.com, BA or Iberia programs in either direction using combine my Avios which is a major drawback. Also the points are totally merged so you can’t see what each individual has. You can’t redeem for anyone except those in the Household account.