Why British Airways On Business points are now worth a lot more

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On Business is the British Airways loyalty scheme for small businesses (PartnerPlusBenefit is the Star Alliance equivalent if you are based in the UK and Ireland.)

I wrote two long explanatory articles about British Airways On Business here and here.  In summary, if you own a registered company you can open an On Business account and ‘double dip’ on every flight.  The travellers still receive their Avios points whilst the company receives On Business points.

The best thing about On Business points is that availability is FAR better than you get with Avios points.  It is not as good as it used to be, but for redemptions at peak periods On Business can be a life saver.

The worst thing is that, for short haul redemptions, you had to pay the full taxes and charges.  This was usually around £120 on a return economy flight.  This meant it was crazy to redeem them on short-haul except at very peak times.

On Business

As I wrote in January, British Airways has removed fuel surcharges from short haul redemptions.   The reason you usually don’t see it when redeeming Avios points is that the landing and security charges still cost more than the £35 Reward Flight Saver fee in most cases.

For On Business redemptions, however, the removal of the fuel surcharge makes a BIG difference.

A typical Eurotraveller redemption between London and Hamburg (a route I book often) used to cost well over £100 in charges when booked using On Business points.  Today, it costs just £59.  That is still £24 more than you pay when redeeming Avios but availability is better.

Looking at Club Europe, On Business costs £72 versus £50 for a Reward Flight Saver.  The gap is down to a manageable £22.

If you had been sitting on your On Business points because you didn’t have enough for a long-haul redemption and because you were put off by the short-haul surcharges, take another look.  The value of On Business points has now jumped up, just as the value of your Avios points is falling.

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  1. thesaver79 says:

    I wish I could sign up for on business, but I’m the only employee of my own company!

    • You can definitely sign up if it’s your own company. The only limitation is that you must have two people travel with your OB account number in order to ‘initialise’ the account. There’s nothing to stop you using other adult family members or partners etc to get you up and running.

      • thesaver79 says:

        I didn’t know that… so the other people travelling don’t need to be employees? Can I retro-claim my trips and a friend’s trip and have the account “initialised”?

        • Check the terms and conditions which explain if retro claiming is possible. You can still earn unlimited points just from your travel, you only need to get another person flying before you can redeem so no rush to do that.

          • thesaver79 says:

            And just to confirm… that person doesn’t need to be an employee. Do you think an Avios redemption booking would be enough?

          • No, you don’t earn any OB points on Avios redemption bookings so I that wouldn’t count for activating the account as far as I’m aware.

          • The small print will tell you it does. But doesn’t your partner help you in your business?

            If the only thing you credit to your OB account is a flight to Orlando every August for a group of people who share a surname, they may get a bit suspicious over time. They are unlikely to trouble anyone else.

  2. And if you’re really naughty, you can scrape other people’s booking refs from Twitter and add your OB number to their booking 😉

  3. I was going to get one of these cards for my business, but it seems a far better deal to get the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, seeing that it would only be me accessing it. It’s the 2-4-1 that really makes it worth having.

  4. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    I’m having trouble finding a space to add my On Business number to an existing booking. The original articles state that you should be able to find a space under Manage My Booking, and I’m sure that’s where I normally go. However, I can only see spaces for BA Exc Club Avios and Avios.com.

    Any ideas?

  5. once entered the link disappears. are you sure you didn’t add it already?

    • Even more oddly, if there is already an OB number in a booking (say via your employer) the link still appears in MMB but whatever you enter does not override it.

    • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

      I can’t see it anywhere, however, I think it gets added automatically.

      Last year I booked travel for my wife who occasionally works for my company (really). She was travelling to Nigeria and Ghana on another job, but I couldn’t remove her OB details. I had booked her ticket along with that of (other) boss. Once they’d flown, I noticed that I was receiving benefit from his flight as well as hers. Next time I will split the tickets.

  6. i have several limited companies, i can register. My wife works for me on one company anyway and we’ll be flying together so that works. What can i book these flights with? my existing family BAEC points and vouchers?

    • …and i assume that being business, kids wont be welcome on a booking? Can i use 241?

      • What do you mean? You only earn On Business points for cash flights taken on British Airways. The points you earn can be redeemed for BA flights in any class. You cannot use a 241 and you cannot mix and match On Business points and Avios – unless, of course, you use On Business points to pay for one ticket and Avios to pay for a 2nd.

        • Ah, I read it as meaning it might flag things up to BA if claiming for OB credit on a flight flown by your children if very young, but that may have been a misreading! Can’t see any issues when redeeming.

  7. gnarlyoldgoatdude – If you sign up and need to add your OB number to existing bookings you need to scroll down on the Manage My Booking screen – there are hotlinks to various actions you can take including Add your OB account number.

    • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

      Aliks, that’s my point…there aren’t.
      I’m guessing that’s because it already has made the links automatically.

  8. Correction – you add your company account number not your own personal OB number

  9. Thechiefexecutive says:

    I signed my limited company up for On Business. There are sometimes glitches adding the number during booking, but if you phone the OB team will add the info. On flyer talk there is a post that suggests the scheme will see some ‘enhancements’ post April…..

  10. Any current promo codes for signing up to OnBusiness?

  11. You spoke too soon unfortunately, just received an email from BA saying they’re gutting the OnBusiness programme and moving it to a revenue based model!

    • Shocking gutting of the OB program…. But surprising?


      • From what I have read on BT, the good days of OB are over. 2x “F” one ways to SYD or 2x “F” returns to ME? Spend Spend Spend.

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