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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.

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (32)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • thesaver79 says:

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

    • Stuart McIntyre says:

      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”?

        • Rob says:

          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?

          • Alan says:

            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.

          • Rob says:

            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.

  • Henry C says:

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

  • Tom C says:

    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.

    • jonboy says:

      you can have an ob account and a bapp amex. I think you are getting mixed up with the ba corporate amex which gives you extra ob points on bookings.

    • Stuart McIntyre says:

      Yep, you can use OB with bookings made on any kind of credit card, including BAPP.

  • 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

    Any ideas?

  • jonboy says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • Andi says:

    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?

    • Andi says:

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

      • Rob says:

        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.

        • Alan says:

          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.

          • Rob says:

            You don’t earn OB points on kids tickets as I found out to my cost once. If price is the same book them as adults.

          • Alan says:

            Which doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable given it’s a business scheme 😉

  • Aliks says:

    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.

  • Aliks says:

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

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