A reader dropped me an email to tell me how a number of employees at his Mayfair investment fund had been ‘let go’ recently after it was found that they were stealing British Airways On Business points.
Is anyone stealing yours?
On Business is the British Airways loyalty scheme for small and medium sized businesses. The only criteria for joining is that you have a VAT number. I wrote a two-part On Business review here and here.
On Business allows a company to collect points every time one of its employees flies. The scheme works in a similar way to Avios, except that it is 100% revenue based on the earning side. The more you spend on a ticket, the more points you earn. These can be redeemed for free flights or upgrades.
The important thing to note is that you can earn BOTH On Business points and Avios on the same flight. Signing up for On Business does not impact the ability of your staff to collect Avios points.
But where are your points actually going?
If you or others in your company fly British Airways a lot, it is very likely that you have an On Business account. But do you know who actually benefits from it?
Would you know if a member of staff had secretly opened an account in the name of your company and was inserting the number into all of your bookings?
When I worked in Private Equity, we had a very clear system for distributing the points. At our Christmas party, the names of all the support staff were put into a hat and one drawn out. That person ‘won’ the entire On Business points pot for the year and could book whatever they wanted with it. It was a decent prize given the amount of travel we did, especially as this was before the last OB devaluation.
If you have never seen a big flight giveaway at your company, you might want to be suspicious. There is no easy way to check if there is an On Business number in a booking, because if one has been added via a GDS the option to add one will still show in ba.com in my experience – but if you put something in yourself it won’t override what is already there.
If you don’t think that your company is collecting On Business points, perhaps you should suggest they do. If nothing else, the free flights could be given away at Christmas or raffled off to raise money for charity. It is a shame to let them go to waste.
The sign-up page is here (click ‘Join On Business’ in the menu bar). If you are signing up, you will qualify for a special sign-up bonus of triple points for your first six one-way flights within 12 months of joining. If you say on your application form that you were referred by member OB10171896 then I receive a small referral points bonus – thank you.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 Avios.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.