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Get 2,200 On Business points with BA’s new SME credit card

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In 2019, American Express lanunched a new British Airways credit card for SME’s – the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card (“BA Amex Business” for short!). 

The good news is that, irrespective of what other American Express products you have, you will receive the sign-up bonus on BA Amex Business if you spend £3,000 on the card within three months.

The sign-up bonus is worth 2,200 points in the British Airways On Business loyalty programme.  Your day to day spending on the card earns Avios.

You can apply on the American Express website here.

This article was updated on 2nd November 2020, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

What Avios SME credit cards are out there?

There are four credit or charge cards which allow you to earn Avios from spending by your small business.   These are:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

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

American Express Business Platinum has a generous bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points.  You qualify for the bonus as long as you haven’t had any personal or business Platinum, Gold or Green Amex cards in the past six months.  You can apply here.

There is also American Express Business Gold.  This offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points. This card is FREE for the first year.  You can apply here.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards is your ONLY option for earning Avios from a business Visa or Mastercard. Learn more about Capital On Tap here.

In this article I want to look at British Airways Accelerating Business American Express, a card which lets you earn Avios and British Airways On Business points.  One selling point of this card is that EVERYONE qualifies for the sign-up bonus.

What is the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card?

The British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card (BA Amex Business) was launched in late 2019 as a new product for the small business market.

The good news is that, irrespective of what other American Express products you have, you will receive the sign-up bonus on BA Amex Business if you spend £3,000 on the card within three months.

Here’s the legal stuff

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Get 50% bonus On Business points on BA flights purchased with the card
  • Annual fee: £210

Representative 80.3% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £210 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 2,200 points sign-up bonus +

There are no restrictions on receiving the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Accelerating Business American Express credit card.

You will receive the bonus irrespective of what other business or personal American Express cards you hold.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The card comes with the typical American Express credit card benefits:

Up to 56 days to pay

Up to 99 FREE supplementary cards for your employees

Travel inconvenience cover (with higher payouts if you or your baggage is delayed on a British Airways flight)

Travel accident protection

Purchase protection

Refund protection

Remember that the annual fee would be tax deductible if you used the card exclusively for business purposes.

What is the sign-up bonus on the BA Accelerating Business credit card?

2,200 British Airways On Business points if you spend £3,000 within six months

What are On Business points?

On Business is the British Airways loyalty scheme for small businesses.  I summarise the key points further on, but to avoid cluttering this article, please read my full review of British Airways On Business here.

The key thing you need to remember is that you can earn BOTH Avios and On Business points when you fly with British Airways.

What is the earning rate on the BA Accelerating Business credit card?

There are two ways to earn points with the BA Amex Business card:

You earn 1.5 Avios for every £1 you spend, plus

You earn 50% more On Business points for every £1 you spend with British Airways using the card.  For most small businesses, this means you will receive an extra 0.5 On Business points per £1, or 1.5 per £1 spent vs the standard 1 point per £1 spent.

Is there an annual spending bonus?

Yes.  You earn an annual bonus of 3,000 British Airways On Business points if you spend £20,000 in a card year.

Are there any other benefits?

You get typical American Express credit card benefits:

Up to 56 days to pay

Up to 99 FREE supplementary cards for your employees

Travel inconvenience cover (with higher payouts if you or your baggage is delayed on a British Airways flight)

Travel accident protection

Purchase protection

Refund protection

See this page of the American Express website for full details of these benefits.

British Airways Accelerating Business credit card

Does the BA Amex Business card charge FX fees?

Yes, 2.99% is added to all foreign currency transactions.

How does BA On Business work?

On Business is the British Airways loyalty scheme for small businesses.  Here is our full overview of British Airways On Business and how it works.  On Business points can be redeemed for flights in the same way that Avios can be used for flights, with a couple of key differences:

You can only redeem on BA, American Airlines and Iberia.  You do not have access to full oneworld reward inventory.

Reward availability is better than when using Avios. This, for me, is the main benefit of On Business and I NEVER spend them if Avios seats are available.  This doesn’t apply if you are a BAEC Gold member as the extra availability you get in Economy when using Avios seems to be better than what On Business offers.

There is no ‘Reward Flight Saver’ option with On Business.  This is not a major problem, however, as the actual taxes due are rarely substantially higher than the £35 ‘Reward Flight Saver’ cap.

Business Class flights are disproportionately expensive.  Using Avios, Business Class flights cost 2 x Economy for short-haul and 3 x Economy for long-haul.  With On Business, Business Class redemptions cost 5-6x the points of an Economy redemptions.

You cannot convert On Business points to Avios, or vice versa.

On Business points have a hard expiry of two years from the end of the year in which you earn them.  It is not possible to extend the expiry date.

Roughly … and this is very rough … I work on the basis that 1 On Business point has the same spending power as 4 Avios when used for Economy flights and 2 Avios when used for Club World flights.

I wrote a separate article – click here – explaining how British Airways On Business works in the context of what you can earn on this card.

Who can apply for the BA Accelerating Business credit card?

There are very few other requirements to get BA Amex Business.  To quote:

  • The business has a current UK Bank or Building Society account
  • You/The business have/has no County Court Judgements for non-payment of debt
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You have a permanent UK home address
  • You will pay the annual Cardmembership fee of £210

Basically ….. as long as you have a Business Bank Account, you should have no trouble meeting the other criteria.

Does BA Amex Business offer real value?

The British Airways Accelerating Business sign-up bonus:

Let’s look at the sign-up bonus first.  You will receive 2,200 On Business points if you spend £3,000 within three months.  This is ROUGHLY worth the equivalent of 9,000 Avios if used for Economy Class flights or 4,500 Avios if used for Business Class flights.

As an example, a flight to Hamburg using On Business points costs 2,200 points in Economy and 10,400 points in Club Europe, return.  The equivalent number of Avios would be 9,000 Avios for Economy and 18,000 Avios for Club Europe, and the taxes and charges would be lower due to Reward Flight Saver.

The British Airways Accelerating Business general earning rate:

1.5 Avios per £1 is clearly a generous earning rate.  It matches what you receive on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express personal card which has a similar annual fee.

The British Airways Accelerating Business BA flights earning rate:

For most companies, the extra 50% On Business points earned when booking British Airways flights on the card is worth 0.5 On Business points per £1.  This is roughly worth the equivalent of an extra one to two Avios per £1 spent, depending on how you redeem.

The British Airways Accelerating Business annual bonus:

3,000 bonus On Business points for spending £20,000 is the equivalent of, roughly, 12,000 Avios if used for Economy flights and 6,000 Avios if used for Business Class flights.

It is clearly far less valuable than the 2-4-1 voucher offered on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express personal card, which has a similar annual fee.

British Airways Accelerating Business credit card

Is the British Airways Accelerating Business card right for you?

For modest spenders ……

If you only spend modest sums on your SME credit card, the £210 annual fee for Accelerating Business is hard to justify.

Get American Express Business Gold instead.  It is free in the first year (vs £210 for the BA card) and £125 thereafter.  The earning rate is lower – 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent vs 1.5 Avios – but Membership Rewards points can be transferred to many different airline and hotel programmes, not just Avios.  There is no annual bonus on Business Gold.

For higher spenders or those with a lot of staff …..

If you would spend over £20,000 per year on the card, the British Airways Accelerating Business Card looks better.  You trigger the annual bonus and the difference in annual earning (1.5 Avios vs 1 Membership Rewards point) starts to outweigh the fee difference.

For clarity, American Express Business Gold is a charge card and you must repay your balance in full each month.  BA Accelerating Business is a credit card.

The ability to give 99 supplementary cards to employees means that, if you have a lot of high spending staff, you could earn a substantial number of Avios for yourself.

For companies whose suppliers don’t take American Express …..

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa has a lower fee (£99 per year), a better sign-up bonus (10,000 Avios) and is accepted in more places than an American Express.  The earning rate is lower, however, at 1 Avios per £1 spent.

Use promo code headforpoints when applying for Capital On Tap Business Rewards and you get an additional 500 points on top! Our Capital On Tap review explains more.

Conclusion

The British Airways Accelerating Business credit card doesn’t break any new ground unless your company has substantial spending with British Airways.

Lower spenders may find American Express Business Gold (no fee in year 1, transferable points) better.  Those whose suppliers do not take American Express may prefer the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa (£99 fee, 1 Avios per £1 spent).

For higher spenders, those who want 99 cards to give to employees or those with high British Airways spend, Accelerating Business is worth a look.

You can find full details, and apply, on the British Airways Accelerating Business website here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.