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Review: the British Airways Accelerating Business American Express credit card

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This is our review of the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card (BA Amex Business).  It is the only British Airways-branded credit card for SME’s.

BA Amex Business currently has a limited time sign-up bonus of 60,000 Avios if you spend £5,000 on the card within three months.

This article was updated on 1st October 2021, 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:

Our latest review of the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card (10,500 Avios sign-up bonus) is here.

Our latest review of American Express Business Platinum is here.  This card has a 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.  Our full review of Amex Business Gold is here.  This card is FREE for the first year.  You can apply here.

In this article I want to look at the British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card, a card which lets you earn Avios and British Airways On Business points. 

Review British Airways Accelerating Business credit card

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.

In September 2021 it was relaunched with new benefits. The sign-up bonus switched to Avios from On Business points and an Avios-based annual spend bonus was introduced.

Here’s the legal stuff

Application page:  you can apply and find further details on the BA Amex Business website here

Interest rate information: representative APR 96.7% variable, including the £250 annual fee, based on an assumed credit limit of £1200.  The interest rate on purchases is 22.2%.

There is an annual fee of £250, which is tax deductible.

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

You receive a huge bonus of 60,000 Avios when you spend £5,000 in your first three months.

To qualify for the bonus, you cannot have held any American Express Business card in the previous 12 months. This includes Accelerating Business, Business Platinum and Business Gold.

You are totally fine to receive the bonus if you hold a personal American Express card.

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 100% 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 1 On Business points per £1, ie 2 per £1 spent vs the standard 1 point per £1 spent.

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.

Is there an annual spending bonus?

Yes.  You can earn up to 30,000 Avios per calendar year as a spend bonus.

You receive 10,000 Avios for hitting £20,000 of qualifying spend with additional 10,000 Avios bonuses for hitting £40,000 and £60,000.

Note that, unlike most other American Express bonuses, this is based on calendar year and not card year spending.

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 On Business credit card

Does the BA Amex Business card charge FX fees?

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

What sort of business can apply for the BA Accelerating Business credit card?

There are very few 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 £250

If you do not currently have a British Airways On Business account, one will be opened for you when you apply for the card. The usual rule about having to be VAT registered is waived.

Does BA Amex Business offer real value?

The British Airways Accelerating Business sign-up bonus:

Frankly, it is a no-brainer whilst the sign-up bonus remains at 60,000 Avios.

You are receiving 60,000 Avios in return for an annual fee of £250. The fee itself is refundable pro-rata if you cancel during the year.

As long as you qualify for the bonus and are confident of spending £5,000 within three months, this is an outstanding deal.

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 an identical annual fee.

The British Airways Accelerating Business BA flights earning rate:

For most companies, the extra 100% On Business points earned when booking British Airways flights on the card is worth 1 On Business points per £1.  This is roughly worth the equivalent of an extra one to two Avios per £1 spent.

If you spend a substantial sum on British Airways flights each year, this adds real value to the card package.

The British Airways Accelerating Business annual spend bonus:

If you can spend £20,000 to £60,000 per year on the card, the annual spend bonus makes the card an excellent deal.

Spend £60,000, for example, and your annual earnings would be 120,000 Avios. This represents 90,000 base Avios at 1.5 Avios per £1 and 30,000 Avios from the annual spend bonus. In the first year, you would get an extra 60,000 Avios from the sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business credit card review

How does Accelerating Business compare with the alternatives?

Is BA Amex Business better than the American Express Business Gold Card?

For the first year, whilst the bonus remains at 60,000 Avios, Accelerating Business is clearly the best deal.

Longer term, modest spenders may find Business Gold more suitable. Business Gold is free in the first year (vs £250 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.

If you would spend over £20,000 per year on the card, however, the British Airways Accelerating Business Card looks better.  You trigger the first annual spend 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.

American Express Business Gold

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

Is BA Amex Business better than the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa?

For the first year, whilst the bonus remains at 60,000 Avios, Accelerating Business is clearly the best deal.

Longer term, the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa has a lower fee (£99 per year) and is accepted in more places than American Express.  The earning rate is lower, however, at 1 Avios per £1 spent.

Note that Capital On Tap does not accept sole traders. You must be a limited company or limited partnership to apply.

You can, of course, apply for both Capital On Tap Business Rewards and British Airways Accelerating Business. The Capital On Tap Visa will be useful wherever your American Express is not accepted.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

Conclusion

The September 2021 changes have massively improved the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card.

Let’s be clear. If you qualify for the sign-up bonus and can easily spend £5,000 within three months, you should apply whilst the sign-up bonus remains at 60,000 Avios.

Whether the card works for you long term will depend on how much you spend, given the ability to earn 30,000 Avios per year in annual spend bonuses.

There are reasons why American Express Business Gold (no fee in year 1, transferable points), Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa (£99 fee, 1 Avios per £1 spent, wider acceptance) or for one-man bands the personal British Airways Premium Plus American Express card (2-4-1 voucher, lower fee) may be better after the first year.

Accelerating Business may, of course, work for you long term and will certainly work for you in the first year given the bonus.  You can find full details, and apply, on the BA Amex 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 Card Offers’ 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.

Comments (2)

  • JD says:

    Does anyone who has this card know when the OB Points post after you’ve paid for a BA Flight? Is it only after the flight has taken place, ie at the same time as you receive the standard OB points?

  • Mark Janes says:

    Interesting option. Just a point of clarification; you don’t need to reach the VAT turnover threshold in order to be VAT registered. You can register any time. The threshold is the turnover level at which you MUST register. So you could have a turnover well below £85,000 and still have a VAT number which, I presume, would give you eligibility for the On Business account? (Or is it more the turnover, rather than the VAT registration, which is the determining factor?)

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