In 2019, American Express launched a new British Airways credit card for SME’s – the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card (“BA Amex Business” for short).
The card was not hugely successful, and in September 2021 it was relaunched. American Express added two features:
- the sign-up bonus became 60,000 Avios instead of 2,200 On Business points
- annual spend bonuses of 10,000 Avios were added for spending £20,000, £40,000 and £60,000 in a calendar year
The sign-up bonus of 60,000 Avios – which will be offered until at least 2nd November 2021 – means that you should take a very serious look at this card.
You can apply on the American Express website here.
This article was updated on 1st September 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:
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
60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
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
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 and its huge temporary bonus of 60,000 Avios.
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.
Here is the legal stuff:
Sign-up bonus and earnings rate:
- Get 60,000 Avios when you spend £5,000 within 90 days
- This is a limited time offer (deadline unknown)
- Earn 1.5 Avios per £1 spent
- Receive 10,000 bonus Avios for every £20,000 you spend each year, up to £60,000
- Get 1 bonus On Business point per £1 spent on BA flights
- Annual fee: £250
Representative 96.7% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £250 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.
You will qualify for the bonus as long as you have not held an American Express Business card, including Accelerating Business, Business Gold and Business Platinum, in the previous 12 months.
You need to spend £5,000 in 90 days to earn the bonus.
60,000 Avios will be available until at least 2nd November 2021. The card terms state that the offer can be removed without notice at any point after 2nd November.
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
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?
60,000 Avios if you spend £5,000 within six months.
This is a temporary offer to promote the relaunch of the card. It is guaranteed to remain until at least 2nd November 2021 but could be removed at any point after that.
Do you qualify for the sign-up bonus?
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 point 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 will receive:
- 10,000 Avios when you spend £20,000 in a calendar year, plus
- 10,000 Avios when you spend £40,000 in a calendar year, plus
- 10,000 Avios when you spend £60,000 in a calendar year
This means that heavy spenders would receive 30,000 bonus Avios for spending £60,000. This is on top of the 90,000 base Avios they would have earned at 1.5 Avios per £1.
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.
Does the BA Amex Business card charge FX fees?
Yes, 2.99% is added to all foreign currency transactions.
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 £250
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.
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.
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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.