Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Your guide to the BA ‘On Business’ small business loyalty programme (Part 2)

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In 2021, American Express relaunched the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Credit Card. This is the dedicated British Airways credit card for sole traders and small businesses.

The card is now massively improved. The sign up bonus, which used to be paid in On Business points is now paid in Avios.

You receive 30,000 Avios when you spend £5,000 in the first three months. You qualify for the bonus as long as you haven’t had any American Express Business cards in the past 12 months.

You can find out more about the card, and apply, here.

British Airways On Business promo code

As this card created interest in the British Airways On Business loyalty programme for small businesses, I wanted to run through it again this week. Part 1 of our British Airways On Business review is here. Part 2 is below.

How to join On Business

The On Business sign-up page is here.  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 you receive 1,500 bonus On Business points after crediting your first flight.  (And so do I, so thank you.)

Redeeming On Business Points for upgrades

Today I want to look at whether it is worth redeeming for flight upgrades, and how to earn more points with credit and charge cards.

The reward chart for upgrading flights using On Business Points is not published, but there are some examples below.  

British Airways tickets issued by travel agents can be upgraded with On Business Points, as can American Airlines and Iberia flights in certain scenarios.

Upgrades are potentially more attractive than outright redemptions which I discussed in Part 1 of our On Business review.  Almost all Economy tickets can now be upgraded with On Business Points.  ALL Club World seats are upgradeable.

Upgrades start at 5,000 On Business Points long-haul for World Traveller to World Traveller Plus, from 10,500 for World Traveller Plus to Club World and from 7,000 On Business Points for Club World to First.   These are one-way prices.  Remember that On Business availability is better than Avios availability so you have a decent chance of being able to upgrade if you wish.

As an example:

  • Hamburg – Euro Traveller to Club Europe – 4,100 On Business Points each way
  • Dubai – World Traveller to World Traveller Plus – 6,000 On Business Points each way
  • New York – World Traveller Plus to Club World – 13,000 On Business Points each way
  • Tokyo – Club World to First Class – 10,000 On Business Points each way

These prices are generous for First Class upgrades and this may be the sweet spot of the entire programme.

british airways accelerating business credit card

Boosting your Avios and On Business Points with a credit card

There are two ways of earning On Business Points via credit card spend.  Following the launch of the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card, there is now an option for smaller businesses.

Earning Points with the BA Amex Business Card:

American Express launched the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Credit Card in 2019. In September 2021 it received an impressive overhaul and now comes with a sign up bonus of 30,000 Avios.

You can receive the 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus on this card even if you have a personal British Airways American Express Card. The only rule is that you have not had another American Express Business Card in the previous 12 months.

In summary:

  • You get 30,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus when you make £5,000 of qualifying spend within 90 days
  • You earn 1.5 Avios per £1 spent
  • You earn 10,000 bonus Avios when you spend £20,000, £40,000 and £60,000 in a calendar year, up to 30,000 Avios in total.
  • You earn one bonus On Business Point for every £1 spent on qualifying British Airways flight purchases when you pay for them using the card

We assume that 1 On Business Point is worth 4 Avios (I discussed why in Part 1 of this BA On Business review) and 1 Avios is worth 1p which is our HfP valuation. This means you are getting back an extra 4% of your British Airways expenditure from the additional 1 On Business Point per £1 spent.

You can apply here.

British Airways On Business review

Earning points with a Corporate Charge Card:

If you have a large (ie multi-million £ turnover) company, American Express used to offer two British Airways Corporate Charge Cards.

These cards appear to have been removed from the market during 2023. I’m not sure if this is a temporary move linked to the issues with the On Business programme website.

The earn rate on the Corporate Cards was identical to the personal British Airways Amex Cards: 1 Avios per £1 spent on the Classic Card and 1.5 Avios per £1 spent or 3 Avios per £1 with British Airways on the Corporate Plus Card.

The Corporate Plus Card also had an annual bonus of 2,500 On Business Points when you spend £25,000 or more a year.


If you run your own business, you should have a British Airways On Business account and be earning On Business Points alongside Avios.

You may never earn enough points for a long haul business class flight due to the expiration policy, but a couple of free (taxes and charges apply) short haul flights are always worth having.

If you are a member of On Business, you should take a serious look at the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Credit Card given the generous sign-up bonus of 30,000 Avios. You can apply here.

Comments (11)

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

  • E says:

    If I have On Business points expiring in December, can I just make a booking in December with the points but can travel in, say, May next year? Or do I have to have both outbound and return flights completed in December by the time the points expire? Not sure if it’s different to using Avios for this.

    • Rob says:

      I think you just need to book but you can test this in 2 minutes online ….

    • Lady London says:

      It’s book by not travel by.
      If you have a ticket bought with OB points but the points would have expired if you hadn’t bought the ticket, if you cancel the ticket the points are gone.

      However you can change the date, but not the route, of an existing valid ticket even if it was bought with OB points that would have now expired, so long as the ticket is valid and you haven’t flown (I’m not sure about part flown).

      I struggled to use my OB points as being an SME selling vaporware I had relatively low spend so could just about earn enough to manage 2 short hauls a year.

      So 2 years running, close to points expiry I would buy a ticket for each of my 2 regularly used routes for a flight on the last day of ticket validity, then during the year as soon as I had a date to travel the route I would just bring the date forward.

      You pay real taxes and not RFS flat rate taxes on OB tickets and so often it was more cost effective not to use them for legs departing the UK.

  • Katy says:

    Thanks Rob, do you know if there is a tool to search for upgrade availability for these?

    • Rob says:

      No, you need to do it via the website based on a fixed date search. The upgrades come out of On Business reward availability, which is far better than Avios availability.

  • James says:

    If you are, say, a contractor with a Ltd company, who never needs flights for business purposes but does for personal travel, can you put these flights through the on business programme?

    • Rob says:

      Totally fine. I’ve never heard of anyone having issues, although clearly if every single trip that goes through is for 4 people to Orlando then you would be top of the list for any investigation.

    • Lady London says:


  • Daniel says:

    Any data points on whether you can use a GUF1/GUF2 with OB points redemptions?

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

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