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What is the best Avios business credit card?

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What is the best Avios business credit card?

American Express has reopened the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card to new applicants. You can apply here.

This is an attractive card. The sign-up bonus is 30,000 Avios and, as long as you have some sort of small business (a ‘buy to let’ should be OK, or any side hustle) you qualify for it, even if you have a personal British Airways American Express card.

With the Accelerating Business card back on the market, I thought it was worth running through the card options for small business owners.

Best Avios business credit card

What Avios business 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 American Express Business Platinum is here.  This card has a bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points.  These convert to 40,000 Avios. 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 13 months.  You can apply here.

There is also American Express Business Gold.  This offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points, convertible to 20,000 Avios, which is impressive for a ‘free for a year’ card.  Our full review of Amex Business Gold is here.  You can apply here.

Why we are not looking at Business Platinum or Business Gold

I am NOT looking at American Express Business Platinum or American Express Business Gold in this article.

There are good reasons for getting these cards, primarily for the very attractive sign-up bonuses on offer. Head for Points staff have American Express Business Platinum cards, so we clearly value them.

However, purely in terms of the annual fees and the Avios earning rate, Business Platinum and Business Gold are beaten by the two cards below.

The reasons to go for American Express Business Platinum or Business Gold would be:

  • because you value the extra benefits offeredAmerican Express Business Platinum includes airport lounge access, £200 of annual Amex Travel credit, £150 of annual Dell credit, £300 of annual Indeed credit, free The Times and Sunday Times subscription, travel insurance etc
  • because you value TRANSFERABLE points – as well as converting your points to Avios at a rate of 1 Avios per £1 spent, American Express has many other airline and hotel partners. If you are not totally committed to earning travel rewards via Avios, American Express Membership Rewards points allow you to keep your options open until you are ready to book.

If this sounds of interest to you, click below for our latest reviews:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

If you definitely want to collect Avios points, however, the two cards below are more rewarding for your business:

The two dedicated business credit cards for earning Avios

Option 1: Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card

The Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa card looks like this:

Earn Avios with Capital On Tap

You can apply, and find full details, on this page of the Capital on Tap website.  As the website explains when you click through, if you apply via our HfP landing page you receive a higher bonus which transfers to 10,500 Avios.

Your interest rate is based on your business profile and can be as low as 1.19% per month.  The representative interest rate for marketing purposes is 34.3% APR variable.

Here are the headline details:

  • Annual fee: £99
  • Sign-up bonus: 10,000 Capital on Tap points, worth £100 cashback or 10,000 Avios, if you spend £5,000 within 90 days
  • Earning rate:  1p cashback or 1 Avios per £1 spent
  • Annual spending bonuses: None
  • Foreign exchange fee:  None – this is the only Avios-earning credit card, personal or business, which does not charge foreign exchange fees when used abroad

It is also worth mentioning that Capital on Tap has virtually instantaneous transfers of points into Avios.  They reach your British Airways Executive Club account as soon as you’ve completed a transfer from your Capital on Tap account. There is no risk of missing out on that reward seat.

On top of these benefits, as a cardholder you would also get:

  • Unlimited cards for your staff, for free
  • A credit facility of up to £250,000
  • Up to 42 days to pay before interest is incurred on card purchases when you repay in full
  • No UK ATM fees
  • Accounting integrations with Sage, QuickBooks, Xero and more

If you are a UK limited company or limited partnership with turnover of £24,000+ then you should be eligible. Unfortunately, sole traders are not eligible.

Applicants must not have a CCJ against themselves or their business in the past 12 months.

You can apply for the Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card here.

Best Avios business credit card

Option 2: British Airways American Express Accelerating Business credit card

This funky looking card launched in September 2019, and relaunched in November 2023 after a six month hiatus.

You can apply, and find full details, on this page of the Amex website.

The annual fee is £250. The annual fee is refundable pro-rata although Amex has made noises about removing this option in late 2024. Nothing is confirmed at the moment.

The representative APR is 108.4% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 28.5% variable.

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

You receive an impressive bonus of 30,000 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. For clarity, this includes the personal British Airways American Express cards – you will still get the bonus on BA Accelerating Business if you have a personal BA Amex.

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

There are two ways to earn points with the BA Accelerating 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 the British Airways On Business programme 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.

British Airways On Business credit card

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.

Doing the maths, if you spent exactly £20,000, £40,000 or £60,000 in a calender year, you would average 2 Avios per £1 on your spending. This is an excellent return.

Are there any other benefits?

You get typical American Express credit card benefits:

  • Up to 56 days to pay
  • Up to 20 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

One negative point is that 2.99% is added to all foreign currency transactions as an FX fee.

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

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

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

  • The business has a current UK Bank or Building Society account
  • 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.

Best Avios Business credit card

Which Avios credit card is best for your business?

As usual, it isn’t as simple as that.  British Airways American Express Accelerating Business and Capital on Tap Business Rewards are not entirely comparable.

Let’s look at four key factors:

  • Capital on Tap Business Rewards is a Visa.  British Airways American Express Accelerating Business is, well, an Amex.  There is a substantial difference in the acceptance rate of Amex vs Visa in the B2B sector.  Even if you get the BA Accelerating Business card, it won’t be accepted everywhere.
  • Capital on Tap Business Rewards has no FX fees.  BA Accelerating Business has a 2.99% FX fee.  If you spend a lot of money outside the UK, this is a key differentiator.
  • BA Accelerating Business has a higher Avios earning rate. Capital on Tap earns 1 Avios per £1 spent, whilst BA Accelerating Business earns 1.5 Avios per £1 spent, with additional bonuses if you hit £20,000, £40,000 and £60,000 of annual spend.
  • Capital on Tap Business Rewards is only available to limited companies and limited liability partnerships, whilst BA Accelerating Business is available to sole traders. If you’re a sole trader, you don’t have much of a choice in which card you pick.

In general …..

  • Small spenders may do better with Capital on Tap, larger spenders may do better with BA Accelerating Business – Capital on Tap may have a lower Avios earning rate but the annual fee is substantially lower (£99 vs £250)
  • Those with lots of overseas spend may do better with Capital on Tap due to the 0% FX fee, whilst those with mainly UK spend may do better with BA Accelerating Business
  • Those with lots of suppliers who do not take Amex may do better with Capital on Tap, those with a lot of Amex-friendly spend (hello, heavy Google Adwords and Facebook advertisers) may do better with BA Accelerating Business
  • Those with substantial British Airways spend may do better with BA Accelerating Business due to the bonus On Business points given on BA flight bookings

However …. why not get both?

You can, of course, apply for BOTH cards. This may be the best option.

You won’t necessarily end up keeping both of them for the long term. However, as both Capital on Tap Business Rewards and British Airways American Express Accelerating Business come with generous sign-up bonuses, you won’t lose out in the short term.

You can apply for the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card here.

You can apply for the Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa here.  You MUST apply via that special HfP link to get the additional 500 Avios bonus, for a total bonus of 10,500 Avios.

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. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (18)

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

  • kt74 says:

    I love my CoT card, I really do, but those described benefits are wrong:
    1. Interest-free period was recently chopped to 5 business days after statement – which can be “up to 42 days”, provided your statement falls on Good Friday, or it can be as little as 5 days…
    2. I mean, sure there is no fee for using ATMs as such, but it does accrue interest at the usual APRs, so it’s not “free” unless you pay it off INSTANTLY…

  • M3 says:

    Can you contact Amex to switch from Business Gold to Accelerating? Or do you need to apply and then cancel?

    • Peter K says:

      Completely different products so would require a new application for the BA Accelerating card

  • Freddy says:

    £250 is a bit of a hefty fee with limited benefit. At least the business gold offers £100 of dell

  • AV says:

    Hi Rob when you say the ‘business’ needs a current bank or BS account for the BA Acc Bus card, do you mean a business bank account as opposed to a personal bank account? Think someone with a side hustle might not always have a business bank account. Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Personal bank account has always been acceptable for Bus Gold / Bus Plat if you say you’re a sole trader.

    • david says:

      Tide will give you one in a heartbeat. I put Ebayer.

  • No longer Entitled says:

    Are you sure your employer giving you a gift card does attract BIK? I think there are additional reporting requirements for the company and potentially to the individual depending upon the amount but I’m not an accountant so could be barking up the wrong tree.

    • kt74 says:

      £50 6x a year in vouchers = trivial benefit, and nothing needs to be declared either way. Also, for now, Avios – how do you even value them? 45% of nothing is nothing, etc etc

      • Rob says:

        The Inland Revenue puts zero value on frequent flyer miles. This is confirmed on their website.

  • James says:

    Apologies if this has been asked before but are you able to refer someone to the Amex Accelerating Business card from a personal Amex? I can see in the referral hub that you I can to the Business Platinum & Business Gold? (I want to refer from a personal Gold in this case).

    • Rob says:

      No, can’t be done. Use our link for good karma 🙂

      • James says:

        Many thanks for your help Rob. Thought as much but didn’t want to miss something. Will certainly use your link, could do with some good karma!

  • Talay says:

    This is my “go to” card at the moment as the earnings rate outstrips the BAPP due to the bonus at £20/40/60k which is a handy 30k Avios.

    Maximum benefits come at a spend of £60k which gives you 120k Avios offsetting £250 against adding 90k Avios to the BAPP.

    I can’t see where I would transfer MR points except into Avios and achieve better value so I don’t have the Platinum card and I ditched Centurion years ago when fees got stupidly high.

    You can have 99 employee cards which is useful but beware one thing. I have a large BAPP credit limit but they gave me a rather small limit here and unlike other cards, they cannot reapportion your limit.

    This means I am having to pay down the balance intra month which is hardly a chore but not ideal.

  • Brian says:

    So you say you can get additional cards for staff….

    I have a small business but no need for staff CCards. Just to clarify is it the business applying so you can only get the avios points once or is that per card issued if it hits the qualifying spend? I’d just consider doing it as me and my partner (the other Director) so would be useful to bag 60k points

    • Rob says:

      You don’t need to issue cards to staff – and sole traders don’t have staff anyway in most cases.

      Legally it is you who is applying, not the business. The decision to accept you is based on your personal credit report, not the company, and you are personally liable for the debt.

      Totally fine for two people to apply separately who jointly run the same company.

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

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