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British Airways On Business: How Businesses Can Earn & Redeem Points [2024]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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British Airways is one of the largest airlines in the world. Thanks to the deep-seated economic and financial powerhouse of London, the U.K.’s flag carrier enjoys an astonishing book of revenue, whether travelers are flying for leisure or on business.

In recent times, due to the pandemic, British Airways’ balance has tipped much more towards leisure travel, but most aviation experts agree that business travel to the U.K. will rebound.

If you’re a business owner with employees frequently flying on British Airways (and its partners, including on codeshare flights), then you’ll want to maximize your rewards by using On Business, British Airways’ corporate and business travel rewards program.

The Pros and Cons of British Airways On Business

British Airways On Business
Image Credit: British Airways On Business

At a high level, On Business is attractive because it allows travelers to participate in yet another rewards program, which means you can extract even more value on eligible flights than you would be able to without the program.

To be specific, you can earn Avios (associated with Executive Club) and On Business points simultaneously.

On Business appeals to small- and medium-sized businesses and rewards you for travel on British Airways (or its eligible partners).

You can use On Business points to book award travel or request flight upgrades, which can save you tens of thousands of dollars per year on flights. Currently, you can use On Business points for travel on American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia.

If you’re interested in using On Business but don’t want On Business points, you can elect to get flight discounts in lieu of On Business points.

On Business is also one of the few business loyalty programs with multiple tiers of elite status, which rewards big spenders even more.

It also offers a simple, online tool that you can use to stay on top of your budgeting, travel planning, and reporting.

How To Enroll in British Airways On Business

Business owners in the U.S. and Mexico are not eligible to enroll in On Business.

American Airlines has partnered with British Airways to offer U.S. and Mexico businesses a business rewards program through Business Extra (managed and operated by American Airlines).

Through AA’s Business Extra, you can get rewarded on British Airways flights, among other partners.

But if you are located in another participating country, have your company’s address and contact information, as well as a taxpayer identification number (VAT number in the U.K.), then you are eligible to earn On Business points.

You’re ineligible to enroll in On Business if:

  • Your company is a travel agency, ticket brokerage firm, or consolidator
  • Your company does not have a corporate incentive agreement with any On Business partner airline
  • Your company is located in the U.S. or Mexico

Enroll online by clicking the Join On Business button on the top ribbon of the On Business homepage. Follow the prompts, and you’ll have an On Business membership number in no time!

How To Earn British Airways On Business Points

To earn On Business points, all employees must enter the company’s membership number when booking an eligible flight.

You can also provide the membership number to your nominated travel agent who will then enter that number into your bookings.

You are eligible to earn On Business points on qualifying revenue flights aboard these major airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines (flights must be marketed by British Airways)
  • Qantas (flights must be marketed by British Airways)
  • Qatar Airways (flights must be marketed by British Airways)

You can also earn points on qualifying flights with BA CityFlyer, Air Nostrum, Comair, Sunair, and Iberia Express.

In fact, all published tickets numbers starting with 001 (ticketed by American Airlines), 125 (ticketed by British Airways), and 075 (Iberia) are eligible to earn points.

That means the following fares are not eligible to earn On Business points:

  • Reward flights
  • Group bookings
  • Agency or industry discounted tickets
  • Package bookings including a flight and car or flight and hotel
  • Any other fares that have already been discounted

For the vast majority of us, this means your flight can earn On Business points.

You’ll earn 1 On Business point per £1, €1, or $1 spent on airfare (excluding carrier-imposed surcharges, fuel surcharges, airport taxes, and other fees).

If your business is based in the U.K., you will earn 1 On Business point per £1 spent.

If your business is based in the EU or any other country that uses the euro as its official currency, you will earn 1 point per €1 spent.

In all other countries, you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (or the equivalent in local currency).

For example, if you’re a U.K. business owner who books a revenue ticket that costs £1,140 with £100 in airport taxes and fees, as well as £40 in fuel surcharges, your base fare is £1,000. Therefore, you’ll earn 1,000 On Business points.

Your On Business points should post within 14 days of completing your itinerary, but you can submit retroactive claims for flights up to 4 months after travel.

Hot Tip: To claim On Business points retroactively, you can log into your On Business account, click the Points and transactions button, click Claim missing points, and click Claim form.

You can also earn On Business points if you make purchases on the British Airways American Express® Corporate Card, British Airways American Express® Corporate Card Plus, or British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card.

Your On Business points will expire after the end of 2 full calendar years after accumulation.

So if you accrue 5,000 On Business points from a first class flight in March 2022, those points will expire at the end of December 2024, giving them a lifetime of almost 3 years.

How To Earn On Business Elite Status

There are 3 On Business elite status tiers:

  • Tier On1
  • Tier On2
  • Tier On3

Tier On1 is the base-level membership, which you will be a part of until you spend more than £17,999 on annual company travel.

If you spend between £18,000 and £299,999 per year on company travel, you’ll qualify for Tier On2.

If you spend more than £300,000 per year on company travel, you’ll qualify for Tier On3.

On Business Elite Benefits

The only benefit to these elite status tiers is how quickly you earn On Business points.

Tier On1 elites earn 1 point per £1 spent (base fare only), while Tier On2 elites earn 1.25 points per £1 spent. Lastly, Tier On3 elites earn 1.5 points per £1 spent.

For example, if you book a plane ticket with a base fare of £1,000 as a Tier On2 elite, you will earn 1,250 On Business points, which is a bonus of 250 points.

How To Redeem British Airways On Business Points

Currently, there are 3 ways to redeem On Business points:

  • Reward flights (available on American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia flights)
  • Flight upgrades (available on British Airways and Iberia flights)
  • Flight discounts

As soon as you’ve accumulated enough points for a reward, you can redeem those points. There’s no need to wait to meet eligibility criteria, though some other similar airlines have eligibility rules.

On Business points can be redeemed for company employees, employees’ family members, or consultants/contractors (if the consultant/contractor is directly contracted to the On Business company).

British Airways On Business Award Chart

Unfortunately, British Airways does not publish an award chart.

To figure out how much a reward flight or upgrade will cost, you’ll need to log into your On Business account, go to your Dashboard, and scroll down to the Points calculator. It looks like this:

Points Calculator BA On Business
Image Credit: British Airways

The price you’ll pay depends on the cabin class and route you’re flying. You’ll have access to a greater swath of award availability than if you were to book a redemption flight with British Airways Avios.

Whenever you redeem On Business points for reward flights, you must pay for all taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges, including fuel surcharges.

You can redeem your points for reward flights up to 1 day before travel, but all changes to dates and times must be done at least 24 hours before the first departure flight in the itinerary to avoid fees.

All that being said, let’s get into our favorite ways to use On Business points!

The 11 Best Ways To Use Your British Airways On Business Points

Arguably, the most exciting aspect of loyalty programs or rewards points is when you finally get to use them!

In this next section, we’ll walk you through all of our favorite ways you can use On Business points!

1. Upgrade a British Airways Premium Economy Flight to Business From London to Singapore (18,000 Points)

British Airways A350 1000 Club Suites review LAS LHR seat 8K at boarding
British Airways New Club Suites. Image Credit: Ryan Smith

One of the highest-value ways to use your On Business points is on an upgrade from premium economy to business on popular routes.

One such example is the long-haul flight from London-Heathrow (LHR) to Singapore (SIN).

Premium economy fares usually hover around $1,000 to $1,500 per ticket, and that price has pesky fuel surcharges baked into it.

On the flipside, business class fares often knock on the door of $4,000 to $5,000 each.

With 18,000 On Business points, you can upgrade this flight and get upwards of $2,000 to $3,000 in value!

Here is the exact redemption we’re talking about:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Singapore (SIN) upgraded one-way to business class for 18,000 points (~$2,000 cash value)

2. Upgrade a British Airways Premium Economy Flight to Business From London to Western Africa (11,000 Points)

43 British Airways Boeing 747 Club World Business Class Seat 63B 64A
British Airways Club World Business Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Another great opportunity to redeem On Business points is for upgrades on flights between London and Western Africa.

Although economy tickets are generally a bit more affordable, business class tickets are pricey, especially on nonstop flights.

With just 11,000 points, you can get up to $2,000 of redemption value. That’s because premium economy tickets cost as little as $1,000, while business class tickets cost as much as $3,000!

Here are some great example redemptions to consider making:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Abuja (ABV) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 points (~$2,000 cash value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Accra (ACC) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 points (~$2,000 cash value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Lagos (LOS) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 points (~$2,000 cash value)

3. Upgrade a British Airways Premium Economy Flight to Business From London to Malé (17,000 Points)

Traveling to the Maldives, one of the world’s most coveted tropical destinations, is expensive. A major expense is flight costs.

If you’re a U.K. resident considering travel to the Maldives, you’ll often find egregious cash fares for business class tickets. And considering how these flights are around 10 hours long in each direction, it’s essential to be as comfortable as possible.

One of the best ways to reduce your out-of-pocket costs is to buy a premium economy ticket, which can then be upgraded using On Business points.

For this upgrade, it’ll be to the tune of 17,000 On Business points per person one-way.

At a minimum, one-way premium economy tickets start at $1,800, while business class tickets start at $3,500.

That means you’ll get a redemption value of $1,700 with 17,000 points! Here’s the route we’re talking about:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Malé (MLE) upgraded one-way to business class for 17,000 On Business points (~$1,700 cash value)

4. Upgrade a British Airways Premium Economy Flight to Business From London to the Middle East (From 5,500 Points)

The Middle East is a completely different world, but it’s much more accessible to Europeans than those in the Americas.

With as few as 5,500 On Business points, you can upgrade a premium economy ticket to business class.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Bahrain (BAH) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 On Business points (~$1,300 cash value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Dubai (DXB) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 On Business points (~$1,000 cash value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Kuwait City (KWI) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 On Business points (~$1,600 cash value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Riyadh (RUH) upgraded one-way to business class for 11,000 On Business points (~$900 cash value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Tel Aviv (TLV) upgraded one-way to business class for 5,500 On Business points (~$400 cash value)

5. Upgrade a British Airways Business Class Flight to First to Los Angeles (17,000 Points)

British Airways First Class
British Airways First Class. Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways offers surprisingly reasonable first class tickets on round-trip itineraries between London and the U.S.

In general, business class tickets are not much cheaper than first class tickets on round-trip itineraries, with the exception of 1 route.

First class tickets between Los Angeles and London are consistently expensive, much more so than business class tickets.

For this reason, you can get fantastic value by upgrading a British Airways business class flight to first class on tickets between London-Heathrow (LHR) and Los Angeles (LAX).

Here’s what we have in mind:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Los Angeles (LAX) upgraded one-way from business class to first class for 17,000 On Business points (~$2,300 value)

6. Upgrade a British Airways Premium Economy Flight to Business From London to the Caribbean (From 13,000 Points)

Dreaming about a beach getaway? With On Business points, you can get superb value on upgrades from premium economy to business.

These start at around 13,000 points for one-way upgrades.

Here are some high-value upgrades to think about:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Antigua (ANU) upgraded one-way from premium economy to business class for 13,000 On Business points (~$1,400 value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Punta Cana (PUJ) upgraded one-way from premium economy to business class for 13,000 On Business points (~$1,000 value)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Saint Lucia (UVF) upgraded one-way from premium economy to business class for 13,000 On Business points (~$1,500 value)

Bottom Line: Flight upgrades, specifically premium economy-to-business upgrades, are the best way to get outsized value from On Business points.

7. Book a British Airways First Class Flight From London to Chile (41,000 Points)

Currently, British Airways charges an arm and a leg for first class flights to South America.

Get massive redemption value when you redeem On Business points for first class flights. Here’s the best route currently available:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Santiago (SCL) one-way in British Airways first class for 41,000 On Business points + ~$578 in taxes and fees (~$12,000 value)

That’s a whopping redemption value of almost 30 cents per point!

8. Book a British Airways First Class Flight From the U.S. to London (From 34,000 Points)

Another great way to book first class flights on British Airways using On Business points is on flights between London and the U.S.

Although you’ll get solid redemption value from any U.S. city, here are a few top picks:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in British Airways first class for 39,000 On Business points + ~$730 in taxes and fees (~$5,000 to ~$12,000 value)
  • Miami (MIA) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in British Airways first class for 34,000 On Business points + ~$730 in taxes and fees (~$5,000 to ~$12,000 value)
  • New York City (JFK) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in British Airways first class for 34,000 On Business points + ~$730 in taxes and fees (~$5,000 to ~$12,000 value)

9. Book a British Airways Business Class Flight From London to the Maldives (29,000 Points)

Traveling to the Maldives? Get a business class flight from London to Malé for 29,000 On Business points!

Instead of upgrading, you can redeem more points for a flight award ticket.

Here’s the itinerary we’re referring to:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Malé (MLE) one-way in British Airways business class for 29,000 On Business points + ~$577 in taxes and fees (~$3,000 cash value)

10. Book a British Airways Business Class Flight From London to Las Vegas (29,000 Points)

Did you know that British Airways flies nonstop to Sin City? Make the most of this nonstop service by using On Business points for a redemption booking from London to Las Vegas.

You can get business class for just 29,000 points one-way. Here’s the redemption we’re talking about:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Las Vegas (LAS) one-way in British Airways business class for 29,000 On Business points + ~$681 in taxes and fees (~$1,500 to $2,000 cash value)

Hot Tip: Be sure to give a close read to our guide of British Airways’s nonstop routes to the U.S.!

11. Fly Intra-Europe on Flights With Pricey Economy Fares

British Airways economy
Image Credit: British Airways

The very last high-value On Business redemption is for intra-Europe flights in economy class.

Sure, these flights are often very short. But if you’re flying to popular destinations or places with very few nonstop flights, you’ll be shocked at how expensive simple economy tickets can get.

Here are a handful of examples:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Dubrovnik (DBV) one-way in British Airways economy class for 1,900 On Business points + ~$50 in taxes and fees (cash value ~$100)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Figari (FSC) one-way in British Airways economy class for 1,600 On Business points + ~$50 in taxes and fees (cash value ~$450)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Mykonos (JMK) one-way in British Airways economy class for 2,000 On Business points + ~$50 in taxes and fees (cash value ~$125)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Santorini (JTR) one-way in British Airways economy class for 2,000 On Business points + ~$50 in taxes and fees (cash value ~$150)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Split (SPU) one-way in British Airways economy class for 1,600 On Business points + ~$50 in taxes and fees (cash value ~$100)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Zakynthos (ZTH) one-way in British Airways economy class for 1,900 On Business points + ~$50 in taxes and fees (cash value ~$300)

Final Thoughts

All in all, the main value in On Business points seems to be in flight upgrades.

Because the vast majority of British Airways flights come with enormous taxes and fees for outright redemption flights, you can absorb a lot of the costs by booking deeply discounted tickets that have low fares and high fuel surcharges, applying your On Business points for upgrades, and netting high redemption value out of the whole transaction.

That said, using On Business points for award travel is not a bad deal either.

You can earn up to 1.5 points per dollar/pound/euro spent with On Business elite status on various British Airways flights and partner-operated flights.

Base members, though, will earn 1 point per dollar/pound/euro spent.

If you have a company with serious travel on British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia, or select codeshares, your On Business points will rack up quickly!

Now, you have all you need to make the most of British Airways On Business!

The information regarding British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BA’s business program?

BA’s business program is British Airways On Business. This program for SMEs (small to medium enterprises) allows companies to earn rewards on any business or corporate travel.

This is in addition to British Airways Avios, which are tied to the Executive Club program, so you can earn Avios and On Business points on your flights!

How does British Airways cater to business travelers?

One of the many ways British Airways caters to business travelers is through its On Business loyalty program, which was specifically designed for companies that frequently use British Airways for corporate travel.

How do I add my On Business number to BA?

You can add your On Business number to BA by entering it into the personal details section whenever you are booking your flight. If you log into your On Business account through On Business’ homepage, your profile should automatically be populated with your membership number when booking flights.

How do you use On Business points?

You can use your On Business points online by logging into your On Business account. There, you can redeem points for flights or upgrades.

How do you get On Business points?

You can earn On Business points by bookings flights on American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, or select partner flights marketed by British Airways (Japan Airlines, Qantas, and Qatar Airways).

You can also earn On Business points on BA CityFlyer, Air Nostrum, Comair, Sunair, and Iberia Express.

Simply enter your On Business points when booking your travel.

All tickets starting with 001, 125, or 075 are eligible for On Business accrual.

However, certain fares, such as reward flights and group bookings are ineligible.

What is a BA On Business number?

A BA On Business number will have the format OB12345678. This number is used to earn On Business points on your company’s On Business loyalty program account.

Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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