Is it easier to use On Business Points or Avios for British Airways flights?

Nov 16, 2019

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This story has been paid for by American Express, but the opinions are those of the author and TPG. This is one way TPG continues to provide our readers with free news and advice about travel.

We’ve been delving into On Business, British Airways’ programme for businesses following the launch of new The British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card From American Express U.K. which is the first credit card that allows you to earn both On Business Points and Avios at the same time.

TPG U.K. values On Business Points at three times the value of Avios, meaning they are the single most valuable points currency you can currently collect in the U.K. While rates for using On Business Points for seats or upgrades differ from rates using Avios, one of the reasons we value On Business Points so highly is because it is easier to use them for seats on British Airways.

How much easier? Let’s have a look at some examples from our searches last month for popular business routes.

From London to Los Angeles on a specific day in October shows no ordinary availability when using Avios:

Meanwhile, searching via the On Business programme reveals several seats available, including an astonishing seven seats in first class on the same flight.

Let’s try the same date from London to Dubai using Avios:

And the same date using On Business Points:

When seats are available without the red “two left” listed above the fare class, this means there are a large number of seats available — usually at least nine.

Let’s try Tel Aviv (TLV):

And using On Business Points on the same day there are three seats in Club World available:

I would think the single-hardest BA route to use Avios on would be all the way to Sydney, so let’s try that for a date in October. As expected, there are no reward seats using Avios, given they are booked within hours of being released, a year in advance:

Let’s see if the results are any different using On Business Points:

While it is only one seat, it is very rare to see any seats on this route available to be booked with points.

Bottom line

These are only a select number of sample searches we performed last month, and availability between the two programmes may be wildly different on other routes and dates, given British Airways’ huge global route network. We can’t put an exact science on the differences we have found, but would be comfortable to say that in our experience, especially in premium classes (Club World and first), availability using On Business Points is significantly better than using Avios. Their ease for you to use when and how you want makes them a very valuable points currency to earn and redeem to reduce your business expenses.

The card currently comes with a welcome bonus of 2,200 On Business Points after spending £3,000 or more on purchases on the card within the first three months. Representative Example: APR 81.6% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 22.9% p.a. variable. There’s an annual fee of £210.

You can read our full review of British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card and can apply for this card here.

Featured image by Ben Smithson / The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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