The 7 Best UK Business Credit Cards for Airline Travel

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Owning a business, however big or small, will always require spending to keep the cogs turning, but what if you could get travel rewards for your expenses? A business credit card for airline travel allows you to do just that – cash in on your spending for airfares, hotel stays, and more. Finding the right one, however, can be a challenge. 

Travel credit cards turn purchases into points. Some cards, like flat-rate cards, offer fixed points for every pound spent, whereas others are tied to specific airline loyalty schemes and even hotel chains. General-purpose cards are more flexible, but so-called co-branded cards can offer bigger rewards but are only redeemable through specific brands. Where your business spends will dictate which rewards program will work best for you. 

We’ve compiled a list of the best business credit cards for airline travel to help you navigate all the options out there and find the perfect card for you and your business. Let’s get into it.  

The American Express® Business Platinum Card

The American Express® Business Platinum Card

The American Express Business Platinum Card is the best business credit card for airline travel on the market. With fixed spending rewards, worldwide access, and bonus perks, this card adjusts to your business’s needs. 

For every full £1 spent on the card, customers earn 1x membership reward points, and an additional point for every £1 spent on flights, hotels, car hire, and experiences purchased through American Express Travel. New card members will also receive a bonus of 40,000 membership rewards points when they spend £6,000 or more in the first three months of card membership.    

Users also have the flexibility to vary expenses from month to month with no pre-set spending limit. You will also receive one complimentary Business Platinum Employee Card and unlimited Business Gold Employee Cards to share the perks across your company. If you invite a friend and they’re approved, you can also earn 18,000 bonus reward points for your referral. 

Membership also gives you and your cardmember employees access to more than 1,200 lounges across 130 countries within The Global Lounge Collection, including The Centurion® Lounges. Other perks include hotel benefits with Fine Hotels and Resorts, higher tier hotel loyalty with Marriot Bonvoy, Hilton, Radisson Group, and Meliá Hotels, as well as car rental benefits with Avis and Hertz, and worldwide travel accident and inconvenience insurance. 

Representative APR: 15.74% – 23.74% APR variable 

Annual Fee: £595 annual fee

Cashflow Management: Up to 54 days

Credit Limit: No limit 

Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months then 16.24% to 26.24% variable for purchases 

The American Express® Business Gold Card

The American Express® Business Gold Card

It might have a lower annual fee, but the American Express Business Gold Card is a great option for businesses with higher expenses. The American Express Business Platinum Card is best for premium travel rewards and perks, but the Gold Card keeps cash flow flowing with big rewards on purchases.

Like the Platinum Card, members can receive 1x rewards points for every full £1 spent and 2x rewards points for every £1 spent on American Express Travel. However, cardmembers can also earn 50% more points on top of those already received when you spend £20,000 per quarter. That’s not just for your first quarter either. 

New members will automatically receive 20,000 bonus points for spending £3,000 in the first three months of card membership, the Gold Card also offers an extra 10,000 reward points for every quarter where your expenses reach or exceed £20,000. That’s enough for two business return flights from London to selected European destinations like Berlin and Milan, every year. 

You’ll also receive 9,000 reward points for every friend you invite, if they’re approved, with a maximum of 90,000 points a year. Better yet, there’s no annual fee for the first 12 months, no pre-set spending limit, and up to 54 days of interest-free payment period for every purchase. The Gold Card also comes with more than £500 per year in discounts with brands like Amazon, British Airways, Deliveroo, Airbnb, Paypal, and Nando’s. You can also claim up to 99 complimentary Business Gold Cards for your employees.    

Representative APR: 16.49% – 24.49% APR variable

Annual Fee: £175 after your first year 

Cashflow Management: Up to 54 days

Credit Limit: N/A

Purchase Rate: 0% for 12 months then 16.24% to 26.24% variable for purchases 

Barclays Premium Plus Business Credit Card

Barclays Premium Plus Business Credit Card

With the Barclays Premium Plus Business Credit Card, you can expect premium business rewards and travel perks with attractive rates, a low annual fee, cash flow, and control. The Premium Plus card is great for businesses who trade or make frequent trips overseas, but with a cap on rewards, it’s better for small teams. 

Instead of points as an ongoing reward, the card operates on a cashback basis, where you can receive 0.5% back on all eligible purchases made with the card. This doesn’t have to be with a specific brand, rather the “eligible spend” small print just means the purchases can’t include transfers, withdrawals, refunds, or interest. This reward is only valid for up to £400 a year, but you’ll also save 2% on all foreign exchange fees and receive 2% cashback on all spending with BT and EE, uncapped. 

Membership also acts as a Priority Pass to thousands of airport lounges. Members can claim two trips for free and additional visits at just £20 each. The card also comes with travel insurance and six-month interest-free purchases. Members can get five days of free access to Barclays’ Eagle Labs co-working spaces too – keeping business going wherever you are in the world.  

Representative APR: 49.4% APR variable 

Annual Fee: £150

Cashflow Management: Up to six months

Credit Limit: Assumed limit of £1,200

Purchase Rate: 14.9% variable for purchases

British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card

British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card

This British Airways Accelerating Business Card with American Express is the best co-branded business credit card for Avios. Avios is British Airways’ exclusive loyalty currency for Executive Club members. However, they’re eligible for spending with all the airlines under the BA group, including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar, and more. Wherever your business takes you, you could be in for big rewards.  

It might be tied to a specific loyalty scheme, but the British Airways Accelerating Business Card is one of the most dynamic co-branded cards on the market. Cardmembers earn 1.5x Avios for every £1 spent on all purchases, but double the points for purchases made with British Airways. 

Plus, there’s a tiered Avios bonus every calendar year. Cardmembers can receive 10,000 bonus points for every £20,000 spent, up to three times per year. Flexible cash flow management also means cardmembers have up to 56 days interest-free on purchases if you pay your balance in full, or the choice to pay over time with interest.

There’s also a 30,000 Avios bonus when you spend £5,000 in the first three months of card membership. That could get you two peak return flights from London to Barcelona, taxes, and fees not included. You’ll also be entitled to complimentary employee cards.

Representative APR: 98.7% APR variable 

Annual Fee: £250

Cashflow Management: Up to 56 days

Credit Limit: Assumed limit of £1,200

Purchase Rate: 23.3% variable for purchases

Lloyd Bank Business Credit Card

Lloyd Bank Business Credit Card

For businesses with lower expenses, the Lloyds Bank Business Credit Card comes with a host of key benefits. Backed by Mastercard, this card is accepted worldwide and has the lowest cash withdrawal fee of all the best business credit cards for airline travel on the market.

The card comes with a small annual fee of just £32 as well as a low representative APR variable, perfect for keeping those expenses down. It’s great for small team business travel because you can withdraw cash with just a 2.5% handling fee for Sterling transactions, and 2.95% for non-Sterling. Cardmembers also get 45 days of interest-free credit on all purchases when you pay on time, meaning you can hold on to your cash that little bit longer. You can also borrow up to £10,000 with flexible repayment options.  

There isn’t an ongoing bonus, but your purchases are protected against fraud – perfect for unexpected foreign expenses. 

Representative APR: 22.4% APR variable 

Annual Fee: £32

Cashflow Management: Up to 45 days

Credit Limit: Minimum credit limit of £1,000. Maximum credit limit of £10,000. 

Purchase Rate: 16.3% annual rate for purchases

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Credit Card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Credit Card

Capital On Tap’s Business Credit Card is one of the best for small businesses. With credit limits up to £150,000, uncapped 1% cashback, and no annual fee for basic members, you can keep your business moving without worrying about extra expenses. 

Members benefit from up to 56 days interest-free for purchases and you can claim unlimited complimentary cards for employees. Their easy-to-use app integrates accounting tools and they also have attractive rates as low as 9.9% APR. So why do we love this card for travel? Well, if you upgrade your membership and join Business Rewards you can redeem points for Avios to put towards airline expenses. 

Business Rewards members earn an extra 10,000 bonus points that can be redeemed for £100 cashback or 10,000 Avios when you spend £5,000 or more on your card in the first three months. All purchases can also be redeemed for either 1% cash back or Avios. 

With 10,000 Avios points or fewer, you could purchase an off-peak economy return flight from London to a number of destinations in Europe including Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Paris. Cardmembers also benefit from no foreign ATM charges to keep those hidden expenses down on your business trips overseas. 

Representative APR: 29.9% APR variable 

Annual Fee: £99 annual fee with Business Rewards 

Cashflow Management: Up to 56 days

Credit Limit: Minimum credit limit of £1,000. Maximum credit limit of £150,000

Purchase Rate: 26.4% variable for purchases

Amazon Business Prime American Express® Card 

Amazon Business Prime American Express® Card 

Another co-branded card from American Express, this Amazon Business Card is great for businesses who trade on Amazon or make a lot of purchases through the site and partner stores. With dynamic rewards, you can choose your benefit option from points to flexible payment terms. 

As a welcome offer, cardmembers receive a £100 Amazon.co.uk gift card to spend as you please. Members can also enjoy 2% Amazon Rewards on purchases with Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK, and Whole Foods Market UK, as well as 0.5% for every £1 elsewhere on your Amazon Business Card, including with travel providers and airlines. The other benefit option is to extend all payment terms by 90 days for purchases made with Amazon and Amazon Partners instead of rewards, to improve cash flow. You can decide your benefit as you go.  

Better yet, there’s only an annual fee if you spend less than £8,000 a year on purchases and this fee is just £50. The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card doesn’t come with any airline travel perks, but with flexible overseas withdrawals, and Amazon’s worldwide shipping and international rewards, it can be beneficial if your business is on the move. 

Representative APR: 33.8% APR variable 

Annual Fee: No annual fee if you spend £8,000 or more on purchases 

Cashflow Management: Up to 90 days (subject to conditions)

Credit Limit: Assumed limit of £1,200

Purchase Rate: 23.0% variable for purchases

Should I use a credit card or a debit card for my business travel expenses? 

Whether your personal debit card or business credit card is better for travel expenses, depends on a few factors, but we recommended having both cards to hand. Business rewards cards come with good benefits like no foreign transaction fees, cashback, and airline reward points. However, if you need to withdraw cash, your debit card could be better, even if there’s a small fee, as cash advances on credit cards can accumulate interest instantly. 

Do you lose Avios points if you don’t use them?

Avios points stay attached to your account as long as you spend, purchase, or earn at least one Avios every 36 months. If you take no action with your Avios points within this time frame, they will expire. However, if you want to keep earning and saving them, without spending, they won’t be removed unless you’re inactive for three years. 

How do I choose the best reward credit card for my business?

You should look at two main factors when choosing a business card, namely, how much you’ll earn after the annual fee and potential interest rates, as well as the type of rewards on offer. If you travel a lot, air miles and Avios points could be better than regular rewards, but if you’ll spend more on the annual fee than you’ll get in perks, then the card won’t serve your business. If you’re unsure about how a business credit card will benefit you, a business credit card with no annual fee, or a waived fee for the first 12 months, could be a good option to trial, even though they offer fewer perks.  

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Esmé is an English literature graduate and freelance writer. Originally from London, Esmé is lucky enough to call Bali home. Her travels have taken her from the far corners of the East to the islands of the Caribbean. When she's not writing, you'll find her lying on a beach somewhere, lost in a crime novel.