Would you like to double-dip in the American Airlines AAdvantage miles program? If so, join the American Airlines Business Extra program and earn extra points. It’s free!
In an effort to squeeze the most out of my travel budget, I always look for ways to earn extra miles and points. I do my best to take advantage of the opportunities for which I am eligible. As an example, last year, I linked my Delta SkyMiles and Lyft accounts. As a result, I now earn Delta SkyMiles when I ride with Lyft on both personal and business trips. Delta credits my SkyMiles account one mile per dollar I spend on Lyft rides.
Two years ago, I discovered the American Airlines Business Extra program. I have been enjoying the benefits of earning extra points to help lower my travel costs ever since.
What is the American Airlines Business Extra program?
This program is available to companies, with two employees or more, in the following countries: United States, Canada, Anguilla, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Mexico, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.
Companies with corporate agreements and earn discounts directly with American Airlines are not eligible to participate in this program.
“Business Extra helps reduce travel costs and gives more perks to the people that matter. It’s free to join and you’ll enjoy the benefits right away. Your employees earn AAdvantage® miles and your business earns points”American Airlines Business Extra Website
In a nutshell, the business earns points while its employees travel on American Airlines. The business can then redeem these points in a variety of options, discussed below.
How to Enroll in the American Airlines Business Extra Program?
The enrollment process is simple and straightforward. When you are ready, visit the American Airlines Business Extra website. To enroll, you must provide this information:
- Account information: You need to provide your company’s name, address, and Tax ID number.
- Travel Manager: You need to assign someone to be the travel manager for the account. You must provide a name and his/her AAdvantage number, job title, phone number and email address.
How was I able to join? Good question. I was able to enroll using this travel blog because it has a Tax ID number.
Three Facts about the P
Here are three main facts you should be aware of prior to enrolling:
- The company will earn 1 point for every $5 the employees spend on eligible fares, before taxes and fees.
- The base points post within two to three days after completed flights. This is actually a recent change to the program. In the past, it used to take months, which was frustrating, partly because it was challenging to keep track of which points matched up with which trips.
- Business Extra points the company accrues each month expire at the end of two calendar years after points were earned (December 31, 2021, for points earned this year).
How to Ensure you Earn Points?
You and your employees need to add the Business Extra account number to each reservation. This is easy if the account number is entered on your AAdvantage account. To do so, follow these steps:
- Log into your AAdvantage account.
- On the Account Summary page, click Edit Account, then select Reservation Preferences.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Booking preferences section, then enter the Business Extra® number in the field indicated on the screenshot below.
- Click Save
The number will then prepopulate each of your future reservations. However, you must be logged in to your AAdvantage account at the time you are booking a flight. Otherwise, you will have to manually enter the account number every time you book a flight.
How to use the American Airlines Business Extra Points?
You can use the American Airlines Business Extra points to:
- Book flights: To book flights using points, follow the redemption charts, which are broken up into geographical zones. In addition, there are two categories you need to observe: PlanAhead and AnyTime.
- Upgrades to business or first class: I find this option a bit restricting because it excludes certain discounted fares.
- Buy an AAdvantage Gold status: You need 3,200 points to gift someone gold status. I am not convinced that this is a good use of points in this program.
- Buy Admirals Club membership: You can buy a day pass for 300 points or a yearly subscription for 3,300 points. The day pass makes sense as a gift to employees. However, neither is a good option if I am spending the points on myself. I already have access to the AA Lounge through one of my credit cards.
Two Things to Remember
- You will pay the same number of points if you book a one-way ticket because the Business Extra flight award price is for a round trip.
- You will have to manage the expiration dates of your points. This is because each year’s points will expire two years after they are earned. On the other hand, the system makes it easy to identify how many points are expiring on which dates.
This is a great program for small businesses that have employees who travel regularly. If you are not taking advantage of it, you are leaving money on the table. Take the first step and enroll your business. Later, you can decide how to use the points to reward yourself and your employees.
This program is not unique to American Airlines. Other airlines have similar programs to reward small and medium-sized companies. For example, Delta has SkyBonus and United has PerksPlus. I chose to enroll in the American Airlines Business Extra program because AA is the airline I fly the most, if not exclusively.
So, what are you waiting for? If you have a small business, go ahead and enroll in the American Airlines Business Extra program and watch the points accumulate.