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I firmly believe that American Airlines’ Business Extra program is the most under-appreciated element of airline loyalty in the US. The program is incredibly simple to use, and the eligibility requirements are pretty generous so it’s easy to sign up.

The program is entirely separate from AAdvantage, so you can earn Business Extra points in addition to regular AA miles and elite-qualifying miles. In addition to promo offers like this one discussed here, you’ll earn 1 point per $5 spent on eligible flights operated by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia, and for flights on Finnair, JAL and Qantas when your ticket is issued by American Airlines.

Earn 500 Bonus Points for Taking a Survey

Buried in this month’s Business Extra account summary email is an offer that everyone should take advantage of. Through Aug. 31, 2018, you can earn 500 points for completing a quick (five-question) survey and attaching your Business Extra account number (separate from your AAdvantage number) at the end.

Business Extra routinely offers promotions like this where you can earn up to 500 miles, for registering a new account, qualifying flight activity or, in this case, taking a survey. Note that to get to the survey, you have to follow a link supplied within your account summary. I never read my monthly account statements and I’m very grateful that a friend pointed out this offer, as I’m sure many of us delete these emails without reading them.

Redeeming Business Extra Points

There are many different ways to redeem Business Extra points, ranging from elite status to free flights, upgrade certificates and Admirals Club day passes or memberships. One of the best redemption options is a “BXP1,” a one-segment domestic upgrade certificate. This costs 650 Business Extra points, meaning in addition to this promotion you’d have to spend $750 on eligible airfare.

While only certain fare classes are eligible to be upgraded, you can use this certificate on AA’s most premium domestic routes, like New York-JFK to Los Angeles (LAX). You can upgrade an economy ticket to business class, or a business-class ticket to first class on board AA’s A321T.

American Airlines’ A321T features a lie-flat first-class cabin

While a bit pricier, another great option is redeeming 3,100 points for a one-segment international upgrade. Make sure you check the eligible fare classes first, as “full fare upgrade” and “discounted fare upgrade” certificates cost different amounts.

Sure, 3,100 points is a lot to earn organically, as it requires over $15,000 in airfare spending. But if you’re a frequent business traveler or an Executive Platinum member with this kind of spending, the Business Extra program could give you the equivalent of one extra Systemwide Upgrade every year.

Bottom Line

This is a great promotion in terms of return on time, and another reason to pay attention to the Business Extra program if you don’t already. By stacking a few of these 500-point promotions together every year, it’s easy to walk away with high-value upgrades, lounge access or even AAdvantage Gold status.

Editor’s note: We’ve added a line to make it clearer that we can’t provide a link to the survey and that you can only access it via an offer in an email from AA with your account summary.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.