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American revamps Business Extra program with new awards, strict account requirements

Oct. 05, 2021
3 min read
American revamps Business Extra program with new awards, strict account requirements
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Did you know that American Airlines doesn't just offer a loyalty program for individual travelers?

In addition to its AAdvantage program, the Fort Worth-based carrier also runs a loyalty program for small- and medium-size businesses, dubbed Business Extra. (If your business isn't yet a member of Business Extra, you can read all the details in our handy guide.)

On Tuesday, the airline unveiled some noteworthy changes to the Business Extra program, including new redemption options and stricter account requirements, through a program email sent to members.

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Perhaps the most exciting is that you can now convert your Business Extra points into AAdvantage miles. Effective immediately, you can send between 100 and 100,000 Business Extra points to your AAdvantage account. The transfer ratio is 6:1, and the miles will be posted immediately.

Whether this is a good deal depends on how you redeem your Business Extra points. TPG's go-to award is the BXP1 — a one-way, one-segment domestic upgrade — that costs 650 Business Extra points, which would now equate to 3,900 AAdvantage miles. If you can find upgrade availability, redeeming for BXP1s continues to be a great deal. (A domestic upgrade using AAdvantage miles for a discounted coach ticket would put you out 15,000 miles and $75.)

(Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines)

Of course, if you redeem for other awards, like a one-way domestic coach ticket, it could make sense to convert your Business Extra points into AAdvantage miles. That award costs 2,000 Business Extra points, which now convert into 12,000 AAdvantage miles. American often offers domestic AAdvantage rewards for lower than 12,000 miles, making for a lucrative transfer in this situation.

And if you have fewer than 650 Business Extra points with no plans to grow your account balance, then cashing them out for AAdvantage miles makes the most sense. You'll want to crunch the numbers before you convert since the process is final.

Related: Guide to earning and burning with American Airlines’ Business Extra program

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In addition to the new conversion offer, you can now redeem 6,600 Business Extra points for a year of American's mid-tier Platinum status. Previously, the airline only offered the ability to redeem for entry-level Gold status.

Finally, the airline is offering a new carbon emissions offset reward. You can use 300 Business Extra points for one carbon emissions tonnage offset through Cool Effect.

While the airline is adding redemption options, it's also clamping down on who can access the program.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, current members will be required to have three unique travelers and maintain $5,000 in qualifying Business Extra flight activity during the previous 12-month period to redeem points. This new policy will go into effect immediately for new members who join the program on Oct. 4, 2021, or later.

As for what's next, American writes that "we're continuing to evaluate the Business Extra program to provide members with more options, value and flexibility for their business travel."

Sole proprietors and other small businesses with minimal spending in the Business Extra program will want to redeem their points and cash out soon.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees