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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

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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Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases