American AIrlines Business Extraa: New Award Options and Program Restrictions

American Airlines has a small business program. It’s designed for companies that aren’t going to have corporate-level agreements with an airline that come with discounts or rebates. Instead they offer points redeemable for travel and services from the airline.

The good news is that even some of the smallest businesses can join and can ‘double dip’. The traveler earns frequent flyer miles as usual, and the company earns points in the separate Business Extra program on top. Other airlines have similar programs like Delta (Sky Bonus) and United (Perks Plus).

The program has two major changes:

  1. New award options that are very useful
  2. New restrictions on who can use the program

New redemption options they’re adding:

  • Conversion of Business Extra points into AAdvantage miles at a ratio of 1 to 6
  • Redemption for Platinum elite status for 6600 points (currently the program only allows for redemption to Gold at 3200 points)
  • Redemption for carbon offsets

The AAdvantage conversion ratio sees about right and totally reasonable. The addition of Platinum status is great, since it means confirming extra legroom coach seats at booking and lounge access on international trips.

Very few people actually buy carbon offsets, offering the option is mostly signaling.

Anyone with a business was able to join and double dip. Effective immediately for new accounts, you’ll need to have (3) unique travelers and $5000 in flight activity credited to the account during the previous 12 months to stay in the program. This will go into effect for existing accounts January 1, 2023.

The three traveler requirement isn’t hard to meet since a Business Extra account number can be added to anyone’s reservation and most elite members will meet the minimum spend requirement. Effectively they’re dropping solo travelers just using the program to double dip, and largely dormant accounts. Those folks will want to redeem their points before the end of 2022.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — I don’t follow how you can say that 1 to 6 is “about right and totally reasonable.” You must be looking at some secret new award chart. Domestic business roundtrip is 3,200 points or 50,000 miles. That’s a ratio of 1 to 16.667. My advice to everyone is cash in your BusinessExtrAA points ASAP, like NOW.

  2. I’m just glad they didn’t devalue the points. I’m 50 points away from a biz class ticket to Asia. I will get that cashed out ASAP.

  3. @Gene – Since it is a *choice* to convert this is about right, you can convert in 100 point -> 600 miles increments, I’m not saying you get good value by converting but it’s about the right place for them to have set this

  4. This might kill this angle for many but the redemption for miles is not bad overall. I had about 700 miles expiring on 12-31-21 ironically so just pulled the trigger now. I could see groups of folks forming an unofficial coop around this to meet the spend and activity requirements.

  5. I might add that I just redeemed points over to miles and it the transfer was instant it seems so that is a good thing.

  6. Love the option for awarding PLT to someone. Just cashed that in to give to my spouse until Jan 2023.

  7. FYI, as a (mostly) solo business who only occasionally hires others, my account was shut down in Sept, sitting on 4000 points I had not cashed in.

    Advice: Keep a low profile, especially when asking for missing credits.

  8. Thanks for the heads up. I used to love cashing in 3300 points every year for an annual AA lounge pass. Might have to pick up the fancy AA credit card now.

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