New AAdvantage Business Program Makes Citi Card Must-Have

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American Airlines is replacing its small business program, Business ExtrAA, and the new AAdvantage Business.

This new program isn’t as rewarding for companies but is more rewarding for travelers.

  • Companies earn AAdvantage miles – the same currency as consumers
  • Consumers earn an extra loyalty point for crediting their travel to an AAdvantage Business account (as well as to their own mileage account)

Crucially, the program integrates and incentivizes getting the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® [See rates and fees]

Base earn in AAdvantage Business is one mile per dollar spent on travel, while CitiBusiness AAdvantage cardholders earn an additional two miles per dollar spent on travel credited to that account. That makes the card a must-have.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has no annual fee the first year. Getting the card doesn’t add to 5/24. You can have this card even if you have a Citi or Barclays consumer card, and even if you already have a Barclays AAdvantage small business card. And anecdotally I’ve found the card easy to get, with readers reporting great success.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. I was booted off the old program because of not enough employees. I think they are strict now on the number of employees, this just waives the spend, not the minimum number of employees (I think it’s 5).

  2. @ Gary — How is this a “must have” when this earns 3 LP per dollar, while the Citi Executive Cards earns 4 LP per dollar?

  3. Oh good, I like another use of AA in a program name. I’ve been entertained this year by Air Wisconsin (usually) flight attendants pronouncing AAdvantage like “A-Advantage” or “ah-ah-vantage.”

    I can’t wait for a clerk at a Hampton Inn to pronounce HHonors. Probably sounds like my cat coughing up a hairball.

  4. “ Base earn in AAdvantage Business is one mile per dollar spent on travel, while CitiBusiness AAdvantage cardholders earn an additional two miles per dollar spent on travel credited to that account. That makes the card a must-have.”

    I don’t think this is correct. I am interpreting the chart’s Citi card row to just show the miles earned from putting AA spend on the card (2x miles on AA flights)

  5. @Pete, thanks for posting that, as I had the same interpretation as Gary. Reading through all of the materials, it seems clear to me as well that the additional miles/LPs referenced are just what you would get from the card itself, not as an additional bonus within the Business program. There are many other AA cards with the same or better reward structure, so unless you need the credit card to qualify for the Business program in the first place, there’s no other benefit to holding it.

    And I think that’s what @Gene was referring to, although he quoted LPs incorrectly. If you join the program and use your Executive card to buy tickets instead of the business card, you can replace that last section with 4 RDMs/1 LP (2 more RDMs per dollar than what the business card offers).

  6. My reading of this is that if you have the card (or meet the minimum requirements/spend), the traveler gets 1 extra LP/$ and the business gets 1 mile/$.

    The last part is only if you charge it to the card, which most of us probably will not.

  7. @ Gary — Details, details! Did not realize that, so you are correct that the business card is an excellent tool to have. Why does the chart say “NEW carmembers”? Is this a temporary thing?

  8. 1. It’s only for new cardholders for now, it will take up to a year for it to roll out to existing cardholders.

    2. It’s not a bonus 2 miles and 1 LP per dollar, those are the regular 2 miles and 1 LP per dollar for AA purchases on the card.

  9. @Gene – Here’s the clarification: “The waived requirements only apply to cards opened on or after October 16, 2023. The existing card members are welcome to join AAdvantage Business, but will be treated as normal program members upon enrollment until their card benefits are updated next year.”

  10. @Dan #2 is not accurate.

    Here is what I asked in confirming my understanding with American Airlines:

    “[F]or avoidance of doubt, when the new benefits kick in (whether for cards opened on or after October 16, or when benefits are updated next year), earning in AAdvantage Business is faster for cardmembers. This is not just adding up the points you earn in the cardmember’s AAdvantage account from spend on the card plus points in the AAdvantage Business account?

    That is, cardmembers will earn faster in an AAdvantage Business account than non-cardmembers, right?”

    And American confirmed: “Correct!”

  11. Gary, I have several questions:

    1: So is a Sole Proprietor business eligible for this program? I am self employed amd do not have any full time employees.

    2: So “if” I got this citi card and the joined the new AA Business program: Would I in fact earn additional LP’s? I already have Citi Platinum and Executive cards.

    3: I wonder if Barclay’s closing out new applicants for its business card recently had anything to do with the launch of this program? It appears Luke they are rethinking the card (ie: adding new features/benefits and probably increasing the AF). Maybe they will also have the same waiver that Citi has??? On another side not of this, is Barclay’s even staying with AA? They had 5 cards and now only ONE is available for new applicants. Very odd….

  12. The biggest downgrade to this program is that a travel manager can no longer book on behalf of employees. Nor can they book multiple passengers on a single PNR. This is a big fail.

  13. I was wrong about the above. The travel manager CAN book on behalf of others, just not multiple employees in a single PNR.

  14. @Benjamin G

    1) No. You MUST have at least 5 employees who fly in order to qualify for this program; there is no waiving this requirement. Not only are sole proprietors excluded, but also any small business that doesn’t have at least 5 employees actively flying each year.

  15. How do I transfer miles to the travel manager who is sole proprietor? I can’t seem to be able to even if I add a dummy email as a second traveler.. are the miles just stuck w the business account until
    I can get to meaningful volume (and can’t be transferred to personal AA numeric?)

  16. Last summer, I was denied when I applied for the Citi Premier card, my first denial from any bank in years. Online scuttlebutt was that I hadn’t spent much on my only other Citi card, the Double Cash. Accordingly, I pretty much stopped spending on the Double Cash.

    Are approval odds really better with this Citi card? I have high credit lines and high spend with Chase and Amex.

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