Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Kellie Jez
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One of the more interesting offerings from American Airlines is a separate loyalty program, known as Business Extra, that exists alongside its standard AAdvantage frequent flyer program. This program allows you to earn rewards in addition to those you’d earn through AAdvantage.
If you’re a business owner who happens to travel frequently, or if you have employees who do, you’ll want to pay attention. We’re going to walk you through how to access Business Extra, how to earn miles quickly, and of course, the best ways to make the most of your Business Extra points.
If you use — or think you’d want to use — Business Extra at all, bookmark this guide, as later on, we’ll be showing you how to redeem your points for tons of value.
American Airlines Business Extra is the business-focused loyalty program offered by American Airlines. It caters to small and medium-sized businesses and offers the ability for companies to earn rewards for travel taken by employees.
Its sister loyalty program, American Airlines AAdvantage, is geared towards the larger travel demographic, including non-business travelers.
One particularly appealing feature of Business Extra is that you can earn points from flying with partner airlines, including British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines, and select Finnair and Qantas flights.
You can use Business Extra points for more than just flights, too. You can use them for upgrades, lounge memberships, and you can even convert them to AAdvantage miles!
However, we like the idea of racking up Business Extra points and AAdvantage miles on paid travel!
Businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria to register for Business Extra:
Although there’s no spending requirement for an account to remain active, Business Extra members must have at least $5,000 in qualifying flight activity during the previous 12-month period in order to redeem any points.
To register online, all you need to do is complete the online form.
You can earn Business Extra points by booking paid airfare on:
You’ll receive 1 Business Extra point for every $5 spent on airfare. If you’re familiar with any similar programs from competitors, you’ll notice this earning structure is much simpler as there are no accrual levels, fare classes, or routing factors that can increase or decrease the points you’ll accumulate.
If your physical address is in Bermuda, the Caribbean, Central America, or South America, you’ll earn 2.5 points for every $10 of flown revenue.
One unique perk is that fuel surcharges and other carrier-imposed surcharges will count towards mileage accrual, but airport taxes and fees will not.
Business Extra points post to your account within 2 to 3 days after a flight has finished, and your points will expire at the end of 2 calendar years after they’re earned. Any Business Extra points earned in 2022 will expire on December 31, 2024. And any points earned are deposited into the business’ account — there are no “individual” Business Extra accounts.
Specifically, you’ll earn 4 Business Extra points per $20 spent on base airfare, which translates to an earning ratio of 1 point per $5 spent. Additionally, you’ll receive a 6% rebate on the first $1.5 million on flown eligible American Airlines airfares purchased every year.
Redeeming Business Extra points is easy — all you need to do is log in to your online account and choose your redemption there.
Keep in mind that you can redeem Business Extra points for anybody, including yourself, your employees, and everybody else.
As a reminder, you can redeem Business Extra points for:
We find that the best way to redeem Business Extra points is for upgrades and airfare. Sure, you can convert your points to AAdvantage miles at a 1:6 ratio and then book award travel, but this method may limit the value you’ll receive from Business Extra.
Airfare is separated into 2 buckets:
You can also book partner airfare on British Airways, Iberia, and Japan Airlines. Tickets on these partners start at 3,000 points and do have blackout dates.
Upgrades are priced and separated based on the routing and the type of fare booked (full fare versus discounted fare).
Once you redeem your points, you’ll receive a certificate that’s valid for travel up to a year from the date of issuing. These certificates cover travel within a specific region as opposed to a defined route. They can be redeemed for travel up to 330 days in advance.
There are currently 2 ways to make your redemption:
If you’ve redeemed your points but haven’t ticketed any reservations, you can reinstate your points without a fee. If you’ve already ticketed your award, you’ll want to call 800-457-7072 to reinstate your award.
American Airlines offers the ability to redeem Business Extra points for:
Here’s the award chart for American Airlines-operated flights:
|Reward Type||Cabin Class||Points Cost|
|Within North America, Excluding U.S. Transcontinental|
|Business/First (2-cabin aircraft)||3,200|
|Business/First (2-cabin aircraft)||8,000|
|Within North America, Including U.S. Transcontinental|
|Between North America and Hawaii|
|Between North America and the Caribbean|
|Between North America and Central or South America Zone 1|
|Between North America and South America Zone 2|
|Between North America and Europe|
|Between North America and Japan or China or South Korea|
|Between North America and South Pacific|
As you can see in the chart, PlanAhead certificates are indeed cheaper but are subject to blackout dates. PlanAhead award availability corresponds directly to SAAver-level or Web Special-level availability. Conversely, the more expensive Anytime certificates are pricier but have no blackout dates and therefore offer greater flexibility to flyers.
If you’re interested in redeeming Business Extra points for partner-operated flights, you can currently do so on the following airlines:
Here’s the Business Extra award chart for partner-operated flights:
|Cabin Class||Points Cost|
|North America to/From Europe|
|North America to/From Africa|
|North America to/From Indian Subcontinent/Middle East|
|Central/South America Zone 1 to/From Europe|
|Central/South America Zone 1 to/From Africa|
|Central/South America Zone 1 to/From Indian Subcontinent/Middle East|
|South America Zone 2 to/From Europe|
|South America Zone 2 to/From Africa|
|South America Zone 2 to/From Indian Subcontinent/Middle East|
|Within the United Kingdom|
|Europe to/From Africa|
|Europe to/From Indian Subcontinent/Middle East|
|Europe to/From Asia|
|Europe to/From South Pacific|
|Japan to/From North America|
|Japan to/From Europe|
|Japan to/From South Pacific|
|Japan to/From Asia Zone 1|
|Japan to/From Asia Zone 2|
You can also redeem Business Extra points for upgrades on American Airlines and American Eagle flights. Here’s a look at the award chart for upgrades:
|Type of Upgrade||Points Cost|
|Within North America or Between North America and Hawaii or the Caribbean|
|Between North America and Europe, South America, Central America, Asia, or South Pacific|
|International One-way Upgrade on Full Fare**||1,200|
|International One-way Upgrade on Discounted Fare*||3,100|
*Flights with fare codes B, N, O, Q, and S are excluded
**J or Y fare codes are considered full-fare tickets
Here are the other ways you can redeem Business Extra points:
|Type of Reward||Points Cost|
|AAdvantage Gold Status||3,200|
|AAdvantage Platinum Status||6,600|
|Admirals Club Membership||3,300|
|Admirals Club 1-Day Pass||300|
|Carbon Emission Offset||300 points for 1 carbon emission tonnage offset|
|Convert to AAdvantage miles||1:6 ratio (minimum transfer amount is 100 points)|
So, now that you know all the ways to earn Business Extra points and understand what they can be used for, what are the best ways to use them once they hit your account? Stay right here, as we’re going to show you all of our favorite ways to get maximum value from your Business Extra points.
American Airlines has a handful of premium routes in the U.S. that boast lie-flat seats and elevated service, known specifically as Flagship Business and Flagship First.
These are usually offered on transcontinental flights within the U.S. You can often find relatively inexpensive Flagship Business fares but Flagship First is typically much pricier.
Flights with fare codes B, N, O, Q, and S are excluded. The upgrade fare codes are A for upgrades from business to first class and C for upgrades from economy to business class. Of note, these are the same fare classes as systemwide upgrades.
But if you find an inexpensive Flagship Business ticket (these can cost as little as $499 one-way), you can redeem 650 points for a one-segment upgrade to Flagship First (where tickets can exceed $3,000 one-way).
Here are some great ways to get some exceptional value from your Business Extra points:
Although not quite as stellar of a deal as upgrading transcontinental flights using Business Extra points, you can upgrade your long-haul flights using Business Extra points for excellent value, too.
Flexible travelers will find that round-trip business class airfare on American Airlines is often reasonably priced — but there are a handful of more expensive routes.
You can upgrade an economy ticket (discounted fares of B, N, O, Q, and S are ineligible) for 3,100 Business Extra points one-way. Here are some of the highest-value routes we could find:
When it comes to booking flights using points, one of the biggest frustrations is the absence of award availability.
However, through the Business Extra program, you can access American Airlines’ Anytime certificates on U.S. domestic flights without blackout dates for just 5,000 points. This gets you a round-trip Anytime certificate in economy class.
Whether you’re planning your trip around ski season, the Kentucky Derby, spring break, or any other peak travel period, you can use this certificate to get awesome value.
Here are some of the most valuable routes to book:
Is the Caribbean on your list? You can get excellent value for your airfare if you use a PlanAhead certificate. You’ll redeem 2,400 points for a round-trip economy class flight between North America and the Caribbean.
Although many of these itineraries involve connecting in a hub like Dallas (DFW) or Miami (MIA), you’ll get excellent value if your trip originates in smaller airports across the country. In doing so, expect to get a cash value of up to $1,500 round-trip.
Here are some ideas:
If you’re interested in flying business class, you can redeem 4,800 Business Extra points for a round-trip business class PlanAhead certificate.
Depending on how these are redeemed, you can get thousands of dollars in value! Here are some great example redemptions:
Hawaii is an ever-popular destination, and also has some of the highest ticket prices around — in fact, we’ve seen economy tickets in American Airlines economy go for as much as $3,000 round-trip! Save thousands of dollars on airfare by redeeming 7,500 Business Extra points for a round-trip Anytime certificate with no blackout dates in economy class.
Check out some of these great example routes to book:
You can redeem 5,400 Business Extra points to fly to Hawaii in style, though keep in mind that you’ll have to use a less-flexible PlanAhead voucher to do so. If you’re able to find availability that works for your schedule, you can get an amazing value as these tickets regularly sell for several thousand dollars.
Here are some fun routes you can book:
American Airlines deploys a few of its most premium aircraft on flights to London (LHR). These aircraft, the 4-class Boeing 777-300ER, boast a spacious Flagship First seat that can swivel 270 degrees!
And if you happen to find availability, you can redeem just 10,000 points for a PlanAhead certificate in first class to London. Considering that round-trip first class tickets retail for $10,000+, you can see the value proposition here.
Here are some of our favorite flights to book:
If you don’t need first class and prefer to save some points by booking business class, we support that, too!
You can redeem 7,200 Business Extra points for a round-trip PlanAhead certificate in business class to London. These tickets usually sell for around $4,000 to $5,000 round-trip.
Here are some examples of nonstop flights you can book:
Itching to go to Greece? You’re in luck — American flies nonstop to the nation’s capital, Athens.
You can redeem 7,200 Business Extra points for one of these round-trip business class certificates. Paid tickets in business class routinely sell for $8,000 to $10,000 round-trip.
Here are the nonstop routes you should be looking at:
American Airlines operates nonstop flights to 3 airports in Italy. You can redeem 7,200 Business Extra points for a PlanAhead certificate good for a round-trip business class flight. Depending on the exact route, you can get anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000 in cash value.
Check out our favorite routes:
American Airlines serves 2 of the largest airports in Spain — Barcelona (BCN) and Madrid (MAD) — with nonstop flights from the U.S.
You can redeem 7,200 Business Extra points for a round-trip business class PlanAhead certificate, and these tickets typically go for around $3,000 to $5,000 in cash.
Here are some of the routes you can book:
Business class tickets booked very close to departure can be astronomically expensive, but if you have Business Extra points, you can redeem 18,000 of them for an Anytime certificate for a round-trip flight.
As a reminder, there are no blackout dates with these certificates, which is very useful for business travelers. Here are some example routes you can book using this certificate:
You can cash in 7,200 Business Extra points for a round-trip PlanAhead certificate for a round-trip business class flight to Tokyo, Japan. Note, however, that American is currently offering a reduced schedule of flights to the Japanese capital due to ongoing travel restrictions in the country.
You can expect to see prices of about $4,000 to $6,000 on this route if you were to pay cash.
Here are some of our favorite routes to book:
Redeem 7,200 Business Extra points for a PlanAhead certificate valid for a round-trip business class ticket on American Airlines’ lone route to South Korea (at least for now). Paid flights on this route usually sell for about $6,500 to $7,000 round-trip.
Here’s what you can book:
Award availability on American Airlines to Australia and New Zealand at the Saver level is almost impossible to find. For this reason, having a PlanAhead certificate is almost useless.
That’s why we recommend redeeming 18,000 Business Extra points for a round-trip business class Anytime certificate, which has no blackout dates.
This could be a huge money saver because paid business class flights on these routes can cost upwards of $15,000 round-trip.
Here are 2 of the best routes to use these certificates on:
British Airways and American Airlines, despite being close partners, vie for market share in the very competitive U.S.-U.K. travel corridor.
In general, though, British Airways edges out American Airlines for its first class product, making it a good idea to choose BA first class over AA first class when given the choice.
The other added benefit of British Airways is that it connects London with many more cities than American does, understandable given its position as the flag carrier of the U.K.
For 20,000 Business Extra points, you can get a partner award certificate for round-trip first class between the U.S. and Europe with British Airways. Keep in mind that these first class tickets routinely sell for more than $10,000 round-trip.
Here are some of our favorite flights to book with this:
If you were interested in flying British Airways beyond the U.S., why not fly to the Maldives with a short layover in London? For 37,000 Business Extra points, you could fly in first class luxury for 20+ hours to one of the world’s most exclusive destinations. And, it represents an exceptional value, given that these tickets routinely sell for up to $20,000 round-trip.
Here are a few routes that are on our minds:
The last British Airways redemption we’ll discuss is for travel between London and the Middle East. Despite flights being around 6 to 8 hours in duration, these flights can easily cost several thousand dollars.
For this reason, we love the idea of redeeming 17,000 points for a partner British Airways award between London and the Middle East, good for round-trip first class travel.
Here are some great example routes to book:
Hot Tip: Iberia often sells discounted economy and business class tickets, which can reduce the value proposition of redeeming Business Extra points for flights on the Spanish flag carrier.
Japan Airlines is another airline that offers a well-rounded experience bookable with Business Extra points.
In particular, we like redeeming Business Extra points on Japan Airlines because nonstop business class flights on the Oneworld airline can be pricey, while partner-level availability can be plentiful.
With such an attractive value proposition, we encourage you to explore the idea of getting a round-trip business class certificate for travel on Japan Airlines by redeeming 18,000 points. You’ll get a cash value of $6,000 to $10,000 on a round-trip ticket.
Here are example routes to think about:
Japan Airlines flights between Japan and Europe are also very expensive. These flights are generally limited to international gateways, but getting one of these flights means 10 to 12 hours of comfort in the sky.
You can redeem 18,000 Business Extra points for a round-trip partner award on Japan Airlines in business class. Some of these tickets retail for up to $8,000 round-trip!
Here are some example routes:
The last redemption option we’ll discuss is for regional flights between Japan and India on Japan Airlines business class.
Because these flights are still considered long-haul despite staying wholly within Asia, you can get solid value from your Business Extra points.
Specifically, you can redeem 11,000 points for a round-trip certificate in business class for travel between Japan and the rest of Asia. Because these fares can run anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 round-trip, you can get some great value.
Here are Japan Airlines’ nonstop routes to/from India:
Overall, there’s plenty to like about the American Airlines Business Extra program. The earning structure is an especially transparent and simplified aspect of the program.
For the vast majority of instances, you will earn 1 point per $5 spent on flight revenue — it’s as simple as that!
One of the best features of Business Extra is that you can easily redeem points for upgrade certificates and even flights on partner airlines.
But perhaps the best part (especially for business owners) is that you can redeem points for flight certificates with no blackout dates. Sure, these are more expensive, but they are incredibly useful if you have less flexibility.
Our favorite ways to use Business Extra points include transcontinental flight upgrades, long-haul flight upgrades, flexible U.S. domestic certificates, and more.
You can also redeem points for partner award certificates on British Airways, Iberia, and Japan Airlines, but these are a bit more expensive than similar flight certificates for travel on American Airlines.
There’s a lot to love about American Airlines Business Extra, and if you’re a business owner, you don’t want to overlook this valuable program.
AA Business Extra is American Airlines’ frequent flyer program specifically designed for small- and medium-sized businesses. It allows businesses to earn rewards tied to the business itself as opposed to a single individual.
Businesses can earn extra points by double-dipping their travel to earn business rewards and consumer rewards.
In this case, if you book a lot of paid travel for your business, you can earn AAdvantage miles and Business Extra points.
American Airlines Business Extra points can be earned from paid travel on American Airlines and a handful of its airline partners. The points you earn can be redeemed for airfare, upgrades, flights on partner airlines, and much more.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.