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I’ve been a big proponent of American Airlines Business Extra program whereby AA loyalists can earn Business Extra points alongside Aadvantage miles. It’s a super easy double dip for small businesses. Today, I received an email explaining some amendments being done to the program that will certainly hurt businesses that have fewer than 3 employees.
New Requirements starting 1/1/23 – no point redemptions for businesses with fewer than 3 unique fliers and $5k qualifying spend
*This also goes into effect if you enroll in the program after 10/4/21.
Clearly AA has run a cost/benefit analysis and realized that businesses that don’t spend much and have fewer than 3 employees are bigger takers than givers. I understand it, but at the same time, this has to hurt for a lot fo consultant based businesses that rack up a ton of miles and spend, but would only have one employee under their business extra account. I don’t see any terms that stipulate the extra two people have to rack up any activity, so perhaps you could add non-flying employees to the account, but this is certainly a hit.
Business Extra has been an outstanding way to upgrade domestic flights, especially on those transcontinental flights offering lie flat seats, for just 650 Business Extra points. I’ve done this many a time but, without adding unique fliers to my account, will sadly be ineligible going forward.
Convert Business Extra into AA miles = 1.2 miles per dollar spend on AA
As a quick refresher you need to spend $5 to earn 1 business extra point. Now you can redeem one business extra point for 6 AA miles
$5k = 1000 Business Extra Miles = 6000 AA miles Business Extra points can now get you higher status
As you can see in the table below…you can offload Business Extra points for AA status
- Gold = 3200
- Platinum = 6600
This will be the death of business extra for a lot of small businesses.
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.