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What is AA Business Extra?
Business Extra is marketed for small business owners. So, if you have a small business and fly frequently on American or their codeshare partners then you qualify to earn a different set of points called business extra points. This program is entirely different, requires registration, and earns a separate set of points. Enroll here.
How do I earn?
Once registered, select an Travel Manager. Add employees as Travelers.
American, British Airways, Iberia, and American codeshare partners earn 2 business extra points for every $10 of paid fare. This is a revenue based program that allows the travel manager to earn a collective bank of points earned off all employee travel. You can then redeem those points for specific employee travel in the future.
Example: Husband and Wife restaurant startup consultant group.
The two of you travel across the country extensively and help restaurants get off the ground. Both of you can accrue points under one account led by one Travel Manager. The company travel manager’s account with accrue Business Extra points based off of both employees’ booked fares. Just don’t forget to add your business extra number to flights. Once you have earned enough to redeem, you select a flyer from the traveler’s list and redeem points.
There is a current promotion that is extremely lucrative. Earn 1600 Business Extra miles for every business class transatlantic flight. That’s huge. You can register here. You do need a Business Extra account prior to registration though. With just one flight you are already half way to a one-way business class upgrade on an international ticket. On top of that, you would be stacking the 2 points per $10 earned on the fare price and you’re also earning Aadvantage miles plus whatever promotions are currently running.
My folks recently flew roundtrip to Italy. They paid $800 out of pocket for a roundtrip business class fare. Unfortunately, they hadn’t registered their small business for this promotion. Had they done so they would have earned the following:
- 9700 Base AAdvantage miles
- 2425 AA class of service bonus
- 9700 AA Platinum bonus
- 25,000 AA Promotional Bonus for transatlantic business class
- 160 Business Extra points
- 1600 Business Extra promotional bonus.
- Total: 46k AA + 1760 Biz Extra.
That’s almost a one way business ticket earned off one roundtrip. They are also half way to a SWU using Biz Extra. Stacking pays.
What are the best redemptions? An Effective SWU
So in the header I mentioned you can earn business extra points for an effective SWU. SWU stands for System Wide Upgrade and they allow you to upgrade by one class of service on a paid ticket. Typically these are only given to top tier Executive Platinum and Concierge Key. But, business extra points provide a unique opportunity to earn an effective SWU. It’s worth noting that unlike SWUs which can be applied on any class of service these are ‘effective SWU’ in the sense that there are some restrictions: They can’t be used on B, N, O, Q, or S fares.
Analyzing the value per point, an upgrade from paid economy to business class on an international flight provides the best value…in my opinion. As you can see, you need 3100 points for a SWU on a discount fare. This is pretty great value, especially when there is a promotion of 1600 points for one roundtrip in business class to Europe.
Let’s compare that to some of the other redemption levels
Look, you aren’t going to earn these points rapidly because the point accrual isn’t the fastest. But, they are free points and have great value down the road when you do redeem them. Make use of stackable promotions and fast track your way to business class.
If you’re small business owner, and travel for business, you should definitely be earning Business Extra points.
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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.