Airline small business programs are an interesting way to ‘double dip’ on rewards. They’re designed to encourage businesses to focus on one airline and make their employees fly that airline. They offer the business rewards in addition to the miles earned by the traveler.
I’ve found American’s Business ExtrAA program useful in the past, I gifted gold status to a friend recently and mostly have used small points totals for club passes and the like. Even a solo regular travel can earn enough points in a year for a reasonable reward, you don’t need to actually be a separate business with plenty of travelers to benefit from the program.
In contrast, United’s Perks Plus is less friendly to the solo traveler just looking to double up on rewards.
Sign up for Delta’s program with promo code SB2011NEW and you’ll get 25,000 SkyBonus points as a sign-up bonus. This signup bonus alone will get you 20 drink chits (10 drinks is 10,000 points).
Once you sign up you can quickly run through ‘SkyBonus University’ for 2000 more points.
If you don’t just redeem your points immediately for drink chits you can get to some higher-valued rewards. A single discounted domestic flight should get you up to 28,000 points (with Skybonus number in the reservation), which is enough for a one-way upgrade on a full fare domestic ticket. 30,000 points gets you four lounge passes. 100,000 points gets you Silver elite status to gift.
Residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have an even more generous promo (presumably you could sign up under it and change your address later when it’s time to redeem). Promo code SBCBNEW will get you 85,000 bonus points after a single roundtrip, enough for a domestic award and very close to gifting someone silver status. There are additional bonuses under the promo, totaling a million Skybonus points after $30,000 in spend. But the really quick and easy win is just the bonus for a single roundtrip.
But at the very least, enjoy your drink chits..