American’s Business ExtrAA Getting New Earning and Redemption Options

What is American Airlines Business ExtrAA?

I’ve written in the past about earning points two, three, four, and even five ways at a time when booking travel — earning your miles for the flight, for the credit card spend, for going through an online shopping portal to make the booking, and by attaching a small business rewards account to the reservation as well.

An airline’s small business program lets you accrue points in that business program account in addition to miles in the traveler’s frequent flyer account.

What’s more, you can earn points this way both for yourself when you travel and also in your business program account when other people travel and include your business account number.

I’ve made good use of American’s Business ExtrAA program, especially for low point value redemptions like gifting Gold elite status (2400 points) and Admirals Club lounge memberships (3000 points).

You can even now earn Business ExtrAA points for Rocketmiles hotel bookings, in addition to the miles earned by the traveler.

So it’s an increasingly useful double dipping tool.

What’s Changing?

British Airways is moving its US-based ‘OnBusiness’ program members into American’s Business ExtrAA program.

From 20 May 2015, On Business will close in the United States and merge with Business Extra (SM), the business loyalty programme of our partner, American Airlines. The reason for this change is to ensure that we can offer our US based customers a loyalty scheme that meets your travel needs better, and helps your travel budget go further.

One of the key benefits of the merger is that as a Business Extra customer, you will now be able to earn and redeem Business Extra Points across not one, but three global airlines – American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia.

What’s interesting is that this will also precipitate changes in the Business ExtrAA program itself.

To date, American’s small business program allowed you to earn points for travel on American Airlines and for codeshare flights on its joint venture airline partners (British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines) as well more recently as US Airways. And you could spend points for travel on American and US Airways only.

The British Airways announcement made clear that it would be possible to earn and redeem Business ExtrAA points for ‘three global airlines’, American, Iberia, and British Airways. That’s an improvement, and it’s confirmed by American as well.

No date has been revealed yet when earn and burn will begin for British Airways and Iberia, but one imagines it will be on or about May 20 when British Airways OnBusiness members move into the Business ExtrAA program.

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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  1. Will redeeming Business ExtrAA points on British Airways mean fuel surcharges similar to redeeming frequent flyer miles?

  2. Was completely unaware of BA’s On Business Program— do they offer retroactive credit for fights purchased and taken prior to enrollment?

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