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Guide to American Airlines’ Small-Business Program: Business Extra

Small businesses can redeem their Business Extra points for upgrades, lounge passes, elite status and free flights. JT Genter

Business travel is the lifeblood of airlines. The big carriers have sales teams dedicated to winning travel contracts from major companies, but not all companies are large enough to score corporate sales contracts.

Enter small-business programs, which major U.S. airlines use to offer rewards to small businesses that fly the airline. These programs are great ways for smaller firms to earn rewards for booking business travel while still letting travelers earn miles and elite status for themselves. That means that small-business owners can effectively double-dip on flights.

Let’s take a look at American Airlines’ small-business program: Business Extra.

Is your small business eligible for Business Extra?

There are two eligibility requirements for Business Extra: business size and location. Both are very reasonable.

Companies with just two or more travelers can qualify, provided that company doesn’t already have some kind of corporate sales agreement with American Airlines, American Eagle, British Airways or Iberia. The business must be located in the United States, Canada, Anguilla, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Hong Kong, Mexico, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia or St. Vincent.

Unlike Delta and United’s small-business programs, there are no spending requirements or other eligibility requirements. That makes Business Extra great for those with a very small business.

However, Business Extra may be cracking down on some small businesses. In an audit letter that my small business received in mid-June 2020, Business Extra stated that “Business Extra accounts must have at least two W2/1099 employees that travel and post credits.” This isn’t a requirement listed in the terms and conditions, so make sure that your small business meets these unpublished requirements as well.

How to enroll in Business Extra

Enrolling in the Business Extra program only takes a few minutes. But there are a few steps you might need to take before getting started.

First, in order to enroll as a business manager, you’ll need to have an AAdvantage account. That’s because Business Extra uses the business manager’s AAdvantage log-in information.

Business Extra often offers incentives for small businesses to join. For example, a recent promo code allowed small businesses to earn 2,000 bonus points by signing up and taking a flight before June 30, 2020. So before you sign up, check to see if there are any promo codes that will benefit you.

Once you have your AAdvantage account, start here by entering your country, name, email address and any applicable referral code. On the next screen, you’ll need to enter your business name, website and address. Next, enter your contact information, job title and AAdvantage account.

To prove you’re really a business, you may need to submit documents like your Employer Identification Number, articles of incorporation, a partnership agreement or a valid business name registration certificate. You can find a list of documents the program accepts in the Business Extra FAQs.

How to earn points in the Business Extra program

Business Extra members earn 1 point for every $5 spent on flights on American, British Airways and Iberia, as well as codeshare flights on Finnair, Qantas and Japan Airlines. These points are are separate from your traditional AAdvantage miles, which individual flyers will still earn, while your company earns Business Extra points for those same flights.

The easiest way to earn points from flights is by adding your Business Extra number to your AAdvantage account profile preferences.

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