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Loyalty programs are big business for airlines, with companies and their employees carefully weighing the perks of these programs.

American Airlines is making changes to its corporate travel loyalty program for small businesses – the airline said Monday the newly launched AAdvantage Business would replace Business Extra.

The Business Extra program will no longer accept new members as of Monday, with the program’s benefits ending by January 31, 2024. In its place, small businesses with a minimum of five employees can apply to become members of the AAdvantage Business program. Employees taking the trips will also earn points to increase their AAdvantage member status.

How the AAdvantage Business program works: 

Eligible business travel includes travel booked on or the American Airlines app, with the American Reservations or Meeting Services Desk. For every $1 spent, businesses earn 1 AAdvantage mile to redeem on travel. For that same $1 spent, company employees can earn 1 loyalty point that counts toward their cumulative status as an AAdvantage member. 

“If an employee goes to a conference – instead of the smaller business having to pay for travel – they can redeem miles for the employee’s flight, hotel, car rental, and an Admirals Club day pass too,” said an AA spokesperson. “AAdvantage Business will be a much simpler program to manage travel with, now that it’s tied to the AAdvantage program. Business Extra was on a points currency, meaning customers had to convert points to miles to redeem on flights and other rewards.”

There is no minimum spending requirement in place for the program. However, AAdvantage Business is only available to businesses in the U.S. and Canada, with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru coming soon. Business Extra had a much broader international access base, including the UK and Spain, which will have to work with AA airline partners in those regions, according to the airline.

Business Extra members can continue redeeming any of the awards until December 15. The following day, Business Extra points can only be converted to AAdvantage miles or donated to charity, the airline said.

The new AA small business loyalty program launches with a CitiBusiness credit card partnership. Companies can earn two miles for every $1 spent on their business card, while employees will earn an additional loyalty point to add to their AAdvantage membership points.


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Tags: aadvantage, american airlines, business travel, credit cards, loyalty

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