Introduction to the Business Extra Program
The Business Extra program is a fascinating and potentially valuable loyalty program designed for small and medium-sized businesses. In short, business travelers can earn Business Extra points for their paid flights on American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. (We tend to think of the Business Extra as an AA program, but it applies equally to all three of these airlines.) Points can then be redeemed for certificates for free flights and upgrades as well as for other benefits such as an Admirals Club membership.
Points-earning in the Business Extra program operates in parallel with the AAdvantage mileage program, and it operates independently of AAdvantage. Flyers can earn both AAdvantage miles and Business Extra points on the same paid flight. That is, the benefits of AAdvantage and Business Extra stack.
The Business Extra program is valuable enough that we’ve been planning a series of articles on the program and how to use and maximize it. We expect to publish those articles within the next few weeks.
Today, Business Extra announced that points are now posting to accounts daily based on flight activity. Historically, points have posted monthly, about midway through the month following the activity. Thus, for example, points earned for flights in May would post on or about June 15.
Under the new daily-posting system, point posting should be much easier to track. It was sometimes problematic when you had to wait several weeks to see if your points posted, and then you had to remember to check back, plus request retrospective credit for any missing points. In addition, daily posting means that you’ll be able to use your Business Extra points even sooner after you earn them.
Business Extra also let us know that its systems recently posted April flight activity, to get caught up as it rolls into daily posting. Sure enough, when we checked our account, Business Extra points for April flights had posted to our account as of May 2-3:
Typically, it would have been at least May 15 before we saw any points post for our April flights, so we’re already benefitting from the update.
Business Extra has lagged behind the times in terms of IT capabilities, which sometimes made us wonder whether the program would continue to exist and be supported long-term.
Daily posting is a nice improvement in the Business Extra program. In addition, Business Extra introduced some online booking capabilities recently. That was another welcomed advance, even though online booking is riddled with limitations and glitches for now.
It’s amazing that features such as daily posting and online booking took so long to implement. And, there are still plenty of nuances to the Business Extra program. But for now, we’re glad for the progress. It’s great to see AA and the other participating airlines investing some money into IT for Business Extra, to improve the program for the future and make us feel better about its long-term viability.
What do you think of Business Extra and its new daily points posting feature? Are you looking forward to our upcoming series of articles on Business Extra? Any topics in particular that you’d like us to cover? Please let us know in the Comments!
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