American’s Business Extra Program Will Give You A Free Upgrade After One Flight

Filed Under: American, Great Deals

Earlier in the year I wrote about a great promotion that American’s Business Extra program was running, which was valid for both new and existing members. That promotion was supposed to run through March 31, 2017, though this morning American Business Extra sent out an email saying that the promotion is still valid (this is also noted on If you haven’t taken advantage of this promotion, it certainly makes sense to consider doing so.

What is the Business Extra program?

For those of you not familiar, the Business Extra program is run in addition to AAdvantage, meaning you can double dip — you can earn miles with AAdvantage and points with Business Extra for a given flight. Reader Sam F. wrote a post last year sharing all the details of this program, which is a no brainer to join.


Through this program you earn two points per $10 spent on eligible flights, so you don’t earn points as quickly as you would with AAdvantage, but I don’t think anyone expects that to be the case. The cool thing is that you can credit points from multiple people to your Business Extra account, and over time rewards should nicely build up.

You can redeem your Business Extra points for all kinds of things, ranging from free flights, to upgrades, to nominating someone for AAdvantage Gold status, to Admirals Club memberships.


American Business Extra promotion: 650 bonus points with one flight

The Business Extra program is celebrating their 20th anniversary.


As part of that, they’re offering 650 bonus Business Extra points if you register for the promotion and take at least one flight. 650 Business Extra points is enough points for a confirmed one segment upgrade on a flight within or between North America and Hawaii or the Caribbean.

The terms associated with this differ slightly depending on whether you’re a new or existing Business Extra member:

  • New members should register for Business Extra with the promotion code BX20UPGWELCOME by December 31, 2017, and take a qualifying flight within 30 days of enrolling in the program
  • Existing members should register with the promotion code UPGRADE and take a qualifying flight by September 30, 2017

Any American flight will qualify, even a cheap domestic one-way domestic ticket. The 650 bonus points should post to your account within six to eight weeks of qualifying activity. I took advantage of this promotion earlier in the year, and the points posted without a hitch.

How does the free one segment upgrade work?

This promotion is marketed as offering a free upgrade, though in reality you’ll get 650 bonus points in your account, and can choose how you want to redeem them.

However, if you want to redeem the 650 points for a BXP1 (which is the code for the one-way upgrade), there are a few things to be aware of:

  • The upgrade is valid for one segment
  • Tickets booked in the following fare classes aren’t eligible: B, N, O, Q or S
  • You’ll need to request a paper certificate, and then present it at check-in
  • Upgrade availability should be the same confirmable space that’s usually available if redeeming miles, systemwide upgrades, etc. (which isn’t nearly as good as it used to be)

I use BXP1s once in a while to confirm upgrades on domestic transcons when I’m not otherwise sure I’d clear, which is why I find these to be quite valuable. I even redeemed one recently when I booked a discounted A321 business class ticket from New York to Los Angeles, which I easily upgraded to first class, so I could experience Flagship Dining at JFK.

American’s Flagship First Dining JFK

Can anyone register for Business Extra?

Sam F. addressed this when he wrote his guest post about Business Extra. This is intended to be a small business program, though there’s no verification of any sort. If you sign up for the program you can state you’re a “travel manager,” and you’ll just need to enter very basic details. There’s not a lot of info required, and no verification.

I certainly know a lot of people without businesses who are Business Extra members.

Bottom line

If you have any upcoming flights on American, you should consider taking advantage of this offer. 650 Business Extra points for taking just one flight is a generous offer, and this is a program that in practice just about anyone can sign up for. For those of you who haven’t yet registered for Business Extra or taken advantage of this promotion, hopefully this is your motivator.

  1. Important to note from the FAQ:

    Q: When do points expire?
    A: Business Extra points that your company accrues each month will expire on December 31, two calendar years after points were earned. For example, Business Extra points earned for travel during First Month of 2013 or the Last Month of 2013, will expire on December 31, 2015

  2. Are BXP1 Upgrades cleared before Elite upgrades or Miles upgrades? I am currently a Platinum Elite and not sure if the BXP1 upgrade would clear before any other Platinum Elite or if it falls back as an upgrade after the Elite’s normal 500-mile or miles upgrade. Can you please clarify?

  3. @Brian @Kazu. Maybe try code BX20UPG? It’s the one I got in my e-mail today. I have not tried it myself because I won’t travel in the next 30 days, and my e-mail says that I have to travel 30 days from the date of registration, but have until September 30 to register.

  4. Do you know if you have to be the passenger, or if it will work if someone else takes a flight credited to your Business Extra account?

  5. Did this bonus post for others already? I signed up when this posted earlier this year but only see the points for the single flight not the bonus points.

  6. I got it in my Business Extra monthly summary email today and it says:

    “We’re celebrating the Business Extra® program’s 20th anniversary by offering you 650 bonus points when you register using code BX20UPG and take one flight within 30 days of registering, that’s it.

    Register by September 30 and your next flight could earn you points for a single-segment upgrade within and between North America and Hawaii or the Caribbean.”

    As I read that, it means I must register by September 30 and take my flight within 30 days of that (so October 29th?). Seems to contradict what @Lucky wrote…anyone know for sure?

  7. This is not working. Using the code in the email today which is supposed to be good for registration through September 30 is prompting the message that the promo has ended. I emailed them to ask for help. They will not be returning until Tuesday.

  8. So I am attempting to create an account for it today. What should I name my business, since I don’t have a true business, but I am an individual contractor as an official (sole-proprietor)?

  9. @colin Colin (last name) Consulting LLC or something. Mines nowhere close to sounding like a business. Going on a year of having them not even question my acct. note you can’t chang the name without proof of new name :/

    @miguel same as above I keep getting the invalid message or when using just “upgrade” for the code it shows ended 8/31. BX20UPG currently does not work

  10. @Brian: Then I’m thinking it’s probably (a) a mistake; (b) a glitch that will be fixed; or (c) targeted. In my case, I got the e-mail even though I took advantage of a similar promotion when I first signed up for Business Extra. Just like ejg239, I got the e-mail as part of my account summary.

  11. I got the email and entered the code. For me, it says “Something went wrong,” and further below, “Registration deadline for this promotion has passed,” but it doesn’t give the end date. I am assuming it’s a glitch since I received the email earlier today.

  12. @AaronP Ummmm not quite. What happens when you do that is that it puts a promotion in, but if you check the “You Promotions” tab you will see that this is for the promotion that ended on 8/31/17. Overall, this has been a cluster.

  13. Where do you enter the code. I finished the registration process and found no where to enter the code. I hope I did not miss my chance completely “yet”

  14. @phatmiles Click “My Account” –> “Promotions” and enter the code “upgrade”. Hopefully tomorrow they update the dates so it doesn’t show 8/31/17 expiration.

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