American AAdvantage Business Program: How It Works

American AAdvantage Business Program: How It Works

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American Airlines offers a small business rewards program, known as the AAdvantage Business program. This is a great way to earn extra rewards for your travel on American, including qualifying for bonus Loyalty Points and miles. Best of all, eligibility for the program is surprisingly simple, assuming you have the Citi® / AAdvantage Business™ World Elite Mastercard® (review).

In this post I wanted to take a look at all of the details of the program. Note that AAdvantage Business is new as of late 2023, and replaces the previous American Business Extra program (which no longer exists).

How the AAdvantage Business program works

AAdvantage Business is the name of American Airlines’ business rewards program. This allows you to earn extra rewards in a business account, in addition to the rewards you can earn through your own AAdvantage account. Best of all, you have quite a bit of flexibility in terms of distributing the rewards. Let’s go over the details of how this works.

AAdvantage Business program rewards structure

The AAdvantage Business program has a pretty straightforward rewards structure, as it rewards members with both Loyalty Points and AAdvantage miles. With the AAdvantage Business program, you earn the following rewards, which will post within 72 hours of an eligible flight:

  • AAdvantage Business offers the individual traveler one bonus Loyalty Point per dollar spent on eligible airfare (that’s not a redeemable mile, but just a Loyalty Point toward earning elite status)
  • AAdvantage Business offers the business one bonus AAdvantage redeemable mile per dollar spent on eligible airfare

Just to clarify a couple of additional points:

  • In order for a flight to be eligible to accrue with the AAdvantage Business program, you must book directly with American and add the AAdvantage Business number to the reservation at the time that you make the reservation, and designate it as a business trip; travel on partner airlines qualifies, as long as it’s booked through American
  • The AAdvantage miles that the company accrues can be transfered to a designated member at no cost, and can be redeemed like any other AAdvantage miles; however, these wouldn’t earn you any additional Loyalty Points, so also wouldn’t get you any closer to earning more Loyalty Point Rewards

These rewards are all in addition to the standard rewards that AAdvantage members receive:

  • AAdvantage members ordinarily earn five Loyalty Points per dollar spent on airfare
  • Elite members receive Loyalty Points bonuses — Gold members get a 40% bonus, Platinum members get a 60% bonus, Platinum Pro members get an 80% bonus, and Executive Platinum members get a 120% bonus
  • All Loyalty Points earned from flying also count as redeemable miles, so you earn as many redeemable miles as Loyalty Points

Just to be crystal clear, an Executive Platinum member ordinarily earns 11 Loyalty Points per dollar spent on airfare, while if enrolled in the AAdvantage Business program, they’d earn 12 Loyalty Points per dollar spent. There’s no reason to leave those bonus rewards on the table!

Earn bonus Loyalty Points with AAdvantage Business

Qualifying for the AAdvantage Business program

In order to be eligible to participate in the AAdvantage Business program, you need to have a business in the United States or Canada with a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Business Number. Even small businesses are eligible for this program.

While you can accrue rewards in the AAdvantage Business program without any minimums, in order to transfer the miles in the AAdvantage Business account to an individual AAdvantage account (which is the only way to redeem), you need to meet one of two requirements:

  • You must have at least five unique travelers who have credited flights to the AAdvantage Business account, totaling at least $5,000 in flight revenue over the course of a year
  • Alternatively, you can be a Citi AAdvantage Business Card (review) member, in which case the minimum requirement is waived, as there’s no minimum to the spending or number of travelers
There are requirements to participate in AAdvantage Business

The value of the Citi AAdvantage Business Card

The AAdvantage Business program creates a huge incentive to get the Citi AAdvantage Business Card (review). That’s because just having the card allows many people to unlock the value of the AAdvantage Business program — there’s no need to actually use the card for your spending, but just having it is all that’s needed to redeem AAdvantage Business program rewards with no minimum on the number of travelers or revenue.

There are several potentially useful perks to this card, and on top of that, the card is offering a great bonus. I recently picked up this card for the bonus, plus the value it unlocks with the AAdvantage Business program.

It’s worth understanding how closely this card is actually integrated into the AAdvantage Business program:

  • AAdvantage miles earned from spending on the card post to your AAdvantage Business account, and then you can transfer them to the account of anyone linked to the account
  • AAdvantage Loyalty Points post directly to the account of the person who spent, meaning that authorized users actually earn their own Loyalty Points (this is a unique card feature)

For American frequent flyers with a small business, this creates a strong incentive to get the card. The card has a $99 annual fee that’s waived the first year, and just having the card will allow many people to earn a sizable number of bonus miles.

This makes American’s business card more lucrative

Logistics of the AAdvantage Business program

If you’re curious about how the AAdvantage Business program works in practice, let me share some screenshots, for those who are more visual. Once you have an AAdvantage Business account, you can invite people to join your account (these should be people who work for your company, but there’s no verification process, as far as I know).

So you’ll want to click “Invite people,” and then once they accept your invitation, they’ll show up on your account.

AAdvantage Business program add members

If someone’s AAdvantage account is linked to an AAdvantage Business program account, you’ll see that when you go to make a booking on aa.com, you’ll be asked for your “Travel type,” and can select “Business” or “Personal.” If you select “Business,” you’ll see that the company name populates, and you can select the name of the traveler.

AAdvantage Business program booking process

While the Loyalty Points from flights will post directly to the AAdvantage account of the member, the redeemable miles will post to the AAdvantage Business program account (the same is true for miles earned on the Citi AAdvantage Business Card).

AAdvantage Business program transfer miles feature

Then if you’re eligible to transfer those miles, you’ll see the mileage balance listed, plus a “Transfer miles” button. There’s also a dashboard that shows your eligible number of travelers and eligible spending. However, as you can see above, I’ve met the transfer conditions even though I haven’t met the required threshold, since I have the Citi AAdvantage Business Card.

AAdvantage Business program transfer miles eligibility

The process of transferring miles is super easy. You’ll just enter how many miles you want to transfer, and who you want to transfer them to, and then they should post to the AAdvantage account instantly.

AAdvantage Business program transfer miles feature

My take on the AAdvantage Business program

My general take on the AAdvantage Business program is as follows:

  • This program isn’t really so rewarding that it’s a game changer, or that it’s going to move the needle for people deciding whether or not to be loyal to American
  • However, if you are eligible for the program, there’s absolutely no reason not to participate

The program basically offers an incremental 1.5% return on your American spending, since you earn one extra AAdvantage mile per dollar spent, and I value those miles at 1.5 cents each. On top of that, the program offers an incremental Loyalty Point per dollar spent — that will have no value to some, while it will have significant value to others, depending on the extent to which you’re pursuing status in the coming year.

It is interesting the extent to which American has basically given up on corporate travel. American’s priority is getting people to book direct and keeping distribution costs as low as possible. So this program is basically intended as the major incentive for most small businesses.

Bottom line

American Airlines offers the AAdvantage Business program. With this program, the business earns one AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on eligible airfare, while the individual traveler earns one Loyalty Point per dollar spent. In order to participate, you need a business with at least five registered employees and $5,000 in annual spending, or you need to have the Citi AAdvantage Business Card.

What do you make of the AAdvantage Business program?

Conversations (12)
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  1. Todikaios Guest

    Please note that you CANNOT book multi-city trips on the Biz account. You have to book multiple individual trips. Also you CANNOT book multiple people on the same trip. You need to make multiple reservations when more than by person is traveling on the same flight. Reporting information is incomplete, hard to determine accuracy and makes no distinction between trips booked and trips flown. More than once I have given up on trying to use...

    Please note that you CANNOT book multi-city trips on the Biz account. You have to book multiple individual trips. Also you CANNOT book multiple people on the same trip. You need to make multiple reservations when more than by person is traveling on the same flight. Reporting information is incomplete, hard to determine accuracy and makes no distinction between trips booked and trips flown. More than once I have given up on trying to use AA Biz because of these and other limitations. It definitely needs a customer review group to help make it a friendly program.

    1. AA Sympathizer Guest

      I have also had a terrible experience with this new program. I wanted to note that minors can not be added as a business traveler.

      The human chat has provided both good and bad information. Best information from my experience has been with phone reps and they are sympathetic to how bad the new program functions.

      Realistically, it “works” for basic itineraries with a solo traveler.

  2. Prasanna Guest

    Can you please clarify where I need to make the booking to earn the miles? This link makes it sound like I can make the booking anywhere, as long as I list my AAdvantage number. https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/earn/earning-on-flights.jsp

  3. Fatetta Guest

    I've been on this program since it came out (transferred from Business ExtrAA). While all of the so-called benefits you talked about are working for me and my travelers, be aware that the reporting doesn't work, you cannot reconcile miles/points earned to individual travelers and there is no help available from a "live human" at all. All of it is by "ChatBot", and only the most ridiculously easy pre-populated questions can be addressed by Chat....

    I've been on this program since it came out (transferred from Business ExtrAA). While all of the so-called benefits you talked about are working for me and my travelers, be aware that the reporting doesn't work, you cannot reconcile miles/points earned to individual travelers and there is no help available from a "live human" at all. All of it is by "ChatBot", and only the most ridiculously easy pre-populated questions can be addressed by Chat. If you send an email, it's ignored. Want help? Forget it. And if you need to change a "Business" reservation, you will get transferred to "Meeting Services" for whom there is always a wait, and who do not work on weekends. In short, this is a cumbersome, not thought out program put together by people who don't travel, and couldn't care less. Their motto seems to be, "sign up, and just trust us". In short, you'll be disappointed. Yet another case of AA messing with a program (BusinessExtrAA) that worked, and making it dysfunctional.

  4. Nolan Guest

    Is it a requirement to have the Citi business card in order to earn that extra loyalty point?

  5. Nolan Guest

    Is anyone noticing that the extra loyalty point doesn't post for the individual traveler? Am I missing a minimum requirement?

  6. PDS Guest

    Maybe the article title should be: AA Business Program. How it DOESN'T work!

  7. Danny Guest

    Dear Ben,

    Thank you for your update. According to the AA Business website, all members must meet both minimums to unlock your company's mile tracker benefits. Although I have a Citi AAdvantage Business credit card, the five travelers must each travel in the past 12 months to qualify to transfer miles. Would you please verify?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Danny -- Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question, but I don't believe that's correct. For example, if you have the Citi AAdvantage Business Card and don't have any one else on your AAdvantage Business account, you'd still be able to transfer the miles to your AAdvantage account. Or am I misunderstanding your question?

    2. Danny Guest

      @Ben,

      Yes, I can still transfer the miles to my AAdvantage account. However, to transfer miles earned in AAdvantage Business Company Account, both requirements of minimum 5 travelers and $5,000 spending must be met. In addition, all 5 travelers must have traveled on AA flights and/or AA partner flights within the past 12 months.

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Danny -- Sorry, maybe I'm still misunderstanding you, so let me give my own example, and you can tell me which part you're having a different experience with.

      I earned just under 5K miles with AAdvantage Business through airfare spending. I also have the Citi AAdvantage Business Card, but haven't yet earned any miles with it (I was recently approved).

      I was just able to transfer miles from my AAdvantage Business account to...

      @ Danny -- Sorry, maybe I'm still misunderstanding you, so let me give my own example, and you can tell me which part you're having a different experience with.

      I earned just under 5K miles with AAdvantage Business through airfare spending. I also have the Citi AAdvantage Business Card, but haven't yet earned any miles with it (I was recently approved).

      I was just able to transfer miles from my AAdvantage Business account to either of the travelers linked to the account, and the miles posted instantly. That's despite not having met the $5K spending requirement, or the five traveler requirement.

      Is this different than your experience?

    4. Danny Guest

      @ Ben, thank you for taking the time to write back this weekend. I do appreciate your explanation.

      My experience is quite different from yours. I earned 5,312 miles with AAdvantage Business through AA flight purchases. Likewise, I also have a company Citi AAdvantage Business credit card, which was opened several months ago.

      I am unable to transfer any of the 5,312 miles from my AAdvantage Business account (Transfer Miles Box is greyed...

      @ Ben, thank you for taking the time to write back this weekend. I do appreciate your explanation.

      My experience is quite different from yours. I earned 5,312 miles with AAdvantage Business through AA flight purchases. Likewise, I also have a company Citi AAdvantage Business credit card, which was opened several months ago.

      I am unable to transfer any of the 5,312 miles from my AAdvantage Business account (Transfer Miles Box is greyed out) because only one of the two minimum transfer requirements have been met. The reason is only one of the five active travelers have traveled in the past 12 months.

      There isn't an AAdvantage Business number to call or an AAdvantage Business email to write for further clarification.

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AA Sympathizer Guest

I have also had a terrible experience with this new program. I wanted to note that minors can not be added as a business traveler. The human chat has provided both good and bad information. Best information from my experience has been with phone reps and they are sympathetic to how bad the new program functions. Realistically, it “works” for basic itineraries with a solo traveler.

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Danny Guest

@ Ben, thank you for taking the time to write back this weekend. I do appreciate your explanation. My experience is quite different from yours. I earned 5,312 miles with AAdvantage Business through AA flight purchases. Likewise, I also have a company Citi AAdvantage Business credit card, which was opened several months ago. I am unable to transfer any of the 5,312 miles from my AAdvantage Business account (Transfer Miles Box is greyed out) because only one of the two minimum transfer requirements have been met. The reason is only one of the five active travelers have traveled in the past 12 months. There isn't an AAdvantage Business number to call or an AAdvantage Business email to write for further clarification.

0
Todikaios Guest

Please note that you CANNOT book multi-city trips on the Biz account. You have to book multiple individual trips. Also you CANNOT book multiple people on the same trip. You need to make multiple reservations when more than by person is traveling on the same flight. Reporting information is incomplete, hard to determine accuracy and makes no distinction between trips booked and trips flown. More than once I have given up on trying to use AA Biz because of these and other limitations. It definitely needs a customer review group to help make it a friendly program.

0
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