Life Is Too Short To Fly Coach!

It Might Work For You But You’ll Have to Work For It: American Express BusinessExtrAA Platinum Card

Don’t forget to enter my contests for a free roundtrip ticket on American Airlines and/or 25,000 United MileagePlus miles or Hyatt Gold Passport points!  You don’t have to comment on that post specifically, just any post over the next 13 days.  Comment as much as you like, each comment earns one entry.

For those patronizing American Airlines, it’s always a smart idea to get a BusinessExtrAA account.  This is a business program AA has had around for quite some time that allows you to earn additional points for flights on AA, albeit in a slightly different currency.  You enter your BusinessExtrAA number into any reservation you make for yourself or others and you’ll earn BusinessExtrAA points.  The passenger still earns all the normal AAdvantage miles they would normally earn for these purchases, so it really is a little something extra.

After I redeemed the award for the free ticket I’m giving away using my BusinessExtrAA points I was having a discussion with Gary and we noticed there’s a BusinessExtrAA American Express card (well, actually 2 of them, but I’m detailing one right now).

The American Express/BusinessExtrAA Platinum Card is actually kind of interesting.  A quick overview:

The card appears to have an annual fee of $395, so just a shade less than the AMEX Platinum ($450).

The card comes with Admirals’ Club access, though not a full membership. According to the T&C the benefit is pretty much the same as the AMEX Platinum benefit where you can access the clubs when you are traveling on an AA flight that day.  It also entitles you to bring two traveling companions or your spouse and children.

A 1% rebate on all spend.  You earn a $50 American Airlines gift card for every $5,000 you spend on the card.

A 4% rebate on all AA flights.  This is an especially rewarding benefit for most regular travelers.  According to the T&C, you’ll earn this rebate on the first $1,000,000 in base fare you charge to the card (taxes and fees are not eligible).  As long as you’re booking directly with AA and not through one of their own travel desks, the 4% seems to be legit.  It’s paid quarterly in electronic funds or a check.

Through my searches it wasn’t clear whether you received 4% back on AA fares PLUS the 1% rebate for all spend listed above (for a total of 5% on all AA tickets).

The card also gives you access to the Savings At Work program, a mish-mash of discounts some of which are useful.  For example, 15% off a National Car Rental or 8% off specific Hilton properties (Best Available Rate).  There’s a 5% Fedex discount, though you can already get that through Open.  Not a ton of value to this benefit, but the discounts are all included.

There’s also baggage insurance of $2,000 per checked bag if your ticket is charged to this card, along with $500,000 in “Business Travel Accident Insurance”.  This appears to be some combination of basic accident insurance and life insurance.  I couldn’t find many more details about it.

This comparison chart also lists a domestic companion ticket as a benefit, but I had to dig around a bit to find the T&C for this.  If you want to see how the sausage is made, the entire thing is here, but these are the salient details:

On your 1-year anniversary, AMEX will send you a companion ticket in the mail.  It’s valid on a domestic flight where another fare of at least $299 is purchased for travel in the 48 contiguous states.  It’s just for the card-holder.  These T&C list blackout dates for 2010 and 2011.  One can assume there are blackout dates for 2013, though I was not able to turn them up.

If this sounds like a card that works for you, there are some roadblocks.  Turns out you can’t apply for this card online.  I called the corporate card division and had to leave a message for someone to return my call.  5 hours later I received a call back.  Instead of answering my questions they had a bunch of questions to see if I qualified to have a specialist call me back.  Also turns out you need a minimum of $4,000,000 in revenue to apply.  That being said, the agent I spoke with had no idea what “revenue” actually was, and was very uninformed, so this might yield better answers when I hear back from a specialist.  Unfortunately, the corporate card business at AMEX must be pretty busy since they couldn’t schedule a return call for a week.

So, more to follow…

 

  1. Paul W
    Reply

    Cool. Thanks for the info. (me me me, I want to win)

  2. Elaine
    Reply

    Not quite right for me and in view of the contest I thought I’d tell you!

  3. Dave
    Reply

    $4,000,000 is a little steep for me but I will be applying for the BusinessExtrAA! Thanks

  4. Michael H.(oldfox)
    Reply

    The info certainly helps as I plan my card strategies for 2013! Love the blog!

  5. Linda Brown
    Reply

    I just received the A.E. SPG personal and business card. I think I will stay put for another month or so but great information :)

  6. Perry Platypus
    Reply

    If any of your readers are not a Business ExtrAA members yet here is a promo code- NBMBXLH fly within 90 days of registering for a Business ExtrAA account and get 500 ExtrAA points. Hey that a quarter of a way to a free domestic ticket :)

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Great info for those without a BusinessExtrAA account. Thanks, PerryPlatypus!

    • Elena G
      Reply

      Thanks for the promo code and thanks pizzaman for the post! I’ll sign up since I occasionally buy tickets for others

  7. Ketan S
    Reply

    Interesting but isn’t earning 3x on Amex business gold better than 4% rebate?

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Well, if it’s a 5% rebate (unclear from my reading)and you like flying AA, then AMEX points may not be the best choice. Still, this is most likely a card that only appeals to a few.

  8. Joanna
    Reply

    have it and love it

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Joanna, can you confirm the earning rate for BusinessExtrAA points?

  9. Patrick
    Reply

    The $4,000,000 “revenue” thing sounds like a roadblock, but I’ll plod ahead. Thx for the info.

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Patrick, agree. We’ll see what happens when my “specialist” calls me.

  10. Jennifer C
    Reply

    I’d love to win, since I don’t have $4,000,000, and thus need all the travel help I can get.

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Jenny, another response that would be a winner if I was awarding based on humor. :)

      Hope you and Curt are doing well.

  11. Aleks K.
    Reply

    Interesting, but a little steep revenue-wise for me to qualify. :p

    Other than the Admirals Club access, is the lounge access comparable to the regular Amex Platinum? What about other benefits?

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Aleks,
      It’s the same lounge benefit as Amex Plat. The other benefits are 4 or 5% rebate on all AA purchases, 1% on everything else.

  12. Heather @ pass the dressing
    Reply

    Not the greatest for me but interesting nonetheless. I’ve gotta think about my AA flying for this year. I’m a delta gal but thinking about new programs.

  13. Dan
    Reply

    Nice job providing detail on a program I haven’t seen anyone write about!

  14. MJonTravel
    Reply

    Good stuff. This product has been out there for years, but never really promoted.

  15. mike
    Reply

    Nice job uncovering a new AA benefit. We need more sleuth bloggers

  16. Miles
    Reply

    Don’t you earn BusinessExtrAA points for spend, as well? What’s the rate?

    Not 1 point per $1 spent, I assume!

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Miles, that’s the thing, they don’t really specify. The T&C does say that you earn BusinessExtrAA points for all “eligible charges”, and earlier in that same paragraph it says “in accordance with the T&C of the BusinessExtrAA account”. So, that could mean the 2:10/1:5 ratio that you earn for normal AA purchases, or some other mystery number. Still digging…

  17. Dan ray
    Reply

    I’ll take it.

  18. Linda C
    Reply

    4 Million Dollars is a very big business, not for me, but thanks for the reminder on the AA business extra account

  19. Harv
    Reply

    very interesting

  20. Hani
    Reply

    Somebody on Flyertalk said that an Amex agent stated you earn 1 BE point for every $20 spend, but never confirmed otherwise.

  21. Darko
    Reply

    4 mil!? Ni chance!

  22. SH
    Reply

    Do you need to spend $4,000,000 to keep the card? If so, the 4% cash back on the first $1,000,000 AA spend is really only 1% back on the total AA spend.

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      You only have to show revenue for your company in the amount of $4MM, not spend $4MM.

      Regards, Edward Pizzarello

  23. duc1986d
    Reply

    Thank you pizza in motion, I would love to be considered for the contest

  24. Eric
    Reply

    Interesting product.

  25. paul goecke
    Reply

    Great Post

  26. Suzanne
    Reply

    Thanks for the good work!

  27. jackson
    Reply

    I received information from a specialist on the BE points per dollar spent and they also stated 1 point for every 20 dollar spend

  28. Dina
    Reply

    First I’ve read about it on any blog. Thank you for the information.

  29. Amy
    Reply

    4 million is too much for me, although I do like the Business Extraa program.

  30. B-Rad
    Reply

    If I start doing 4 million in revenue, I can probably just buy expensive tickets myself.

  31. ballardFlyer
    Reply

    Interesting find. It seems a bit odd that it doesn’t earn BizExtra points? Or did I miss that?

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Ballardflyer, it does earn BusinessExtrAA points, we’re just not sure how many. Some have commented it’s 1 point per $20 spent, which isn’t that great.

  32. Eddy
    Reply

    $4 million in revenue? That pretty much takes me out of the running.

  33. viketh
    Reply

    Interesting. Please tell more…

  34. Nishanth
    Reply

    So for tickets booked on AA, apart from the 5%, you also earn ExtrAA points correct?
    This seems like a pretty good deal for small businesses

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Nishanth, it appears you earn BusinessExtrAA points for ALL spend, including AA travel.

  35. Flyer dad
    Reply

    Thanks for providing this info. I was completely unaware of this program.

  36. Jeff
    Reply

    Great idea, now how best to utilize the AA traveling is the question…

  37. Ben
    Reply

    Interesting card!

  38. penaltyvectorer
    Reply

    Yeah winning this contest seems easier than finding 4mil of revenue right now.

  39. Jimmy Y
    Reply

    interesting. never heard about this before

  40. Rob F.
    Reply

    Is that 4million in USD or can you use MXN pesos?

  41. Michael T
    Reply

    Nice post on the Extraa program

  42. Abhishek V
    Reply

    Nice post, thanks for the information – - very helpful

  43. Rocky
    Reply

    Seems like if I’m going to pay that price I’d rather have the AMex plat w/ all the other benefits

  44. samleisk@berkeley.edu
    Reply

    Cool card.

  45. fiascoman
    Reply

    4 million in revenue is easy if you count sales to friends and relatives on credit. Sell your kid a beanie baby for 4 mil on credit.

  46. Jason A.
    Reply

    Groovy :D

  47. d
    Reply

    thanks for giving away points!

  48. PH
    Reply

    Where are the whiners complaining about yet another blogger killing a formerly hidden gem? :)

  49. Larry
    Reply

    Love the Pic at the top – brings a lot of memories traveling with my kids

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Thanks, Larry. That was my daughter 3 years ago in Pompeii “playing house” amongst the ruins.

  50. Wendy W
    Reply

    Great post. Been a Business ExtrAA member for a long time and have never taken advantage of benefits.

  51. Patt
    Reply

    Packing my bags now in anticipation of the win.

  52. DmoPDX
    Reply

    Thanks for deciphering ExtrAA! Any use in referencing it with an award booking? I’ve got 160k AA waiting to take me back to BKK.

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      DmoPDX, you only earn BusinessExtrAA points on paid tickets, 2 for every $5 you spend on AA tickets.

  53. Michael
    Reply

    So is it really worth it?

    • pizzainmotion
      Reply

      Michael, I think we need to confirm how many BusinessExtrAA points it earns before making that determination.

  54. rajb12
    Reply

    I have been using Business ExtrAA for a while, but the benefits of the card are not as good as a Chase card. Thanks for digging into this…

  55. Joanne Boland
    Reply

    I only fly on AA once or twice a yr…but interesting info

  56. Daniel
    Reply

    I’m not a business owner but I’ll pass the info to someone who is. Thanks for the post!

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