I received an email from American Airlines letting me know that I had some Business Extra points that were going to expire on 12/31/21. I’ve never used or paid much attention to the Business Extra program but I signed up for it since I love free miles and points and I run a small business.

Not paying much attention to them was obviously a mistake but I’m happy I didn’t just delete the email that came in looking like a promotional email. TIP: Always read airline emails to make sure they’re not telling you something important like your miles are expiring or your trip has changed.

I logged into my Business Extra account at businessextra.com and see I have 1,300 points expiring. I checked out the award chart and noticed that an upgrade, including AA’s plush lie-flat seat on transcons, are just 650 points each way.

I called the number between business hours (in the United States and Canada, call American Airlines Meeting Services at 800-433-1790, 7:00 a.m.. – 10:30 p.m.. (CT), Monday through Friday and 7:00 a.m.. – 8:00 p.m.. (CT), Saturday and Sunday.) listed on the site and the agent said the upgrade wasn’t available (even though the cabin is wide open) but I could waitlist for it. I asked if there was a way to extend the life of the miles but she didn’t know. She said I had to call Business Extra (I thought I was already speaking to them but I apparently wasn’t).

Since the points are expiring, I figured I might as well go for it. She said that for her to tie the upgrade to my reservation, I first have to log on to businessextra.com and redeem an upgrade certificate, then give her the number of the cert. It’s all pretty easy (see screenshot below) or watch their demo here. Once you redeem, you will receive an upgrade certificate via email so don’t worry about taking a screenshot.

I then had the agent transfer me to Business Extra where I didn’t have to wait more than 30 seconds.

I asked the agent all kinds of questions including whether or not you can extend the life of your miles. He said you can’t technically but you can redeem them for flights, upgrades, donate them or convert each point to six AAdvantage miles. Just do it all online.

I asked what if my Business Extra upgrade doesn’t go through and he said you have a year to use it on another flight or you can convert it to one of the redeemable gifts mentioned above.

It’s good information, which is why I’m sharing it with you. If you fly American Airlines, run a business and don’t have a Business Extra account, you might as well sign up. If you do have a Business Extra account, then check your balance and if, like me, you have points expiring, take action.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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3 Comments On "How To Get Free Upgrades and Points on American Airlines"
  1. Richard|

    Do you have a referral code? It has a place to use one, not sure if you get anything for it, but thought I would ask.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks for thinking of me but sadly I don’t

  2. Dougie|

    I have about 1,800 BE points expiring on 12-31-2021. A couple of days prior to 12-31 I will redeem 1,950 points for 3 upgrade certificates. I believe you must use the certificatess within 1 year of their issue date. But the reservation that the upgrade is used for can be as much as 330 days after a certificate is used. Also, recently some major changes to the BE program were announced by AA. Those changes do not take effect for me until 1-1-2023.

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