American to Replace SME Business Loyalty Program

American to Replace SME Business Loyalty Program

American Airlines has developed a new corporate loyalty program geared toward small and midsize companies, the carrier announced Monday. Dubbed AAdvantage Business, it allows both eligible enterprises and their travelers to earn reward miles and loyalty points for booked business travel on an American direct channel, such as its website or mobile app.

As a result of the new offering, the carrier will sunset its predecessor, the Business Extra program. Business Extra members were alerted to the changes on Monday, according to the carrier, and they will stop earning Business Extra points as they register for AAdvantage Business. Their current points will remain available for use until Jan. 31, 2024, according to American.

Under the new program, eligible businesses must have at least five employees, and there is not a minimum spend requirement for the company to start earning miles.

AAdvantage Business is “simpler, better and cheaper,” American SVP of partnerships and retailing Scott Laurence told BTN, adding that an online booking tool is part of the new program. The new program uses the AAdvantage loyalty program as a baseline, he said.

How it works: For every $1 spent on eligible business travel—which includes codeshare purchases through the AAdvantage Business portal, according to Laurence—businesses earn one AAdvantage mile to redeem on air tickets, hotels, car rentals, Admirals Club lounges and other experiences for travelers. For that same $1 in spend, eligible business travelers earn one loyalty point—in addition to their regular earn for being an AAdvantage member—that counts toward their accrual for earning status.

“It drives recognition of the customer while rewarding the business,” Laurence said. “We had a large number of customers who were booking directly with us, but the business was not getting any benefit for that.”

American also has connected its CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard to the new business rewards program. Companies that also use that card can “further accelerate rewards for their company and help their employees reach status,” according to the carrier. On all eligible American purchases, new cardmembers can earn twice the miles for their company, plus the cardmember will earn an additional loyalty point toward their AAdvantage status for every $1 spent on their business card.

In addition, businesses will earn miles for all other business purchases on the card, including twice the miles at telecommunications, cable and satellite providers, and twice the miles on car rental suppliers and at gas stations, according to American. Cardholders will be able to check their first bag for free on domestic American Airlines flights, plus have preferred boarding.

AAdvantage Business travel managers and their travelers will be able to track business trips in a single portal, and travelers can switch between business and personal travel when booking. Buyers also will have access to online tools, including reporting, traveler management and duty of care.

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