Guest Post from Doctor of Credit: Four Frequent Flyer Programs You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
Most people are familiar with all of the regular frequent flyer programs, you can earn miles from flying, credit card spend or by shopping using their online portal. What most people don’t know is that a lot of major airlines also have business frequent flyer programs which can be used in conjunction with personal frequent flyer programs, meaning you can double dip and earn points twice.
These miles are earned in a separate program and cannot be used in conjunction with your personal miles. Most people will automatically think they aren’t eligible as they don’t have a business. This is technically true, but most people will find that they can also have a business with a little bit of thought. Your employees might just be family members that help you out with your thriving eBay or Amazon business – allowing you to not only get business miles on your flights but also on family members who fly regularly!
There are four airlines that have publicized business frequent flyer programs. The are listed below along with a little bit of information on each program.
American Airlines Business ExtrAA (link)
Business Extra is free and available to all businesses that have two or more employees. You earn 2 Business ExtrAA miles per $10 spent. You can also ear miles by using AACargo.com for your shipping needs. This might not sound like a lot, but it’s important to remember that Business ExtrAA miles are far more valuable than regular American Airlines miles.
To earn Business ExtrAA miles, you will need to include your Business ExtrAA number when you book a flight with American Airlines. This can be saved to your AAdvantage account so you don’t need to remember it (particularly helpful when your employees are also friends & family).
You can view the entire award chart here or view some sample awards below:
- North America to Caribbean return: 4,800 miles for a PlanAAhead fare
- North America To Europe one way: 4,400 miles for a PlanAAhead fare
- North America To Japan/China/South Korea one way: 4400 miles for a PlanAAhead fare
- North America to Europe, South America, Central America or Asia (excluding India):
- 1,200 points for an upgrade on a full fare
- 3,100 points for an upgrade on a discounted fare
- AAdvantage Gold Status: 2,400 points
- Admirals club one year membership: 3,000 points
British Airways On Business (link)
On Business is free and available to businesses that have two or more employees. Unfortunately, points will expire if they are unused after three calendar years after their date of issue. For example, if you earn points between January 1 and December 31, 2011, they will automatically expire on December 31, 2014.
The point earning system is much more complicated than the simple system that American Airlines offers. You’ll basically earn points on British Airways flights and One World partners that are booked with a BA flight number. The amount of points you’ll earn is dependent on the segment, you can view the full list here.
Points can either be spent for free flights or upgrades, depending on your preference. Click here to view the points required for free flights or here for upgrades. We’ve given you a few sample redemptions below:
- London to North America, Club World To First Upgrade: 5,800 to 6,700 points
- London to Sydney, World Traveler To World Traveler Plus: 12,600 points
- London to North America, World Traveler/Euro Traveler: 6,600 to 7,920 points
- UK Domestic World Traveler/Euro Traveler: 1,560 points
Delta SkyBonus (link)
In the FAQ section, Delta states that you need to prove your business with a bunch of documents & numbers. In reality, you don’t need any of these to sign up, but Delta has the right to cancel your account if you don’t have these at any stage.
You earn points on a per dollar spent rate on all Delta and airlines with a preferred carrier agreement with Delta (e.g Air France, KLM & Alitalia). You’ll earn at the following rates:
- Business class fares to/from ATL, CVG, DTW, MEM, MSP, SLC: 10 points per $1 spent
- Business class fares to/from any other destination: 30 points per $1 spent
- Non business class fares to/from ATL, CVG, DTW, MEM, MSP, SLC: 3 points per $1 spent
- Non business class fares to/from any other destination: 6 points per $1 spent
You can also earn 500 points for completing a short quiz after going through their SkyBonus University courses (four courses in total).
Click here for the full award chart, or view some sample awards below:
- Flights within the US & Canada (excludes Hawaii):
- 85,000 points return for coach
- 225,000 points return for first
- 28,000 one way fare upgrade
- Flights between the US/Canada & Hawaii:
- 160,00 points return for coach
- 320,000 points return for first class
- 100,000 points one way fare upgrade
- Flights between US/Canada & Asia/Australia:
- 175,000 points return for coach
- 670,000 points return for first class
- 140,000 points for one way fare upgrade
Delta regularly offers sign up promotion where you can earn anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 points if you sign up using a referral link from somebody who already has a SkyBonus account. At the moment they have one of these deals where you can earn 5,000 points if you use a referral link and purchase a Delta ticket after enrollment for an employee that flies before the 30th of June, 2014. You may have luck asking one of the people posting in this FlyerTalk thread for a referral link.
United PerksPlus (link)
Getting into this program is significantly harder than the others. You need to have at least five employees, you cannot redeem your points until you have $5,000 in eligible revenue for three consecutive months in the first twelve months of signing up. You also need to maintain a spend of $25,000 per year to have your account renewed.
You can earn at the following rates per dollar spent:
- Last minute or premium fares (F, J, Y):
- Hub 3 points
- Non-hub 6 points
- Typical business travel fares (A, C, B, M, E, U, H):
- Hub 2 points
- Non-hub 4 points
- Highly discounted leisure fares (D, Z, P, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G):
- Hub 1 point
- Non-hub 2 points
Points are valid for a period of twelve months during the membership year and another twelve months if your membership is extended. Points can be redeemed at the following rates, click here for the full award chart:
- Round trip business class to US 48 / Canada / Alaska / Caribbean / Mexico from US 48 / Canada / Alaska / Caribbean / Mexico: 90,000 points – 360,000 points
- Round trip business class to Europe from US 48 / Canada / Alaska / Caribbean / Mexico: 340,000 to 900,000 points
- Round trip economy class to Australia: from US 48 / Canada / Alaska / Caribbean / Mexico: 125,000 to 575,000 points
Hopefully you found this post helpful and you’ll enroll in a business frequently flyer program to double dip on your flight earning potential. Most people will find it easy to get approved for most of the programs, the only real one you’ll have any difficult with is United. If you know of any other business frequent flyer programs let us know in the comments. If you have any comments or questions about the business frequent flyer programs, please leave a comment below. William will be able to answer any questions you may have.
William Charles is the main blogger at DoctorOfCredit.com. He focuses on educating the every day consumer about credit and how it affects them. He recently put the finishing touches on his 4,000 word article on FICO scores (link). He’s also previously written a guest post for Travel With Grant titled “Bank Account Bonuses“