It’s never a good feeling to see miles or points expire, regardless of how many…
I signed up for an American Airlines Business Extra account around two years back. I earned a bunch of points through signing up and a promo which was enough for something like a couple of lounge passes (maybe more).
Then, less than a year ago, an offer came out where I could refer up to 5 friends, earning 1,000 points for each one that signed up.
Rather than sign up Kim and offer the referral to friends, I decided to give them away through my blog as a giveaway.
There was definitely some interest and I sent all of my referrals out. A few months later I noticed the AA Business Extra referrals were finally posting. The only problem was that a couple of the winners decided to not sign up, costing me a couple thousand extra points!
Regardless of this, I still had enough points to redeem for loads of different awards. (I had over 4,700 points.)
Here are some things you can redeem the points for:
- Admiral’s Club day pass- 300 points
- Admiral’s Club annual membership- 3,000 points
- AAdvantage Gold Status- 2,40 points
- Upgrades from 650 points- 3,100 points
And my favorite option- for flights!
The points are good for a variety of flight options:
- Within North America (US, Alaska, Canada, Mexico)- PlanAAhead- 2,000 points
- Between North America & Caribbean- PlanAAhead- 2,400 points
- Between North America & South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay)- 4,400 points
- Between North American and Europe- 4,400 points
- Between North America and Japan, China or South Korea- 4,400 points
If I had around 100 points more, I’d make things easy and just claim 2 awards to the Caribbean. With over 500 points expiring on December 31, getting the extra points wasn’t going to happen.
I then decided to claim an award to Asia, however I had no clue when I’d be able to redeem it. To top it off, the flight certificate is only good for one year from date of redemption.
Then we got busy getting ready for our trip to Jamaica. I figured I could just wait until the last day and claim my award when we got back.
Once we were away, I never thought about my AA Business Extra account again.
Then two days back, I thought about my account and realized some of my points had expired. This now made my redemption options a bit more limited.
I decided to send an e-mail to AA Business Extra and asked if there was anything they could do to help me out.
The following morning I saw this message from AA Business customer service:
We show that your Business Extra account had expiring points. They will be reinstated to your account, at your request, by the end of January.
Have a happy and successful New Year!”
Wow! While I only had 566 points expire, this is an important amount for my account with AA Business Extra.
I now have to decide what to redeem for.
My leading options are:
- Flight between North America and Japan, China, South Korea
- Two North America Awards
Getting the flight to Asia is my top choice but I wonder what availability will be like and I’ll also still need to get two more tickets.
If I book the N. America option, I can get a free flight for two of us and still have points leftover.
Tough decisions to make here… What would you do?
When I wrote my message to AA Business Extra I wasn’t confident that they would put the expired points back in my account. I am really impressed by how quickly they got back to me and how flexible they are being for bending the rules and putting the points back in my account at the end of the month!
Don’t forget- It always pays to ask, whether it’s for expired points or something else. Worse case, all they could say is no.