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American Airlines periodically releases what they call Citi® / AAdvantage® Reduced Mileage Awards. If you have one of the Citi AAdvantage credi cards (and if you don’t, why not?!?), you are eligible for up to 7500 miles off a round-trip ticket with one of these reduced mileage awards.
They release the list every other month, and the list is good for 4 months of travel. So the list was just released for bookings in December and January, and you can travel in December, January, February or March.
There is a list of destinations, and some are available all the months, and some only in certain months.
For the next 4 months (December – March) there are actually 24 airports that are on the list all 4 months. So anyone based in any of these places can get a roundtrip to anywhere in the 48 continental states and Canada for only 15,750 miles!
- Colorado Springs, CO (COS)
- Columbus, OH (CMH)
- Dayton, OH (DAY)
- El Paso, TX (ELP)
- Gainesville, FL (GNV)
- Greensboro, NC (GNS)
- Gulfport/Biloxi, MS (GPT)
- Hartford, CT (BDL)
- Kitchener, Canada (YKF)
- Longview, TX (GGG)
- Monterey, CA (MRY)
- Montgomery, AL (MGM)
- Montreal, Canada (YUL)
- Norfolk, VA (ORF)
- Reno, NV (RNO)
- Roswell, NM (ROW)
- Santa Fe, NM (SAF)
- Tallahassee, FL (TLH)
- Toronto, Canada (YYZ)
- Tulsa, OK (TUL)
- Vail / Eagle, CO (EGE)
- Washington Dulles, D.C. (IAD)
- West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
- Wichita Falls, TX (SPS)
- Wichita, KS (ICT)
How to book Reduced Mileage Awards
In order to book Citi / American Reduced Mileage Awards, you need to have one of the Citi / American co-branded credit cards. These 7 cards are eligible for the full 7,500 mile discount on a roundtrip
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
- Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select Visa
- Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
- Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select American Express
- CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Select Visa
- CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Select MasterCard
- CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
In addition, if you have one of the Citi / AAdvantage Gold cards, you can get a 5,000 mile discount.
To book reduced mileage awards, you will need to call the reservation desk at 800-882-8880. The disclaimers say that you may be charged a $35 phone fee, but I’ve found good success in asking for that to be waived since these awards are not bookable online.
Why Reduced Mileage Awards are so awesome
Here’s why American’s Reduced Mileage Awards are so great – as far as I know, this is THE cheapest way (miles and points wise) to get a domestic round-trip ticket, especially on longer flights. Let’s compare.
- British Airways Avios are the best for shorter distances. But if you don’t live in a oneworld hub, your destination options are limited. For example, living in Cincinnati as I do, I have 5 destinations that I can redeem for only 4,500 Avios (in red) and an additional two destinations that cost me 7,500 Avios one-way (in green). Of course if you live in a oneworld hub, you will have more destination flexibility.
- Flights on Southwest depend on the fares charged, and so vary quite a bit based on location and date, but sample fares I looked at for Dayton – Las Vegas were running about 12,000 miles one-way.
- Redemptions on any other airlines are going to be 12,500 miles one-way or 25,000 miles round-trip.
But wait! There’s more!
A domestic round-trip ticket for only 17,500 miles is a great deal, but don’t forget that with most of those AAdvantage cards, you ALSO get a 10% mileage rebate on your redemptions, making your net mileage cost only 15,750 miles! That is pretty close to unbeatable for longer redemptions – unless you’re booking 2 flights and have the Southwest Companion pass, perhaps.
Coupled with the fact that the reduced mileage awards work BOTH ways, so if you live in one of the featured destination cities, you can get a roundtrip to ANYWHERE (in the US and Canada), American’s Reduced Mileage awards are one of the best deals out there. I know they’re not as “sexy” as some of the other deals out there (like the Air France / KLM promo awards that offer cheap transatlantic redemptions like Chicago to Europe for only 12,500 miles one-way), but they also don’t come with any fuel surcharges! You’ll only pay the $11.20 “TSA” “security” “fee” (and thanks to the Congress-critters, that number won’t be going up… for now)
Have you used reduced mileage awards? How did it work out for you?