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American Airlines periodically releases what they call Citi® / AAdvantage® Reduced Mileage Awards. If you have one of the Citi AAdvantage credit 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. I read on Mommy Points that the list was just released for bookings in December and January, and you can travel in October, November, December, or January.
There is a list of destinations, and some cities are available all the months, and some only in certain months.
For the next 4 months (October – January), I counted 62(!) 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!
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 EliteTM 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®
- AAdvantage® AviatorTM Silver World Elite MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® AviatorTM Business MasterCard®
In addition, if you have one of the Citi / AAdvantage Gold or Aviator Blue 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. Because Reduced Mileage Awards are not bookable online, you will not be charged a phone booking fee.
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 most 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.
I’m helping a family of 4 with tickets to Florida, and booking with a reduced mileage award would mean instead of 100,000 American AAdvantage miles, it would only be 63,000 miles. Of course if I can find direct flights to Miami, then they would be only 60,000 British Airways Avios roundtrip for 4 tickets.
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?