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Did you know you can book some American Airlines award tickets for fewer miles if you have certain Citi American Airlines credit cards?
You can get a discount of 5,000 to 7,500 miles on round-trip award tickets to specific destinations which change each month. You’ll get half the discount on 1-way award tickets.
American Airlines publishes the list of eligible destinations every other month, with discounts listed for the next 4 months.
How Does It Work?
1. Only Certain Credit Cards Are Eligible
To book reduced mileage award tickets, you must be a Citi AAdvantage credit card holder. Only certain cards are eligible, and the mileage discount you get depends on the card you have.
The following cards get you a 7,500 mile discount on a round-trip award ticket (or 3,750 miles on a 1-way award ticket):
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, Visa, or American Express
- Citi Select AAdvantage American Express
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, Visa, or American Express
And these cards get you a 5,000 mile discount on a round-trip award ticket (or 2,500 miles on a 1-way award ticket):
- Citi Gold AAdvantage Mastercard or Visa
- Citi AAdvantage American Express
Note: Some of these cards have been discontinued by Citi and are no longer open to new applicants. But existing cardholders can get the discount.
2. Discounted Destinations Change Each Month
The list of destinations that qualify for the discount changes each month. Only certain destinations in the continental US and Canada are included.
American Airlines publishes a new list every other month, which include the month the list is published and 3 months beyond that.
The most recent list came out at the beginning of August, so a new list should be published at the beginning of October.
3. The Discount Applies to Low-Level Awards Only
Reduced mileage awards are only valid for low-level (MileSAAver) award tickets. But coach class and Business / First class tickets are both eligible.
For example, a low-level round-trip coach class ticket normally costs 25,000 miles. But with the discount, you’ll pay 17,500 or 20,000 miles (depending on which card you have). That’s a good deal!
And a low-level round-trip First Class ticket usually costs 50,000 miles. But if you book a reduced mileage award, you’ll pay between 42,500 and 45,000 miles.
You’re still responsible for the taxes and fees on the award ticket. For travel within the US, award tickets cost up to $10, and for travel to Canada, up to $124.
And you’ll need to book your tickets between the specified dates, and travel within the 4 months after they publish the discounted destinations. All award flights must originate in the continental US or Canada.
4. How to Book Reduced Mileage Award Tickets
You can NOT book reduced mileage award tickets online. To book a ticket, you’ll need to call American Airlines AAdvantage Reservations at 800-882-8880, or visit a ticket office or the airport. They’ll charge fees as follows for the booking (fees are waived for Executive Platinum elite flyers and AAPass members):
- Booking through American Airlines reservations – $20
- Booking through an American Airlines ticket office – $20
- Booking through an American Airlines airport agent – $35
Before you book, log into your American Airlines frequent flyer account and search for your desired destination to make sure low-level award tickets are available. Only the primary cardholder can book discounted award tickets, and they have to use their own American Airlines miles.
For example, I checked for award tickets between Austin and Baltimore (1 of the eligible destinations in September). There are low-level coach award seats available on most days.
Once you find an award seat, you can call American Airlines AAdvantage reservations (or book your ticket in person) and use the following discount codes to get the reduced mileage:
- For coach class 7,500 mile discount: TD8X7A / AVM85
- For First / Business class 7,500 mile discount: UD21X2A /AVM86
- For coach class 5,000 mile discount: TD10A / AVM82
- For First / Business class 5,000 mile discount: UD22X5A / AVM83
Remember, you’ll only get half the discount for 1-way award tickets.
5. For Short-Haul Flights, It’s Better to Use British Airways Avios
Remember, you can book American Airlines award tickets using British Airways miles (Avios). For flights less than 650 miles, it only costs 4,500 miles for a 1-way coach class award ticket, 9,000 miles for Business Class, and 13,500 miles for First Class. That’s a better deal than booking through reduced mileage awards.
If you’re a Citi AAdvantage cardholder, you could save between 5,000 and 7,500 miles on low-level American Airlines award tickets to certain destinations.
Only certain cards are eligible, and qualifying destinations change each month. A new list is published every other month.
You can’t book these award seats online, only in person or over the phone. And most folks will be charged between $20 and $35 to book the tickets.
This is a good deal if you’re planning a trip to 1 of the included destinations. But for short-haul flights, it’s usually cheaper to use British Airways Avios to book American Airlines award tickets.
Which reduced mileage award destinations interest you?