Book American Airlines Award Tickets for Less!

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

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.

Book American Airlines Award Tickets For Less

Book American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards and Save Up to 7,500 Miles on a Round-Trip Ticket

How Does It Work?

Link:   Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards

Link:   Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards Terms and Conditions

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):

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.

Book American Airlines Award Tickets For Less

A Sample of Some of the Currently Discounted Destinations

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.

Book American Airlines Award Tickets For Less

Coach AND First Class Low Level Tickets Are Eligible for Reduced Mileage Awards

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.

Book American Airlines Award Tickets For Less

Before You Book, Check to See If Low-Level Award Tickets Are Available on the Dates You Want

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 don’t have any British Airways Avios, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points or American Express Membership Rewards points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.

Bottom Line

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?

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 16,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 responses to “Book American Airlines Award Tickets for Less!

  1. Great post.

    I logged onto my AA account and searched for LAX –> HNL and couldn’t find one.
    None of the Hawaii destinations are mentioned in the discounted list.

  2. Thanks for the tip, just used AA miles for a positioning flight for a mileage run 🙂

  3. I believe AA domestic first registers as just that on the BA site; awards in domestic first cost first (3x) Avios prices. 4500 economy = 13500 first.

    Let me know if I’m doing it wrong, though, because I’d love to save the miles!

  4. Does the 10% points rebate apply to these decreased award redemptions?

  5. I just posted about a AA reduced mileage loophole!
    http://first2board.com/giddyforpoints/2014/08/loophole-aa-reduced-mileage-awards/

    @ADi, the reduced mileage only works for the 48 states, not hawaii or alaska and it only works on AA metal…no partners which means no US airways since they have not merged yet
    @Trent yes the 10% points rebate still applies to these reduced mileage redemptions…pretty cool huh

  6. I didn’t note any mention of an advanced purchase requirement in the T&C’s; do you know whether there is one after all? Do they assess the “close-in” booking fee for <21 days advanced reservation of an award using this program/benefit (it's not mentioned either)? Or is that basically folded into the agent-assistance fee? Also curious about whether the 10% rebate also triggers, along with @Trent. May book one sometime just to see.

  7. @scott, yes $75 close in booking fee applies < 21 days

  8. After transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios (9000 miles for coach RT) – do I (A) call AA to make reservation or (B) call BA to make reservation?

  9. About point #5 (“For Short-Haul Flights…”): Now that U.S. Airways is in the OneWorld alliance (and is basically AA by another name, for the time being), are its flights bookable using BA Avios too? Would it have to be a codeshare w/ AA, or are all US Metal flights eligible for the same Avios booking treatment as a result of the alliance move? I haven’t really noticed this talked about anywhere that I remember, and am a little confused.

  10. I have a bunch of avois points but availability on AA flights is always so limited. Any tips?

  11. I applied for the card again after receiving a direct offer of 50,000 miles and had cancelled the card in Nov. 2013 is there anyway to get this card again? I was rejected for already having it. I want it to use this discount as well. It was City Select Platinum Visa.

  12. Pingback: Secret to Saving 7,500 American Airlines Miles | Million Mile Secrets

  13. Pingback: Best of Million Mile Secrets - August 2014 | Million Mile Secrets

  14. An award seat on the 12th is 12.5K. So if we apply this
    ◾For coach class 7,500 mile discount: TD8X7A / AVM85

    We need to pay 12.5k-7500 = 5000 mile.

    Am I correct? How do I know if the award seat on the 12 is qualify for a discount?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  15. is this reduced mileage only for domestic US flights?