Save Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards – Now With NO Phone Booking Fee!

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Are you planning medium or long-haul domestic award flights in the next few months?  Do you live in a city not served by many nonstop American Airlines flights?  And do you have a lot of American Airlines miles?

If so, you might save miles by booking Citi AAdvantage American Airlines reduced mileage awards!

The new list of Citi AAdvantage American Airlines reduced mileage award cities is out.   You could save 5,000 to 7,500 miles on award tickets between specific destinations which change each month.

But only if you hold certain Citi American Airlines cards.

And there’s good news!  American Airlines no longer charges a phone booking fee for reduced mileage awards.  In the past, American Airlines charged $25 per ticket.

Save Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards Now With NO Phone Booking Fee

Spend Fewer Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards

American Airlines publishes the list of eligible destinations every other month, with discounts listed for the next 4 months.

How Does It Work?

Link:   American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards

Link:   American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards Terms and Conditions

Link:   My Review of American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards

Link:   The Secret to Saving 7,500 American Airlines Miles

1.   Only Certain American Airlines AAdvantage Cardholders Are Eligible

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.

Folks who have 1 of these cards get a 5,000 mile discount on a round-trip award ticket, or 2,500 miles 1-way.

  • Citi AAdvantage Gold Visa, MasterCard, or 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.   Destinations Change Monthly

There are 126 cities in the US and Canada on the newest American Airlines Reduced Mileage Award list, which is valid from February to May 2015.  Book by March 31, 2015, for travel until May 31, 2015.

American Airlines publishes a new list every other month, which includes the month the list is published and 3 months beyond that.

Many of these are smaller airports.  You’ll rarely see big cities like New York or Los Angeles on the list.

Save Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards Now With NO Phone Booking Fee

Manhattan Is on the List – Kansas, That Is!

That said, if you live in 1 of the included cities, you can book reduced mileage awards to or from that city!  I wrote about the loophole, and can confirm that it still works.

I checked a round-trip ticket from Raleigh-Durham (which is on the list) to Los Angeles (not on the list) and the agent quoted 17,500 miles round-trip.

However, some readers have commented that it didn’t work for them.  This may be a good example of when to hang up and call again so you can speak to a different agent! 🙂

3.   Find Award Seats Online, Then Call to Book

You can NOT book reduced mileage awards online.  Call American Airlines reservations at 800-882-8880.  You’ll no longer be charged a $25 phone-ticketing fee.

These tickets can also be booked at the airport ($35 fee) or at an American Airlines ticket office ($20 fee).

Before you call, log into your American Airlines frequent flyer account and search for your desired destination to be sure saver award tickets are available.  Only the primary cardholder can book discounted award tickets, and they have to use their own American Airlines miles.

And only American Airlines and American Eagle flights are eligible.

Save Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards Now With NO Phone Booking Fee

Find Available Award Seats Online Before You Call American Airlines to Book Your Ticket

When you call reservations, quote the following discount codes (depending on the card you have and class of service):

  • For coach 7,500 mile discount:  TD8X7E / AVM12
  • For First / Business Class 7,500 mile discount:  UD21X2E / AVM13
  • For coach 5,000 mile discount:  TD10E / AVM10
  • For First / Business Class 5,000 mile discount:  UD22X5E / AVM11

Remember, you’ll only get half the discount for 1-way award tickets.

You’re still responsible for the taxes and fees on the award ticket.  For round-trip travel within the US, award tickets cost up to ~$11, 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 lower 48 US states or Canada.

4.   This Isn’t Always the Best Deal!

I’d much rather pay 17,500 miles than 25,000 miles for a round-trip domestic award ticket, but in some situations you could book award tickets even more cheaply.

For example, you can book American Airlines short-haul flights (under 650 miles 1-way) for only 4,500 British Airways Avios points each way in coach, or 9,000 points round-trip.  That’s an even better savings and there aren’t airports excluded.

This also applies to US Airways and Alaska Airlines award tickets booked with British Airways Avios points.

Save Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards Now With NO Phone Booking Fee

You Can Book Short-Haul American Airlines Tickets Using British Airways Avios Points More Cheaply, Even to Popular or Busy Destinations

And you won’t pay close-in booking fees using British Airways Avios points.   American Airlines charges $75 for tickets booked less than 21 days prior to departure.

If you don’t have any British Airways Avios points, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points or American Express Membership Rewards points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.  Or sign-up for the Chase British Airways card.

Folks who have the Southwest Companion Pass can fly their companion with them for almost free on both paid and award tickets.  Unless you’re booking expensive, last-minute flights, this is usually a better deal (as long as 2 people are flying!).

And if you have United Airlines miles (or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines), you can get a short-haul flight up to 700 miles 1-way in coach for 10,000 miles.  That’s a slightly better deal than the usual 12,500 miles 1-way.

Bottom Line

If you’re have certain Citi AAdvantage cards, you could save between 5,000 and 7,500 miles on American Airlines saver award tickets to and from specific destinations.

The newest list includes 126 cities and is valid for travel until May 31, 2015.  Book by March 31, 2015, by calling American Airlines reservations at 800-882-8880.  There is no longer a phone booking fee.

This could be a good deal for some award tickets.  But for shorter, direct flights, it’s usually cheaper to use British Airways Avios points to book American Airlines award tickets.

This deal works best for folks who live in included cities and want to book mid-to-long distance domestic flights.  This especially applies to flights with connections, which aren’t always cheaper when booked with British Airways Avios points.

Which reduced mileage award destinations interest you?

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4 responses to “Save Miles With American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards – Now With NO Phone Booking Fee!

  1. Here’s a question, thinking about taking a trip to Memphis for the last wkend in April. Both locations are listed for April, if I were to fly out on 4/30 but come back 5/3, would the reduced mileage rate still apply?

  2. The reduced mileage benefit is a scam, it’s a benefit that many (most?) flyers won’t get because it applies ONLY to first-class and business class!

    I recently flew to Detroit, which is eligible for reduced mileage fares in July. I first checked online to make sure seats were available. Then I called reservations, because you can NOT book the reduced mileage fares online. I gave the rep my flight numbers and the reduced fare code and she pointed out it’s for first/business class only!

    I went back to the Terms and Conditions and found it buried there:

    “Discount valid for one-way and roundtrip MileSAAver awards only. Destinations are updated every other month. Discount valid on Premium and Main Cabin travel on American Airlines, American Eagle® and US Airways where applicable, including:

    Business Class on flights offering 3 classes of service

    First Class on flights offering 2 classes of service”

    The fact that this is buried in the Terms and Conditions, which are not even displayed (you have to click the hyperlink to see them), and that they refer to Main Cabin, which I assumed was everything except First Class, but in fact applies only to Business Class, tells me this is a deliberate bait and switch.

    I used my Citi AA Platinum Select card to book, so I did get the 10% award rebate benefit (1,250 miles rebated on the 12,500-mile one-way flight). But, don’t expect the higher reduced-mileage rebate unless you’re flying First or Business classes!!!

  3. When do they release the December 2015 reduced mileage award locations?

  4. Norman Yost @ Virginia Yost

    please notify me of any special flights and how to use the award card efficiently…

    Do you get 2 miles for every one dollar or just one? Do you have to use the card and miles when making the
    reservation or can the amount be applied at a later date?

    Can we fly with another airline and use the awards accrued with American?