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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.
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 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.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®, Visa, or American Express
- Citi Business AAdvantage Select Visa or MasterCard
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?