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The American Airlines award chart has a frequently overlooked sweet spot that can make excellent sense for folks who book short trips. And even better, you can use the welcome bonus from the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card to book these flights!
Short-haul non-stop flights on American Airlines which are 500 miles or less within the US and Canada cost only 7,500 American Airlines miles each way! Because the MileUp Card comes with a 10,000 American Airlines mile bonus and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, you’ll have more than enough to book one of these flights. And there’s no annual fee!
You can apply for the Citi American Airlines MileUp card here.
We’ll walk you through how to find flights that fall within the 500-mile rule, how to book them, and even how to reduce the number of miles needed by even more if you have certain other American Airlines credit cards.
Earn 10,000 American Airlines Miles and Save Hundreds of Dollars!
Apply Here: American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
With the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp card, you’ll earn 10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. With this card, you’ll also earn:
- 2 American Airlines miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases
- 2 American Airlines miles per $1 at grocery stores (including eligible grocery delivery services)
- 1 American Airlines mile per $1 for all other purchases
The best part about this card is it has no annual fee! So this card is the perfect compliment to those who already have an American Airlines card as you can now earn 2 miles per $1 on groceries which is a major expense for many folks.
Additionally, this card is NOT impacted by Citi’s strict application rules which limits who can receive welcome bonuses on American Airlines branded cards. With the sign-up bonus, strong earning potential on groceries, and no annual fee, this is a great addition for folks looking to boost their American Airlines miles balance.
How To Book One-Way Short Haul Flights for Only 7,500 Miles!
Team member Harlan loves booking American Airlines short-haul flights for fewer miles! With American Airlines, short non-stop flights 500 miles or less within the contiguous US states and Canada cost only 7,500 American Airlines miles! But how do you find out which routes qualify?
When searching for flights, go to the American Airlines website. There’s a pretty intuitive flight map which shows all the flights that leave from a specific airport. So if you live in Cleveland, click Cleveland on the map and it will show you all of the routes American Airlines currently flies from that airport. I typically sort by number of stops so I know where I can fly non-stop from my airport. Keep in mind, this 500-mile sweet spot is only good on American Airlines and American Eagle operated flights, not on partners such as Alaska Airlines. This is a great tool to start thinking about possible cities you’d like to travel to.
Once you land on a city you’d like to visit, you can use the Great Circle Mapper tool which allows you to search the distance between 2 airports. Using Dallas an an example, I can either search for how far Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is from JFK (1,391 miles) by searching “DFW-JFK“. Or I can also search for which airports are within a 500-mile radius of Dallas-Fort Worth by searching “500mi@DFW”
Once you have a destination you know is 500 miles or less away, you can log into your American Airlines account and start searching for available award seats. I found examples below of routes I’ve helped some of my family members book in the past. As you can see, the cash prices of these flights are several hundred dollars one-way but only 7,500 American Airlines miles!
Pittsburgh to New York City:
Philadelphia to Myrtle Beach:
For more information about booking American Airlines flights with miles, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to American Airlines miles where you’ll learn how to find the best deals and book your flights!
Combine Your MileUp Card With Other American Airlines Cards for Even Bigger Savings!
If you’re looking to save even more money per flight, check out American Airlines’ Reduced Mileage Awards. Every 2 months, American Airlines releases a set of cities with discounted award flights over the coming 4 months!
In order to take advantage of these reduced awards, you will need to have one of the below American Airlines cards:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
- Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator™ Business Mastercard
- Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard
The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is not eligible for Reduced Mileage Awards, but if you have one of the above American Airlines cards you can use the miles you earn with the MileUp card to get even cheaper flights!
For flights in our sweet spot of 500 miles or less, you will get a 2,000-mile reduction in the number of miles you need to book a round-trip flight, or a 1,000-mile reduction on a one-way flight. That means you can book a one way flight for only 6,500 American Airlines miles, which is a steal!
Keep in mind, folks with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® also get a 10% rebate when they spend American Airlines miles, up to 10,000 miles per year. So it’s possible to save even more!
Note: American Airlines just introduced Economy Web Specials for 5,000 American Airlines miles each way. They take effect in January, and so far only a handful of routes are included. With the Citi MileUp bonus, you could get a round-trip flight on these routes!
The new American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is a great way to add to your American Airlines balance. It comes with a welcome bonus of 10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. It also earns 2 miles per $ spent on groceries, which is a great way to earn points in a category where folks are spending a lot of money every week.
The best part is this card has no annual fee, which makes it a great card to pair with an existing American Airlines card so you can really start making the most of your mile earning potential!
Because short-haul, non-stop domestic flights on American Airlines cost only 7,500 American Airlines miles one-way, this card’s welcome bonus is enough to get you a free flight anywhere in the contiguous US states and Canada when you fly 500 miles or less! One-way flights on some of these short-haul flights can easily cost several hundred dollars, so you can really save a lot of money!
And if you have other cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® you can take advantage of American Airlines’ Reduced Mileage Awards and book your flight for even less!
You can apply for the Citi American Airlines MileUp card here.