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Reminder: Reduced Priced Awards for Citi AAdvantage Cardholders Exist and They Just Got Better

by on June 12, 2013 · 24 comments

in American, Citi

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Update: Most Citi AAdvantage 50K offers have expired as reported in this FlyerTalk thread, though there is a live offer for the Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® for 50,000 miles after $3,000 spent within the first 3 months.

Offer Expired: December 13, 2012

American AAdvantage miles are some of the most valuable airline miles out there. Personally, I use them for long-haul redemptions in first class (like my recent trip to Sao Paulo on their brand new 777-300) or for 40,000 mile off-peak awards to Europe in coach. If you have a co-branded Citi AAdvantage card you get access to reduced price domestic awards, that to be honest I often forget about because I don’t usually redeem AA for domestic awards, since Avios are generally better for short/mid-haul flights.

Screen shot 2013-06-12 at 10.03.41 AM

All Citi AAdvantage cardholders can book reduced-price awards on certain routes within the US and Canada originating within the 48 contiguous United States, which only used to be bookable on roundtrip awards, but which just became available for one-way bookings as well. Also instead of being available between various city pairs on a quarterly basis, the reduced mileage award routes will now change monthly (which is a mixed bag, in my opinion).

The reduced mileage awards changes are the big news here. Depending on the Citi AAdvantage card you have, you could get either 7,500 or 5,000 miles off a roundtrip award. The following cards yielded the 7,500-mile discount:
Screen shot 2013-06-12 at 10.11.23 AM
The Citi AAdvantage Amex, Citi Gold AAdvantage Visa and Citi Gold AAdvantage Mastercard all just give a 5,000-mile discount on roundtrips.
So just sticking with the 7,500-mile discount, that means that on roundtrip economy awards, you’d only need 17,500 miles and for roundtrip business/first class awards you’d only be spending 42,500 miles (though you do have to pay a $25 booking fee to redeem these over the phone unless you’re an AAdvantage Executive Platinum, in which case the fee is waived).
Screen shot 2013-06-12 at 10.04.52 AM

The other thing to think about is if you try to travel across a month break (say outbound on June 30 and returning July 3), only one way of your award ticket might be at the reduced level and you’d have to pay the normal level for the other. Looking at the list as it stands now, there’s a fair amount of overlap month to month, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Worth Getting One of These Cards?
Considering the sign-up bonus on the Citi Platinum Select Visa is at 40,000 miles after $3,000 to earn the bonus, that’s already enough for a roundtrip business/first class award right there – an even better value considering the $95 annual fee is waived the first year. Cardholders of the personal (non-business) cards also earn 10% of their redeemed AAdvantage miles back up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles each calendar year, which for me more than pays for the annual fee of the card since I value those miles at about $180.

Overall, I think these changes are positive since they give cardholders the ability to book reduced-price awards one-way and there will be more cities from which they’re available, making this just one more valuable reason to carry a Citi AAdvantage credit card.

For more information on the best current AAdvantage credit card sign-up bonuses available at the moment and how to max out their value, check out this post from last week.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jon Dukes

    If you currently have the AA Visa Business/Personal from the 50k offers 3 months ago, Can you apply for this card?

  • Robert

    I used a reduced-mileage award (17,5k miles) to go round-trip from Colorado Springs, CO to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The ticket would have cost me 1,050 bux……you can’t beat that with a STICK!

  • sergey

    I booked 3 coach tickets tpa-xna using these reduced awards. It costed me 52.5k miles, the same flights would cost 72k avios. Was it a good redemption?

  • Luke Parsons

    I there a way to book and not incur a booking fee?

  • Shawn

    Hi. What’s the point of booked a 1 way if its exactly 1/2 of the round trip cost? Maybe I’m missing something but I always fly home when I fly to a destination. Thanks.

  • carol

    For me, it’s a matter of availability and flexibility. I sometimes book one way with AA and the return flight with UA.

  • Rick

    TPG, some Citi AA cards also give you back 10% of your redeemed miles. So 10% of 17,500 makes it 15,750. A fantastic deal!

  • thepointsguy

    Maximum flexibility– not everyone needs to go and return right away

  • thepointsguy

    Yes

  • thepointsguy

    Nope- you have to call

  • thepointsguy

    Nicely done!

  • DaveRamseyIsDangerous

    There is another considerably advantage with one-way bookings. Say that you are flying Peoria to LAX in June. Your outbound flight TO LAX does not qualify because your destination is not on the list. HOWEVER, your inbound flight to Peoria WOULD qualify because Peoria is your “destination” for the inbound flight if booking one-way, if a MileSAAver fare is available. Consequently, booking two separate one-way flights saves miles.

  • ocscorpio

    I’ve been using these discounts for years. However, I noticed on the link you provided it only showed destinations for June, 2013 as opposed to how they used to list destinations, which was quarterly. Has AA changed this so destinations will now be updated monthly instead of quarterly like they had always been in the past?

  • vortix

    Correct! Note that there is a 10,000 mile maximum rebate per year.

  • vortix

    Excellent point – thanks for sharing! I also like the fact that I can now fly into one city and back home from another city by booking two one-way flights. Since my home city is often on the list of reduced mileage destinations, I can easily fly home out of any city I want in the US.

  • vortix

    It’s always worth asking if the fee can be waived. Clearly AA is in the wrong for charging the phone booking fee when there is no possible way to book online to begin with. I also wonder how they would react if you dispute the charges on your credit card? Might be an interesting experiment.

  • kishore

    Application link for visa card is not working. I tried that for my wife AOR yesterday. But no luck. Details page is working. But not the actual application.

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  • Bobby

    Assuming we book a roundtrip AA reduced award, can we put in a stopover, as we can with normal AA awards? doesn’t seem to be anything in the T&Cs against that.

  • Chris

    Chris, If you apply for the AAdvantage Citi Master Card, can you combine the miles with your AAdvantage Citi Platinum? If so, how do you go about doing this? Thank You

  • allypz

    Wait so if I booked my flight from LAX to MIA for 12,500 Miles, it would have been less miles if I would of called?

    Another question: If I have two of these citibank advantage cards and its been a year, and now I just want to keep one, do I get to keep all my miles? I havent used them yet. –OR– Should I close both and just open a new card for more miles?

  • allypz

    hmm, I have both these cards, and when I got the mastercard, it automatically combined them with my previous miles because I only have one Advantage account on aa.com. Does this help?

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  • Lucylor

    If you pay the fee with your Citi AAdvantage card, then you are eligible for priority boarding and one checked bag for free…well worth the booking fee.

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