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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select
As part of its massive March 22 devaluation, American Airlines introduced a new permanent redemption level for flights 500 miles or less, letting AAdvantage members redeem 7,500 miles (rather than the usual 12,500) each way for short-haul options. The problem there is that AA offers monthly Reduced Mileage Awards (RMAs), in which co-branded credit cardholders can get up to 5,000 miles off a flight.
While 2,500-mile one-way flights sound fantastic in theory, American (understandably) wasn’t prepared to let awards go at that rate — so it temporarily suspended RMAs for these 500-mile flights. Now, RMAs are back for short-haul flights, albeit with a unique (and less generous) discount.
As you can see above, cardholders will receive either a 2,000-mile discount (with cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard) or a 1,000-mile discount on flights that clock in at 500 miles or less. The same fixed discount (rather than a percentage-based adjustment) applies to flights booked in first class, so you won’t see much savings there.
As a reminder, airports will need to be included as part of AA’s monthly Reduced Mileage Awards in order to qualify for the discount, as small as it may be.
Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you. Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for guests traveling with you*
- Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
Know before you go.
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