American Updates Reduced Mileage Awards for Flights 500 Miles or Less

Apr 1, 2016

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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.

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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. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.   

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.

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