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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite Mastercard

Update 1/26/17: I was able to utilize this promotion to book an award flight with a redemption value of 11.1 cents per mile:


Along with priority boarding and a free checked bag, Citi-issued American Airlines co-branded credit cards also offer a lesser-known perk: reduced mileage awards. This promotion allows you to save between 1,000 and 7,500 miles per round-trip, depending on the route and the type of card you’ve got.

The reduced mileage award program is only valid for two months at a time, and there’s no guarantee it’ll be renewed. So, we always breathe a sigh of relief when we see another list posted. Thankfully, it’s been renewed yet again. This time for bookings through January 31 for flights through the end of March.

Updates

The discount applies to flights both to and from the listed airports. However, American Airlines agents are instructed to only apply the discount for flights between the “48 contiguous United States or Canada” and the listed airports. So, unfortunately, this keeps you from applying this discount for flights between a listed airport and Europe, Asia or even the Caribbean.

On the last reduced mileage award post, one commenter asked if this discount could be applied to Alaska-operated flights. I’ve tried a few times but haven’t had luck booking an Alaska Airlines-operated flight with this discount. However, I haven’t been able to determine whether there is an actual exclusion of this, or I just haven’t found the right agent.

Who’s Eligible?

If you have one of the following cards, you can save 7,500 miles off of a round-trip award ticket (or 3,750 off one-way):

Or, you’re eligible for 5,000 miles off of a round-trip award ticket (or 2,500 off one-way) if you have one of the following:

  • Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite Mastercard (as well as the old Visa and Amex versions)
  • AAdvantage Aviator Blue MasterCard (not accepting new applications)
One-Way Flights Within the US
(excluding <500)
Flights under
500 miles
To/From
Canada
Award Chart Cost 12,500 7,500 15,000
Reduced Mileage Award Discount (3,750) (1,000) (3,750)
Mileage Cost 8,750 6,500 11,250
10% Rebate (if eligible) (875) (650) (1,125)
Net Cost 7,875 5,850 10,125

If you have multiple types of cards (i.e., the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard), you’re only eligible to take the discount once. However, you’ll still be eligible for the 10% mileage rebate available on qualifying cards. So, your “net” mileage cost for an economy flight could be just 7,875 miles one-way (15,750 round-trip).

As of March 22, nonstop award flights of less than 500 miles (each way) cost just 7,500 AAdvantage miles one-way — rather than the standard 12,500 miles one-way. While these <500-mile award flights aren’t eligible for the 3,750-mile discount noted above, you can use an eligible card to save 1,000 miles off of a one-way redemption. This means that you’ll pay just 6,500 miles one-way for flights of less than 500 miles (before the 10% rebate).

December Airports

Reduced mileage cities for December. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

December’s amended list includes 62 airports. But, before you get your hopes up about cheap award flights for the holidays, remember that there must be MileSAAver award space available for you to get the 7,500-mile discount — which will likely be hard to come by.

Here are the top contenders for December:

  • Brownsville, TX (BRO) — perfect time for a beach getaway to South Padre Island
  • Durango, CO (DRO)
  • Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
  • Fort Myers, FL (RSW)
  • Monterey, CA (MRY)
  • Savannah, GA (SAV)

Not mapped (for space): Bakersfield, CA (BFL); Calgary, AB (YYC); Flagstaff, AZ (FLG); Monterey, CA (MRY)

January Airports

Reduced mileage cities for January. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Northern cities for January. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage cities for January. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage cities for January. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Western cities for January. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Western cities for January. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

January’s list of reduced mileage award airports is incredible. An overwhelming 171 destinations are available for reduced mileage awards! While you can go pretty much anywhere, here are some of the top destinations you might want to consider:

Not mapped (for space): Calgary, AB (YYC); Eugene, OR (EUG); Jackson Hole, WY (JAC)

February Airports

Reduced mileage Southern cities for February. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Northern cities for February. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Southern cities for February. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Southern cities for February. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Western cities for February. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Western cities for February. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

The cornucopia of airports continues in February, with a wide-ranging list of 155 airports. Here are some you might be interested in booking:

Not mapped (for space): Bangor, ME (BGR); Calgary, AB (YYC); Garden City, KS (GCK)

March Airports

Reduced mileage Northern cities for March. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Northern cities for March. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Southern cities for March. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Southern cities for March. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Western cities for March. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.
Reduced mileage Western cities for March. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

As we start moving into spring months, American Airlines understandably is cutting back on the number of reduced mileage award airports. Yet, 96 airports are still on the list for March. Here are some of the top destinations you might want to consider:

Not mapped (for space): Bangor, ME (BGR); Calgary, AB (YYC)

How To Book

Once you’ve found MileSAAver award availability on American Airlines’ website, call American Airlines at 1-800-882-8880 — or your elite reservations number, if applicable — to book the award ticket. As these awards aren’t available for booking online, the terms and conditions state that the standard $30 phone-booking fee will be waived. However, if you book through an airport agent or AA travel center, a booking fee of $35 will apply.

For December 2016 – March 2017 reduced mileage awards, the discount codes that you’ll have to provide the agent for the larger discount are:

7,500 / 2,000-mile cards Within the US
(excluding <500)
Flights under
500 miles
To/From Canada
Savings (per round-trip) 7,500 2,000 7,500
First Class (2-cabin aircraft) UD21X2D / AVM05 UD14D / AVA72 UD26X2D / AVA69
Business Class (3-cabin aircraft) UD28X7D / AVA67 N/A UD33X7D / AVA70
Main Cabin TD8X7D / AVM04 TD6X5D / AVA71 TD11X2D / AVA68

And for the smaller discount:

5,000 / 1,000-mile cards Within the US
(excluding <500)
Flights under
500 miles
To/From Canada
Savings (per round-trip) 5,000 1,000 5,000
First Class (2-cabin aircraft) UD22X5D / AVM03 UD14X5D / AVA66 UD27X5D / AVA63
Business Class (3-cabin aircraft) UD30D / AVA61 N/A UD35D / AVA64
Main Cabin TD10D / AVM02 TD7D / AVA65 TD12X5D / AVA62

Tips

1. Note that the airports for December-January previously covered aren’t necessarily still available. Discounted award flights to/from the airports on this list had to be booked by November 30. Make sure to book award flights for the airports listed below before January 31 to avoid missing out. The list of airports for February and March will likely change on February 1.

2. The $75 close-in booking fee still applies to award flights within 21 days — waived when American Airlines Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum members are using miles from their account.

3. As you can tell by the codes above, the discounts are also available for domestic business and first-class flights. The savings of 7,500/2,000 (5,000/1,000) miles are the same regardless of the cabin booked.

4. Award flights to/from Canada no longer cost the same amount of miles as flights inside the US; award flights to/from Canada start at 30,000 miles round-trip in economy. If you are flying to/from an eligible city, you can apply one of these codes to save 7,500 miles.

Where will you go with this list of reduced mileage awards?

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