American Airlines is eliminating reduced mileage awards on Citi-issued credit cards

Jul 13, 2021

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One of the lesser known — although pretty amazing — benefits with the American Airlines’ cobranded credit cards from Citi is the opportunity to save up to 7,500 miles per round-trip award flight, solely for being a cardmember. This reduced mileage award benefit has been around for years, but unfortunately, is coming to an end on Oct. 1, 2021.

As first reported by DansDeals — and if you look at your July statement on your own American Airlines credit card — there’s a good chance you’ll see the following message.

Screen shot courtesy of Citi

You can still reap the savings

Although it’s sad to see this benefit go away — and not being replaced with another mileage-saving perk — you still have time to utilize this discount. Unfortunately though, the list of eligible flights only extends through Sept. 30, 2021, so you can’t purchase a flight now with a discount for a future date post Oct. 1.

Related: How to use off-peak pricing to save on American Airlines awards

The discount you receive depends on the card you have in your wallet. If you have one of the following cards, you can save 3,750 miles off one-way award tickets (flights 500 miles and less will only receive a 1,000 mile discount):

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

Or, you’re eligible for 2,500 miles off a one-way award ticket if you have one of the following (flights 500 miles and less will only receive a 500 mile discount):

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® (no longer available for new applicants)
  • Other credit cards listed here that are no longer open to new applicants.

If you have multiple credit cards from the list above, the savings don’t stack and you’ll only receive the discount once.

You can still fly for less and take advantage of reduced mileage awards until Sept 30, 2021 (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

American is still offering Web Special awards

Despite Citi getting rid of the reduced mileage award benefit, American Airlines does offer Web Special awards for all AAdvantage members — regardless of whether or not you have one of the carrier’s cobranded credit cards. In fact, there are times when these awards actually offer a great discount and can’t be combined with the reduced mileage awards anyways.

And since American no longer charges a change or cancellation fee on award tickets, there’s no reason not to book early and hopefully score a discounted award flight. You can then continue to cancel and re-book if your flight happens to reduce in the number of points required.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

Are American Airlines cobranded credit cards still worth it?

In my opinion, this was a nice-to-have perk, but not the sole reason to have any of American’s cobranded cards. Since the applicable airports could change from month-to-month, it was luck of the draw as to whether or not you’d be able to take advantage of this benefit. You also needed to call to book these (as opposed to using AA.com). Finally, the proliferation of Web Special awards often eliminated the need for these discounts.

And if you’re a current cardholder of the Citi AAdvantage Executive card, you’re probably more concerned with the complimentary Admirals Club access for both you and up to 10 authorized users — which remains a benefit on the card.

If you have more flexibility in your travels and frequently utilized Reduced Mileage Awards, then most likely this will be a loss. However, if you are one to plan in advance and have a certain destination in mind, there’s a chance you probably never even had the opportunity to use this benefit.

That said, be sure to see if any of the participating airports work for your current travel plans — and then book your award before this perk disappears for good.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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