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Along with the ability to defeat basic economy, American Airlines cobranded credit cards offer a lesser-known — but quite valuable — perk: reduced mileage awards. This benefit allows you to save between 1,000 and 7,500 miles per round-trip, depending on the route and the type of card you have.

And, it’s not like there are only a few airports that qualify. The current list has 174 airports listed for at least one month from December 2018 through March 2019, with an incredible 73 airports on the list for all four months. As the number of potential destinations can be overwhelming, we’ve found it helpful to have maps of all the options. You’ll find those maps below.

But, before you scroll down, here’s a quick reminder of how reduced mileage awards work. Say you live in Raleigh/Durham (RDU), or one of the other 72 airports listed all four months. If you have an eligible credit card and can find saver award availability, you can fly to any airport in the US for just 17,500 miles round-trip from December to March — since your airport is listed for all four months. For flights under 500 miles nonstop each way (i.e., Raleigh/Durham to New York LaGuardia or JFK), the cost is just 6,500 one-way or 13,000 round-trip.

But, even if your airport isn’t listed for a month, you can still fly from your airport to any of the airports mapped below for as little as 13,000 miles (for direct flights under 500 miles) round-trip, if there’s award availability on the route.

In This Post

Who’s Eligible?

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

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

  • Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite Mastercard
  • Other credit cards listed here that are no longer open to new applicants.

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

Let’s Do the Math

Nonstop award flights of less than 500 miles normally cost just 7,500 AAdvantage miles. These sub-500-mile award flights aren’t eligible for the full 7,500-mile round-trip discount noted above, but instead see a savings of 1,000 miles each way. This means that you’ll pay just 6,500 miles one-way for flights of less than 500 miles, and that’s before the 10% rebate. Here’s how the numbers break down for flights both longer and shorter than 500 miles:

One-Way Flights Within the US
(excluding <500)
Flights under
500 miles
Award Chart Cost 12,500 7,500
Reduced Mileage Award Discount (3,750) (1,000)
Mileage Cost 8,750 6,500
10% Rebate (if eligible) (875) (650)
Net Cost 7,875 5,850

Remember that the AA 10% mileage rebate is capped at 10,000 miles per calendar year, so if you’ve already hit your limit, you’ll pay the amounts listed on the “Mileage Cost” row of the chart.

December 2018 Airports

AA is kicking off this version of the Reduced Mileage Award list with 129 airports for December — up slightly from the 118 on the just-expired list. Here are some of the top destinations to consider:

Not mapped (for space): Bangor, ME (BGR)

January 2019 Airports

On the revised list for January, there are a whopping 167 airports — up ever-so-slightly from 166 airports on the old version — to/from which you can apply a reduced mileage award discount. Among the many great options, there are:

February 2019 Airports

As we get exit holiday season, there’s 114 airports on the list for February. Here are some you might want to consider:

Not mapped (for space): Bangor, ME (BGR) and Redmond / Bend, OR (RDM)

March 2019 Airports

As we enter spring 2019, the list starts shrinking noticeably, with only 85 airports making the list. Here are some notable options:

Not mapped (for space): Bangor, ME (BGR)

Airports All Four Months

There’s an incredible 73 airports available for all four months. If you live in one of these cities, you can fly anywhere that you can find saver award space from December 2018 to March 2019 for just 8,750 miles each way. Or, you anyone can visit these cities for just 8,750 miles each way during that time period:

Not mapped (for space): Bangor, ME (BGR); Bakersfield, CA (BFL) and Oakland, CA (OAK)

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 to book online, the terms and conditions state that the standard $30 phone-booking fee will be waived. However, if you book in person through an airport agent or AA travel center, a booking fee of $35 will apply.

For December 2018–March 2019 reduced mileage awards, the discount codes that you’ll have to provide the agent for the larger discount are as follows:

7,500 / 2,000-mile cards Within the US
(excluding <500)
Flights under
500 miles
Savings (per round-trip) 7,500 2,000
First Class (2-cabin) UD21X2D / AVM05 UD14D / AVA72
Business Class (3-cabin) UD28X7D / AVA67 n/a
Main Cabin TD8X7D / AVM04 TD6X5D / AVA71

And for the smaller discount:

5,000 / 1,000-mile cards Within the US
(excluding <500)
Flights under
500 miles
Savings (per round-trip) 5,000 1,000
First Class (2-cabin) UD22X5D / AVM03 UD14X5D / AVA66
Business Class (3-cabin) UD30D / AVA61 n/a
Main Cabin TD10D / AVM02 TD7D / AVA65

Tips

1. The discount applies to flights both to and from the listed airports. I periodically get an AAgent that insists otherwise, so I have to employ the HUCA technique (Hang Up Call Again). One thing is clear though: American Airlines agents are instructed to only apply the discount for flights inside the United States to/from the listed airports. So unfortunately, this keeps you from applying this discount for flights between a listed airport and Europe, Asia, the Caribbean or even Canada.

2. Unfortunately the discount only applies to American Airlines-operated flights; Alaska-operated flights don’t qualify for the discount.

3. The airports on the previous RMA list for December and January 2019 aren’t necessarily still available. Discounted award flights to/from the airports on the previous list had to be booked by November 30. Make sure to book award flights for the airports listed above before Jan. 31, 2019 to avoid missing out, as the list of airports for February and March 2019 will likely change on February 1.

4. The $75 close-in booking fee applies for travel within 21 days. This fee is waived when American Airlines Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elites use miles from their account.

5. Reduced mileage award discounts codes can be applied to domestic business and first-class awards. The savings of 7,500/2,000 (5,000/1,000 for lesser cards) miles are the same regardless of the cabin booked.

6. Canada flights still haven’t returned. I noticed in February that the terms and conditions were scrubbed of all Canada mentions. However, for a while, we still had codes that would sometimes work for Canada flights. But, those cards disappeared in the April 2018 version of this program and still aren’t back.


This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about American Airlines’ reduced mileage awards, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older versions below.

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