(EXPIRED) New AA reduced mileage awards through May 2018

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The new American Airlines AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards are out for travel through May 2018.

The Deal

Key Terms

  • Must be an American Airlines credit card holder
  • 7500 mile round trip discount applies to most American Airlines credit card holders — those who only have a Citi Gold AA card or Barclaycard Aviator Blue receive a max discount of 5000 miles round trip

More info on these awards

One of the benefits of holding an American Airlines credit card is access to reduced mileage awards. Every month, American has a list of cities to which and from which you can fly during specified months for as low as 8,750 miles each way. Furthermore, cards like the Barclaycard Aviator Red or Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard that provide access to these awards also entitle you to receive 10% of redeemed miles back each year on up to 100,000 redeemed miles. After the rebate, the net cost on these flights can be as little as 7,875 miles each way.

That can be a very good deal if you can find saver availability. Those holding the following cards are eligible for the 7500 miles round trip discount:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Visa®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® American Express®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Select Visa®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Select MasterCard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite MasterCard®
  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red MasterCard®
  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Business MasterCard®

Available destinations change monthly. See the link under “The Deal” for a full list of cities and monthly availability of the discount. The chart looks like this:

Flights can be booked one-way or round-trip (the one-way discount is 3,750 miles). While the header at the top of the list says “Destinations”, in practice the discount works whether you are booking to or from these cities.

These flights can be a tremendous value when flying to/from/between small market cities, where low competition often means high prices. You might even do well buying miles using the technique Greg outline in this morning’s post (See: Buy SPG points for 35% off. Cheap way to buy Marriott points or airline miles). Assuming you did that, flights to and from these cities would cost you about $140 each way. That might not be a great value in some instances, but it could be outstanding in others.

While British Airways Avios can be an even better value for short/direct/close-in flights, an advantage with AA’s reduced mileage awards is that your flight to or from these destinations does not need to be direct. The trick will be finding SAAver level availability, though I have anecdotally been finding more and more space over the past few months on routes I’ve searched.

Bottom line

With the beginning of the month, we got a fresh list of mile-saver destinations. If you’re looking at domestic travel over the next few months, it’s worth taking a look at the list and keeping an eye out for saver awards.

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