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One way to save big on American Airlines awards is by taking advantage of the Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards that are available for Citibank co-branded American Airlines cardholders. These reduced mileage awards are available to select cities each month and depending on what type of co-branded Citi card you have, you can get either a 5,000 or 7,500 miles discount on each round trip ticket (half that discount on a one-way award).
Even better, if you have a card such as the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard that gives 10% of redeemed miles back, then that will stack with the 5k or 7.5k discount. The biggest downside to these awards has been that you cannot book them online, so you have historically had to call American Airlines and get hit with a $25 fee to book the awards over the phone.
However, since American Airlines has a new policy effective this week that you do not have to pay the telephone booking fee when booking awards that cannot be booked online, these Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards effectively just got cheaper by $25!
With these discounted awards, you could potentially book New York City – Vail in March in coach for 17,500 American Airline miles round trip via the reduced mileage awards + you would then get 1,750 miles back via the 10% rebate that comes with that card (assuming you pick dates with MileSAAver availability). That comes to 15,750 total miles for the round trip ticket to head to the mountains. That is a pretty big savings over the regular 25,000 mile saver awards! For the record, that flight is going for over $500 round trip in coach on many days in March, so 15,750 miles is heck of a deal!
Vail, Austin, Jackson Hole, San Francisco Houston, Montreal, Nashville, Toronto, Washington Reagan Nat’l, West Palm Beach, Steamboat Springs, Crested Butte, Newark, Ft. Lauderdale, and dozens more. I love that there are lots of ski towns available for March when lots of us have spring break! The schedule of reduced mileage award cities is currently open through May 2015.
How to Use Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards:
- Check to see which type of discount your co-branded Citi card will get you and note the discount code.
- Look at the regularly updated list to see if your destination city is listed. There are some reports of the origin alone being enough to get the discount, but officially it says destination.
- Check on the American Airlines website to see if there is MileSAAver availability on American operated flights.
- If yes then call American to book the award noting the desire to use the Reduced Mileage Award and give them the code for the type of card you have.
The destinations are updated every other month and are valid for economy seats, business class on flights offering 3 classes of service, or first class on flights offering 2 classes of service. Using these awards could bring the price of four coach tickets to select destinations down from 100,000 miles to just 63,000 miles if you stack the 7,500 miles savings + the 10% redeemed miles back bonus on select c0-branded cards. That is a big difference for family travelers looking to stretch their miles!
Have you been able to make use of the Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards for your family? I hope you are as excited as I am to see the telephone booking fee go away for these (and other) awards!