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One of the rewarding but easy ways to stretch your airline miles comes via the American Airlines AAdvantage program that offers Reduced Mileage Awards to select destinations for those who have one of their co-branded credit cards. The discounts on round trip saver awards via this program range from 1,000 – 7,500 miles. And yes, sadly, a saver award does have to miraculously be available to make use of the additional discount.
The AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Award program looks like it is due for an update since it is still displaying December destinations and gives a 1/31/17 booking deadline, but there are some reduced destinations available through March 2017, and some of those are really pretty great winter destinations!
Before we get to the destinations, here are the details on the type of discount you can receive based on the distance of your flight and the type of co-branded card you hold.
1,000 mile round trip discount for flights 500 miles or less or a 5,000 mile round trip discount for flights more than 500 miles if you have one of these cards:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold American Express®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Visa®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® AviatorTM Blue MasterCard®
2,000 mile round trip discount for flights 500 miles or less or a 7.500 mile round trip discount for flights more than 500 miles if you have one of these cards:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM 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® AviatorTM Silver World Elite MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® AviatorTM Business MasterCard®
You can head here to see all the various discount codes you will need when you call to make this reservation over the phone at 1-800-882-8880. You will get half of the stated discount if you just book a one-way award. Remember you will also be able to receive 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage miles back if you have certain American co-branded credit cards. This drops your real final price for these awards even lower!
As a fun winter example, a one-way flight from Houston – Vail (EGE) would normally cost you 12,500 miles at the saver level. However, since it is on the Reduced Mileage award list, that price can be as low as 8,750 each way. If you have a credit card that gives you 10% AAdvantage of your redeemed miles back, then your real total will end up being just 7,875 miles to a Colorado ski paradise during peak ski season! Given how expensive that route usually is, that is a pretty stellar deal in my book!
If warm sun is more your thing in the winter, then remember that spots like Key West are also on the list!
If you are in the market for a short award flight under 500 miles, such as from Dallas – Wichita, it would normally cost you 7,500 AAdvantage miles one-way at the saver level, but can be booked for as low as 6,500 miles each way via the Reduced Mileage Awards. If you also are eligible for 10% of those miles thanks to your particular co-branded AAdvantage card, your total price effectively drops to 5,850 miles for an eligible route. This isn’t quite as good as the old days of the 4,500 Avios award through British Airways, but it is still pretty darn good.
Some of the fun Reduced Mileage Award destinations available in February and/or March include:
- Colorado Springs
- Ft. Lauderdale
- Hilton Head
- Jackson Hole
- Key West
- Orange County
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Santa Fe
Whether you are looking for warmer or colder weather this winter, that is a pretty great line-up for some cheaper than average award destinations! You could even pair this with one of the upcoming 5,000 points per night IHG Point Breaks properties to put together a very miles and points friendly family trip!
Have you ever put one of these reduced mileage awards to good use for your family?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.