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A very valuable discount that is available to those who hold one of the American Airlines Citi or Barclaycard co-branded credit cards is a discount of up to 7,500 miles on flights to/from select cities each month via the Reduced Mileage Awards available exclusively to American Airlines card holders. I write about these discounts a few times a year, but it is something that is worth repeating periodically because of how many miles it can save your family on AAdvantage award trips. The list of cities for July – September 2017 is currently viewable here.
To put this discount into a real life scenario, my parents are toying with the idea of taking a fall trip to either Yellowstone or Banff, and I am 80,000% jealous about either fantastic destination. They have the date and destination flexibility that makes them the perfect candidates to take advantage of something like the American Reduced Mileage Awards, especially since AAdvantage saver award availability is so incredible tight these days.
However, with enough date flexibility there are saver indeed awards from Houston to Jackson Hole available in September. Not entirely coincidentally, in September Houston is on the list of Reduced Mileage Award cities. I wasn’t 100% sure how this discount would work in practice since Houston is listed as a destination, and it is actually their origin city. To find out for sure I called up American to price out an award from Houston – Jackson Hole – Houston for a set of dates where there was saver award availability. At the very least I figured that the Reduced Mileage Award savings could be applied to a one-way return from Jackson Hole to Houston, but I have heard stories of the discount working for the whole trip regardless of whether the reduced mileage city is the origin or destination.
The agent on the phone wasn’t entirely familiar with the program at first, but he was indeed able to make it work using the code TD8X7A that provides a 7,500 mile savings off of the standard 25,000 mile round trip domestic saver award if you have a card like the AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard or the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard. After a few minutes he came back with a price of 17,500 miles + $11.20 per ticket to fly Houston – Jackson Hole – Houston via the Reduced Mileage Awards.
Not only that, but since my parents have the AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard they should get 10% of their redeemed miles back (up to 10,000 per year), for a total out of pocket cost of just 15,750 miles + $11.20 per round trip. Cash prices into the small Jackson Hole airport run about $450+ per round trip from Houston, so this is a very solid redemption value via their American miles.
As an aside, the last time we went to Yellowstone we flew into Denver, and made a very adventurous journey by car the remaining eight hours to Jackson Hole, and then finally onto Yellowstone. That drive was worth doing once, but I would vastly prefer flying directly into Jackson Hole the next time around. That way you still get to enjoy Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons, but you are only an hour or so from Yellowstone. The fact that airline miles can make flying right into Jackson Hole financially realistic truly just boggles my mind.
I don’t know for sure if my parents will opt for Yellowstone or Banff for their fall trip, but you really can’t go wrong either way, and with Houston being on the Reduced Mileage Award list for September they don’t even have to spend a ton of miles for their American operated flights!
Have you used the American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards to stretch your miles for family award trips?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.