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A very, very valuable discount 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 saver award flights to or from select cities each month via the Reduced Mileage Awards list. This has become even more valuable than it was for a while since American has loosened up a bit on saver award availability. I write about these discounts a few times a year since the cities are always changing and it is one of those things that is easy to forget about since you have to pick up the phone and ask for the discount specifically as opposed to it being hard-coded online.
These discounts are valid for travel on American Airlines from the lower 48 and Canada, and the amount of the discount varies based on which American co-branded credit card you carry. These discounts are a little complicated since you can’t book them online and which trips are eligible can be a tiny bit confusing.
Fly round trip from 17,500 American Airlines miles
To give an example of how this can work, last year I called American to price out a round trip award from Houston on a month that Houston was on the list as a reduced mileage destination (as it is again right now). While the agent on the phone wasn’t entirely familiar with the Reduced Mileage Award program, 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. This worked even though Houston was a listed destination and we were actually using it as an origin. When all was said and done, 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, which is a fantastic use of miles.
If you have a credit card that provides 10% of your redeemed American miles back each year, like the AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard (up to 10k miles annually), that will stack with these discounts for a total out of pocket cost of just 15,750 miles + $11.20 per round trip. You can also book one-way awards for half of the price of a round trip using these discounts. The only catch is that you must call 1-800-882-8880 to book the awards over the phone and there must be saver award availability, but the discount does work for first class or economy.
You can view the full list of available reduced mileage cities here for travel from January 2018 – March 2018, but to give you an idea of what is available for February and March, I’ve outlined some of my favorite destinations below. Be aware that this availability does change without notice, so I recommend locking in something you like as soon as you find it. Note that the discount is smaller at 1,000 – 2,000 miles per round trip if the route is 500 miles or less.
Fly to these cities for less with American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards:
- Aspen, CO March
- Denver, CO February
- Durango, CO January – March
- Fort Lauderdale, FL February
- Houston-Intercontinental, TX January – March
- Long Beach, CA January – March
- Long Island-Macarthur, NY January – March
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN January – March
- Montrose, CO March
- Nashville, TN February
- Newark, NJ February
- Providence RI February
- San Francisco, CA February
- Santa Fe, NM February
- Seattle, WA February
- Vail/Eagle, CO February and March
Whether you want sand or snow, there is probably a destination city for you on this list. I think it is outstanding that ski towns such as Vail and Aspen are on the list during the winter as they can be prohibitively expensive when paying with cash. However, you can fly right into Vail for just 17,500 miles round trip with the 7,500 mile round trip discount. A round trip paid into Vail during ski season paid with cash will easily cost you $500 – $700, so using just 17,500 American miles is truly outstanding to put you right in the heart of ski country.
Here is the February economy saver availability to Vail from JFK, and as you can see, it is very decent.
Or if you really want to hobnob with the rich and fancy (or at least the points-rich) flying from NYC to Vail, you can sit up front for just 21,250 miles each way with the 7,500 mile round trip Reduced Mileage Awards discount. Believe it or not, there is even nonstop saver availability on a Saturday in February in first class!
Does your family use the American Reduced Mileage Award list to stretch your miles while exploring the country?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.