Travelers who hold an American Airlines credit card are in for a real treat with the current list of reduced mileage awards for June through September. You can save up to 7,500 miles off AAdvantage award ticket redemptions on up to 166 destinations. And if you live in one of the featured airports, you can fly anywhere in the continental United States at a discount.
Who Can Use the American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards?
In order to qualify for these American Airlines reduced mileage awards, you need to have the right credit card. This is one of my favorite benefits of the American Airlines cards from Citibank and Barclays because you can use this benefit as many times as you want as long as you have enough miles and the flights are available.
Here are the credit cards that qualify for 7,500 miles off a round-trip award ticket (or 3,750 miles off one way):
- Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
- Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
- CitiBusiness AAdvantage Select Mastercard
- CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
- Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard
- Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard
- Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
Some older American Airlines credit cards are also eligible, but since they are no longer available, we won’t list them here.
American Airlines offers a slightly lower discount for the credit cards with the lowest annual fees. These credit cards will receive a 5,000-mile discount off a round-trip award ticket (or 2,500 miles off one way):
- Citi AAdvantage Gold World Elite Mastercard
- Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Blue Mastercard
Many of us have multiple American Airlines cards, but you cannot stack these discounts for additional savings. Just like the 10% rebate on redeemed miles, you will only receive the discount once, no matter how many credit cards you have that offer this benefit.
Which Flights Qualify for the AA Reduced Mileage Awards?
To find flights that qualify for the American Airlines reduced mileage awards, you’ll need to search for “Saver” award space on the AA.com website.
For example, I searched for a flight from Los Angeles to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for late June 2018 to explore the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. Because there were “MileSAAver” award seats available in Economy all week, I could fly any day.
However, when I clicked through to the Business/First MileSAAver award availability, flights were only available on Wednesday. I would have to fly that day, search other weeks for more Business/First availability, or revert back to Economy since we know they have seats available all week.
If you want to book a nonstop one-way award flight of fewer than 500 miles, you will only receive a discount of 1,000 miles off of the normal 7,500 mile cost of the one-way flight (or 2,000 mile discount for round-trips). This will reduce your cost by 13% to just 6,500 miles each way.
Can I Book Reduced Mileage Awards for My Family?
Unfortunately, you can only book the American Airlines reduced mileage awards if you are a cardholder of one of these American Airlines credit cards. However, if you add your family as authorized cardholders, then they are eligible to book these award flights. Keep in mind that many of the AA credit cards allow you to add authorized users at no charge.
Do I Still Receive the 10% Rebate on AA Reduced Mileage Awards?
The great thing about these reduced mileage awards from American Airlines is that you can stack the benefit with the 10% rebate, which further reduces the net cost of flying with airline miles.
You are still limited to a maximum of 10,000 rebate miles when redeeming 100,000 AAdvantage miles, but when you’re redeeming for discounted tickets, your miles stretch much further.
Which Airports Are on the Reduced Mileage Award List?
In total, there are 166 destinations available. Not every location is available each month, but there are 49 airports that are available all four months.
The list will likely change again on August 1, 2018, so if you want to book any of the August or September destinations, book them by July 31, 2018, to ensure they’ll still receive the discount.
If you’re a fan of baseball, football or college sports, these reduced mileage awards are an excellent option to visit your team for less.
In June, there are 60 airports eligible for the reduced mileage awards. Some of my favorites from this list are:
- Burbank, California
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming (close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone)
- Long Beach, California
- Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Tampa, Florida
- Vail/Eagle, Colorado
In July, there are even more destinations to choose from with 78 airports on the reduced mileage award list. Here’s where I’d like to go:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Boise, Idaho
- Eugene, Oregon
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Monterey, California
The list continues to grow in August, with 128 airports to choose from. Before school starts for the kids, I’d pick one of these cities to explore:
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Memphis, Tennessee
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- San Diego, California
School is back in swing, but the September options are the most yet with 154 airports to choose from. Out of the total 166 that are available during these four months, only 12 aren’t on the list in September. Here’s where I’d go for a quick weekend getaway:
- Augusta, Georgia
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Long Island, New York
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- San Luis Obispo, California
How Do You Book American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards?
When you’re ready to book one of these AA reduced mileage awards, you’ll need to call American Airlines customer service at 800-882-8880. If you’re an elite member, you can also call your dedicated phone number and avoid the long wait times of the general reservations line.
Normally, when you call to book an award ticket you’re charged a $30 phone-booking fee. Because you cannot book these reduced mileage awards online, American Airlines will waive the fee for you. If the customer service agent is unwilling to waive the fee, kindly hang up and call again to find someone who knows the rules.
As an alternative, you can also book these award tickets in person with an airport agent or an American Airlines travel center. I wouldn’t recommend it though because you’ll have to drive to the airport and the in-person booking fee of $35 is not waived.
What to Watch out for With AA Reduced Mileage Awards
Remember that these reduced mileage award tickets are good for both to and from the listed airports. And you can book one-way flights for half of the 7,500-mile discount.
The discount only applies when you are flying on an American Airlines-operated flight. Flights on partner airlines, such as Alaska, do not receive the discount.
Book in advance because the $75 close-in booking fee will apply if you plan to travel within 21 days. If you’re an elite member with Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status, the fee is waived.
The discount applies to all fare classes—Economy, Business or First. However, the discount is capped at 7,500 miles and doesn’t vary based on fare class selected.
The American Airlines reduced mileage awards are an excellent opportunity to save up to 7,500 miles off of a round-trip flight to 166 destinations. If you are departing from one of these airports, you can fly anywhere in the continental United States using the same discount.
This benefit can be used an unlimited number of times as long as you have enough miles in your account and can find MileSAAver award space available. If you don’t already have one of the American Airlines credit cards that qualify for these discounts, there’s still time to apply, earn the sign-up bonus and redeem for one (or more) of these flights.