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American Airlines co-branded credit cardholders have long enjoyed a little-known benefit: AA Reduced Mileage Awards. These awards apply to 14 co-branded cards with two levels of discount available based on the particular card you hold.
Each discount is subdivided into two levels depending on the distance flown. While all this may seem complicated, it is relatively straightforward to book an award. Just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Determine If You Have An Eligible Card
The discount you are eligible for is determined by what type of AA co-branded credit card you hold. The following cards will receive a discount of 7,500 miles for roundtrip flights over 500 miles, or 2,000 miles for flights less than 500 miles:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Visa® (no longer open to new applications)
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® American Express® (no longer open to new applications)
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Select® Visa® (no longer open to new applications)
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Select® MasterCard® (no longer open to new applications)
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®
Alternatively, holders of the following cards are eligible for a discount of 5,000 miles for roundtrip flights over 500 miles, and 1,000 miles for flights less than 500 miles:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold American Express® (no longer open to new applications)
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Visa® (no longer open to new applications)
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Blue Mastercard®
Step 2: Find Award Availability
Once you confirm you have an eligible card, the next step is to find award availability. Check the current list of eligible cities to see which months your home airport is listed. If your home airport is listed for a particular month, you can travel anywhere in the U.S. during that month using this discount. If your airport isn't listed for a month, you have to select an eligible destination from the list.
Next, you need to find MileSAAver award availability. American Airlines has made this harder to do with the release of Economy Web Specials and eliminating the easy way to use the legacy search tool. Thankfully, there's still a workaround method that works. Enter your origin and destination and click search.
The initial results are going to be Economy Web Specials. If the price is less than 8,750 miles one-way—which is the lowest price you'd get after applying a Reduced Mileage Awards discount—you should consider booking an Economy Web Special. However, it seems that AA has set the floor for domestic Economy Web Specials at 10,000 miles each way:
To find award availability for Reduced Mileage Awards, click the “Economy MileSAAver” or “Business/First MileSAAver” tabs to find eligible awards. After selecting your date, click Continue to see the exact flight options.
To save yourself time when you call AA, select the flight you want and go through the process to put the award on hold. That way you won't have to walk an American Airlines agent through which flight you want, which seats you want, the names of each passenger, etc.
Step 3: Find Your Discount Code
There are ten different discount codes. There is a code for each cabin class at each discount level (based on distance), for flights within the US. Use the AA award discount code table to find the one that applies to your award.
For bookings made in June and July 2020, the discount codes are as follows:
7,500-mile discount award codes—for flights within the U.S. of 500+ miles:
- First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD21X2A / AVM86
- Business Class (3-cabin aircraft) – UD28X7A / AVA31
- Main Cabin – TD8X7A / AVM85
5,000-mile discount award codes—for flights within the U.S. of 500+ miles:
- First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD22X5A / AVM83
- Business Class (3-cabin aircraft) – UD30A / AVA25
- Main Cabin – TD10A / AVM82
2,000-mile discount award codes—for flights within the U.S. of under 500 miles:
- First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD14A / AVA36
- Main Cabin – TD6X5A / AVA35
1,000-mile discount award codes—for flights within the U.S. of under 500 miles:
- First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD14X5A / AVA30
- Main Cabin – TD7A / AVA29
Step 4: Book Your Award
Once you have confirmed award availability and retrieved the discount code, you will need to pick up the phone and call AA at 1-800-882-8880 to complete your reservation. If you put the award on hold, give the agent your booking reference number to shortcut the process.
While AA typically charges a reservation service fee for booking flights over the phone, this fee should be waived as Reduced Mileage Awards cannot be booked online.
If you hold an AA co-branded credit card, then it is worth your while to keep an eye out for these awards and regularly reference them before making any reservation. Even though you'll need to pick up the phone, you won't be charged a phone booking fee, and completing a booking is relatively easy and can yield excellent savings on award bookings.
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