How To Book American Airlines Reduced Mileage Awards

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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.

AA Reduced Mileage Award

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:

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:

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.

Our Take

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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  • Avatar

    It looks like web specials for a trip I’m considering are 10K & the MileSAAver awards are 12.5K. After the discount, the flights cost the same. Is it worth the extra legwork to avoid any restrictions of their web special rates?

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      JT Genter says:

      For me, it does. Now that Economy Web Specials have been limited to no less than 10k, I have been booking more RMA awards myself. The difference between 8,750 miles and 10,000 miles each way isn’t much. But, I see it as a 1,250-mile bonus per person for taking a few extra steps. For me, that’s worth it!

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    All these web specials and discount codes make AA such a complicated program – if my credit card is connected to my account, why can’t they just price it in automatically on my web searches?!

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    Thanks, I will look into this once I start traveling again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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    Tamara Furda says:

    I would really like to take advantage of this deal and I currently have a high mileage balance. However, during this Covid-19 pandemic, I’m still concerned about future bookings and difficulties making changes if necessary. Will there be any flexibility with these bookings?

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    This is a great benefit, I just need to remember to use it.

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    I hope AA would expand this promotion to flights to/from Canada as well.

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    Santiago says:

    Thanks for this , useful info!!!

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    Thanks for the article. I will the discount in the next months

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    Jennifer says:

    I think they should make it easier to find and book at this time since air travel is almost nonexistent and they want to get as many people to fly.

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    Time to look into getting a co-branded card and putting it to use.

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    This is NOT for every one

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    These are some great deals, but why not for first class?

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    The reduced mileage awards are indeed a great benefit to the co-branded cards. Would love to see Alaska add this to their card!

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    nice one! gonna spend 40 000miles for Japan Airlines business flight TYO-SYD in Autumn, hopefully. One of the better redemption though.

    • Avatar

      Isn’t it the standard rate for all Asian destinations to Australia in business class? Are you sure that you will be able to make the trip in Autumn because of the indefinite closure of the Australian borders?

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    Florencia says:

    I have a Santander card associated with the Aadvantage program. So they don’t charge me a commission for making a phone reservation?

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      JT Genter says:

      Not for awards that can’t be booked online. Since Reduced Mileage Awards can’t be booked online, they waive the fee.

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    The Citi MileUp does not give access to these promotions?

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    Michael Lee says:

    Thanks for this – useful info

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    Are these easy to change too? Do you know if we’d be locked into this rate or if we really had to go on a date it wasn’t available we could use more miles to change?

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      Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re asking. This is like any other AA award booking. Same rules apply. If sAAver space is available on an eligible route, you call, book, and save miles. End of story.

    • Avatar

      I believe you can always change your dates. The worst would be to pay a few points to cancel one booking and making another one for a new date.

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    Christine Bethke says:

    My coworker tried to do this a few months ago however he was told there was a fee to book over the phone. Maybe he said the wrong code?

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    Thanks for breaking it down to make a redemption easier.

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    I have heard about this before but never remember to do this. I wish AA would have this perk automatically pop up on their website if you have an AA credit card.

    • Avatar

      No doubt they could easily do that. And, I’m absolutely with you that it would be a great additional website feature for cardholders. As for the odds of ever seeing it, we just have to ask ourselves if they truly want them to be that easily found. Or, I hate to say it, but even if we want them to be found that easily.

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    Thanks for this info and reminder. It’s so easy to lose sight of such things.

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    Heather Whiting says:

    Very nice! I wouldn’t have ever known this if you hadn’t pointed it out. Thank you so much!

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    Great perk of the AA credit cards…

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    Great article – it’s always good to keep an eye out for reduced mileage awards. Thanks!

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    I will have to remember this discount the next time I am looking for a ticket on AA.