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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 9 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® World Elite Mastercard®
- 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:
Step 2: Find Eligible Airports
Once you confirm you have an eligible card, the next step is to find if your home airport or destination is eligible. 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.
Step 3: Find Award Availability
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 legacy search tool.
The award search results are likely 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 an AA Reduced Mileage Awards discount—you should consider booking an Economy Web Special.
If the award price is above 12,500 miles each way, it's likely there's no MileSAAver award availability. It's when the price is between 8,750 and 12,500 miles that it gets tricky. Generally, this means that there's MileSAAver award availability. But, that's not always the case. And the only way to know for sure is to call American Airlines (or search on ExpertFlyer).
Step 4: 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 2021, 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 5: 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 online, give the agent your booking reference number to shortcut the process.
American Airlines eliminated all phone reservation booking fees. So, you don't have to worry about paying extra to book over the phone.
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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