How to save up to 7,500 miles on American Airlines award flights this summer

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Editor’s note: This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about American Airlines’ reduced mileage awards, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer.

Along with the ability to defeat basic economy, American Airlines’ cobranded credit cards offer a lesser-known — but quite valuable — perk: reduced mileage awards. This benefit allows you to save between 1,000 and 7,500 miles per round-trip, depending on the route and the type of card you have. This is especially valuable now once again as airfare prices are already rising for the summer season.

While there is a select list of cities where American Airlines reduced mileage awards are valid each month, it’s a healthy list of options. The current list has a whopping 208 qualifying airports on the list for at least one month from April to July 2021. Of these, 67 are on the list for all four months, giving you plenty of options for your potential summer vacations.

In fact, the list can be a little overwhelming, we’ve found it helpful to have maps of all the monthly options. You’ll find those maps below. Notable cities that are listed for all four months include San Francisco (SFO), Las Vegas (LAS), Baltimore (BWI), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Austin (AUS).

Just note that you must book these flights by May 31, 2021, even if you’re looking at a flight to or from the below airports that departs in June or July. Fortunately, American allows all AAdvantage awards, including reduced mileage awards, to be changed or canceled for free if your plans change.

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In This Post

How do AA Reduced Mileage Awards work?

Before you scroll down, here’s a quick reminder of how reduced mileage awards work. Say you live near San Francisco (SFO), or near any of the other airports currently listed all four months. If you have an eligible credit card and can find saver award availability, you can fly to any airport in the U.S. for just 17,500 miles round-trip from April through July 2021 — since your airport is listed for all four months. For flights less than 500 miles nonstop each way (i.e., San Francisco to Los Angeles), the cost is just 6,500 miles one-way or 13,000 round-trip.

However, even if your airport isn’t listed for a month, you can still fly from your airport to any of the airports mapped below for as little as 13,000 miles (for direct flights less than 500 miles) round-trip — again if there’s award availability on the route. Also, although some of these deals are for travel in June and July, remember that you must book by the end of May. The list of eligible cities will update again on June 1.

Related: How use off-peak pricing to save on American Airlines awards

Who is eligible for AA Reduced Mileage Awards?

If you have one of the following cards, you can save 3,750 miles off one-way award tickets:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
  • AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard
  • AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard
  • AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
  • Other credit cards listed here that are no longer open to new applicants.

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card, Barclays Aviator cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Or, you’re eligible for 2,500 miles off a one-way award ticket if you have one of the following:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • Other credit cards listed here that are no longer open to new applicants.

If you have multiple types of cards (i.e., both the Citi Executive and the Citi Platinum Select), you’ll only get the discount once.

Nonstop saver award flights of less than 500 miles normally cost just 7,500 AAdvantage miles. These sub-500-mile award flights aren’t eligible for the full 7,500-mile round-trip discount noted above. Instead, there’s a savings of 1,000 miles each way. This means that you’ll pay just 6,500 miles one-way for flights of less than 500 miles.

Related: Choosing the best credit card for American Airlines flyers

Here’s how the numbers break down for flights both longer and shorter than 500 miles:

One-way flights

Within the U.S.

(excluding <500)

Flights under

500 miles

Award chart cost12,5007,500
Reduced Mileage Award discount(3,750)(1,000)
Mileage cost8,7506,500

Reduced Mileage Awards vs. Web Specials

Reduced Mileage Awards offer a discount on saver-level awards. Although American also offers Web Special awards, they don’t qualify for the additional discount. In some cases, Web Specials can be cheaper than Reduced Mileage Awards and vice versa so it’s important to compare the different rates. Unlike traditional MileSAAver awards, Web Special pricing varies by day, route and when you book.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

April 2021 airports

April offers 195 airports at the discounted award rates. Here are some notable options to consider if you haven’t locked down your upcoming travel plans:

  • Atlanta, Georgia (ATL)
  • Austin, Texas (AUS)
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (HHH)
  • Lexington, Kentucky (LEX)
  • Raleigh / Durham, North Carolina (RDU)
  • Redmond / Bend, Oregon (RDM)
  • San Diego, California (SAN)
  • San Francisco, California (SFO)
  • Seattle, Washington (SEA)
  • Tampa, Florida (TPA)
  • West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI)

May 2021 airports

In May, the list grows to a whopping 202 options to consider. There are tons of great options, but here are some notable inclusions:

  • Burbank, California (BUR)
  • Denver, Colorado (DEN)
  • Detroit, Michigan (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
  • Houston, Texas (IAH)
  • Long Beach, California (LGB)
  • Newark, New Jersey (EWR)
  • Palm Springs, California (PSP)
  • Portland, Oregon (PDX)
  • Reno, Nevada (RNO)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC)
  • San Antonio, Texas (SAT)
  • Savannah, Georgia (SAV)
  • Toronto, Canada (YYZ)
  • Tucson, Arizona (TUS)

June 2021 airports

June drops to 88 eligible airports. However, there are many that may be of interest, including:

  • Aspen, Colorado (ASE)
  • Baltimore, Maryland (BWI)
  • Columbus, Ohio (CMH)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS)
  • Monterey, California (MRY)
  • Nashville, Tennessee (BNA)
  • Oakland, California (OAK)
  • Orlando, Florida (MCO)
  • St. Louis, Missouri (STL)

July 2021 airports

Finally, in July there are 116 airports on the list, largely clustered out east. Here are some that may be of interest:

  • Atlanta, Georgia (ATL)
  • Austin, Texas (AUS)
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS)
  • Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota (MSP)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)
  • Orlando, Florida (MCO)
  • San Jose, California (SJC)
  • Santa Barbara, California (SBA)
  • Savannah, Georgia (SAV)
  • Tucson, Arizona (TUS)

Airports all four months

There are 67 airports available for all four months. If you live in one of these cities, you can fly anywhere that you can find saver-award space from April 2021 through July 2021 for just 8,750 miles each way. Or, you can visit these cities for just 8,750 miles each way during the next four months:

How to book AA Reduced Mileage Awards

Once you’ve found MileSAAver award availability on American Airlines’ website, call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 — or your elite reservations number, if applicable — to book the award ticket. As these awards aren’t available to book online, the terms and conditions state that the standard $30 phone-booking fee will be waived. However, if you book in person through an airport agent or AA travel center, a booking fee of $35 will apply.

For April – July 2021 reduced mileage awards, the discount codes that you’ll have to provide the agent for the larger discount are as follows:

7,500 / 2,000-mile cards

Within the U.S.

(excluding <500)

Flights under

500 miles

Savings (per round-trip)7,5002,000
First class (two-cabin)UD21X2F / AVM26
Business class (three-cabin)UD28X7F / AVA19n/a
Main cabinTD8X7F / AVM24TD6X5F / AVA23

And for the smaller discount:

5,000 / 1,000-mile cards

Within the U.S.

(excluding <500)

Flights under

500 miles

Savings (per round-trip)5,0001,000
First class (two-cabin)UD14F / AVA24UD14F / AVA24
Business class (three-cabin)UD14F / AVA24n/a
Main cabinUD14F / AVA24UD14F / AVA24

Tips

1. The discount applies to flights both to and from the listed airports. There periodically are AAgents that insist otherwise, so you might have to employ the HUCA (Hang Up Call Again) technique. One thing is clear though: American Airlines agents are instructed to only apply the discount for flights inside the U.S. to/from the listed airports. So, unfortunately, this keeps you from applying this discount for flights between a listed airport and Europe, Asia or the Caribbean.

2. Unfortunately, the discount only applies to American Airlines-operated flights; Alaska-operated flights don’t qualify for the discount.

3. The airports on the previous RMA list for April and May 2021 aren’t necessarily still available. Discounted award flights to/from the airports on the previous list had to be booked by March 31. Make sure to book award flights for the airports listed above before May 31, 2021, to avoid missing out, as the list of airports for June and July 2021 will likely change on June 1, 2021.

4. Remember that American no longer charges a close-in booking fee or change fee for award tickets.

5. Reduced mileage award discount codes can be applied to domestic business and first-class awards. The savings of 7,500/2,000 (5,000/1,000 for lesser cards) miles are the same regardless of the cabin booked.

Additional reporting by JT Genter and Nick Ewen

Featured photo by John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images All other images generated using Great Circle Mapper.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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