American Unveils New Flight Awards at Just 6500 Miles Each Way

American offers its co-brand credit card holders a discount of up to 3750 miles each way (7500 miles roundtrip) on domestic award tickets for a rotating series of destinations. (US Airways used to offer a discount on all awards taken on their own flights for their co-brand credit card holders.)

With the introduction of new 7500 mile one-way redemptions for flights up to 500 miles, a 3,750 mile award (7500 – 3750) for co-brand cardholders seemed like it would be too good a deal to be true. And it was — while the new short haul awards went into effect March 22, the airline suspended discounts on short haul awards through March 31.

And now they’ve unveiled a new, albeit less generous, discount for these already-discounted awards.

25,000 mile awards can be discounted as much as 7500 miles, so 17,500 miles roundtrip or 8,750 each way.

15,000 mile awards will be discounted just 2000 miles, so 13,000 miles roundtrip or 6,500 each way.

These awards are available to members with American AAdvantage US-issued co-brand credit cards that have an annual fee.

Cardholders of no annual fee cards normally get a 5000 mile discount on 25,000 mile roundtrip awards to qualifying destinations. For short haul 15,000 mile redemptions the discount is just 1000 miles or 500 miles each way.

British Airways abolished their 4500 mile awards for US travel up to 650 miles. Now the cheapest award for travel in the US is 7500 miles each way (like American’s short haul award) although unlike American which limits you to 500 mile flights at this price British Airways allows you to travel up to 1150 miles.

American’s co-brand credit card holders, taking super cheap flights to eligible destinations (which rotate), will be able to redeem for as little as 6500 miles each way though.

These awards must be booked by phone, and the telephone booking fee is waived.

As an Executive Platinum on American, economy isn’t so bad…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If you have the AAviator Red you also get 10% of your miles back, so a 1-way flight, under 600 miles, using the Reduced Mileage Award, would only cost 5,850 (6,500 – 650). Not to bad relative to the 4500 it used to cost using BA.

  2. @Ben the same benefit exists on the standard Citi AAdvantage card. However it is capped at 10,000 miles per year. So whether or not you can really claim it’s a discount on a given award depends on whether or not you’d otherwise max out the benefit.

  3. I love these discounts but I wish they would do two things. 1. List them further out so you can plan trips better. 2. Allow International trips with a discount.

  4. Gary, you list the Gold Level Citi Advantage as a no annual fee card. I pay $95 annually for this card, I believe.

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