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Use Your AAdvantage Credit Card to Book Discounted Award Flights

Got an AAdvantage credit card issued by Citibank or Barclays? Then you may be entitled to book American award flights for fewer miles.

Holders of the various AAdvantage-affiliated credit cards can book awards to selected U.S. and Canadian destinations at discounted prices. The discount varies, according to the card type.

For the Platinum, World Elite, Select, and other higher-annual-fee cards, first-class award prices are reduced from 25,000 miles to 21,250 miles each way; and coach awards are discounted from 12,500 to 8,750 miles each way. That’s a 15 percent discount for first class and an even heftier 30 percent discount for coach.

For Gold and Aviator Blue cardholders, the first and coach awards are discounted by 10 and 20 percent, to 22,500 and 10,000 miles each way, respectively.

The list of eligible award destinations through July has just been published. For July, there are 26 discounted cities on the list, with even more available during May and June.

The discounts range from decent, at 10 percent, to compelling, at 30 percent. Most high-demand destinations are absent from the list—no discounts on award flights to San Francisco or New York or Orlando, for example. But there are plenty of cities well worth visiting: Houston, Monterey, Nantucket, Santa Barbara, and Vail.

The discounted awards must be booked by phone. There’s no fee to make the booking via American’s toll-free reservations number, but there will be a $35 service charge for non-Executive Platinum elite members booking at a ticket office or airport location. There is a $75 fee for tickets booked less than 21 days before departure, waived for elite AAdvantage members.

If you have a Citi AAdvantage or a Barclays AAdvantage Aviator card, have a look at the list of discounted award destinations. You might just find a city on your bucket list.

And if you’re thinking of adding an AAdvantage credit card to your collection, consider these discounts among the reasons for doing so.

Reader Reality Check

Have you taken advantage of these award discounts?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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