June 12th, 2013
From now on the cities will actually rotate every month instead of every quarter, click on the link above to view the monthly discounted cities through September.
The really good news is that you can now receive the discount on one-way travel.
A one-way discounted coach award with Platinum level credit card is 8,750 miles and a round-trip discounted award is 17,500 miles.
Of course as the Platinum level credit card also gives a 10% rebate on award redemptions (up to 10,000 miles can be rebated per year) that will make the effective one-way price 7,875 miles and the effective round-trip price 15,750 miles.
To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TD8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UD21X2A
While BA Avios can be a better deal for short-haul nonstop flights, bear in mind that you pay for each flight segment when redeeming Avios, whereas with AA miles you pay a flat rate for the entire journey.
It’s worth noting that because you can now book one-way travel you can also take better advantage of hidden city award ticketing.
Say you are Miami based and want to fly to Los Angeles.
You can book a one-way from Miami to Monterey, CA for 7,875 miles and get off the plane in Los Angeles:
For the return you can book a one-way from Los Angeles to Washington DC and get off the plane in Miami:
Unlike when you arrive from an international flight where everyone must claim their luggage at the gateway US city, this won’t work if you have checked luggage. However if you can travel light or are willing to ship your suitcases (it’s cheaper than you think) then it can save you a nice chunk of miles, especially if you are traveling with several people.
There is a $25 phone fee and some people have had success getting them to waive the fee as it can’t be booked online. You may want to hold the award you want online and call them up to book it and then you can argue that you created the reservation online and shouldn’t be subject the the phone fee. YMMV.
While the discount is intended for the destination city, some people have reported success getting the discount applied for originating from one of the cities on the list and flying to any city in the US49 and Canada. YMMV definitely applies here as well.