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Of the many travel-rewards credit cards, the Citibank-issued cards linked to American’s AAdvantage program are among the least discussed.
That’s because the cards have been slow to load up on perks, and because they typically don’t come bundled with eye-popping sign-up bonuses.
In addition to being affiliated with a solid program, the cards have long featured a benefit that can represent real extra value, both to holding an AAdvantage credit card specifically and to program membership generally: discounted award tickets.
Every quarter, 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 higher-annual-fee Platinum, World Elite, and Select cards, first-class award prices are reduced from 50,000 miles to 42,500 miles; and coach awards are discounted from 25,000 to 17,500 miles. That’s a 15 percent discount for first class and a hefty 30 percent discount for coach.
For Gold cardholders, the first and coach awards are discounted by 10 and 20 percent, to 45,000 and 20,000 miles, respectively.
The list of eligible award destinations for the January — March quarter includes 12 destinations in the Northeast, 34 in the Midwest, 36 in the Southeast, 33 in the Southwest, and five in Canada.
Discounted awards must be booked by phone, so there will be a $20 service charge for non-Executive Platinum elite members.
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 Orlando.
But there are plenty of cities well worth visiting. Among the destinations that caught my eye: New York (LaGuardia but not JFK), Charlotte, Washington, DC, Pensacola, Houston, Albuquerque, Santa Barbara, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Montreal, and Toronto.
If you have a Citi AAdvantage 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 a Citi AAdvantage card to your credit card collection, consider these discounts among the reasons for doing so.
Reader Reality Check
Have you taken advantage of these credit card award discounts? Are there destinations on the list that you’d like to visit?
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