48,000 (Instead of 60,000) United Miles for a Round-Trip Award to Europe!

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United has a 20% discount on round-trip coach award seats to Europe.

You have to travel between January 13, 2014 and March 11, 2014, but you must book your ticket by 11:59 PM on November 19, 2013.

United Discounted Award Travel

20% Off or 48,000 United Miles (instead of 60,000 miles) to Europe up to November 19, 2013

Terms & Conditions

This offer is valid for award travel in Economy Class between the US (excluding Hawaii) or Canada, and Europe.

You CANNOT book Business or First Class seats, using this discount.  Here are the full Terms & Conditions.

You HAVE to travel on United flights only, so you won’t get the discount if you use United’s Star Alliance partners such as Lufthansa.

You have to travel on a round-trip i.e you won’t get the discount for a 1-way award.

You can have an open-jaw, where you fly from, say, Chicago to London, but fly back from Paris (instead of London) to Chicago.

Is This a Good Deal?

United usually charges 60,000 miles for round-trip travel from the US to Europe.

But with the 20% discount, a round-trip flight from Chicago to Paris costs 48,000 miles and ~$90 in taxes!

United Discounted Award Travel

48,000 United Miles & $90 to Europe

United sells the same flight in coach for $983.

But you would only pay 48,000 United miles and ~$90 if you redeem United miles.

This means that 48,000 United miles saves you $893 ($983 for the cash ticket – $90 in taxes if you redeem United miles for the flight), which is a good deal.

United is offering these discounted tickets because many folks don’t want to travel to Europe, so planes have seats going empty.  And United would rather let you redeem miles for those empty seats than let the seats go empty.

Here’s a post on how to find awards using the United website.

Transferring Points to United

You may be able to get up to 50,000 miles with the United card.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points in a 1:1 ratio from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus or (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold to United.   These transfers are usually instant.

Bottom Line

The 20% discount on award tickets is a good deal for folks who want to visit Europe and save 12,000 miles per round-trip!

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6 responses to “48,000 (Instead of 60,000) United Miles for a Round-Trip Award to Europe!

  1. United hates me! We are going to Europe but not until march 18! This discount would have been awesome! Key words there: would have been!

  2. I see this as a perfect example of why using miles/points is almost never worth it (ESPECIALLY IF TRANSFERRED FROM CHASE UR) to fly coach.

    Even with this 20% off promotion, you are paying 48,000 miles and $90 in taxes for a flight from Chicago to Paris.

    United sells this same flight for $983, but you would earn 8,304 miles (without any millage bonus for being elite).

    This brings the “true” calculation down to: You are spending 56,304 (48,000 plus 8,304) miles to save $893 ($983-$90). You are getting a little more than 1.5 cents per mile. If you have United miles to burn, that’s one thing, but the angle that makes it really hard to justify, is if you are transferring in the points from Chase, as they will let you redeem for a flight at 1.25 cents per point. At that rate “spending” 56,300 miles (yes i’m mixing UR and United miles here for argument sake), you’re giving up $700 in actual cash

    Hey, if you have points, and want to go to Europe, enjoy the trip. But, if you do the math, you’re barely beating the Chase UR straight cash payment for travel

  3. Fun, fast and flexible…I’m a fanatic!

  4. Nice! They did this a year or so ago I believe, a good way to finish up the burn pre-devaluation.

    Oh and @ Jared… you started off all interesting in that comment, then went a little off reservation with your math I believe.

    If you can use UR points at 1.25 each it would cost you 78,640 to ‘buy’ the ticket and then earn your 8304 miles back. And you would also save $90 in avoiding the fees.

    But if you pay the $90 in fees (earning 2x for Travel with the Sapphire card) you would earn 180 miles, plus spend 48000.

    Therefore the question is, if at the checkout you had the option to

    A. Pay 47,820 miles plus $90
    B. Pay 70,326 miles plus $0 (your UA miles 8304 earned deducted from 78,640 UR spent)

    What would you chose?

    You are actually given the option here to ‘buy’ 22,506 miles for $90 (70,326-47,820)

    Hardly something to get in a tizzy about, in fact I think it sounds like a bargain!

  5. Matt,

    I like how you laid out the math, but I think the point was that it isn’t a great redemption. Most of us want to get close to double the cash rate. And don’t forget, neither analysis above accounts for the 10k premier qualifying miles, which vary greatly in value to different people. I personally value them fairly highly.