Act Fast: 20% Off United Award Sale Lasts Through Tomorrow (March 2)

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Right now you can book award economy awards flying United to all of the following destinations with your United miles for 20% off the Saver Level award price:

  • Porto, Portugal: Valid for travel May 4 to June 17, 2018
  • Reykjavik, Iceland: Valid for travel May 23 to June 17, 2018
  • Singapore: Valid for travel May 4 to June 17, 2018
  • Sydney, Australia: Valid for travel May 4 to June 17, 2018

The primary stipulations are that you must book by the end of the day tomorrow (March 2, at 11:59 p.m. CST), you must fly roundtrip, and you must fly in United economy (not a Star Alliance partner’s economy). Flights do not necessarily need to be direct in order to be valid for this promotion.

You can find the landing page for the promo here. If it asks you to input a promo code, use A17416.

Does 20% off make it a good deal?

Below is a table that shows the usual prices.

So you’re saving 12,000 United miles to Porto and Reykjavik, and 16,000 United miles to Singapore and Sydney. Saving miles is always a good thing. But what if you have other miles/points to choose from? Is 48k or 64k still a good deal?

To answer whether or not this sale is a good deal for you, consider a few factors.

  1. The price of the cash ticket. You should always be considering this factor, but it’s especially necessary to check when you’re searching for economy travel. ESPECIALLY to Europe, which is a very competitive market these days.
  2. The amount of miles it would take to book the same award with other mileage or point balances you currently have.
  3. How much you value the different miles and points you have. If you don’t have your own valuations of your miles and points, you can use ours for reference.

I’ll walk you through an example of how I would figure out if this sale was worth it. Let’s say I want to go to Porto at the end of May and I live in Chicago.

Porto, Portugal. Photo credit Sarah Page Maxwell
Porto, Portugal. A photo I took from a trip there last summer.
  1. First, I’ll search the cash price for my desired dates.

$1,569 a pretty large price tag for a roundtrip across the pond. Sometimes we see fares in the $300 to $500 range that are not worth spending miles on, but this looks like an instance in which your miles would come in handy.

If I spent 48,000 United miles instead of spending $1,569 on the cash flight, I’d be getting 3.2 cents of value per United miles. I personally value United miles at 1.6 cents each, so to me, that would be a high value redemption.

2. I also have Singapore miles. Should I use those instead? It costs 27,500 Singapore miles + taxes one way if I was to redeem Singapore miles on these same United flights, which I could theoretically do as it’s Saver level award space (aka available to book with partner miles typically).

That’s 55,000 Singapore miles roundtrip. 55,000 miles is a lot more than 48,000 miles, but we have to consider the difference in the value of each of these types of miles to see which is the better deal.

I value Singapore miles at 1.75 cents each. This is where you should plug in your own valuations if you have them (if not, use ours). I personally value United miles at 1.6 cents each.

55,000 x .0175 = $962

48,000 x .016 = $768

Final Decision

Would you rather spend $962 or $768? If I value Singapore miles more than I value United miles than it’s obvious I’d rather spend less United miles than more Singapore miles, but the example is good to follow for plugging in your own numbers. If your award prices are similar as are your valuations, the answer may not be so clear without doing the math.

Bottom Line

Want to travel to Iceland, Europe, Singapore, or Australia in May or June and don’t mind squeezing into economy? You can book United awards for 20% off through the end of the day tomorrow.

Make sure you consider the cash price (especially on those flights to Europe), what you could book it for with your other miles or points, and how much you value each of those other types of mile or point options.

Hat tip One Mile at a Time


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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