United Miles: 20% Award Discount to Four Awesome Places

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United is discounting roundtrip coach awards between the US and four destinations by 20%. Book by March 2nd and travel:

  • Porto, Singapore or Sydney May 4 – June 17
  • Reykjavik May 23 – June 17

Here’s the pricing:

While I’m not a huge fan of coach, economy redemptions can make sense using United miles because United doesn’t add fuel surcharges onto award tickets. It rarely makes sense to redeem miles in non-US programs for coach to destinations where fuel surcharges apply since you’d be paying much of the cost of the ticket even while using your miles, looking for availability, and not earning miles.

Always Accept a Chance to Eat in Singapore

(HT: Doctor of Credit)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. After enjoying premium class award travel for a few years, I can’t go back to coach on flights over 6 hours.

  2. Gary – I just priced a ticket from SF-SIN and RT price is $564 on the nonstop (using May 9-16 as the random travel dates), so at 64k miles + $55 dollars, aren’t you getting a redemption value of around $0.008/mile? If so, isn’t that about half of what the points are worth?

  3. @Rob, you make an excellent point. I’m going to guess that the deals are offered on routes where cash prices are also low for the same dates, so it’s always worth checking that. And your kinds of valuations are even more prevalent when there’s no sale pricing on awards. What I’d like to see in this era where good prices aren’t rare on certain intercontinental flight routes is a reaction by mileage programs to lower their award rates for international economy flights in general. I don’t see it happening, but maybe this limited offer is a probe to test the reaction.

    I know Gary seldom thinks in terms of the economy class traveler, but I’m wondering whether the existing differentials between economy and premium cabin pricing for award travel, when you can get that direct RT to Singapore for $564, still make sense for the airlines; or if others, like I, are simply moving more often to purchasing cheap cash tickets, thus reducing incentives to earn miles in the first place. I know most customers don’t monitor these kinds of things very closely, so it may take time for large numbers of people to shift their habits, but I now put all my ongoing spend on cash back cards, reserving miles earning cards for bonus categories only.

  4. Gary,

    OMaaT had a great headline: “United Is Offering 20% Off Awards To Porto, Reykjavik, Singapore, And Sydney”

    You opted for click bait: “four awesome places”.


    What’s next, slideshow articles with 2 paragraphs per page?

  5. Clickbait? The 4 cities were right there underneath the title in the excerpt that shows up on the front page of the blog, in the RSS feed, in the email…

    I really don’t think I’m hiding the ball here.

  6. I don’t care how good a deal it is…I would think long and hard about committing to the 16 hour+ SFO-SIN route in Economy on points. If I absolutely needed to be there and I wanted to keep costs down maybe I’d do it. But the discount rate alone isn’t enough to induce me to jumping on it if I didn’t already have plans. Not in United’s Economy anyways. I’d rather burn my Chase miles flying Singapore in Economy than my United miles.

  7. @DaveS: it’s rare when an economy class international award ticket can match the 1.5 cents per point Chase Reserve gives you. Plus the latter option earns miles.

    That said, I did recently redeem 30k United miles in lieu of a $900 transpacific nonstop. You have to check all the options.

Comments are closed.