United Airlines is running an attractive promotion on award redemptions to four incredible destinations. But before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure you practice due diligence.
Now through March 2, 2018 you can save 20% on economy class awards to the following four cities:
- Porto, Portugal (48K miles r/t)
- Reykjavik, Iceland (48K)
- Singapore (64K)
- Sydney, Australia (64K)
- Round-trip purchase required
- Travel can originate and end anywhere in the Continental United States + Alaska (Hawaii excluded)
- Travel must end in the same region as it begins, but not necessarily the same city
- Round-trip does not have to be in economy class
- For example, outbound can be in saver economy at the reduced rate and return in business or first class at “Saver” or “Anytime” rate
- No “Excursionist Perk” for this promotion
Before You Buy: Check Cash Fares!
This is a great promo for many smaller cities in the USA. Why not get the whole family to Europe, Asia, or Australia for 20% off if you were going to fly economy anyway?
But always, always, always check the cash price of your ticket.
Take Singapore, for example. We’re in a period of unusually cheap travel to Asia. A ticket to Singapore from Los Angeles next week is only a tad over $500.
If you use miles, you’ll pay 64K miles per ticket and still be stuck for about $160 in taxes and a $75 close-in booking fee if you do not have miles. That means your miles are getting you less than one cent each. That’s a crime to any miles afficiando.
Same story for Iceland, where fares tend to be extremely cheap. Don’t drop 48K miles when you can pay $443 instead…
Always check the price of paid tickets before you use miles. Always. But especially in the case of economy class redemptions, as we are in a protracted period of very cheap economy class fares (thanks to the low-cost boom around the world).
Unless you’re getting close to two cents per point in value, I’d pass on this promotion.