Travel Tip Tuesday: United Award Sale to Europe
A few days ago I wrote an article about how you could travel to Europe this Spring for almost free by signing up for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard with a waived annual fee the first year, and once you completed the minimum spend requirement you would have plenty of miles for a FREE round trip to almost anywhere in Europe (well, about $47 out of pocket in taxes for a roundtrip ticket). 20,000 AAdvantage miles each way to Europe during the off-peak season is one of the best values on the AAdvantage award chart. However, United just announced a sale to Europe this Winter/Spring. While not quite as good of a deal as the AAdvantage award, it is still worthy of consideration, especially if you already have a bunch of United Mileage Plus Miles in your portfolio.
United Economy Awards to Europe up to 25% off!
According to the e-mail I received a few days ago, it will cost 45,000 miles round trip if you travel on Monday through Thursday, and 51,000 if you travel on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. This is discounted from the normal cost of 60,000 miles.
The sale does have some important “fine print:”
- You must book by midnight Central time on December 8
- Sale is valid for travel beginning on or after January 11, 2016, and completed on or before March 10, 2016
- Must fly a round trip ticket (sale not valid for a one-way trip)
- For this offer, “roundtrip” is defined as travel from an origin city to a destination city with return travel ending at the origin city, and with all segments on flights operated by United Airlines. A segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing. Stopovers are not possible with this offer.
However, it appears that open-jaws may be possible. This means that you can fly into one European city, travel around via some other method, and depart from a different European city–which can expand your possibilities and maximize the amount of things you could potentially do.
Unfortunately, you must fly United, the sale is not valid on any of the other Star Alliance partners. But, fortunately, availability appears to be pretty decent between most major city-pairs.
This sale is a decent deal if you want to travel to Europe during the winter/early Spring and want to burn some United Miles. However, American Airlines has a better deal which extends much further into the Spring.
United Miles are relatively easy to obtain via Chase co-branded credit cards, like the United MileagePlus Explorer Visa Card. This card is currently offering only a 30,000 mile bonus, but regularly increases this bonus to 50,000.
Instead of applying for the United Visa card, I recommend applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Card. This card earns Ultimate Rewards points and is currently offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus. Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to United and additionally 10 other hotels and airlines for maximum flexibility. It also earns points at a higher rate than the United Card on most travel and dining purchases.