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United Airlines miles stand a favorite of the MMS side and our readers because they offer a decent number of award seats paralleled to other airlines. But how much are United Airlines miles value now that United has switched to a positive rating.
On average, you can imagine receiving a value of 1.3 cents per mile. Still, the deal will continuously vary depending on your flight route, the fees associated with specific award tickets, if you travel during peak hours, and more. In some cases, they will be worth much more than their average value, even more than 10 cents per mile, which is incredible.
You can use some of the best airline credit cards, like the United Club Boundless card, which presently comes with a United Club airport lounge membership (worth up to $650 per year), and first and second checked bags free. Earn United Airlines miles quickly and much more.
United Mileage Value and Examples of what you can Redeem
United Airlines recently switched to dynamic pricing, but the way it calculates the value of your miles remains the same (Cash price of ticket taxes and fees you would pay on the award ticket) / quantity of points required for an award ticket.
You are no longer definite a specific value on a particular route because there is no prize table. United has eliminated closing booking fees but increased award prices for flights booked within 30 days of departure, and you’ll now see a 1,500-3,500-mile surcharge when you book within this period. However, you can still find savings awards that align somewhat with the prices in the United Airlines award table above, and some prizes are priced even lower than what we used to see in the prize table above. And, as of now, United doesn’t offer Basic Economy award flights, so with the miles, you’re booking a more expensive, less restrictive economy fare that allows for refunds (for a fee), seat selection, and more.
Domestic Flights (Especially Last Minute Flights)
On this roundtrip bus ticket between Seattle and Denver, you’d spend 10,000 miles and ~$11 in tariffs and fees if you were to use miles. A similar ticket costs ~$152 in cash, meaning using your miles for this ticket will earn you ~1.4 cents per mile: ($152 $11) / 10,000 miles.
Often, you get even more value for your miles if you book a last-minute flight, even with the mileage surcharge United has added in place of the old closing booking fee. Take a look at this roundtrip flight between Missoula, Montana, and Denver.
In this case, the release is a month away (at the time of this writing), and the cash price is $408.80. Using your miles, you’ll spend just 20,000 miles and $11.20 in taxes and fees. That’s a worth of 1.98 cents per mile, which is an improbable use of your hard-earned rewards.
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Round Trip Bus Tickets to Europe – United Airlines miles
United Airlines charges 60,000 miles for roundtrip economy flights to Europe, which means you can get a lot of value from your miles by buying tickets to top holiday destinations like Paris, London or Madrid.
I quickly searched for flights between Chicago and Madrid in June 2020 and found several choices for 60,000 UA miles and $78 in tariffs and bills. Cash values for this same route were around $1,500 or more at the time of the search. That means you’d get ~2.4 cents per mile value in this scenario, which is excellent.
International Business and First Class Flights on Partner Airlines
Once you’ve flown first, it’s hard to think about taking a long-haul economy flight. Fortunately, using United Airlines miles to fly in an expensive first or business class seat on a trip abroad can help save your wallet and your back. And you’ll get lots of value from your miles while you’re at it.
For example, I found a continuous business class ticket since Denver to Frankfurt on United Airlines’ other half Lufthansa for 70,000 United Airlines miles and $6 in dues and charges. If you paid currency for the same flight, you’d have to shell out a whopping $8,716.
After doing the math, you’ll get a value of 12.44 cents per mile. It’s an unbelievably great deal at over eight times the average value you’d typically get from your United Airlines miles. It shows how broadly the value of United Airlines’ miles can fluctuate and how valuable they can be.
How to earn United Airlines miles?
If you’re observing for more ways to earn miles, there are a join of United credit cards with the following welcome offers:
- United Explorer Card Up to 70,000 miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, earn an added 10,000 miles after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening.
- United Club Boundless Card Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- United Business Card Earn 75,000 bonus miles afterward, spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.
We typically transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points when booking award travel on United Airlines. You will transfer 1:1 to United Airlines and be shared instantly, so you can quickly get an award flight before it’s gone.
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