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Still haven’t decided where to take that last-minute spring trip yet? You might have been thinking of a weekend getaway or a staycation, but United is giving us a pretty good reason to consider hopping across the Pacific to Japan. When you book an economy Saver award now through April 17 for travel completed by April 30, 2014, the airline is giving a 25% discount on the redemption level.
Economy awards to Japan were one of the redemptions just raised in United’s February devaluation, so instead of 65,000 miles roundtrip, you’ll now be forking out 70,000 miles. However, with this discount, the redemption drops to 52,500 miles. Per the T&C, eligible awards must be roundtrip and flown only on United and United Express – so no booking an ANA award, even if it’s a United codeshare. However, open jaws within the same region count – so you can fly out of Chicago and back to Newark, for instance, giving you some more flexibility. The discount is valid only for travel between the US or Canada and Japan.
It looks like there’s plenty of availability throughout April from most of United’s hubs including Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark and San Francisco. You don’t have to do anything to register – the correct discounted award level will price out automatically on United flights as you can see below.
American Airlines normally charges 65,000 miles roundtrip in economy to Japan, but April is off-peak season for Japan (it runs through April 30) according to the airline’s award chart, so you can actually get economy awards for 50,000 miles roundtrip.
That’s just 2,500 miles less than United, and given that you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus, as well as United’s recent award chart devaluation, I’d rather use United miles at this point and keep my American miles for more premium international redemptions.
I haven’t been to Japan in a few years, but I had a blast on my trip back in 2011, so check out the posts from that:
- My Trip to Tokyo, My Initial Thoughts on Tokyo
- Tokyo Day One Part One – Arrival at Haneda, Meiji Shrine, and Harajuku
- Tokyo Day One Part Two – Shibuya, Park Hyatt Spa and Tokyo Hands
- Tokyo Day Two Part One – Walking Around Shinjuku and Tokyo Hands
- Tokyo Day Two Part Two – A Tale of Three Very Different Dining Experiences
- Day Three Part One – Inside Access to Tsukiji Fish Market and Tuna Auction
- Tokyo Day Three Part Two – Sushi at 6:30am, Tempura and a Night Out in Shinjuku
- Tokyo Day Four – Jetlag Blues, Relaxing at the Park Hyatt and Hanging at the Delta SkyClub at Narita
- Delta to Tokyo – 757 BusinessElite Review – JFK to LAX
- Delta to Tokyo 777LR BusinessElite Review LAX to Haneda
- Delta to Tokyo – 747 Upper Deck BusinessElite and Economy Comfort Review Narita to JFK
- Park Hyatt Tokyo Review
Happy booking! Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.