This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Back in December, United was offering MileagePlus members the chance to redeem their miles at discounted rates within North America. United is back with another discounted mileage redemption promotion, this time on economy awards to Sao Paulo and Santiago.

Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 1.10.12 PM

You can find all the promotion details here, but to give you the short version:

Get 25% off MileagePlus Saver Awards in United Economy – that equates to 45,000 miles instead of 60,000

  • Book by April 26, 2015
  • Travel between March 25-June 25, 2015
  • This is only valid on Saver Awards and for travel between the US or Canada (excluding Hawaii) and Brazil or Chile.

You must book a roundtrip award in the economy cabin. One-way travel is still priced at regular levels. However, as long as your itinerary is roundtrip, even if one segment prices out at a higher Standard level, the Saver level portion of your ticket will still be at the discounted rate. The key here is to book roundtrip travel.

Existing award reservations may be reissued upon request at the award mileage sale levels, but they will be subject to award change policies and fees. Just to confirm the sale rates, I priced out a sample itinerary from Chicago to Sao Paulo in May and sure enough, it is going for 45,000 miles and $60 in taxes and fees roundtrip.

Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 1.11.52 PM

The same ticket would cost $841, so you’re getting a value of about 1.73 cents per mile, which is slightly higher than the 1.5 cents per mile I typically value United miles at.

Bottom Line

While I’m not blown away by a 25% discount on awards, if you were thinking of booking an economy award to either Chile or Sao Paulo anyway, you might as well save the 15,000 miles.

The other interesting thing to consider is that United will let you reissue existing awards to either destination at the discounted rates. If you are interested in doing so and are a general MileagePlus member, you will pay $75 to do so – the equivalent of paying about 0.5 cents per mile to save those miles. However, if you are a Silver elite or higher, this fee is waived, so double check your reservations.

If you are within 21 days of travel or are changing your origin or destination, you will pay $100 as a general member, $50 as a Silver elite, $25 as a Gold and no fee for Platinum and higher, so this could still be worth looking into, or changing your flights to go to Santiago or Sao Paulo instead of another destination if you’re looking to save some miles and don’t have to be anywhere else in particular.

Just keep in mind that American Airlines offers Off-Peak awards to South America Zone 2, which includes Chile and Brazil, but also Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay for 20,000 miles each way March 1-May 31 and then again August 16-November 30, and you don’t have to book a roundtrip award. You can also fly its partners like LAN or TAM at the discounted rates as well, so that’s still a better option if you ask me.

Do you plan to take advantage of this discount? Share your plans in the comments below.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.