Save on warm-weather trips with United’s ‘under $70 to over 70’ sale

Mar 2, 2021

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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

Spring is almost upon us, but with chilly temps in store for at least the next few weeks, United’s taking this opportunity to remind us that warm-weather trips are within reach.

This week, United Airlines launched a promotion highlighting low-cost escapes to warmer weather, with “fares under $70 to destinations over 70 degrees.” The carrier is advertising award rates starting at 7,000 miles each way, as well — another play on those 70+ temps.

I’ve been seeing plenty of sub-$70 one-way flights on United and other carriers over the past few weeks, so this isn’t as much a “sale” as an opportunity for the airline to remind us that flights are cheap right now. I’m itching for a warm-weather escape, though, so I’m happy to bite.

Airline: United
Routes: between ATL/IAH/LAS/LAX/MCO/MCY/MIA/PBI/PHX/PSP/RSW/SAV/SNA/TPA and more
Cost: $70 and less one-way
Dates: No specific booking or travel limitations
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel ; earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, starting Jan. 1, 2021), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare),  Citi Premier® CardChase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

While I wasn’t able to find any fares approaching Southwest sale territory — with plenty of options in the $29 range — you don’t have to look far to find United fares far below the advertised $70 threshold.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

Generally, you’ll find plenty of options below $60 each way, with reasonable (~$200) flights available in first class, too.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

Award rates are also as-advertised — flights with low cash fares can often be found with sub-7,000-mile awards as well.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

While you’re likely to find impressive fares to many destinations around the U.S., note that many flights book into basic economy and exclude seat assignments and carry-on bags.

Related: How to survive Basic Economy on United Airlines

You can make free changes to basic economy flights when you book by the end of March — while you might want to buy up to regular coach, basic economy bookings do include some flexibility for now.

In some cases, the buy-up to regular economy is entirely reasonable. Take this $46 flight from Newark (EWR) to Miami (MIA):

Screenshot courtesy of United.

Booking the same flight in regular coach requires just a $13 up-charge — I’d happily pay that to have seat assignments and a carry-on bag any day.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card Citi Premier® CardCiti Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Featured photo courtesy of United Airlines.

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