Today Only: United Offering up to 50% off Award Flights to Europe
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
The Black Friday deals have ended but Cyber Monday is now in full effect, and United Airlines has entered the space with a bang.
The carrier is offering significant discounts on award flights from across the US to Europe with possible savings of up to 50% off. Unfortunately, only economy awards are on sale, and you'll be restricted to flying United metal.
Discounted flights are available for travel from Jan. 13, 2019, through March 28, 2019. You'll have to book by tonight at 11:59pm CST to take advantage of the deal.
United non-elites will save 20% on bookings, where an award itinerary will start at 48,000 miles round-trip, down from the typical 60,000 miles. Premier Silver and Premier Gold members will receive 30% off while Premier Platinum and Premier 1Ks will enjoy 40% off bookings. The deal's sweetened even further since United Chase cardholders will receive an extra 5-10% off awards.
While one-way travel isn't available, the deal's terms say you can book discounted open jaw itineraries, although it doesn't appear to work in practice. United's excursionist perk won't stack with the discount either.
One of these cards should make you eligible:
- United Club Card
- United Explorer Card
- United Explorer Business Card
TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig who has United 1K status was able to price together this nonstop round-trip itinerary from San Francisco (SFO) to Paris (CDG) over Valentines Day. He received 50% off as a 1K and United cardholder:
As a non-elite, but Chase United Explorer cardholder, I found discounted awards to Paris for 45,000 miles + $83 round-trip:
And flights from Newark (EWR) to Rome (FCO) for 45,000 miles round-trip + $71.
Or Houston (IAH) to London (LHR) for 45,000 miles round-trip + $182.
Not every award ticket receives the maximum discount; I saw some flights for 50,000 miles round-trip.
It would be wise to pay the taxes and fees with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige for the excellent trip delay insurance.
If you need United miles, you can transfer instantly from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Just note that you can usually find cheap flights to Europe in the winter months so you may not be maximizing the value of your points if you do decide. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you're guaranteed to get 1.5 cents per point when booking flights — and since those are cash fares, you'll earn elite and redeemable miles. See our post here on how to decide if it makes more sense to transfer miles or book through the travel portal.