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United celebrates 'Pi Day' with one-way flights for $31.40 or 3,140 miles

March 14, 2021
5 min read
United A320 economy seating
United celebrates 'Pi Day' with one-way flights for $31.40 or 3,140 miles
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We could all use something to celebrate — this weekend, "Pi Day" will have to do. This particular event acknowledges the alignment of today's date, March 14 (3/14), with the mathematical constant pi, roughly equivalent to 3.14159. (Unfortunately pi only dates back to the 18th century, but I'd otherwise agree that there was a huge missed opportunity in the year 159.)

Anyway, let's talk travel, and save the math for calculating the number of miles you'll save with United's latest themed sale!

To mark the occasion, United is selling one-way flights for $31.40 or 3,140 miles. Note that most of the discounted paid flights will book into basic economy, and exclude seat assignments, carry-on bags and more. While we value United miles above the 1-cent valuation United's attached here, you'll have much more flexibility — and added benefits — by booking this sale as an award.

The lowest fares are typically only available on shorter United flights, though the carrier is also offering discounts on certain longer flights, so it's definitely worth looking around. Depending on the route, you'll likely encounter one of the following fare-redemption pairings:

FareAward (miles)
$31.403,140
$495,500
$8910,000
$10912,500
$11912,500
$12912,500
$13912,500


Airline: United
Routes: between DEN/EWR/IAD/IAH/LAX/ORD/SFO and more
Cost: $31.40 or 3,140 miles one-way
Dates: Valid for travel from March 28, 2021, to June 5, 2021
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), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase 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.

I found it easiest to search on Google Flights. From there, once you zero in on a "$32" fare, you can head over to United's website to book.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

Once you click through, you'll see that the final price drops to $31.40, as long as you've selected an eligible flight.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

There actually appears to be more availability for discounted awards, which may price out at the reduced rate every day of the week.

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Screenshot courtesy of United.

Once you click through to check out, you'll see the 3,140-mile rate reflected, plus the TSA security fee of $5.60 each way.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

There are discounted flights available from all of United's hubs, with significantly lower fares on certain routes.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

Day-of-departure restrictions may apply — on some routes, you might only see mid-week flights priced at the "Pi Day" rate.

Screenshot courtesy of United.

There are many more options available at slightly higher price points, too, like Houston (IAH) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $49 in basic economy (or just $10 more for regular coach).

Screenshot courtesy of United.

The award equivalent actually prices out a bit lower than advertised, at 5,000 miles each way.

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 Reserve, Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked direct or via Amextravel.com), Citi 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 image by United A320 economy seating (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more