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.
“Reader Questions” are now answered twice a week by TPG Associate Editor Brendan Dorsey.
Premium economy is becoming more widely available as an option for those who want a better experience than the main cabin but aren’t willing to shell out the dollars or miles for business class. TPG reader Ken writes in asking if he can use his United miles to book premium economy tickets…
A number of airlines in the Star Alliance have premium economy (Lufthansa, Air Canada, etc.) but United does not. Is there a way to book premium economy using United miles?TPG Reader Ken
Unfortunately Ken, the short answer is no, you won’t be able to book any sort of premium economy ticket with your United miles. United doesn’t offer a premium economy product on its own aircraft, but plans on introducing it this fall.
When performing a search on United’s website, say from New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA), you’ll see that Lufthansa and Singapore both come up as options, and both of those airlines have premium economy seats on that route. Yet, there are only options to book an economy, business or first-class award.
Even though it’s not bookable online, is there a way to get around this and call in to United and book over the phone? No you won’t be able to do that either. In fact, United doesn’t even list premium economy as an option on its award chart.
Once United launches its own premium economy product, it will add this as an award booking option. Hopefully it will allow the ability to book partner airlines’ premium economy products too.
It’s still unclear what routes it plans to offer premium economy on, other that they’ll be to international destinations. Cash and mileage prices will fall somewhere between the cost of an economy and business class ticket.
If you have points with a transferrable points program like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, Citi ThankYou Points or Amex Membership Rewards, you’ll have better luck transferring to an airline partner that allows premium economy award bookings — like Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles, British Airways’ Executive Club or Air Canada’s Aeroplan.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees