Deal alert: Fly United from 5,000 miles each way from now through early 2022
If you've been looking to make travel plans this holiday season and beyond, now might be a great time to use your stash of United miles. TPG has spotted a handful of domestic United routes pricing from just 5,000 miles one-way.
For more TPG travel news and deals delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter.
With fixed award charts gone for both United and Delta, it can sometimes be anyone's guess as to how many miles a domestic flight may cost. Often, the number of miles required is loosely (or not so loosely) tied to the cost of the ticket in cash. Thankfully, both airlines have offered some fantastic award sales from time to time -- sometimes as low as 5,000 miles for a domestic one-way in economy.
And United is offering one right now.
Most of the lowest-priced mileage deals we’ve come across are from November 2021 through March 2022 travel, though the only way to know for sure what your route may cost is to run a search and use the 30-day calendar view if you have some flexibility in travel dates.
Related: How to redeem miles with the United MileagePlus program
Routes: Continental U.S. travel
Cost: From 5,000 miles one-way in economy
Dates: Now through early 2022 including some holiday dates
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Premier® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on air travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel).
Here’s an example of some of the award prices we’ve spotted this fall on United:
- Chicago (ORD) – Orlando (MCO): 5,000 miles
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Denver (DEN): 5,000 miles
- Newark (EWR) – San Francisco (SFO): 8,000 miles
- Washington DC (IAD) – Miami (MIA): 5,000 miles
- Boston (BOS) – Chicago (ORD): 5,000 miles
Related: These are the best credit cards for flying United
Chicago (ORD) to Orlando (MCO) nonstop in December 2021
Denver (DEN) to Los Angeles (LAX) nonstop in November 2021
Newark (EWR) to San Francisco (SFO) nonstop in January 2022
Washington (IAD) to Miami (MIA) nonstop in December 2021
Boston (BOS) to Chicago (ORD) nonstop in December 2021
How to book
You’ll go straight to the United website, plug in your desired cities and dates and search for availability. United has a handy seven- or 30-day calendar view if you have flexibility with your dates.
If you don’t already have miles in your account, you can consider a transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards — miles generally post instantly, but there are occasional transfer delays, so there’s a small chance you won’t have the miles in your United account in time to take advantage of this sale.
Redeposit or change fees
If your plans change, United has a somewhat flexible change and redeposit policy when it comes to award miles. However, it's not as generous as some other airlines such as American.
All MileagePlus members, regardless of status level, can cancel and redeposit their United miles 31 or more days before departure without a fee. However, within 31 days of travel, you can only change an itinerary originating in the U.S. If you'd rather cancel and redeposit your miles within 31 days, a fee will apply. Many of those fees are waived or reduced depending on your level of United status.
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 Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express Gold Card (3x on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel), Citi Premier Card (3x on air travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.