Airlines News

If you have United Miles…they’re basically worth a 1/3 less now

a plane with seats and a few seats

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OMAAT broke the story earlier today….United poured gasoline all over their program, struck a match, and lit it on fire. It’s an absolute afront to their loyalty members to raise redemption rates by over 30% across the board and not even send a single email. This really goes to show you how important it is to maintain your points in flexible currency accounts like Amex, BIlt, Chase, Citi, or Capital One since all of those programs can transfer into partner programs and you’d have access to Star Alliance award availability at lower prices than United now charges. This devaluation makes the likes of Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Singapore, ANA, etc far more attractive.

The greatest use of points and miles is to make travel that you’d otherwise not take…possible. The biggest aspirational trips for a lot of Americans is to the see the world, and high on that list is Europe. Well…that was the first destination to get hit, and I’d guess it’s just a matter of time before we see the rest of the world get gutted as well. Let’s take a look at the damage.

Going to Europe on United planes

It used to be that you could redeem United miles to fly to Europe at the following rates

  • Economy was 30k
  • Business Class was 60k

You’d pay a few thousand extra if you were redeeming within 30 days, but that was the base rate. You may find some cheaper econ rates here and there, but now these are the base rates

  • Economy is 40k
  • Business Class is 80k

What a joke.

a screenshot of a price list

Going to Europe using United miles for Partner flights is even worse

Partner used to be

  • Econ was 30k
  • Business was in the 70k to 77k range

Now look at this disaster

  • Econ is 43.9k
  • Business starts at 88k, sometimes 99.8k and even 102.4k

a screenshot of a screen

a screenshot of a screen

a screenshot of a web page

To put this in perspective here are some partner redemption rates to Europe

  • Avianca LifeMiles are 63k
  • Aeroplan is 70k
  • Singapore 81k

A tad bit of a devaluation to Asia…

Partner used to be 88k and there is a close in booking surcharge being added which bumps both sides up.

screens screenshot of a flight schedule

Disappointing to say the least

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

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4 Comments

  • myk72 May 24, 2023

    I mainly use my United Miles to upgrade work trips and those weren’t devalued.
    I’m waitlisted for Premium @ 10k and Polaris @ 15k each way on a round trip to Europe in June. That’s a great deal!

  • […] mileage sale for 2023. Until 5/31, you can buy United Miles with up to a 100% bonus. Note that United just had a major devaluation which illustrates a big thing to keep in mind…never buy points […]

  • CHRIS May 17, 2023

    Watch for UA’s “Buy miles with a 100% bonus!!!” campaign shortly. Imagine taking someones money in exchange for something then coming back a week later and arbitrarily making that same something worth half of what you sold it for. It’s essentially legalized fraud.
    Miles/points “sales” both hotels and airlines are only intended for the stupid amongst us.

  • Billy Bob May 17, 2023

    Well time to accumulate Skypesos then. It’ll take some time, however, to get to those 400,000 one-ways…

    And then there’s AA. Find any Transpacific in the cheap seats for under 100K yet?

    The whole points and miles gravy train is going off the rails.

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