United Mileage Upgrades: The Last Refuge After the Latest MileagePlus Devaluation Still Saves Up to 69%

Here’s how to turn lemons into a bit of United lemonade…

I think you should value your miles and points at a minimum of two cents each. Although I value mine at much more. At this rate, and if long-haul Business Class fares to Europe are generally around $2,500 to $4,500, the most you’d really want to spend on a round-trip ticket with miles is around 200,000 max (and I’d not even pay that). In other words, consider paying cash for anything more than 200,000 miles for a Business Class ticket to Europe, generally speaking. I might use more miles for First Class, but not for Business Class.

So that means United miles are absolutely worthless to places like Europe now because United devalued its miles again. If you’re extremely lucky or flexible, you can find some dates for 160,000 miles round-trip to Europe, since the airline increased its lowest dynamic Business Class award costs from 60,000 to 80,000 each way — though most days are in the 155,000 range each way. If you’re unlucky, you may find awards as high as 297,000 each way. United also increased its lowest partner awards in Business Class by 12%, from 77,000 to 88,000 each way.

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