There is one fate we all share in the points and miles game, whether we fly 200,000 miles a year, 200 or zero. We are at the mercy (peril) of airlines to release seats and availability to allow us to cash in our miles. As the opportunities to maximize those miles become fewer and farther between, it's important to stay on top of what's out there. Delta and United are offering non ideal but better than many alternative opportunities to use your miles with "award sales". Essentially, flights that usually require more miles will require less miles, for a limited time.
Delta Economy To London 45,000 Round Trip
A round trip flight in economy to London generally requires 60,000 miles plus taxes and fees of around $180 at the lowest level from the US. Lately, it's been somewhat hard to find the lowest level at peak times, often leading to some insane amounts of miles needed, which is always a terrible value. For bookings made by Jan. 18 and travel originated between February 1st and March 24th, Delta is offering these economy seats at 45,000 miles plus taxes and fees from select cities (mostly East Coast). It's not the best way to use miles, but for those that want to cross the pond without shelling out a fortune, and are happy to blow some Skymiles, it's a better than average opportunity. Gary Leff does an excellent job of hashing out the exact value you'll be getting. As a reminder, you can instantly transfer Amex points into Delta Skymiles.
United Economy to Sydney 60,000 Round Trip
Getting to Australia is never easy, and in economy it may not be comfortable, but one thing it will be in this sale, is a decent value. United generally charges 80,000 miles for an economy round trip at it's best level for flights from the US to Australia. In this sale, you'll be able to get round trip for 60,000 miles and roughly $100 in taxes and fees. United flies their Dreamliner to the land of Oz, so you'll be in one of the best possible cabins to make the long trek, offering better air pressure, humidity and temperature, not to mention massive windows. To lock this in you'll need to book by January 28th, for travel from (almost any US city) for travel between February 2nd and June 22nd. Getting to Australia and back for some reasonable miles and $100 bucks is not a bad deal at all! ThePointsGuy breaks down the value versus paying cash. As a reminder, you can instantly transfer Chase Sapphire Preferred points into United miles.
As I've mentioned on occasion (often), I like to put my miles toward travel up front I either can not or will not pay for. It's also a great way to maximize your cents per mile, extracting the most value. If you either won't have enough miles for a crazy first class flight in the near future, don't care about things like that, or really want to get to one of these cities for cheap, the sooner the better, this is a great deal offering a nice opportunity to cash in a dwindling currency, yes both of them.
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