If you are up to date in the travel, points, and miles world than you are already well aware that United drastically changed their redemption prices for flights booked after February 1, 2014. This unfortunate news came Friday morning, and I must admit, it is a HUGE change. For those that only redeem their miles for domestic flights, you are not affected, do not worry! But those that typically save up their miles for international flights, especially partner airlines, will have their miles devalued.

Here is a pdf of both the current awards chart and the new awards chart come February 1, 2014. Recap of the changes for flights to/from North America:

  • Hawaii coach class tickets are increasing from 40,000 miles to 45,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • Southern South America business class tickets are increasing from 100,000 miles to 110,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • Southern South America first class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 140,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • Europe business class tickets are increasing from 100,000 miles to 115,000 miles (United metal)
  • Europe business class tickets are increasing from 100,000 miles to 140,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Europe first class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 160,000 miles (United metal)
  • Europe first class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 220,00 miles (partner metal) 
  • Middle East coach class tickets are increasing from 80,000 miles to 85,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • Middle East business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 140,000 miles (United metal)
  • Middle East business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 160,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Middle East first class tickets are increasing from 150,000 miles to 180,000 miles (United metal)
  • Middle East first class tickets are increasing from 150,000 miles to 280,000 miles (United)
  • Africa business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 140,000 miles (United metal)
  • Africa business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 160,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Africa first class tickets are increasing from 150,000 miles to 170,000 miles (United metal)
  • Africa first class tickets are increasing from 150,000 miles to 260,000 miles (partner metal) 
  • Japan coach class tickets are increasing from 65,000 miles to 70,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • Japan business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 130,000 miles (United metal)
  • Japan business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 150,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Japan first class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 160,000 miles (United metal)
  • Japan first class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 220,000 miles (partner metal)
  • North Asia coach class tickets are increasing from 65,000 miles to 70,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • North Asia business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 140,000 miles (United metal)
  • North Asia business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 160,000 miles (partner metal)
  • North Asia first class tickets are increasing from 140,000 miles to 160,000 miles (United metal)
  • North Asia first class tickets are increasing from 140,000 miles to 240,000 miles (partner metal)
  • South Asia coach class tickets are increasing from 65,000 miles to 80,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • South Asia business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 140,000 miles (United metal)
  • South Asia business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 160,000 miles (partner metal)
  • South Asia first class tickets are increasing from 140,000 miles to 160,000 miles (United metal)
  • South Asia first class tickets are increasing from 140,000 miles to 260,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Central Asia coach class tickets are increasing from 80,000 miles to 85,000 miles (both United and partner metal)
  • Central Asia business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 140,000 miles (United metal)
  • Central Asia business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 160,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Central Asia first class tickets are increasing from 160,000 miles to 180,000 miles (United metal)
  • Central Asia first class tickets are increasing from 160,000 miles to 280,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Oceana business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 130,000 miles (United metal)
  • Oceana business class tickets are increasing from 120,000 miles to 150,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Oceana first class tickets are increasing from 150,000 miles to 160,000 miles (United metal)
  • Oceana first class tickets are increasing from 150,000 miles to 220,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Australia/New Zealand business class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 140,000 miles (United metal)
  • Australia/New Zealand business class tickets are increasing from 135,000 miles to 160,000 miles (partner metal)
  • Australia/New Zealand first class tickets are increasing from 160,000 miles to 260,000 miles (partner metal)

As you see, almost all international routes are increasing for business and first class. For coach class only a few are increasing. Where they really get you are the partner flights. Those flights now are an insane amount for business and first class. This will really limit availability for those who are not looking to redeem an arm and a leg for an award flight. Also, many of the partner airlines have much better business and first class than United metal, which might make you consider just flying coach instead.

To read more about this, blogger View from the Wing has the best posts on this detailing all the in’s and out’s. If you are a United flyer sitting on a ton of miles you should reach these posts:

If you were looking to redeem some United miles for an international flight post February 1, 2014, I suggest booking prior to that. As long as your flight is booked by January 31, 2014, you will be locked into the current redemption chart. Remember, you can book 330 days out.

Not a great day for those hoarding United points…

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • justSaying said,

    Hello LH Barclay’s card……goodbye Chase United card……..

  • HikerT said,

    JS, good luck with those LH fuel surcharges. Not to mention calling the LH call center to book partner awards, at least when they are open. And be sure to hold on to your LH card and keep paying the AF to keep your miles from expiring, assuming you remember to make a charge every month, lol. No thanks! Arrival is a much better card for non-bonused spend IMHO.

  • BoxerXXX said,

    Goodbye *A, hello OW.
    Use AMEX SPG!

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