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Award flights : inventory access for Explorer CC holders? How to use Chase points?

Award flights : inventory access for Explorer CC holders? How to use Chase points?

Old Aug 24, 19, 5:56 pm
  #1  
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Award flights : inventory access for Explorer CC holders? How to use Chase points?

Because there are nonstop flights on United from DEN to LIH, Iíve been checking to see if any award flights are available for July 2020. Iíve read on this forum they may not be released until a lot closer to July , but when they do release them, are they typically made available first to Explorer CC holders ? I have 210,000 Chase points but do not own a Untied card .

Also, can somebody remind me difference between a award and a saver ?
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Old Aug 24, 19, 6:06 pm
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Saver is cheaper but with much more limited inventory. Elites and cardholders get expanded inventory.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by coloradotraveler View Post
when they do release them, are they typically made available first to Explorer CC holders ?
There's no guarantee how they will distribute the seat availability, but it is true that some saver seats are only released to elites and United CC holders. Standard awards are only available to elites and United CC holders.

Originally Posted by coloradotraveler View Post
can somebody remind me difference between a award and a saver ?
Standard awards are always available, but only to elites and United CC holders. Saver is a space-limited award, generally about half the cost of a standard award. However, the concepts of saver and standard awards are going away as United moves to dynamic award pricing.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 6:12 pm
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So if I were a United Explorer card holder and have plenty of time , would I have a much better chance of getting a good price or points value for a non stop from DEN to LIH ? I do have a United Mileage Plus account but donít have any miles in it .

How will dynamic pricing look ? Not sure what that means other than Iím guessing it has to do with prices the competition is offering ?
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Old Aug 24, 19, 6:13 pm
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Are you looking for saver economy or saver first?

All redemption are considered awards, saver is a type of an award; saver requires less miles than everyday (standard) awards.

UA offers a number of predetermined saver award seats to credit card holders and elites on a particular flight; and a different set to the general public.

You are looking for peak season redemption. Airlines including UA know they will have no issue selling most (if not all) on cash tickets; airlines have little motivation to open up saver awards, especially premium seats, even for elites/CC holders.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Are you looking for saver economy or saver first?
I’m new enough at this points game that I’m not sure I know the difference between Economy and saver first . Can you explain ? I do believe I read with Basic Economy , there’s a chance our family of 4 could get stuck on back of the plane or get split up and I don’t want that to happen.


Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 24, 19 at 8:51 pm Reason: reapaired quote
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Old Aug 24, 19, 6:27 pm
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Your terminology isn't correct. Like Repooc17 says, award just means miles/points. The difference is between Saver and Everyday award/miles/points tickets. My experience is Everyday tickets are double of Saver tickets.

Yes some award seats are limited to credit card holders. But within the past few years, definitely within the past year, United has really reduced the availability of award tickets and often times will only release seats 1 or 2 weeks in advance. So even if you get the card you may not have a hard time getting a flight you want. But if you can wait to get a card I'd do it
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Old Aug 24, 19, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by FTA View Post
Yes some award seats are limited to credit card holders. But within the past few years, definitely within the past year, United has really reduced the availability of award tickets and often times will only release seats 1 or 2 weeks in advance. So even if you get the card you may not have a hard time getting a flight you want. But if you can wait to get a card I'd do it
What types of United flights does Chase Ultimate Travel have access to ? I thought I read in a forum that they have access to all of Unitedís inventory but Iím guessing it may not necessarily be at the saver level ? I guess thatís why itís good to look for flights on Chase since it will show you which flights cost how many points ?
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Old Aug 24, 19, 7:48 pm
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Not trying to rain on your parade, but you're looking for non-stop to LIH during peak season. Irrespective of what card or elite level you are, saver space (under current terminology) will be tough to find in Y. In FC, it is highly unlikely.

Dynamic pricing goes into effect November 2019. That essentially means United will determine the amount of miles it wants to charge by route by flight by day. The highest demand/ most attractive flights will cost more miles. Non- stops will almost certainly cost more than connections. Bottom line, if you're looking for the least points and most "value", you're likely looking at a connection through the West Coast.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 8:07 pm
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Originally Posted by bluedemon211 View Post
Not trying to rain on your parade, but you're looking for non-stop to LIH during peak season. Irrespective of what card or elite level you are, saver space (under current terminology) will be tough to find in Y. In FC, it is highly .
Thank you so much and honestly I wasnít really sure what the Peak seasons of Hawaii were ...figured it was all 12 months of the year :-). It makes perfect sense that if itís high season, a bargain on a non stop may be difficult to find . And having to change planes isnít a horrible thing necessarily ....can get out and stretch legs before the 6-7 hours left . Thanks for explaining the dynamic pricing ...I had been hearing that was going to happen but wasnít for sure what that meant .

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Old Aug 24, 19, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by coloradotraveler View Post
What types of United flights does Chase Ultimate Travel have access to ? I thought I read in a forum that they have access to all of United’s inventory but I’m guessing it may not necessarily be at the saver level ? I guess that’s why it’s good to look for flights on Chase since it will show you which flights cost how many points ?
Chase Untimate Reward Travel and United Mileage Plus are completely separate programs even though both start out as Chase Ultimate Reward points. After you earn your UR points you decide if you want to convert them to United Miles or keep them with Chase.

The term Award Ticket means a flight booked United Mileage Plus points through United's Mileage Plus program, you have to use a premium Chase card to transfer your Chase points to a United Mileage Plus account first. Mileage Plus has Saver and Everyday awards.

For Chase's own Ultimate Reward Travel, you're basically just converting your points straight to cash with a 25% bonus at a redemption rate of 100 points per $1. If you have 10,000 points in your account then you really have 12,500 points available for travel redemptions which converts to $125 cash. Ultimate Reward doesn't have Saver and Everyday categories but I don't know if it has access to the entire inventory, never used it before.

Last edited by FTA; Aug 24, 19 at 8:24 pm
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Old Aug 24, 19, 8:45 pm
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Not so long ago, 1.25 cpm was considered a terrible valuation, but if UA truly follows Delta's lead with million mile awards, 1.25 starts to look reasonable.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by FTA View Post
For Chase's own Ultimate Reward Travel, you're basically just converting your points straight to cash with a 25% bonus at a redemption rate of 100 points per $1. If you have 10,000 points in your account then you really have 12,500 points available for travel redemptions which converts to $125 cash. Ultimate Reward doesn't have Saver and Everyday categories but I don't know if it has access to the entire inventory, never used it before.
FTA, when will I ďseeĒ that 25% bonus take effect? For instance, if I log in to my chase account and search for airfare , are the points it tells me those flights cost exactly what Iíll need or will it be 25% less than the points /dollar amount that comes up once I chose a flight ?
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Old Aug 24, 19, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by coloradotraveler View Post
FTA, when will I ďseeĒ that 25% bonus take effect? For instance, if I log in to my chase account and search for airfare , are the points it tells me those flights cost exactly what Iíll need or will it be 25% less than the points /dollar amount that comes up once I chose a flight ?
I haven't used it myself and Ultimate rewards is down right now, but I think the displayed price is pre bonus. Think the bonus is reflected at checkout
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Old Aug 24, 19, 9:50 pm
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Facts:

The Chase United Explorer Card and the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards are two completely separate programs using two sepaate systems.

The Ultimate Rewards Card earns Rewards Points, a currency unique to Chase. The Ultimate Rewards points can be used to buy airline tickets at the cash price set by the airline. You make this purchase through Chase. Each Chase Point is worth 1.25 cents for the purchase of flights, and 1 cent for other purchases. It's pretty straight forward.

The United Explorer Card earns miles, a currency unique to United. Miles are a completely different currency than cash. Mileage award trips are booked through United. While most of us have figured out that 1.2 to 1.7 cents per mile is about the best value one can get, flights in 2020 have award (mileage) rates that could be completely unrelated to the cash price.

Where the two bleed over is that Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be converted to miles at the rate of 1 point per mile. Now onto purchasing flights using miles.

There are two separate rates, the Saver and the Everyday Rates. As mentioned above, the saver rates are much harder to come by and are usually only released close to departure when the airline feels they may let some seats go empty. There can be saver and everyday rates for both cabins. Note that there is no "basic economy" rate using miles. It's just standard coach.

Finally, where the explorer card comes in handy is explorer card members have access to what we call "last seat inventory." This means that if there is space on the flight available for purchase with cash, Explorer Card members can book that seat as an award trip at the Everyday (higher) rate. In other words, a card holder can make an award reservation on any flight at the Everyday (higher) rate, where non-cardholders will have reduced inventory, even at the everyday rate.

Opinion:

Purchasing Flights with award miles is a "game" if you will. You have to know the ins and outs in order to get ahead. Without knowing how many miles you have, if you are considering booking with miles, you need to think about how many miles you will need to book your trip and determine if you can earn those miles by the time you confirm. Like cash prices, mileage prices can now fluctuate. Unlike cash, if there is an increase in mileage rates, additional needed miles may be hard to accumulate without directly purchasing miles from United.
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