Skirting United’s $75 Close-in Booking Fee One Last Time

Spoiler alert: It worked on the first try, calling 1-800-421-4655.

Update 11/1/19: Just saved another $75 for a last minute United award I decided to book. I called 1-800-4655 number, and the first agent I spoke to tried to charge me close-in booking fee for moving my flight from December 2 to November 10. I hung up and called back, same number, and the second agent did not mention it whatsoever and re-booked for free.

United MileagePlus charges $75 to book an award less than 21 days before departure.

United Drops Award Chart November 15

United published some heavy-hitting changes to their loyalty program over the weekend. In a nutshell, United is following Delta down the path towards a totally revenue-based loyalty program.

United has announced dynamic award pricing effective immediately for flights with travel dates of November 15 and on. This means that instead of having set, published prices for award flights, the mileage price will fluctuate based on the cash price. No more award charts.

Last Day for 75k Bonus on the United Business Card

UPDATE: THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED. THE CHASE UNITED EXPLORER BUSINESS CARD NOW EARNS 100,000 BONUS UNITED MILES FOR SPENDING $10,000 WITHIN THREE MONTHS OF ACCOUNT OPENING.

At some point on March 18, 2018 the biggest ever sign up bonus on the United Explorer Business Card will end. I'm guessing you'll have until the end of the day on Monday, March 18 to apply, as on united.com (as of Sunday evening, March 17) there is a banner that reads "75k BONUS MILES, 2 DAYS LEFT-- OFFER ENDS 3/18.

The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #3

Once you’ve opened five credit cards from any bank in the last 24 months (not counting most business cards), Chase will likely deny you for all of their travel rewards credit cards.

You Can Still Avoid the United $75 Close-in Booking Fee

Update 7/14/19: The trick just worked for me again, this time on the first try! I spent under 5 minutes and saved $150. This time I started by calling the number that ended up working for me last year, 1-800-421-4655, on the first try and the nice representative waived the fee. She originally told me that we would be charged $75 per person--$150 total--and I told her it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes. She agreed and waived the fee.

You Can Still Avoid the United $75 Close-in Booking Fee

Update 7/14/19: The trick just worked for me again, this time on the first try! I spent under 5 minutes and saved $150. This time I started by calling the number that ended up working for me last year, 1-800-421-4655, on the first try and the nice representative waived the fee. She originally told me that we would be charged $75 per person--$150 total--and I told her it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes. She agreed and waived the fee.

15 Miles per Dollar Through February 19 At United Portal

United MileagePlus Shopping is offering big shopping portal bonuses at specific retailers through February 19, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET.

United $75 Trick NOT DEAD

Edit November 18, 2017: Three more positive reports in the last two weeks. This trick may never die. :)

In Don’t Pay the $75 Close In Fee on United (Trick!), Scott wrote about an easy way anyone can avoid the fee United charges non-elites for booking an award within 21 days of departure.

How & When to Fly Thai 1st Class, MileagePlus Sweetspot Devaluing in 3 Months

It only costs 40,000 United miles to fly Thai Airways First Class between South Asia and Australia/New Zealand. A flight between Bangkok and Sydney is nine hours long. 40k is an incredible price for the travel time and quality of the product.

Sadly on November 1 of this year, the price will increase to 65,000 miles. That is not an unreasonable price, but the award will certainly lose its sweetspot status. The devaluation of this international award is not the only change we'll see to MileagePlus this fall.