MileValue is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer be available. You can view current offers here.

You can see three “destination” cities on one United award, but you need to book a separate ticket with Avios or cash to tie the trip together.

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 12.11.23 AM

  • Why is three the limit?
  • Why does seeing even three cities require a second award?
  • How can you see four or more cities with United miles?

You get one stopover and two open jaws on a roundtrip United award in addition to your destination and origin cities.

When you look at what possibilities that opens, you see that you can have three “destinations” on your award, kind of.

For instance, you can fly all of this on a single United award:

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo (destination)
  • Beijing to Seoul (open jaw between Tokyo and Beijing, stopover in Seoul)
  • Seoul to Los Angeles

This routing uses up one stopover and one open jaw, and you see three Asian cities. (You could use the second open jaw by returning to San Francisco, say, instead of Los Angeles, but let’s ignore that possibility.)

Unfortunately this itinerary is missing the flight from Tokyo to Beijing.

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 12.11.23 AM

Furthermore, you cannot add this “missing” segment to the same United award as all the other flights. Why not? Such an itinerary would have two stopovers, which is against the rules.

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo (destination)
  • Tokyo to Beijing (stopover #1)
  • Beijing to Seoul (stopover #2)
  • Seoul to Los Angeles

Seeing three cities on a United award is easy enough, but there will be a hole that you need to fill with another ticket.

Generally Avios or cash will be best to fill that hole. In the example I gave, I intentionally left the hole between Tokyo and Beijing because British Airways partner Japan Airlines flies the route with a ton of award space, making it a relatively simple 10,000 Avios award to book after booking the big United award.

To see a fourth city on a United award, book the same type of United award and then book two Avios award or cash tickets. For instance (United award in red, Avios awards in blue):

  • Los Angeles to Tokyo
  • Tokyo to Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong to Beijing
  • Beijing to Seoul
  • Seoul to Los Angeles

Above this number of cities, you’ll probably want to look at a round-the-world award. United and Delta offer moderate value round-the-world awards, though not nearly as good as the now-defunct American Airlines Explorer Award.

Are you working on a massive trip on which you want to visit three or more destinations? Share it in the comments. If you’re stuck in your planning, hire the MileValue Award Booking Service.

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 75,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.