Maximizing United Miles to Europe

Two weeks ago I posted about how American Airlines allows for a single stopover when going to Europe.  If you’re the “fat kid underneath the piñata” when it comes to travel, like Brad and I, you’ll be stoked to hear this news.  In order to maximize your United Miles going to Europe you’ll definitely want to read this post.

Using United Miles to go to Europe

Looking at the United Airlines award chart, it will normally cost 30,000 MileagePlus miles each way, or 60,000 for the round trip from the US to Europe.  It’ll take you forever to fly enough miles to accrue 60k, but when you’re worldwanderlusting with us it’ll be EASY!

MileagePlus Europe

Booking the Stopover with Miles to Europe

1. Pick your two preferred European spots first.  This will be one of the more difficult decisions.

If you’re like me, you want to go everywhere so you’ll spend quite a bit of time deciding your locations. For this example I’ll say that you would love to see both Paris and Istanbul.  One for romance, and the other for adventure. This is what the trip will look like.

Flight Itinerary
2. Go to & choose the “Multiple Destination” option.


3. Add in the destinations, dates, etc.  For this example I’ll just say that I wanted to spend two weeks total, with one week in Paris and another in Istanbul.  I’ve put in this information in as a sample.  You’ll have to “Add another flight to your trip” as circled below to get the third leg of the trip.

Two Trips


4.  Find the dates and adjust your plans as necessary to ensure that you book the trip.  You’ll want to pick the yellow options to keep the award ticket at 60k UnitedPlus Miles. Although they don’t have availability everyday, it is reasonable.  Book your trip 6 months out for optimal availability with United.

United Economy award

5. Pick the flights that are in the Saver Award Economy options with the least amount of layovers and the shortest time.  Flying out of Idaho Falls always creates a ton of stops, but it’s a great feature of United!Stopover in Europe

6. Bust out the MileagePlus Miles & book the trip.  It is always exciting when you can get $5,393.90 worth out of 60k miles.  Talk about maximum value!

Mileageplus to europe

You’re on your way.  The flights are booked, now it is time to start working on the hotels and other pieces to the puzzle.  However, booking your ticket to two separate European destinations with one award ticket is the best way to go.

For more complex routing you’ll want to read this post by our friend Dima about booking award tickets with United Airlines. This guy has had some WILD itineraries over the years.  You’ll be shocked at how adventurous he is with his trips.  Of course it is easier to do that without kids!

Getting Your Paws on 60,000 MileagePlus Miles

Hopefully you’ve already flown on United and have started accruing some points already.  If you haven’t, it’s not the end of the world.  We should be able to get you the 60k you’ll need if you’re patient.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred- This is a Bank Points card that allows you to transfer point-for-point from Ultimate Rewards to MileagePlus miles.  The bonus on this card usually runs about 40k
  • Chase MileagePlus Explorer Card- In many cases you can find an offer to get you 50k from this card alone.

Between both of these cards you’ll easily be over the 60k miles needed to make the journey.  Pack your bags baby, you’re headed to Europe!


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